Was it good for you?

In today’s world, we are swimming in a hook-up culture. Between popular media and busy schedules, this type of “relationship” (also known as casual sex) has replaced traditional dating for today’s generation. Now that 91% pf college students have said they practice this style of dating, it begs some questions. Is this healthy? Is it mutually beneficial?

When the big screen depicts the traditional heterosexual “hook-up” both the male and female rush together in a fit of heated lust and then onlookers see them depicted in post-coital bliss. Is this reality though?

Studies show that a mere 40% of women orgasm during casual sex.

Is this because of the traditional belief that women need emotional connection with an intimate partner in order to feel turned-on?

Looking at the prevalence of “hook-up culture” this idea seems most unlikely.

Writer Danica Johnson at Everyday Feminism offers some insight on this phenomena. She argues that the enveloping culture surrounding hook-ups offers a male-centered view of sex that often leaves women less than thrilled. Is there still a benefit to hooking-up for women? Read the complete article here for more:


The Gender Gap and High School Academics

The UMKC Women’s Center strives to promote gender equity. Recently I stumbled upon this blog by Maya Dusenbury on Feministing that addresses the relation of high school GPA’s to the gender gap in the workforce. I encourage you to take a look and reflect upon this issue over the summer month.


Chart of the Day: Women need a perfect GPA to
earn as much as men with a 2.0

“We already know that women need a PhD to earn as much as men with a BA, and now a new report on the relationship between high school grade point average (GPA) and income shows that women need a 4.0 GPA to earn as much as men with a 2.0. Via ThinkProgress:

GPA and future earnings by gender chart

The study also shows that, on average, women have significantly higher GPAs, while men still end up having higher incomes. This is why all the hand-wringing about how women are outperforming men in school is so silly. Yes, we are. But, as Bryce Covert explained recently, in the real world, the so-called “boy crisis” disappears – funny how sexism will do that.

As Jos wrote about the previous study showing how the pay gap persists at every level of educational attainment, these studies show that ”women need to climb higher up the ladder of degrees if they want earnings that are competitive with men.” And they show that much of the gender pay gap can’t be explained by education.”


What if Women’s Roles were Played by Men?


By: Maritza Gordillo

I came across this article on Buzzfeed.com and it caught my attention as it described something we’re not used to seeing: reversed gender roles. As you see the video it seems pretty funny and absurd to switch the women’s roles to men’s, but why? Could it be that we are so used to seeing women objectified on the big screen and internalize it? The answer is yes. Society has created tools tailored to view women as sex symbols or objects. Just think that if men look ridiculous playing these roles, why shouldn’t women look ridiculous too?

What’s in a Name

"...there are no powerful women, but all women are powerful!" Image from Creative Commons

“…there are no powerful women, but all women are powerful!”
Image from Creative Commons

By Morgn Paul

Paul, Morgan?

I’m used to hearing teachers mess up names, giggling and drawing out letters to avoid embarrassing themselves (or the student), but I never really had to deal with this. “Morgan Paul” is too simple to screw up saying, aside from the occasional “Megan”. What I’m more used to is “Paul Morgan”. It never really fazed me until my professor was handing back papers one day and I noticed the way she paused. My name was clearly typed at the top of the page, “Morgan Paul” In that order, no comma.  But when she got to my paper she stopped, whispered my name to herself, and then asked “Paul Morgan?” I politely corrected her, took my paper, and checked to see if I had written my name backwards. I had not. I soon realized that even though it was more likely that my name was written correctly she was worried that if I were a man it would have been insulting to have been confused with a woman. She may not have blatantly recognized this fear, but I do believe that is why she said my name that way. I believe that’s the reason why most teachers throughout my education career have not questioned my gender, but immediately assumed that I was a boy. This experience reminded me of a quote by Ian McEwan that has lodged itself into the most concrete part of my brain and peaks its head out daily to remind me why I am fighting against the patriarchy. “Girls can wear jeans and cut their hair short and wear shirts and boots because it’s okay to be a boy; for girls it’s like promotion. But for a boy to look like a girl is degrading, according to you, because secretly you believe that being a girl is degrading.” These words are constantly haunting every piece of me. When I want to celebrate the growth of women’s rights I realize it’s not a growth of women’s rights but a transition into a new category of masculinity. This is the same reason that women in pant suits working in corporate offices are seen as manly instead of powerful women. This is the same reason that girls playing in the dirt are tomboys instead of girls who don’t mind getting dirty. And furthermore, this idea of quiet weak women makes me feel the need to make the distinction between women and powerful women or girls and girls who don’t mind getting dirty as if they’re not still women or girls! I hope that I’m not the only one who is upset by these realizations, and I hope that I’m not the only one who will support the idea that there are not powerful women but that all women are powerful!

T-Shirts, Buttons, and Chocolate Vaginas, Oh My!

The season of V-Day is upon us!

We have tons of events going on to celebate V-Day, and promote violence prevention for violence against women and girls. There are events all month long (and into March!) that aim to bring attention to the V-Day Movement and call the UMKC campus to action to end violence against women and girls.

Have you licked your vagina today? Stop by 105 Haag Hall to purchase a chocolate vagina, and lick away!

Have you licked your vagina today? Stop by 105 Haag Hall to purchase a chocolate vagina, and lick away!

At all of our events we have our amazing V-Day T-Shirts and V-Day Buttons for sale. In addition, we have the renowned chocolate vaginias in both milk and dark chocolate. Stop by any (or all!) of our events listed below to purchase items! Or, swing by The Women’s Center at 105 Haag Hall during normal business hours (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.) to buy any of the items!

We hope you will join us in the fight to end violence against women and girls!

Our Events:

We have various interactive tables where participants can refelct on healthy relationships and express their reflections by creating shrink art charms! The dates/times/locations of our tables are as follows:

  • Thursday, Feb. 13; 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.; Royall Hall
  • Monday, Feb. 17; 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.; Health Sciences Building
  • Thursday, Feb. 27; 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.; Oak Street Residence Hall

We also have our V-Men event, where a facilitated discussion about gender violence takes place among men. Our event will be on Wednesday, Feb. 19 at 5 p.m., and there will be FREE PIZZA!

Our V-Day initiative for the year comes to a spearhead on Tuesday, March 4 with our benefit performance of The Vagina Monologues. The doors open at 7 p.m., and the performance begins at 7:30 p.m. o purchase tickets, please visit the UMKC Central Ticket Office at 4949 Cherry or online at http://bit.ly/1g2O7Sh.

For more information about all of our V-Day events, please “like” us on Facebook and Tumblr, follow us on Twitter, and visit our UMKC V-Day 2014 site!

What Happens to Women Matters to Men, Too!

This man proclaims why he is a feminist as part of the "Who Needs Feminism?" Campaign last semester.

This man proclaims why he is a feminist as part of the “Who Needs Feminism?” Campaign last semester.

By Morgan Paul

“Women are part of men’s lives, and what happens to us matters to men too.”

In welcoming everybody back to class and back to the Women’s Center after a long cold break we begin to get the same questions we get at the beginning of every semester: “Can men come to the Women’s Center?” “What do you do for men?” “So feminists are man haters, right?”

NO! This couldn’t be further from the truth! The patriarchy hurts EVERYONE! To prove this point I found an article that talks about both the direct and indirect effects of the patriarchy. It’s a great read for men, women, and non-binary persons alike.

Click here to check it out!

In Case You Missed It – Great Blogs You May Not Have Seen Over the Winter Break


Image from Google Images, via Creative Commons

Image from Google Images, via Creative Commons

Check out these great feminist blogs from over the holiday break!

1. “Jane Campion to Lead Cannes 2014 Jury”
Jane Campion, Director and one of the largest critics of Hollywood’s discrimination against women, has been selected to oversee the Cannes Film Festival.

2. “The Refutation of ‘Good Hair’ and the ‘Consumption’ of Kanekalon Hair.”
Photographer Nakeya B. makes a statement about  hair, portraying the importance (good and bad) that hair has for women of color in the media and everyday life.

3. “10 Ways to Keep Up the Feminist Fight in 2014”
This article highlights some steps to take in 2014 to promote gender equity.

4.“What’s like as the First Transgender MMA Fighter? Meet Fallon Fox.”
Check out this biographical piece about the first transgender MMA fighter who identifies as female.

5. “New Campus Rape Bill Written with Help from Sexual Assault Survivors”
This article is informative about how California is revising the Education Code with regard to sexual violence by listening to the thoughts and opinions of assault survivors.

6. “The Price of Being Female and on the Internet”
This guest blog highlights how legal action should be improved to deal with cyber stalking, and other online crimes that women face on a day to day basis.

7. “Thoughts on Women and the Wolf of Wall Street
This article examines the view of the world that the film portrays, specifically with regard to the role of women in the film.

8. “Bitch Tapes: Favorite Feminist Music Finds of the Year”
Bitch Magazine compiled a list of their writers’ favorite feminist artists and songs from 2013. Take a peek at it and maybe you’ll find some new favorite artists!

9. “Blockbuster Films Featuring Actual Female Characters Made Serious Money in 2013”
Check out this short article (and infogaphic) proving that 2013 films that featured meaningful, life-like female characters made more at the box office than those that simply objectified women and focused on people who identified as male.

10. “Recovering from an Abusive Relationship”
Read one woman’s story about her recovery after leaving her abuser, and how she came to realizations that changed her life.

A Glimpse at the Media of 2013 – We Still Have So Much to Fight For


By Amber Charleville

Some of you may know that one of my passions is female representation in the media. Media is powerful, and it is not only a reflection of us in the now but also influences how we move forward. This video, made by the same folks who did Miss Representation, shows the highs and lows of the year for women in the media.

It’s a powerful glimpse at how far we’ve come and how far we still have to go.

Fight the Stereotypes: Never Apologize for Who You Are

By Morgan Paul

A cartoon example of how degrading steretypes are. Image found on Google Images through Creative Commons.

A cartoon example of how degrading steretypes are. Image found on Google Images through Creative Commons.

“You throw like a girl.” “Boys don’t cry.” “Be a man.” These are just a few of the phrases that are pounded into young boys’ heads, and they are great examples of how the patriarchy hurts everyone! Why do we feel the need to tell young boys that if they do not conform, they are a girl? And furthermore, what’s so offensive about being a girl? Then girls are told to “be a lady,” and stay pretty and polite. My niece is almost 2 years old and I don’t tell her she’s beautiful. I tell her that she’s smart and she’s funny and that I love her, and I hope that she never bases her self-worth on her looks because she is so much more.

While reading through something on my friend’s Facebook I found a quote that really stuck with me:

“Girls can wear jeans and cut their hair short and wear shirts and boots because it’s okay to be a boy; for girls it’s like promotion. But for a boy to look like a girl is degrading, according to you, because secretly you believe that being a girl is degrading.”—Ian McEwan.

Another cartoon example of how degrading steretypes are. Image found on Google Images through Creative Commons.

Another cartoon example of how degrading steretypes are. Image found on Google Images through Creative Commons.

While on one hand this was seen as progress for women, it was really telling them that if they wanted to be better then they must be like men. Yet if a man wants to wear a skirt he’s ridiculed, because who would want to be like a woman? (and don’t tell me that men wouldn’t want to wear skirts because they are comfortable!) So the best insults people can come up with are not about their intelligence but they’re poor attacks on their expression or unrelated insults calling them a “pussy” or “faggot” because being a girl or being gay is the worst possible thing they can think of. Then there are quite possibly the easiest insults: attacks on one’s appearance. In a society that already tells us that no matter what we do we’ll never be pretty enough, the last thing we need are our peers using our insecurities against us. Do you honestly think that I don’t know I’m “fat?” I am well aware. And you want to call me a “cunt” or “gay?” I won’t get offended. If you want to offend me then insult my intellect! But I will never apologize for who I am.

Double Standards in the Workplace


By Maritza Gordillo

I found an interesting article on upworthy.com titled: This Ad Calls out 5 Ridiculous Double Standards Women Face in Less Than 60 Seconds. It discusses and showcases and advertisement from Pantine Philippines about women in the workforce. The video is pretty self-explanatory, but it depicts how women are looked upon and labeled differently when doing the same job as men.

Let’s not let those labels affect our presence in the working world!