Whose Femininity Is It Anyway?

By: Adriana Miranda

Have you ever thought about how, like, femininity is SO strongly tied to men? Hear me out!

Yeah, femininity is traditionally associated with women. BUT! Think about what kind of women are afforded femininity. It tends to be straight women, or white women, orrrr thin women, or just women that fit into the cishet male gaze of desirability in one way or another. So if femininity (at least to a cishet world) means “desirable to men” has it ever really been ours to begin with? And what if our performance of femininity ISN’T for men, what happens then?

Now we all perform gender, right? I personally present very feminine, i’m talking almost-strictly-wears-dresses feminine. I also happen to be a lesbian. And plus-size. And a person of color. This for some reason sometimes confuses (and angers) cisgender heterosexual people.

Either my femininity is called into question or my sexuality is called into question: “Are you sure you’re not at all attracted to men? You dress so cute! I bet you secretly do like us.” Or…“Do you just dress this way because you’re not comfortable being your true self?”

Why does it need to be one way or another? Why does my femininity have to be me trying to attract men or make up for my fatness for men or appear more “soft” for men? What if I just want to present feminine? And even if I was if I was doing it for anyone other than myself, it’s definitely for other lesbians. Femininity can and DOES exist entirely on its own, completely separate from men.

Call Me Slim Shady Cause We’re Back, Back Again

By: Sierra Voorhies

Hello y’all. If you have been a reader of the Women’s Center blogs, you might be familiar with me. I have written blogs about pronouns, gender, and bisexual erasure, as well as stories about my family and tv-shows. I will be continuing to work at the Women’s Center this semester, until May when I hope to graduate with a bachelor’s in psychology and a minor in women’s, gender and sexuality studies.

I am passionate about educating myself and others about how to be a good ally and member of the queer community. I hope to explore some fun subjects and stories this semester, while developing myself and programs through the Women’s Center. Gentle reminder that the Women’s Center is for all genders, and I hope if you have a little extra time around Haag Hall, you will come check out our library, sit on our comfy couch and sip some tea with us.

Welcome Back From Adriana Miranda, Women’s Center Staff Member

By: Adriana Miranda

Hi all! If you don’t recognize me, my name is Adriana Miranda (pronouns are She/Her or They/Them). I started here at the Women’s Center in the middle of our last Fall semester, and I’m back this Spring semester!

Here’s a little refresher on who I am and why I’m here: I’m a 23 year old transfer student from Los Angeles, an artsy Mexican-American lesbian who’s extremely passionate about intersectional feminism and queer liberation (to be honest I’m passionate about literally everything I do) and I’m a psychology major! I love painting, dancing, reggaeton, traveling, cross-stitching, tattooing, singing, and binge watching novelas.

I love my work here at the Women’s Center and hope to bring you all some more posts on intersectionality, queerness, gender equity, gender diversity, uplifting WOC, maybe some media reviews, and who knows what else! I’m so happy to be back another semester and I can’t wait to write for you all soon! Til next time 🙂

Ebony Taylor Joins Women’s Center Staff

By Ebony Taylor

Hi! My name is Ebony Taylor. I am a senior this semester and graduating in the Spring of 2022. I started my academic journey as a transfer student from Mizzou, on track to get a bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences. After my mom was diagnosed a second time with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, UMKC warmly welcomed me as a Roo during my sophomore year. My advisors and professors helped me succeed as a student while I took care of my mom.

Three years later, my mom is cancer-free, and I am enjoying my last semester as a Roo! After graduation, I plan to attend a Physician Assistant program, preferably somewhere with more stable weather than Kansas City. I did not have as much of a “college experience” as my peers did, only getting involved when I had free time, which was rare in my beginning years at UMKC. You may recognize me from working at Swinney with UMKC Athletics or from a class in the past, but now you can find me at the Women’s Center!

I first came across the Women’s Center on Instagram when I noticed the events and programs offered catering to the topic of women’s inequality. Growing up, it was standard that women had to protect themselves, watch their surroundings, and be on alert at any time in their lives. The pressing issue did not come into focus until my first year of college. I attended a predominantly white institution, or PWI, with a history of racial injustice. On the campus tour, a few students told my group that there were certain places that black students should avoid on campus. I realized there was a real problem with inequality because of what I identified as. I had to be on high alert because I was a woman, because I was a woman in college, and because I was a woman who was Black. These were all vastly different classifications not to be confused with each other. After taking a global health course, I learned more about women and gender issues. I hope to learn more about protecting, advocating, and supporting all of those embraced through the Women’s Center. I enjoy all things Greek mythology and am a big Harry Potter fan. I believe books are always better than the movies, and I am always up for new ways to showcase my artistic skills!

Alyssa Bradley Joins Women’s Center as Social Media Intern

By Alyssa Bradley

Hello everyone! I am Alyssa Bradley (she/her), a senior at UMKC. This is my second year at the University of Missouri – Kansas City and I am just loving it. I transferred here after attending classes at UCM to develop my career as an Interpersonal Communication Studies major. I have lived in KCMO for about 10 years now, got really comfortable, and wanted to move back to the city to be around my family while still pursuing my degree.

Eventually after graduation, I would like to embark on a career journey fighting and advocating for issues of social reform around the world. I have been lucky enough to travel to a few countries outside of the United States and my heart and mind were thrilled with the things I discovered. These experiences ignited a fire within me that made me want to help others and understand people. Working for a nonprofit that brings care and compassion into our communities is a lifelong goal of mine. I have strong passions for animals, art, and the freedom to be as we are.

The Women’s Center sparked my interest when their message or goals as a Center became clear. The Center’s drive for providing support and security for an individual going through personal struggles piqued my interest. I thought I could be that someone who can help others in need. I want to get to know my fellow classmates and help understand and squash the issues that many people and students go through.

Outside of school you can find me venturing to new places around KC, playing with my cat, doing arts and crafts, and relaxing with a good movie or show.

Emma Stuart Brings Passion for Art to Women’s Center

By Emma Stuart

Hello! My name is Emma Stuart (she/her/hers). I am a sophomore here at UMKC, as well as a Kansas City native. I am majoring in Art History with the hope to work as a museum curator someday! As I said I have lived in the Kansas City area my whole life and am familiar with the area both north and south of the river. I chose to attend UMKC because it is a local school that had all the things I was looking for in a university, with the Art History program and good connections to local museums. I plan on getting some advanced degrees, so I am staying close to home to save some money upfront (hoping to make it out with no loans, fingers crossed). The UMKC campus was also intriguing to me as it is so close to downtown as well as being accessible to North of the river.

What initially sparked my interest in the Women’s Center was the offer of working on the Her Art/Their Art Project. I was awarded the position of the intern for the Her Art/Their Art Project. This project is very interesting to me as it highlights female and non-binary artists here in the Kansas City area. Unfortunately, female, and non-binary artists are not awarded as much recognition in the art world as their male counterparts. The mission of this project really sparked my interest in the Women’s Center. I love the mission of the Women’s Center as a safe place for all students here at UMKC. With this position I am looking forward to working beside a professional curator that is leading this art project as well as expanding my knowledge of the local art scene here in Kansas City.

Some things that I enjoy doing in my free time include hanging out with my family and friends, reading, painting, crafting, and hanging out with my dogs. I also enjoy watching crime shows and I am trying to get into anime so if you have any recommendations let me know.



Meet Laura Yac! New Intern at the Women’s Center

By Laura Yac

Hello All! My name is Laura Yac. I am currently a senior here at UMKC! I am expected to graduate May 2022 with a bachelor’s in health science. I have spent all four years of my degree here at UMKC and loved every second of it. Attending UMKC has allowed me to stay close to home which has been an attribute to my success in school. Having the support of my family and friends has helped me through many obstacles and made me the person I am today.

With that in mind, when thinking of my internship for my last semester, the Women’s Center came to mind. I have very strong and hardworking women in my life who strive to be the best version of themselves. They stand up for their rights and do not let any stereotypes or ideologies get in their way. I want to be able to portray that same feeling to others and my future children. While working at the Women Center, I hope to learn how to advocate not only for myself but for others. I think that will be an easy task while being surrounded by strong individuals who want the same outcome. The Women Center is a safe space, and I can’t wait to share that with others.

Overall, I am so excited for the events and programs we will be sharing this semester with students and community members. I also hope to bring new ideas and events to the Women Center alongside the other staff members and have a great semester!

Picture Description: To get to know me better here is a picture of my fiancé and myself at Disney World. We were able to experience our childhood dream and fulfill our inner child taste for sweets.

Meet Our Newest Work-Study Student

By Jetzel Chavira

Hi, my name is Jetzel Chavira (she/her) and I am a sophomore at UMKC majoring in Art History and minoring in Latinx and Latino studies. I am originally from Wyandotte in Kansas City, Kansas. I live on campus and living in the heart of the city has made it easier for me to get around town and I can walk to my classes.

I hope to earn my PHD and specialize possibly in Latino/Chicano photography. My dream is to become a curator at an art museum and to curate diverse and representative art. I remember when I was little going to art museums and never seeing any art that I could relate to. I want to change that and truly curate art that underrepresented communities can connect with. I am a Mellon Curatorial Fellow working under the curator of photography at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and taking the first steps to achieve that goal.

In my free time I like to watch movies, go out with friends, and work on my photography. I am beyond excited to be working at the Women’s Center. As a first generation Mexican American woman, I am passionate about advocating women’s rights and am excited to continue this work through the Women’s Center.

Welcome Our New Blog Editor, Emma Sauer!

By Emma Sauer

A huge hello to all of you! My name’s Emma (she/her/hers). I’m a junior here at UMKC, but this is my first year here as a transfer student. Initially I was disappointed by the lack of live kangaroos bouncing around campus, but it turns out the human residents are pretty awesome too. As someone who’s lived in the KCMO area for 10 years but has barely ventured outside her bedroom door, I wanted to expose myself to Kansas City and all it had to offer. UMKC was the optimal choice! I’m majoring in English, with an emphasis in rhetoric and writing. I’m still considering different career paths, which is why I’m trying to expose myself to as many hands-on experiences as I can.

I’m someone who has always felt very passionate about women’s issues, so when I caught wind of an internship opportunity at UMKC’s very own Women’s Center, I was immediately interested. I’ve done a lot of my own research and learned a lot second hand about intersectional issues, but the Women’s Center offers a chance for me to do real, meaningful work. I’m elated to be able to share my knowledge on intersectional issues, and if I’m lucky, I’ll learn a thing or two myself!

In my free time, I love to write, read, draw, and listen to podcasts. I’m also really into anime, cartoons, and D&D! If you ever see me around the Women’s Center and want to chat about a new game or show you’re watching, don’t be afraid to chat with me (especially if you a have recommendation with kick-ass female characters). The last and single most important thing I have to share about myself is my two cats who can do no wrong, ever, because they are my perfect little fuzzy angels.

You’ll hear from me soon, Roos!

P.S- As a gesture of goodwill, any of you higher-ups at UMKC can totally take my kangaroo idea for free. However, I do get to name every single one; that’s non-negotiable.

Our Fall 2021 Editor: Logging Off

By Ace Garrett

With my internship coming to a close, the end of the semester feels like a goodbye—but now I actually get the wonderful opportunity to interact with the Women’s Center as many of you do, as a student. I am sure to keep stopping by for coffee, to borrow a fork, and to study or read a book on our couch. I will continue to be one of the Center’s biggest fans. 

But there are some endings: I will no longer be contributing to this blog, or working with the rest of our wonderful staff. Though I will be happy to have more time for my studies (and sleep), I am so glad to have gotten this opportunity. In the introduction post I wrote mere months ago, I mentioned that I am aspiring to be a copyeditor. Since then I have gotten experience working directly with writers, organizing and managing deadlines, and editing, of course. I have picked up more time-management skills and social skills. I have become much more confident in my my ability to hold a position of authority and in my competence as an editor. This internship has certainly better prepared me for my future, and for that I am thankful.

And all this doesn’t even take into account the joy I’ve felt advocating for gender equity. Although I was not very involved in the Women Center’s wonderful programming this semester, I know that the posts I edited and wrote are making a difference in their own way. I hope students will use this blog—the posts from this semester and beyond—to find support and growth. And I am proud to have left a little bit of myself here. 

Keep learning. Keep chasing empathy.
Thank you for all you do,