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Academic Year 2015-2016


COVER: “Untitled” by Nicole Stacy

Everyone wishes at one time or another that they commanded power and didn’t demand it. But how does one do this? How do you make others feel that you understand how strong and powerful you really are? This doesn’t mean that your fears and imperfections are gone or that you are trying to hide them, it simply means that you understand all facets of who you are.



CONTENTS Perspectives Magazine  3

an introduction   The Center for Women and Gender (CWG) works hard to promote Utah State University’s land grant mission of education, discovery and outreach. For example, certificates in women and gender studies are available through the Center. These certificates can be earned through faceto-face and/or online classes, opening up a valuable opportunity to those who wish to learn about women and gender studies. In addition, CWG actively promotes research programs in all colleges of the University through research and grants to graduate students and faculty working in relevant areas of inquiry. The Center also facilitates outreach programs for women in leadership.   It is my pleasure to introduce the fourth issue of Perspectives, a magazine produced by the Center for Women and Gender.

Noelle Cockett, Provost

A toast to women I propose a toast—to all women and friends of women; to the scholars and teachers; leaders, and caregivers, to the pathfinders and the nurturers—to the work/life balancers.

I raise my glass and bow my head in awe, to each of us who serve our deepest callings— we are visionaries and change-makers— warriors and peacemakers, volunteers and survivors.

I raise my glass to all women and friends of women who hope and persist, to all who challenge and resist old structures, glass ceilings, and very-tired-patriarchies.

Let us raise our glasses to one another. May we celebrate and carry-on, make news, and make a difference. May we honor and salute each other as we share this cup—for all we are and all we do. Presented by Bonnie Glass-Coffin at the Fall Social, 2015, to welcome new faculty


from the center   Ann was nominated as one of the top ten influential people on USU campus because of the impact of the activities of the Center for Women and Gender during the 2015-2016 school year. The Center has addressed multiple sensitive topics including sexuality, equality, power, and cultural and religious concerns.   She has made it clear that the Center does not take an official position on any topic, but rather is concerned with making sure that multiple points of view are discussed in a respectful and scholarly environment. This openness and honesty is appreciated by USU students who understand that they are living in a shrinking global world where understanding and tolerance is important.

Ann Austin, Ph.D & Director

Emerge - by Nicole Stacy My first photo professor in college was Christopher Gauthier. He was patient and taught me that it was okay to doubt myself. I was discovering a whole new aspect of who I was, and learned to face my fears. I had fears of inadequacy, fears that I would never be enough as a person and desperate fears of being ridiculed for my past. Through art I slowly came out of my shell timid, terrified of what I might find.

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The Center For Dr. Ann Austin is the founding director of the Center for Women & Gender. She went to Iowa State University, received her Ph.D in child development, and began her career at USU 34 years ago.

Ann Austin My favorite feminist is my grandmother, Mary Hortense Keetch Rich. She lived in St. Charles, Idaho all of her life except for a short period when she moved to Logan so she could attend high school at Brigham Young College. She studied music at BYC, loved hiking the Crimson Trail (which was named for BYC school colors) and made many happy memories. Her talents in music were prodigious enough that her teachers encouraged her to apply to Julliard School of Music in New York City. Her father, however, resoundingly vetoed that suggestion, declaring that she needed to complete her education, return home, get married, and make her many talents “a blessing to the community”. Period, the


end. We don’t know how my grandmother felt about her father’s pronouncement, but she did graduate and returned to Bear Lake valley where she married my grandfather and raised two daughters. When silent movies were shown in Bear Lake, she was the background pianist. She was a church organist and skilled choirmaster. I remember her fondly discussing the suffragette days and her proud pronouncement that “the Sisterhood” had truly done it, they had made women’s suffrage possible. A common conversational theme for her was the strength of women. Deeply dedicated to women’s issues, she was passionate about equal rights and fearlessly decried, even to their face,

anyone who abridged those rights, regardless of their gender or position in Bear Lake society. She was the LDS Relief Society president for many years in Bear Lake and always demanded that women receive equal treatment. She scoffed at male privilege and was utterly irreverent in expressing her opinion. She was a wonderful role model and a strong voice for equality, collaboration, and diversity. You go girl!

women and Gender

Reni McBride

Stephanie Bagnell

Lily Palmer

I am not sure I have a ‘favorite’ feminist as of today. If I did, I would have to say it is my teenage daughter and son! I watch them both stand up for their beliefs of being an individual who thinks humans are to be treated equally and not just one sex/gender is an elite group versus another. That we should treat and be treated with respect no matter our gender, race, or religious nature. Especially in today’s times of children bullying and mistreating others, my two kids seem to stand up for their rights as well as others in a positive way.

Audrey Hepburn is my favorite feminist because she embodied feminism without being brash. She was quiet, strong, and helped others because it was the right thing to do. She has always been seen as a soft and childlike woman, but underneath she was a pint-sized powerhouse who repeatedly struggled against patriarchy. In her roles as an actress, Hepburn repeatedly found a way to persevere when the deck seemed stacked against her. Her life was much the same. Audrey constantly helped those who needed it most. She selflessly gave of her time, money and talents to make the world a better place. She truly believed that talking does not change the world, actions do.

My favorite feminist is Dr. Ann Austin. She is an LDS woman, and I admire her passion and admiration for the greater good for women, especially women in Utah. She knows how to make a point without coming across as rude, or harsh but still stern. Now that is a good feminist, and a great person!

Perspectives Magazine  7

Mormon women, authority W

omen’s role in the leadership of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a hot topic. This conversation seems to revolve around one topic - Priesthood authority and ordination. The “priesthood” is defined as the God’s power on earth. Priesthood authority is the power to act in God’s name. In the LDS church, priesthood authority is most often visible in the management and running of church services and in rituals such as baby blessings, baptism and priesthood blessings for the healing of the sick and other daily or ceremonial tasks. Currently, only men are ordained to hold the Priesthood offices in the LDS church.


ver the past few years, Ordain Women (OW) has emerged as a group of women and like-minded men who see female ordination to the all-male priesthood as the next step forward in the LDS church’s progression as a faith because it would allow women to participate in senior management tasks and key rituals in the LDS faith. The group has staged several events to raise awareness of their belief that extended authority should be given to women to make seniorlevel decisions, manage church


affairs, give blessings, and so forth. If women were ordained as holders of the Priesthood, they would also be able to baptise, become bishops and participate in disciplinary councils. But the fundamental reason why Ordain Women and other groups

where they participate in assuring all ward members’ needs are met. Women teach gospel classes such as Sunday school and Primary. Women and men give talks in the primary meeting on Sundays, called Sacrament meeting.

We are not getting something as women in the church today about what it means to expect our voices to be heard and to have influence. Joseph’s reprimand about being contracted in our views could apply not just to the way women treat other women, but in the limited way women claim the rights and opportunities that are already ours. are seeking female ordination is to be equal with their male counterparts - to be trusted to hold the same authority and leadership positions men do.


hose who oppose ordaining women to the all-male priesthood believe women and men are already equal, and have separate responsibilities. They cite women’s authority over women ages 18+ in the Relief Society, women’s leadership over the young children and young women’s groups in the Church. Women sit on congregation (ward) councils,


ut the conversation about women’s role in the LDS church isn’t (and can’t be) just about who holds the titles. The discussion of women’s place in the everyday running and organization of the LDS church is about how women take control of their lives and the lives of those in the church and outside it. It’s about how they use their authority and what that authority is. The discussion needs to go beyond the emotions that run so high. So the Center for Women and Gender partnered with the Religious Studies Program to facilitate just such a conversation.

and leadership symposium


iona Givens Scholar & Writer

Co-author of The Crucible of Doubt, Fiona Givens reviewed the roles of women in the church both since the time of Joseph Smith as well as throughout biblical text. She focused on Joseph Smith’s vision to include women in the restoration of the gospel. “It is with the full participation of women that the church will be able to progress,” Givens said.


risty Money Ordain Women

“When we stand together, the men in power will realize that we are not going away,” said Dr. Kristy Money, the co-founder of Ordain Women. Money was inspired to become part of OW when she realized she would not be allowed to participate alongside the male priesthood holders when her young daughter was christened and blessed.” A clinical psychologist, Money talked about the psychological difficulties some LDS women have because of their perception of being “second class” citizens in church.


ill Mulvay Derr Author & Historian

“One of the challenges of looking into the past is that we bring the present into the past,” said Jill Mulvay Derr, historian for the LDS church. Mulvay Derr discussed the history of the Relief Society and in particular the document “The Voice of Innocence from Nauvoo” a denunciation of polygamy unanimously adopted by the LDS Relief Society and published in the Nauvoo Neighbor, March 20, 1844.


eylan McBain Activist & Writer

Although not a member of OW and not in favor of LDS women being ordained to the Priesthood, McBain is also interested in seeing women take on expanded roles in the LDS church. She stated, “We teach our girls that they can either be a righteous wife and mother or a professional in the world.” She encouraged all women to fully participate in their church, home, and community roles and bring the full scope of their intelligence, talents, and interests into everything they undertake.

Perspectives Magazine  9


referring to how Christianity replaced predominantly female roles in tribes, such as seers, healers and priests, with the patriarchal ways of Western culture. his separation within the church was not confined to the altar, but was evident in the religious artwork Tutu saw throughout the church buildings of her childhood. The art primarily depicted a white male which was troubling for Tutu because within her community, the majority of white males were oppressive figures. For a young woman, it was difficult to see one's oppressor as the God that you are supposed to love unconditionally.   “The God that I saw was not just male, he was a white male. This in a country where the only white males I had experience with were police officers or government officials who were arresting or harassing my community,” Tutu said. “Think about how powerful that was for me to have this image of a white he Center for Women and Gender hosted activist and public man as the God who I was being asked to pray to. Knowing white speaker Nontombi Naomi Tutu on March 24 in the Taggart men as my oppressor, why would that white male God care about Student Center Ballroom. Growing up in South Africa during a black girl in the pew?” apartheid, Ms. Tutu developed a deep-seated passion for human   These early feelings affected Tutu the first time she stepped to rights activism. As a newly ordained minister, she now focuses her the altar to deliver her sermon. interest in human rights on the intersection of women’s issues   “The first time, there was some fear that I was breaking some and spirituality. As an educator and preacher she speaks widely divine rule,” she said. “Would I be struck with lightning, or would about the hatred and divisiveness afflicting human kind. God accept me?”   Tutu’s presentation centered on the missing perspective of utu explored the many ways that religions around the world women’s voices in religion. She spoke of African spirituality view God and his relationship with women. and the effect that Western culture had on the foundations of   “We find a God who is described in a myriad of ways,” she said. South African communities. Including how the introduction of “Not all of them about power and war and overcoming. Many Christianity impacted the role of women in a religious context. of them are about nurturing,   “My first experiences of church were Knowing white men as my oppressor, community, vulnerability and through women,” Tutu said. “Yet, from the love.” time that I sat with my grandmother in those why would that white male God care   With this God in mind, Tutu churches, I never saw women at the altar.” about a black girl in the pew? concludes that there must be omen within Tutu’s community held a place in this world for the positions within the church’s community. voices of women within religion. They were heads of the mothers’ union, led the Sunday school,   “What the women’s voices hold us to, is to tear down the box,” and did all the fundraising. However, they were still marginalized. Tutu said. “To let God out. To let God truly be God.”   “The voices of African women, which had been a core part of African communities, was silenced. It was demeaned.” Tutu said,




W 10


Brown Bag Lunches

rown Bag lunches, the noon-hour gatherings presented by professors and researchers at USU and beyond, focus on the cutting-edge work in which the presenters are involved. Hosted once a month by the Center, campus and community members are invited to bring their lunch and learn from women pushing the boundaries through their work. During the 2015-2016 academic year we hosted the following Brown Bags, all thought-provoking and some even spooky!


eptember 8, 2015: Bishop Carolyn Tanner Irish is an untiring advocate for social justice. Bishop Irish discussed her journey from an LDS childhood to her appointment as the first woman bishop for the Episcopal church in Utah and shared her insights on women, religion, and leadership.


ctober 30, 2015: Dr. Jeannie Thomas, head of Utah State University’s English Department, entranced the crowd with tales of witchcraft and the paranormal. “I’m going to take you to Salem, Massachusetts,” she said. “And we’re going to do a little legend tripping.” Her most recent book is titled Putting the Supernatural in Its Place: Folklore, the Hypermodern, and the Ethereal (2015). Her co-authored book, Haunting Ghost Experiences in Contemporary Folklore (Utah State University Press, 2007), hits on topics ranging from Japanese ghost legends to the Buffistas and Twihards of Vampire fanlore. It won the

2008 Brian McConnell Book Award.


ovember 18, 2016: Dr. Nancy Huntly, Director of USU Ecology Center led a lively, humorous, and thought-provoking discussion on “Ecology for the 21st Century.”


ebruary 23, 2016: Dr. Susan Shaw, Professor and Director of the School of Language, Culture, and Society at Oregon State University and ordained Baptist minister, titled her talk “Whom Would Jesus Kick Out: LGBTQ People in God’s Community.” With biblical verse, references to current events, and a huge dose of unapologetic humor, Dr. Shaw discussed who is welcome in Christianity and under what circumstances, and where those who identify as LGBTQ fit in.


pril 4, 2016: Ms. Jessica Lynn, human rights activist, is a renowned public speaker who travels nationally, working to raise awareness for transgender issues. She spoke poignantly about the intersection of her roles as professional speaker for Trans* Rights, president of Your True Gender, loving parent, and transgender woman. Jessica’s selfless dedication to social justice issues moves and inspires.

Perspectives Magazine  11

awards: early career The Early Career Award recognizes a woman in the first eight years of her professional career, and is selected for her professional vision and her commitment to the possibilities of women’s accomplishments - now and in the future. She demonstrates innovation at the frontier of her chosen field; she demonstrates commitment to community service as shown through leadership, knowledge and outreach. This year, the Center for Women and Gender recognized two incredible women for their achievements during their early career.


enny Erazo is the director of the Utah State University’s Sexual Assault and Anti-Violence (SAAVI) office. She was appointed director in 2013 and has worked hard to increase the visibility of the services and programs. The number of students the office has been able to serve has increased from 19 during her first year as director to 40 in the past year. Given that sexual assault is one of the most underreported crimes, it speaks well of Jenny’s vision and leadership that she has been able to promote SAAVI and assist survivors as she has done. “Not only have the overall number of students served increased dramatically, but the number of


male clients served by SAAVI has also increased every year since her appointment. While women face significant barriers to seeking help following a sexual assault, the barriers for men are even greater.   Jenny developed a faculty training program that helps USU faculty recognize and reach out to students who may be struggling. She also designed a peer eduator training program, which is now a four-day intensive course. “Universities around the state want to know what USU is doing in our SAAVI office, because they want to emulate it,” said USU Student Conduct Coordinator Kristin Dechamps.


r. Susannah French, Associate Professor of Biology, is an internationally recognized researcherin the emerging field of ecological and behavioral endocrinology — the study of how hormonal systems respond to environmental influences and how they impact the reproduction and population biology of animals.   “The approach Dr. French takes is timely and important; her findings will be instructive to environmental managers, as well as being cutting edge basic science. Her work includes not only lizards, for which she is best known, but amphibians, snakes, ground squirrels, and recently polar bears,” said colleague Edmund D. Brodie, in his recommendation. French has been the recipient of six extramural research grants, including a coveted National science foundation CAREER award, in the amount of $849,170. She mentored

lifetime achievement The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes a woman who has demonstrated leadership throughout her career. She has achieved a measure of success and, consequently, has motivated, stimulated, encouraged and mentored other Cache Valley Women. The age designation is important, because it counters society’s emphasis on youth in America and educates that people live very active and productive lives in “later” years. five doctoral students and has served on the advisory committees of 12 other students, and has mentored an additional 11 undergrad researchers.   What is especially remarkable about Dr. French’s record is the skill which she has reconciled her very high level of professional achievement with the demands of her family life. Her research includes not only lab investigations, but also rigorous and demanding field studies, often in remote regions. She has balanced those competing demands in an especially successful manner, said Dr. Alan Savitsky, Biology Department Head.


ill Anderson is the director for Cache Valley - based Citizens Against Physical and Sexual Abuse (CAPSA), and is the 2016 recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award. Several community members wrote about her success and talent in affecting change in the community and state throughout her 20-years at the Center.   “Jill is a caring, responsible individual with a business acumen that, had she chosen private enterprise, she would be leading a Forbes 500 company. Yes, she’s that good. She brought the staff and volunteers as well as the Board out of what looked and felt like a train wreck to the smooth running operation it is today.” - C. Val Grant, former CAPSA board member.   CAPSA helps 800 or so women, children and men a year who have been subjected to domestic and

sexual abuse. Jill has expanded psychological therapy in the past year and is working to run the first shelter in Utah to have zero-turn-aways.   Jill is currently partnered with local law enforcement in running a pilot program on the Lethality assessment (LAP) helping officers to identify those domestic partners who are at a high risk of being killed by a domestic partner. In the past year, under Anderson’s direction, CAPSA has raised over $800,000 dollars in fundraising, completed a nine-home transistional housing neighborhood, and quadrupled the Center’s therapy program.

Perspectives Magazine  13

smart-girl in Cache Valley T

he Center for Women & Gender received a grant from the Utah Women’s Giving Circle to provide scholarships to 6th through 9th grade girls to attend the second annual Smart-Girl Summer Camp, June 6 to June 10, 2016, held at Mount Logan Middle School and USU. According to Konie Humphreys, the Center's leadership programs coordinator, “Smart-Girl is so important to the girls in our community because as the girls participate they learn vital life skills such as communication, inclusiveness,

positive body image, relationship skills, anti-bullying, refusal skills, stress management and so much more. They learn these skills in a fun way that helps cement the concepts and they meet and make new friends and learn how to become a leader as they progress in the program.”   Konie has worked over the past several years to bring the national program to the Valley, and has grown it into a thriving part of the community as an after school program at schools across the valley.

“Smart-Girl Summer Camp was an amazing experience! Not only did I gain crucial life skills, but I made good friends with girls that were there with the same purpose I was: To learn, build relationships, and have fun. We accomplished this, and along the way Kaitlin Welsh found love, laughter, and friendship. One thing we did that helped me especially was a mask making activity. In this activity we put images and words on the outside of a mask that we project and show others; on the inside of the mask were things we hide or don’t show as much. Smart-Girl taught me the skills that I might need to do incredible things. Smart-Girl was an experience where I grew and flourished in ways I didn’t even think about and I will never forget it.


  “As an adult, I learned so much about myself and positive skills that are still helping me with my relationships and coping skills still today. I want that for the girls in my community,” she said.   This year, the CWG brought in speaker Christine McKinley for a family evening on the final night of camp. Christine is a mechanical engineer, musician and author. is a passionate and hilarious Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education (STEM) advocate.

Since I have become a guide I have met so many people and made connections I would never have made without this program. I have learned so much more about myself and how I can become smarter with my decision making and relationship skills and have Bailee Ngo seen firsthand what this program does for the young women we work with. I have seen them become more sufficient in their communication skills as they have learned how to handle some of life’s difficulties at their age. All of the young women we work with are so smart and I love seeing them grow and become even smarter through the lessons they take from this program. Katilin was a participant and Bailee was a guide during the first Smart– Girl summer camp, held summer of 2015.

on the air

“No woman can call herself free who cannot own and control her body.”-Margaret Sanger

Untitled — Sonene Donelly I aim to portray the unique beauty of empowered women whose faces are born solely from my imagination but whose personalities are drawn from the many strong women who inspire me.

  Remarkable achievements are made by women in their everyday lives, without them being famous or receiving accolades for their impactful actions. But in our society, we seem obsessed with celebrity status and quest for fame and notoriety. Such was the inspiration for the CWG’s “Remarkable Women” segment aired on Utah Public Radio in early 2016.   “The reason for choosing the term “remarkable” women (as opposed to famous) is that we all have tremendous capacity to do remarkable things, even when we don’t know we are doing them at the time,” said USU professor Helga Van Miegroet.   The CWG's board member Helga and student Lily Palmer created the series, which was produced by Utah Public Radio’s Shalayne Smith Needham.   “In producing each segment, a common thread emerges. From Rosa Parks to Olene Smith Walker, each woman’s story portrays courage and hope. Courage to be true to themselves and a hope for each of us to aspire to our own greatness. In the global challenges before us, UPR’s goal in bringing Remarkable Women to our listeners, is to not only remind us of the historical significance each woman represents, but how they continue to impact our lives today.”   The women featured are women within the political and civil rights arena - including Utahns like Olene Walker (former Utah governor) and Martha Hughes Cannon (first female US Senator).   Utah Public Radio’s mission is “to enrich the lives of listeners…with quality programming designed to inspire the mind, engage the imagination and perpetuate the habit of lifelong learning.” I feel Remarkable Women integrates “remarkably” well with our philosophy.” The Remarkable Women series was designed by The Center for Women & Gender and produced by Utah Public Radio.

Magazine  1 Perspectives Magazine  15

Perspectives on culture I

n October 2015 I traveled to Thailand with a dual purpose: to begin preliminary research on gender studies in southeast Asia and to participate in a ceremony honoring my father’s three decades of work in comparative education in Thailand. Arriving in Bangkok felt like stepping into another dimension, bristling with difference from the world to which I was accustomed in my European-based research and my home in rural Utah.   On the second day in Bangkok, a faculty member from Chulalongkorn University walked with me to the building where I would meet with Khun Ranee, a gender studies researcher and women’s rights advocate. On the way, we ran into a troop of Girl Scouts from the university’s lab school, a sight both familiar and exciting in an environment that felt so different.   Once we were settled in the meeting room, the meeting did not go at all as I had envisioned. I anticipated asking a series of questions about gender studies, women’s rights, and most pressing to my mind, why there was no formal Center for Women and Gender at Chulalongkorn despite well-developed majors and accomplished researchers in those fields. Instead, Khun Ranee told me the story of the women’s movement in Thailand. It gradually dawned on me “That day in October that she was telling me about her movement, transformed me as a something she had woman, a scholar, and helped to develop and nurture over the past a feminist.” four decades.   I am a social historian, which means I study human social relationships and movements in the past. My research is mainly in the 15th-17th centuries in Europe, and I never have the privilege to hear directly from my subjects, to hear what their voices sound like and what their stories sound like as they tell them. Khun Ranee’s stories spilled out of her, filling the room with pictures and women and hardship and beauty.


  The Thai Women’s Movement started as a preserve of the upper-middle class and was connected to women’s desire for equality in property rights. Over time, researchers like Khun Ranee became invested in working to combat widespread domestic violence, and with those efforts certain parts of the Thai Women’s Movement became

Susan Cogan, Utah State University History professor, visits Thailand’s gender studies researchers and women’s rights advocates. This is Susan with girl scouts and boy scouts in Bangkok.

rooted in rural communities and grass-roots activism. Those are the sectors of the movement to which Khun Ranee devotes most of her energies. oday, the movement remains very much divided by class. Women of the upper middle class and above experience a great deal more gender equity than do their counterparts further down the social scale. High-status women realize more legal, social, and economic equality than do women of lesser status, and greater access to channels of political influence. As a result, the women’s movement and feminism in Thailand is fragmented. For example, while women make


up a high percentage of university faculty – and perhaps hold more administrative posts than women in American universities – that kind of employment and economic equity exists primarily for highly-educated women from economically secure families.   There are multiple women’s movements in Thailand, each of which serves a different segment of society. As a result, the movements lack the power they could wield in Thai society. Still, social problems like domestic

violence, sex trafficking, marital stability, and both legal and economic inequities, are concerns that cross social classes. Encouragingly, women in the Thai royal household care deeply about these issues and continue to use their positions and social prominence to advocate for women in the status groups below their own.   That day in October transformed me as a woman, a scholar, and a feminist. I hope to return soon so that I can continue to learn, and if I can be of any help, to do that too.

CWG in Action

  When USU Professor Dr. Hilda Fronske, affectionately known as “Doc” to her students, found out that an Idaho elementary school lacked any kind of sports equipment at all, she immediately burst into action.   Hilda said she got involved because she knew the need was great, but also because she was uniquely suited to the problem, given her background in Physical Education.   Hilda teaches the PE in the Elementary School course at USU and knows exactly what kind of basic equipment is necessary for a good foundation. She asked the CWG to help her with a grant she could use to make PE for the school and its fourth-grade students possible   "The fourth-grade teachers were thrilled at the quality of the equipment," she said. "They also appreciated the mesh storage bags the equipment came in." In addition, Fronske presented a school-wide workshop where she explained best practices with the equipment.     “To see a need and to be able to carry it out is very rewarding, but more so to get the thank you notes from the children and to see how much they appreciated the equipment,” she said.

Eye of the Beholder — ­ Nicole Stacy “Eye of the Beholder” was inspired by one of the best black and white “Twilight Zone” episodes ever. A young woman has tried several times to achieve absolute beauty and perfection through a series of operations. You see, in her society she must look a very specific way to be accepted and allowed to stay within the society. She is hopeful, very hopeful….

Perspectives Magazine  17


professor profile

What do you hope students will learn from your class?

many times we have our expectations turned on their heads.     At first, Buddhism and its teachings I want students who take my seem to naturally embrace women Women in Buddhism course and even promote gender equality. Yet to walk away with knowledge from somehow, forces emerge that work to two areas: First, I want students to marginalize women. These forces are walk away from the class with a basic particularly interesting because it is my command of the religion of Buddhism belief that individuals and groups often (its history, theories, and practices) tend to reveal much about themselves and discourses (rather unconsciously) centered around I like teaching the class through their projection gender and sexuality. precisely because the of labels and value Second, I want my judgments onto others. real story of women in students to walk   Within Buddhism, there Buddhism is so much away from class with are a variety of different more interesting and an understanding voices arguing different profound than the of how the history attitudes toward women, simplistic ideas I came gender, sexuality, and and culture in to the subject with. which Buddhism beyond. Some are sexist, thrived presented a some are mysogynistic, particular (and rather fascinating) set some are heteronormative, some of circumstances in which the role and promote gender equality, some status and history of women has been teach that gender is a figment of our contested. imagination, and some say gender is   It’s a great topic because in order to fluid and amenable to change all the understand women in Buddhism, we time. have to understand something about   While it is ostensibly about the how culture works, how institutions are Buddhist religion, in reality it is built within cultural expectations, and about human beings -- our fears, how women have been a vital resource our aspirations, our prejudices, our for Buddhism’s civilizational efforts complexity -- and how we construct -- efforts that may at times be seen to meaning in our lives through cultural have helped women, and at other times practices that may sometimes be have not. One of my favorite things our greatest qualities; yet may also about teaching this course is just how be a reflection, sadly, of our greatest




How did you become interested in this topic?

I got really interested in women in Buddhism from reading the work of feminist scholars interested in Buddhism, such as Karen Lang, Serenity Young, Liz Wilson and others.     These scholars zeroed in on how patriarchal Buddhism is, and how this Buddhist patriarchy should not be at all inevitable given the Buddhist teachings. Young’s book, in particular, really struck me because it showed me that in order to understand the role of women in Buddhism, I had to understand a lot more than just Buddhist ideas. I like teaching the class precisely because the real story of women in Buddhism is so much more interesting and profound than the simplistic ideas I came to the subject Dominic Sur, Ph.D in History with. of Religions, teaches "Women in Buddhism"

Adaly’s project T


he argument over whether boys are better than girls starts at a young age. In elementary school you might hear chants like, “Girls go to college to get more knowledge, boys go to Jupiter to get more stupider.” Or you may hear things like, “You throw like a girl!” Did you ever play house when you were young, with the girl playing the mommy that stays home and cooks while the boy works to provide for the family? This type of behavior establishes gender roles and norms before children hit double digits. With this in mind, it’s not surprising that 13 year old Adaly Gascaisles and her brother have argued over this idea of gender superiority.   “One day my brother and I were fighting and saying who is better,” said Adaly. “This inspired me to make a science fair project to prove that girls can do anything boys can.”   The title of her project was “Which Gender is Better? Females or Males”. To test which gender was better, Adaly put a group of her friends through five tests. These tests included academia, athletics, housework, cooking, and performance while playing videogames. o get the best results, Adaly put a group of her friends through five tests including academics to test their ability, confidence, and results in each of her sections. For academics, each participant was asked to log how much time they spend on homework each day, and their test scores were compared.   For athletics, Adaly had a boys against girls soccer match. They got a little dirty for the housework section when asked to sweep, mop, and do dishes. The simplest meal Adaly could think of for the cooking section was spaghetti, much to her Mom’s dismay.


Mario Cart was the game of choice for the videogame section.   “Some boys did better than girls, and some girls did better than boys,” Adaly said. “Boys are generally viewed at being better at sports, but a lot of the girls had experience that helped them perform way better than the guys.” ot surprisingly, Adaly’s tests concluded that boys and girls are mostly equal. “Society sees girls as maids, and boys as the gender that can do anything,” Adaly said. “But studies like mine show that we can do whatever the guys can.”   It’s more important than ever to break this gender stereotype. Young women should aspire to be anything they want, not just what society thinks they can be.   “Do anything that you want,” Adaly said. “If you want to be an engineer, become an engineer. Become a doctor if you want, a lawyer if you want, we can do anything.”


Adaly's science project was brought to the CWG's attention at her local middle school science fair.

Perspectives Magazine  19

Dear Cosmo, Love Millie Dear Laurie Sandell,

business investments was inconsistent with your depiction of her as a symbol of a strong female.   The trouble I have with “ballsy” is that while the words   First off, I would like to thank you for your contributions “pussy” and “cunt” are insults, the word “ballsy” here is a to Cosmopolitan magazine. Growing up as a sheltered compliment because it is referring to male genitals. I feel Mormon girl in Northern Utah, writers like you have that this is inconsistent with feminist interests because provided me with helpful, direct, honest and interesting to while the word “pussy” suggesting weakness and “cunt” is about sex since I was sixteen. arguable the most offensive word in the English language   From what I understand, my positive experiences with (and as both of those words are referring to female Cosmo (particularly as a young woman) reflect a large part genitals), “ballsy” is used as of what Cosmo strives to do. a compliment in your article. Cosmo’s mission statement I felt that your use of the word “ballsy” in claims that it reaches out to reference to Minaj’s business investments “Ballsy” suggests strength because men have balls. young women to “make their was inconsistent with your depiction of her   As a reader, I felt that your interests and voices heard… as a symbol of a strong female. use of the word “ballsy” [to] open readers’ minds, suggested that positive broaden their perspectives, attributes of boldness, intelligence, and bravery were given and help them to live the full life they deserve.” to Minaj as a compliment, but this compliment that takes a   Because of the fearless manner in which Cosmo female and compares her to a man in order to depict her addresses women’s “interests” and need to heard, I have strength. Of course I understand that the word “ballsy” is always considered Cosmo to be a feminist magazine— one used widely in our culture to do just what I believe your setting out to empower women. article did, but as a very influential writer who affects the   While I can see how your recent interview with female minds of so many women, I hope you’ll take a moment or rapper Nicki Minaj in many ways does just this— you focus two to think about what the use of these words does to on her intelligence, economic savvy, sexual power, and women, even if the effects often go unnoticed. her groundbreaking role as a multi-million dollar female rapper— I wanted to point out one word in your article that made me uncomfortable. Considering your central Sincerely, intentions for this piece about a strong, successful woman, I Millie Tullis felt that your use of the word “ballsy” in reference to Minaj’s


perspectives club T

he Perspectives Club is an oncampus student organization sponsored by the Center for Women and Gender. The club dives into issues about gender, race, religion and feminism. Each year, the club presents films, events, and other meetings centered around these themes. The club seeks to create a dialogue within the student body and community at large on topics important to women and men in today’s world.

Sunkissed — ­ McKenzie Lowry A seemingly mundane moment captured from an unsuspecting roommate. Light gives form to everything we visually take in and plays a vital role in rendering the world around us. I am intrigued by moments of high light contrast and how dramatically it transforms a scene.


ur events, scattered throughout the year, included films about women’s rights and women’s issues in today’s society. We showed for example “The Hunting Ground” which is about rape and sexual assault on college campuses and a we were lucky enough to have a huge turnout partnering with SAVVI and CAPSA. We also showed “Mona Lisa Smile”, which is about women’s rights in the 50s, and discussed how this film paralleled Utah State. We also showed “Killing Us Softly Four” which is about women’s body image in today’s media, and how it needs to be changed to be less sexualized. After each film we had great discussions, and hope to obtain more interest of our peers in

the upcoming year. or thecampus-wide “Mental Health Awareness Week” we obtained three adorable puppies and made them available so people could play with them or just quietly pet them. The turnout was great; we had a least 100 students come by to play with the ppuppies. While they did so we talked to them about mental health and how


to take care of your body in stressful times. In the end we were very happy to have releived some of our peers' stress, and it was fun to see them enjoying the puppies.



o get in touch with the Perspectives club, email cwg@usu.

Perspectives Magazine  21



hanks to generous donors we were able to give out 41 scholarships totaling more than $65,000 to help students succeed in school for the 2016-2017 school year. Of the 41 scholarships awarded, 11 went to graduate students, 11 to seniors, 7 to juniors, 11 to sophomores, and 1 scholarship to a freshman. This year, the average age for a student receiving a scholarship is 33 years old. he major criteria we look for in scholarship applicants are a gap in education, where a student


has had to take a break from their education for more than a year; a first generation student, where a student’s parents are not college graduates from a two-year program or more; a single parent or a parent with a young family; a student who came from an abusive background. We were able to help more than 17 women begin to break the cycle of abuse through a scholarship. A few scholarships were given to applicants who volunteer in programs aimed at stopping community



e also have scholarships for international women, artists, pre-med or natural resource students. Applicants do not have to be women to receive a scholarship. Applications open in January, and end the first week of April every year.

Veteran’s Day celebration   We gave a shout out to all Marines, retired Marines, former Marines, and fans of Marines and to all who support our servicewomen and men, inviting them to our event on Tuesday, November 10, 2015, where Marianne Waldrop, retired Marine Colonel spoke about the leadership lessons she learned during her 24 years as a Marine. Afterward we celebrated the Marine Corps birthday with an official cake, cut with an official sword.   Marianne commands respect with her intense gaze, assertive voice, ramrod posture, and non-nonsense, take-it-on the chin attitude. Her leadership lessons were just as straight forward.   “Do the small things to get to the big things, if you can’t push your grocery cart to the collection stand in


the parking lot, how can you lead an entire platoon?” and “Just do the job, don’t make a fuss.”     Following this second admonition, Marianne said, “After retirement I was chair of the board for my living community. People would make a huge issue of small things.... finally, after completing a huge community project I told some of the residents that the consensus-building process in these meetings was worse than being in Afghanistan. I may have even said a cuss word or two,” she added with a smile

Between By Brittney McDonald

In the starry nights and sweaty mattresses Between July 11th and August 18th I fell in love. I cradled a human head while drunk and sober, Felt a human heart squeeze in the dark, and Even let human lips kiss me in the sunlight. I watched him floss his teeth And fall asleep. I shared his wineglass when mine ran dry And wiped the sleep from his eyes. I missed him when he was gone And ached from laughter when he was home. I said yes, Gave the most intimate of me, Took the most innocent of him. When I told him yes I meant the word with every cell, Too sure to ask what I always did— “Are you sure?

In the drunken giggles and green-brown eyes Between July 11th and August 18th I was crucified. For the crime of loving someone I was made to march, to be Locked in the office of a man behind a desk The size of the ocean, A man with a tie pointing Straight up to heaven, Who asked me how I want my children to be born Because I’m nineteen and female And my future is all the man sees. The man pointed to pictures of Jesus While telling me how to get on my knees and Lick the blood from His holy feet. For the crime of loving a human That wasn’t already dead, I had to pray the human feelings in my human heart Away. I had to think of faceless children cheering And conduct myself by their dictations. I had to not give up. I had to not start playing for Satan. In the twisting fingers and trembling whispers Between July 11th and August 18th I had to figure out why Loving another person with All of my person was something God never meant for me to do.

Perspectives Magazine  23

Artists and

Nicole Stacy is a Utah State alumna, and graduated in 2015 with a BFA and an emphasis in photography. Her art explores who she is, was and wants to be. Her work prompts reflection and pause, requiring viewers to examine not only the art but also themselves. She is a huge believer in film and mixed media and is always learning new ways to create. SNicole grew up in Florida and knows to zigzag when being chased by a gator. She is a nerd, loves Dick Van Dyke, and has raised her children watching his shows. She and her husband are the proud parents of four two kids and two dogs. Find her artwork on the cover and page 17.


Sommer Baisch is a printmaker and art educator finishing up her BFA at Utah State University. Her current body of work takes a critical view of social and cultural expectations of women, by exploring the ways in which traditional female roles have evolved. ​ The narratives depicted in her multi-color, reductive woodcuts are influenced by her upbringing in the conservative and religious community of Utah, with a close observation of the positive and negative connotations that the concept of modesty has on a woman’s identity. Find her artwork on the back cover.

Sonene Donnelly is a both a Fine Art Education Major at Utah State University, as well as a local Salt Lake City Artist. She not only produces and sells Fine Art, but consults on art projects, and runs regular henna booths. Sonene will be traveling to South Africa and Europe this summer to delve deeper into world culture and art. An avid humanitarian, she regularly contributes her talent and time to a variety of Fair Trade type projects aimed to address socioeconomic disparity. Find her artwork on page 15.

Kenzi Lowry is a Junior in Graphic Design, and is a sun baby through and through; every now and then she finds winter’s worth on the slopes. Oldfashioned doughnuts and high elevations are her weaknesses. She dabbles in most mediums, but oil paint has been her recent preference. Kenzi’s interests focus mainly on the figure - her work stands as an effort at capturing human emotion and expression. Painting progressively looser as time continues, she like getting messy with brushstroke and drip, allowing the paint to exist in a natural state. Find her artwork on page 21.


Brittney McDonald is a Cache Valley native and is in her junior year at Utah State University, studying Creative Writing. She is Vice President of USU’s creative writing club, the Bull Pen, and is a founding poetry editor for the new undergraduate literary magazine, Sink Hollow. She has had poetry published in local collections and on broadsides. When she isn’t writing or reading, Brittney enjoys petting her dog and daydreaming about the zombie apocalypse. Find her poetry on page 23.

Millie Tullis is a student majoring in English and Philosophy at Utah State University. She is also studying Women and Gender Studies, which heavily influences her other fields of study. In 2015 she won the Sandy River Review’s Undergraduate poetry contest and in 2016 she won the Elizabeth R. Curry Poetry Prize. She has a gray cat named Martin Heidegger; in her free time they take an atrocious amount of selfies. Find her letter on page 20.

Susan Cogan is a History professor at USU who studies late medieval and early modern Europe. The study of women and gender is a major focus of her research, and her family connection to East and Southeast Asia has sparked her interest in how women and gender issues there compare to what she knows about gender history in Europe. Her other interests include botany, gardens, hiking the Bonneville Shoreline Trail, and her two daughters. She is learning to use a spinning wheel, which is a lot harder than it looks. Find Susan’s experiences in Thailand on pages 16-17.

April Peterson is a Utah State alumna, and graduated in 2012 with a Bachelors degree in Print Journalism with minors in design and environmental science. She is a designer and social media junkie with a deep and abiding love for creating. She learned to knit, crochet and embroider at a young age, and has always been drawn to the power of creation and art. April currently resides in Salt Lake with her adventure buddy / husband and their dog Jager, and spends her days reading, cooking and avoiding folding laundry. April is the designer and editor of Perspectives Magazine.

Perspectives Magazine  25

Center directory Ann Austin, Director 435-797-9222 Reni McBride, Staff Assistant 435-797-9222

Stephanie Bagnell, Program Coordinator 435-797-3703

cwg@usu.edu website: cwg.usu.edu



Alexa Sand, Camille O’dell, Helga Van Miegroet, Jennifer Duncan, Jim Evans, JP Spicer-Escalante,

Katherine Chudoba, Kimberly Sullivan, Patricia Moyer-Packenham, Sanghamitra Roy, Scott Bates, Sonia Manuel-Dupont


Callie Apt, Camille O’dell, Caryn Beck-Dudley, Helga Van Miegroet, Jeannine Bennett, Jim Evans Julie McClellan, Kerry Bringhurst, Lorna Wanlass, Olga Siggins, Ronda Callister, Sarah Reale, Shauna Mabey, Suzanne Pierce-Moore, Suzi Budge, Tamara Pluth

CWG Board members Perspectives Magazine  27

0186 Old Main Hill Logan, UT 84322

Self Doubt - Sommer Baisch This piece explores self doubt; when one facet of yourself believes something, and the other believes something else. The aim of the piece is to capture the internal conflict that women are seemingly put through by expectations of society.

Profile for Center for Women & Gender

Spring 2016 Perspectives Magazine - Publication of USU Center for Women & Gender  

The Center for Women and Gender's annual magazine, "Perspectives" showcases work by the center, staff at Utah State and work by students at...

Spring 2016 Perspectives Magazine - Publication of USU Center for Women & Gender  

The Center for Women and Gender's annual magazine, "Perspectives" showcases work by the center, staff at Utah State and work by students at...