Free the Nips!

File courtesy of Google Images.By Zaquoya Rogers

Before the 1930s, going topless was illegal for both men and women. It was seen as indecent up until the 1930s when men were permitted to be without garment from the waist up. Women on the oth http://www.menshealth.com/sex-women/nipple-double-standard r hand, still had to keep their areolas covered.

Even today, the media is very stern on keeping female areolas off of their platform. Artist and professor, Micol Hebron said of her censored Instagram photo, “The fetishization and censorship of female nipples gets to the point where the body is being seen only as a sexual object.”  Instagram is one social media network that has been adamant and persistent in removing any photo that exposes feminine nips. Their justification states that it’s for “safety reasons.” But really, how harmful can a pair of female nipples be? This goes back to Hebron’s statement about how society sexualize the female anatomy and that’s really the underlying motive Instagram is acting on. Covering female nipples in public and on social media is completely unfair. Especially when the difference between male and female areolas is non-existent. In fact, male areolas and female areolas are EXACTLY the same. According to LiveScience.com, the first few weeks inside the womb, every developing embryo follows a “female blueprint”, which is why men even have nipples. The #FreetheNipple movement have provoked peaceful protests, celebrity support and conversation. This is helping to make more people aware of why we should free the nips

Beyoncé Slays the Country Music Awards

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60aCpaG2S6E[/youtube]

By: Korrien Hopkins

A moment a silence for Beyoncé’s performance at the 2016 Country Music Awards…

Beyoncé and the Dixie Chick’s collaboration was the highlight of the 50th CMA show. They performed a song from Beyoncé new visual album Lemonade and the song is called “Daddy Lesson.”  She expresses how it was growing up with daddy lessons in the perspective of a young girl. The girl seems to have grown up tough after her father was hard on her. He didn’t want anyone to take advantage of her.

As you may know Beyoncé showing up to any award show now days is rare. So, for her to go and blow us all away at the CMA was amazing. Some may be aware that Beyoncé is a Texas native. Her pulling off a country song at the CMA wasn’t all that surprising.  I mean she’s Beyoncé what can’t she do? Some would disagree, there was even controversy over whether she is qualified to perform a country song. But we will let the haters hate, and continue to be great. I mean, no one would down play a great an Eminem performance and say he’s not qualified. Society limits women’s “qualifications” anyways. So, my advice to every woman is to go do what you want and slay while doing it.

 

No Men Beyond This Point

By: Matiara Huff

netflix_logo-svg

Image courtesy of Google.

I watched this mockumentary on Netflix without any knowledge of what I was getting into, and it was quite an adventure.

No Men Beyond This Point is about a world where men are going extinct, and women have become asexual and only give birth to girls. This story begins after a successful matriarchy has been established, and women have comfortably adjusted to life without men. There are still men, but they all live comfortably in nursing home-like camps. The youngest man at this point is in his thirties. Now I don’t want to tell the whole story.  But trust me, it is interesting a weird but I still recommend watching it.

It was interesting, because I think that it accurately portrays the way that the world would react if this were to actually happen. In the beginning one women gets pregnant and gives birth without having sex and the whole world blows her off by calling her a liar and slut-shaming her. Then as time passes more and more women are getting pregnant without having sex and the amount of female births is rising. Men continue to not believe literally millions of women, until they notice the drop in male births and they begin to look into it. Then by the time that they begin a full investigation most men are too old or just physical unable to participate, and the matriarchy begins. It almost seems possible and has some feminist values as well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUwZ5Yo3Urg

Young Black and Educated

By: Korrien Hopkins

Image courtesy of Flickr.

Image courtesy of Flickr.

Black women are doctors believe it or not.  They are lawyers, politicians, students, educators. But the question is why people are unaware of this?

According to Addicting Info, “From 1999–2000 to 2009–10, the percentage of degrees earned by females remained between approximately 60 and 62 percent for associate’s degrees and between 57 and 58 percent for bachelor’s degrees. In contrast, the percentages of both master’s and doctor’s degrees earned by females increased from 1999–2000 to 2009–10. Within each racial/ethnic group, women earned the majority of degrees at all levels in 2009–10. For example, among U.S. residents, Black females earned 68 percent of associate’s degrees, 66 percent of bachelor’s degrees, 71 percent of master’s degrees, and 65 percent of all doctor’s degrees awarded to Black students.”

Despite these statistics black women are consistently not given credit for their achievements. This week Dr. Tamika Cross, who is an OBGYN in Houston, posted on Facebook that last weekend while aboard a Delta flight she was rejected her offer to help a sick patient. Dr. Cross was then questioned whether she was really a doctor. Another doctor on board was allowed to help. Of course, this doctor was an older Caucasian male. While Dr. Cross is a young African American female.

Dr. Cross’ experience highlights a major problem we have in our society. This is one of both racism and sexism. There is the saying, “You can’t be what you can’t see.” This is what makes it even more important that black female doctors don’t remain under represented in society for the sake of upcoming generations. We tell our black children they can be anything they want to be: an engineer, a scientist, a surgeon and a doctor. The image of Black female doctors are even being presented to children on television.  Doc McStuffins is a show that has taken Disney by storm. It features an African American girl who although isn’t really a licensed she operates on her toy to her them get better. Both boys and girls of all races watch this show. This is teaching them diversity, race and gender equality. It is teaching the future generations. However, with mainstream America saying everyone has equal opportunity and, post-Obama, racism does not exist. We than read about what happened to Dr. Cross and it makes you question what it’s all about. It is important for other races and opposite genders to recognize inequality.

 

The Girl Cell

Image sourced through Google Images via Creative Commons

Image sourced through Google Images via Creative Commons

By Torshawna Griffin and Kacie Otto

V-Day is a global movement to end violence against women and girls everywhere. Organizations all over the world put on benefit performances of Eve Ensler’s iconic play The Vagina Monologues to raise money for organizations that work to end violence. In 2009, Eve Ensler gave a TED talk about embracing your inner girl and how we all have a “girl cell” inside of us. She talks about how boys hide their inner girl cell and about how society doesn’t allow boys to embrace their inner girl cell because it is not masculine. She talks about changing the verb inside us and making them verbs that empower us as women. Eve lists different girls that have changed their verbs in order to empower themselves.

One story that she gives is of a young girl who ran away after hearing that her father wanted to sell her for cows and her fear of being cut. She ran away to the first V-Day Safe House. And stayed for a year until she could find the courage and bravery, so that she could go to reconcile with her father and care for him for the rest of his life.

UMKC’s Women’s Center has the privilege of hosting a benefit performance this year of Eve Ensler’s Vagina Monologues on February 10, 2015 at 7:30pm. Click here to purchase tickets. Tickets are also available at the door.

Leelah Alcorn

Image found via Google Images on Creative Commons

Image found via Google Images on Creative Commons

By Matiara Huff

On December 28, 2014 Leelah Alcorn was pronounced dead, and her death did exactly what she wanted it to do. At the end of her suicide note she wrote “The only way I will rest in peace is if one day transgender people aren’t treated the way I was, they’re treated like humans, with valid feelings and human rights. Gender needs to be taught about in schools, the earlier the better. My death needs to mean something. My death needs to be counted in the number of transgender people who commit suicide this year. I want someone to look at that number and say ‘that’s f***ed up’ and fix it. Fix society.”

Leelah Alcorn was a 17 year old transgender girl and all she wanted for her 16 birthday was permission to have gender reassignment surgery, and the support of her parents. Instead she was met with hatred and embarrassment. She was verbally abused and denied her surgery. Then, after coming out in school as a stepping stone, her parents took her out of school, cut off all of her social interaction, and put her in conversion therapy for 5 months. When she finally went back to school, she thought that things would get better but all of her friends moved on, and she said this made her feel lonelier than ever.

Leelah was struck by a tractor trailer at 2:00 a.m. on a highway 4 miles from her house, then at 5:30pm the next day her suicide note was set to post on Tumblr. She explained everything that she went through and why she decided to kill herself. She posted a second note to apologize to her siblings and friends. Since then, Leelah’s life and death have gone viral and have sparked a movement that she would have wanted. The only way to keep the movement going is to not forget her.

Leelah’s story is just one of too many tragic stories, and it is time that we change our society so that we don’t have to hear about these stories grounded in such hatred. At the Women’s Center, we recognize these problems, and we take the necessary steps to support everyone, no matter what their gender expression is. We want to make this world a better place for all of us. Until it is a better place for all of us, everyone is always safe and welcome in the Women’s Center.

Vagina Monologues to be Staged at UMKC!

2015-VDAY-posterBy Kacie Otto and Kemora Williams

Name of Event: The Vagina Monologues

Date and Time: February 10, 2015 at 7pm

Location: UMKC Student Union Theater, 5100 Cherry Street

Admission charge: $10 for students, $20 for non-students in advance and $15 for students, $25 for non-students at the door.

Parking information: Parking will be available on the fifth floor of the Cherry St. Parking Garage

Coming up on February 10, 2015 at 7:00 p.m., the Women’s Center is sponsoring a benefit performance of The Vagina Monologues. Funds raised from the event will support the UMKC Violence Prevention and Response Project and VDay’s 2015 spotlight campaign, One Billion Rising. The Vagina Monologues will be held at the UMKC Student Union Theater, 5100 Cherry Street. However tickets are required for this event, which you can purchase online at or by calling 816-235-6222. Tickets are also available at the door.

For more information, visit our VDay website. The Vagina Monologues is sure to be an empowering performance and we hope to see you there! What better way to support both the campus and community!

Women’s Center Welcomes New Staff Member!

By Torshawna Griffin

TorshawnaHi, my name is Torshawna Griffin. I am a second year student studying Mechanical Engineering. I chose UMKC because of the prestigious engineering community and the distance from home, not too far away but not too nearby.

I am happy to be working in the Women’s Center because I have watched so many women in my life go through various hardships. I feel that working in the Women’s Center will give me the resources and experience to be able to give advice to different women, both young and old.

This semester I hope to continue to fight for equal pay for women on Equal Pay Day, and to encourage everyone to love their body, big or small. By the end of the semester, I also hope to know and share more about what it means to be a woman in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) field. So, come visit me in the Women’s Center!

Should Women Still Be Fighting for Equal Rights?

Source: Google Images Through Creative Commons

Source: Google Images Through Creative Commons

By Rocky Richards

Believe it or not, there are individuals who feel like feminism is not needed today. I read an article in the Kansas City Star earlier this week and was shocked by the views that one woman had towards feminism. She stated, “OK, I get it. Feminism got women a lot of really good stuff. But we don’t really need it anymore. Women are equal now.” I was very confused and thought to myself, “If women like Kerry Washington, Diahann Carroll, and Phylicia Rashad decided to stop fighting for equal rights as female actors today, where would that leave me?”

So let’s explore “Feminism got women a lot of really great stuff”.  Getting a toy for Christmas is really great stuff. Purchasing some items from the store is really great stuff. Playing games with your family is really great stuff. Let’s not make it seem like fighting for equal rights is a walk around the park. It’s not something that you wake up and say ok, great ladies we’ve gotten some really great stuff, and we can go back to living our lives now. Being a feminist is a lifestyle. A feminist is someone who advocates for women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men. As the president of an organization geared towards women, every day I try to make it my mission to stand up for women on our campus. I try to make sure that women know what they deserve as humans. As feminists, our job is not to hurt or hate men, but to be granted the same rights that white men have always had.

What are your thoughts and opinions about feminism? Is there still a need for feminism today? Before you answer that, think about the rights that you deserve not only as a woman but as a human being. In my opinion, feminism is needed to ensure that women have equal access to medical care, career opportunities, and safety. There is still a need for feminism in every aspect of our lives.

Fashion for Feminism

SWEET_PRINCESSBy Jesse Bihlmeyer

A controversial video, Potty-Mouthed Princesses Drop F-Bombs for Feminism has been able to successfully get people talking about women’s rights and feminism. This video is taking a powerful stand on the sexism that has been pushed under the rug in our society. The girls use assertive tone, confident body language, and quite a bit of swearing – but these are the things that have made the video go viral.

The producers of this video are a known fashion organization that aims to “[arm] thousands of people with pro-LGBT equality, anti-racism and anti-sexism T-shirts that act as ‘mini-billboards’ for change,” (FCKH8.com). Even with these messages, Kelly Faircloth, at Jezebel,  says that because this video is, “a slickly produced piece of viral marketing for ‘FCKH8.com,’” there is essentially no merit to the message this video, and this organization.” (Faircloth). I, on the other hand, believe the message of equality far outweighs the goal of selling a t-shirt. Not only that, but fashion is a brilliant way to widely spread ideas, and FCKH8.com is a clothing company that is profitably in a place to spread valuable ideas. Without the company, there is no video and this means without selling t-shirts the message of equal rights are not being brought to the population in such a prevalent way. Furthermore, I applaud the people at FCKH8.com because they are using a device that is fundamentally present in all of western society, clothing, to promote an ideal that is not as present, feminism.

The video has been receiving a lot of backlash for the use of profanity– but that is the point! Without the juxtaposition of young girls in princess costumes and aggressive language there wouldn’t be the current discussion of the topics of this video. The same routine has been going on for years – it is easy to go day-in and day-out making mundane dialogues regarding unequal pay and other matters, and even easier to ignore inequality faced by women on a daily basis. The point of this video is to bring some new wave passion, commitment, awareness, and action to these topics in hopes that the discussion will not be put on the backburner any longer. It is time for the issue of inequality to be addressed. This video shows that rape, violence, body image, and other issues are more disturbing than a child saying an inappropriate word – they are issues that plague our society as a whole.