By: Taylor Michl
Boy am I ready to sip cold drinks in the summer sunshine. But, not before reflecting on a busy semester—and year—filled with growth and fun. I’ve been graduate assistant at UMKC Women’s Center since August and it’s bizarre to think that this is the end of the road.
At the Center, I’ve been surrounded by colleagues and visitors who deeply care about the liberation of women and others that experience gender marginalization. There’s something really special about going to work everyday knowing that the smiling faces I will see deeply care about justice in the same ways I do. This semester, I have witnessed Women’s Center staff persevere, create, educate, empower, and grow. I have learned so much from them about ecofeminism, using art to empower and heal, dismantling fatphobia, and using creativity to meet students where they’re at. I’ve also been lucky to work with a variety of students, faculty, and staff in other departments through our Women’s Center programming, which has made me feel a deeper sense of community at UMKC.
Although I don’t plan to work at a university women’s center in the long term, I know that planning events, supervising staff, and building connections here will make me a more thoughtful counselor, researcher, and faculty member in the future. So, I guess all that’s left to say is thank you. Thank you all for making my feminism more informed, nuanced, and caring. Thank you for engaging in our growing gender equity community at UMKC. To anyone reading this, thank you for continuing to show up for yourself and your community every day even though it can be painful to live in a world that is less kind to some than others.
I hope your summer is filled with loved ones, fun, and taking breaks. You deserve it!
By: Sierra Voorhies
I have learned so much from working at the Women’s Center for two whole semesters! At first, I really struggled to find topics for blogs, I didn’t trust my writing or my interests. Now, after a full academic year, I have gained so much confidence and knowledge that there were actually more blogs that I wanted to write that we didn’t have time to.
For your entertainment, I will tell you a couple things that I wanted to write about but ran out of time to. First, last semester I went to the Women’s March in Kansas City, and I had such an interesting time, with really good and not so good parts of that experience. I also wanted to talk about wedding ceremonies, specifically how some brides chose to follow or shirk tradition (like by wearing a black or colored dress instead of a white one). Another thing I would have liked to write about is the connection between femininity and commodification. For example how women and femme people are made to feel like it’s normal or necessary to have a collection of shoes, clothes, makeup, nail polish, etc. to be fully performing femininity, and that masculine presenting people don’t have the same capitalistic demands on them.
If you are working at the Women’s Center in the future, please feel free to make these ideas into your blog posts, I will continue to check into this blog after I am done, because it is truly a great place to get insight into the gendered issues of today from the perspective of college students. I will always remember my time here and thanks to anyone who reads this blog!
By: Adriana Miranda
Well, it’s been a long academic year and it’s finally coming to a close! My time at the Women’s Center has definitely passed by too quickly though. There are so many blogs I didn’t get to write, and so much to still be said and done. However I’m so glad I still got to share things like: exploring what performing femininity means in relation the the male gaze and desirability, women of color and their role in being essential workers, SA awareness, and of course my usual spiel: INTERSECTIONAL FEMINISM!
I hope we’ll all continue thinking about intersectionality in our fight for gender equity. Remember none of us are equal until we are ALL equal. This includes our trans sisters/brothers/siblings, BIPOC, disabled folks, plus size folks, and anyone else who has to fight for equity in this largely cishet, white, male, able-bodied focused world.
I have loved being part of such a wonderful team for yet another semester and being in an environment where i’m comfortable being my loud, colorful, intense Latina lesbian feminist self, and I get to work on things i’m passionate about.
I’ve met so many wonderful new people and strengthened bonds with other Women’s Center staff who will remain friends for life and I’m so grateful for all we’ve done together.
It’s been real Women’s Center, i’ll miss ya, and I will miss writing for all of you lovely folks reading the blogs 🙂 <3
By: Jetzel Chavira
This has been one of the most fulfilling and busiest years of my life. I am reflecting my time at the Women’s Center and my most favorite part about working here was meeting my co-workers. On the daily I work with Adriana and Sierra who are my fellow work-study students. Apart from them, I also get to work with the interns which include Laura, Ebony, Emma Sauer, Emma Stuart and Alyssa.
The most challenging part of working here has been balancing work and life. I tend to get overwhelmed a lot and when I don’t organize or prioritize than I usually end up procrastinating. I found that using a physical planner and my Outlook calendar really helped. I would also make lists of what tasks I needed to do and prioritize them. Overall, the Women’s Center has been a good experience. I learned management skills, organizational skills, and had so much fun hanging out with my coworkers.
By: Ebony Taylor
Right when I finally memorize all of the login passwords and am confident enough to say that I know what I’m doing, my final days at The Women’s Center are here. As a senior intern, I felt this job was only a requirement for graduation, just get through it and you’re done. I realized quickly that that was not the case. I am glad to have had a role that challenged me mentally and emotionally this semester. Having taken Women and Gender Studies classes in the past, I would not have called myself a feminist back then, for fear that I would be labeled as a “man-hater” or receive strange looks from others.
Even as I stumbled through my first event that I helped program, I was determined to not make the same mistakes again. This internship taught me to embrace the unknown and learn to ask questions. Believe me, I had a lot of them! I also credit my coworkers, peers, and directors for inspiring me to put my whole self into my work, and I think that has been reflected in the work I have done this semester. There are only so many things that can be learned from the classroom, the others by experiencing them. I will honestly say that that those I have worked with this semester were truly amazing and I am honored to have been a part of such a great team. From the open and deep conversations about any topic, the laughs shared in the office, to the many collaborations on projects, it has been a memorable experience at the Women’s Center. I am now proud to wear my “This is what a feminist looks like” t-shirt in honor of what The Women’s Center represents and what we offer to UMKC.
My only regret is that I did not participate in past Women’s Center events or work study in my early years at UMKC. I hope to take my new and restructured skills of organization, marketing, and coffee-making with me into post- graduation roles and hope to see the future of the Women’s Center advance the programs left behind by the Class of 2022.
Hasta la vista, UMKC!
Source: Creative Commons, https://www.flickr.com/photos/30478819@N08/50531102396
By: Sierra Voorhies
We all know that there is a gender pay gap; women on average make 83 cents on the dollar that men make. This is worsened by intersections of ethnicity and gender. For example, black women make 63 cents to the white man’s 1-dollar, while Latino women make 55 cents to a white man’s 1-dollar. But did you know about the pink tax?
The pink tax refers to an increase in price for feminine or feminine coded items. So, this commonly refers to things like razors and soaps but can apply to anything from dry cleaning to tech accessories. For example, at Target right now 4 women’s triple blade disposable razors from the Up & Up brand is $3.89 but 8 men’s triple blade disposable razors by the same brand is $4.89. So, for a man’s razor it’s 61 cents per unit, and for a women’s razor it’s 97 cents per unit. This might not seem like a large difference, but over a lifetime of every hygiene product, it costs a lot more to buy feminine hygiene items than masculine ones.
Now that we are familiar with the Pink Tax, let me introduce you to our Pink Tax Donation Drive, happening Saturday, February 12 at the 2:00pm in the Swinney Center! Come to the game and get a free button from us and donate some Pink Tax item(s)! Ideas for items are things like razors, shampoo, bodywash, deodorants, soaps and more- basically hygiene products. They don’t have to be feminine-coded, just items that the pink tax could affect. For example, get the larger and cheaper pack of razors labeled for “men” to donate instead of the smaller more costly pack pink razors labeled for “women” if you want to! These items will go to the UMKC Kangaroo Pantry and the game is free for students! To get a ticket go to https://kcroos.com.
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.
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 🙂
By Zaquoya Rogers
It’s about that time of year where women from every crevice of the world gather in unison to march for legislation and policies regarding women’s issues and rights. The worldwide protest is scheduled for January 20th and 21st. You can find out where the closest one to you is on the Women’s March website. A few things to remember when safely protesting is:
1. Go with a group of friends
Not only do we need all of our soldiers to attend, we need to keep them safe as well. Stick together and try not to separate, especially in big cities.
2. Wear comfortable clothes
Any protest is a physical event. There will be walking and the weather might be cold, so wear a hat and comfortable shoes.
3. Know your rights
If you want to read more, click here
Remember soldiers, the number one goal is to stay safe while standing up for our rights as women.
by Zaquoya Rogers
Going to my first protest, which was the Women’s March in Kansas City, Mo. was a totally new experience for me and I loved it. First stepping into the crowd, I was in awe at how many people came out to fight against sexism. It was not a crowd that you would see at a concert: people keeping to themselves, coming out just to listen to the music, socialization, but no sense of unity. At the march, even though it was so many people, I felt the togetherness that oozed out of the crowd. We stood there to be seen as one unit, fighting for our rights as women and against sexism and the glass ceiling. What also interested me was the different ways that women and men voiced their ideas. From pink pussy hats, to shirts that screamed female empowerment, to witty signs that were bound to make you laugh and give you the energy to help you continue to protest with power. Creativity appeared at every corner. Strength, motivation, resistance, demand for respect and peaceful unrest fueled what was the biggest Women’s March in history.