A “Thank You” to all of the Feminists

Image from Google Images.

Image from Google Images.

By Amber Charleville

It’s been a busy semester here at the Women’s Center, and we’re only halfway through.  (On the other hand: Woohoo, we made it through the first 8 weeks of classes!) We’ve done events at the Kansas City Public Library, the Plaza, across campus, and everywhere I’ve gone I’ve met women eager to reach out and connect with each other. Even when I’m not working events, when I tell people where I work, they always ask me questions. They want to know more: how they can get involved, what kind of services we offer, and if it’s okay if they just come by. (The answer to the last one is a resounding YES).

One of the biggest arguments against feminism I hear is that “women don’t have it that bad.” It’s not like we can’t vote or hold a job. It’s not like we can’t go to school. What’s the big deal? But when I meet women from all different backgrounds who all face the many and varied challenges of being a woman every day of their lives, I know it’s not all in my head. It reminds me why I proudly tell people that I’m a feminist. It reminds me why I don’t stay silent and why, no matter how tiring it can be, I always try to educate people on what it means to be a feminist.

Basically, what I want to say is: thanks. Thank you to the women I’ve met this semester (and all the semesters previously) who have inspired and encouraged me. No matter how corny it sounds, it gives me strength knowing I’m not in this on my own.

In acknowledgement of that, some of my blogs going forward are going to feature WONDERful WOMEN right here in our own backyard: professors who make me proud to be a part of this school, who fuel my drive to count myself among UMKC’s alumni.

A Wonder Woman and Inspiring Chicana: Dr. Norma E. Cantú

Picture from http://bit.ly/1dOkMsv

Picture from http://bit.ly/1dOkMsv

By Maritza Gordillo

Dr. Norma E. Cantú is a postmodernist writer and an English and Latina/Latino Studies professor at UMKC. Her areas of specialization are: border studies, Chicano/a literature, cultural studies, folklore, and feminist studies. I recently went to a book reading she had on September 5, 2013 at the Central Library on one of her award winning books, Canícula, as well as other works of hers. The pieces she read were inspired by her own life experiences and with lots of humor like in one of her recent projects, Hair.

After hearing her childhood experiences, I have come to realize that we all have our own story that we should be writing. As women, we go through a lot of experiences from childhood to adulthood changing physically, emotionally, economically, etc… that make us who we are. We need to embrace them and share them with others. Dr. Cantú continues to inspire me through her work as an empowering Chicana, feminist, and poet. I feel honored to have her as my professor, to have her as a friend, and to have her as a mentor.