Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America
honoring Loyola's Feminist
Empowering Women: The Second National Muslim Women's Summit at Harvard University Rula Thabata
When Women Take a Stand Sequoya LaJoy
The Power of Femininity
Diversity in the Workplace
Why I'm a Feminist
Domestic Violence: Cries For Help
Feminism in Music
What Does My Hair Mean To Me?
Andie Slein Sequoya La Joy Elizabeth Herbert Stephanie Adams
Sarah Donaldson Daniel DeBarge Jessica White
Feminist Forum is an unofficial publication of the Women’s Resource Center. Views and opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the Women’s Resource Center or Loyola University New Orleans. Loyola University New Orleans Women’s Resource Center
The Feminist Forum 2
Vol. I, No. 3 May 2018 www.loyno.edu/womenscenter
Submissions are welcome and should be submitted to email@example.com. The Feminist Forum editors reserve the right to all final decisions.
Loyola University New Orleans has fully supported and fostered in its educational programs, admissions, employment practices, and in the activities it operates the policy of not discriminating on the basis of age, color, disability, national origin, race, religion, sex/gender, or sexual orientation. This policy is in compliance with all applicable federal regulations and guidelines.
Her Stories A Feminist Bookclub
I Have Something To Say
LGBTea Coworkers Ignorance
Loyola Leadership in SGA: Women in Power
Rape Laws and Culture From Middle Ages To Modernity Noelie Zeichik
Feminist Festival 2018 WRC Staff
Celebrating Loyola Feminists WRC Staff
In the path of the Ignatius mission at Loyola University New Orleans, we, as a feminist community, seek to educate ourselves through critical analysis; we endeavor to empower the oppressed through devotion to diversity and uplift; and we pursue equality through social justice.
Production Team Director/Editor in Chief Patricia Boyett
Senior Editor Nora Corrigan
Managing Editor Andie Slein
Artistic Directors Deniz Sidi Lance Taylor
Senior Editor Challen Palmer
Art Team Emmaline Bouchillon Gabrielle Hawkins Serena Hill Deniz Sidi Lance Taylor Victoria Williams Noelie Zeichik
Reflections from the Directors Desk Patricia Boyett, Director, Women’s Resource Center
THE POWER OF
If you want to make it in a man’s world,” she began, and I fought back the urge to interrupt the speaker because I knew the rest of this speech. I had heard it so many times in so many different places, and I would hear it for decades to come. The order changed here and there, but the advice was always something like: “lower your voice, wear pantsuits instead of skirts and dresses, select flats instead of pumps, minimize or discard the makeup, cut your hair, take up more physical space in the ways you walk and sit and gesture . . .” In a word, ditch the traditional feminine expression. The women who repeated these words to me over the years always had, I knew, good intentions. They wanted to empower women in a patriarchal world that has long linked power to masculinity. But I believe great power lies in femininity too. Patriarchal systems teach us that masculinity is powerful and femininity weak and associate men with masculinity and women with femininity. The mold expanded some with the waves of feminist movements; however, the prejudice toward women and femininity persisted. Back in
the 1990s, I heard two men on a radio talk show claiming that women lacked the will and ability to lead; then another man mentioned Margaret Thatcher; immediately both men claimed that she proved the exception, that she was more like a man than a woman. Thatcher had famously taken elocution lessons to lower her voice
Photo Credit to Chris Collins of the Margaret Thatcher Foundation
and sound more masculine; she also and surrendered her hats and gloves (except to wear them for particular ceremonial occasions) to appear less feminine. But she did refuse to give up her pearls. Yes, many women have assumed that to obtain power—to make it in a man’s world, they must express their masculine side and hide their femininity. But why do we accept the rules of the “man’s world?” Isn’t the whole point of feminism to dismantle the patriarchy? If we accept that masculinity is superior, then aren’t we mere tools of the patriarchal system? Now I do not believe that we should swing the pendulum in the other direction; for if we consider femininity superior, then we will miss the magnificence of masculinity. I want to embrace all of the splendorous expressions of femininity and masculinity and all the blends of such binaries across the spectrums, for they are all a part of me and a part of all of us. My views surely have been shaped by my history. Certainly, I confronted a number of cruel and sexist people who sought to poison the innocence and hope of me and girls I knew. Fortunately, I had so many
amazing role models that I survived the misogynists. And I always believed as a child that girls were equal to boys. As I grew up, I learned to name that conviction feminism. Yet I also came into conflict with some feminists when they put down femininity. Femininity was often defined in my childhood and still often is as nurturing, tender, empathetic, collaborative, graceful, gentle, sensitive, inclusive, and open. I held those qualities in high esteem and sought to cultivate them in my being. But I also embraced masculine characteristics, which were defined to me as ambitious, self-reliant, competitive, protective, analytical, strong, confident, courageous, and adventurous. And these qualities blended in the persons and actions I admired. On the masculine end of the spectrum, I developed a passion for adventures. Growing up in California, my family embraced the treasures of the sea and the thrilling escapades of water sports and exploration. My sisters and I played all sorts of sports. My mom was the manager of my softball team and taught me how to compete. She was the strongest person I knew, and she protected me and my sisters like a Mama bear with cubs. She also loved traditionally feminine expressions. I used to sit at the foot of her bed and watch her do her hair, put on her makeup, and dress for a party. My sisters and I never once considered dressing rituals something that demeaned women; it was something joyful and creative and imaginative. We were never taught to dress for men. We dressed for ourselves. I loved dressing up, particularly for celebratory events; it was a way of participating in the festivity. Attending the Nutcracker in the days before Christmas with my mom was always a thrilling occasion. I loved watching the ballerinas float gracefully across the stage, their hair held tightly in buns, their long muscular legs extending forever as they twirled on pointed toes, their colorful tutus spinning enchanting dreams without words. And I knew too that ballerinas were strong and athletic, for I had a ballet teacher who had no patience for whining as I struggled to be graceful and tough. I also learned from women the splendor of literature. As a child, I could listen for hours to my mom read, her emotive voice colored my soul with the magic of words and the power of imagination. And my English teacher, Ms. Susan Vreeland, taught me to respect the hard work it took to
write; she had no tolerance for lousy work and read and criticized our papers aloud; yet she praised us too when we produced something worthy of her time. My mom and my teacher opened endless worlds to me when they gave me the gift of literature. I coveted books. I admired the women in them. My first idol was Pippi Longstocking—the fearless orphan who was stubbornly independent and led her two best friends, Annika and Tommy, on a world of adventures across seas and land. And then I found women who became like a North Star to me: Laura Ingalls, Kizzy Kinte, Anne Frank, Nettie and Sofia, and Josephine March, all smart women who fought against oppression and sought to create a world of inclusion and justice. Their struggles inculcated in me a passion for history and politics, which led me to bond with my father. We argued over politics, and I worked hard to find the evidence to win our many dinner table debates. Even though he often disagreed with me, he never silenced me; he encouraged me to express my convictions but also to contemplate contrary perspectives. My dad also had a tender side that sheltered me with kindness. My folks, writers, characters, teachers, and adventurers were the idols of my childhood. They each taught me about the power in femininity and masculinity that guarded me in many ways from internalizing most of the sexism that I experienced.
Photo Credit to Levi Seacer (Wikimedia Commons)
.... My peers and my music idols advanced my understanding of how to disentangle
feminine and masculine traits from gender. Gendered expressions began to shift in the late 1980s and early 1990s when I was coming of age as a feminist. During my junior high and high school years, it became the fad for men to wear eyeliner and earrings and grow that long rocker mane. And women were experimenting with fashion too: some wore ties and big shoulder pads in the 1980s and Doc Martens and flannels in the 1990s while others wore mini-skirts, stilettos, and big hair. Many in my generation became mad fans of Prince, David Bowie, Culture Club, Kurt Cobain, Janet Jackson, Annie Lenox, Tina Turner, and Melissa Etheridge who challenged gender roles, sexuality, and power in a variety of expressions and actions. In many ways these were the years though that challenged my hold on feminism as so much of the world seemed to center on men; and I struggled to sustain my grasp on my sense of self and my confidence while I also sought to belong and to survive misogynists. But my idols of my childhood had given me a foundation that I found again as I grew into an adult. In college as I was coming into a deeper understanding of feminism, I did so in an era of “pluralist” feminism (as Claire Synder-Hall later defined it), “choice” feminism (as defined by Linda Hirshman), and “intersectional” feminism (coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw). My generation of feminists blended these theories in different ways I suppose. At the core, it had to include all women of all demographics and it had to mean equality for all genders. It also meant that we could express our feminism in a variety of ways. It was an era of multiculturalism; and we were learning about various cultural expressions of feminism. For example, by the millennium, researchers demonstrated a deeper understanding about Islamic feminism and countered Western prejudicial perspectives about hijabs. As Leila Ahmed taught feminists through her research for A Quiet Revolution, many Muslim feminists choose the hijab for a variety of reasons, which include religious devotion and making statement about Muslim women’s visibility and their right to justice as a religious minority in the West. The deeper I dug into feminism over the decades, the more I came to understand intersectionality and privilege and how it also played a role in femininity. My books opened worlds for me again; from authors
like Patricia Hill Collins, Jacquelyn Dowd Hall, and Deborah Gray White, I learned how white supremacist patriarchal systems sought to de-feminize and brutalize women of color and hyper-feminize white women by placing them on a pedestal, and how it sought to sexualize most women, though women of color suffered from far deeper oppressions. Third wave feminism also focused a great deal on the concept of women having the power and the right to make our own choices. To many of us, feminist choice meant we could choose our life journeys, our career paths, our romantic partners, our family (or not to have a family or a partner), and our personal expressions. We wanted to be ourselves; whoever that was; and in part, that meant we could embrace femininity and masculinity and all the spectrums in between that lived inside us. Femininity was something beautiful to admire, not something to denigrate as the patriarchy does. We were trying to change the patriarchy, not fit into it. And we railed against sexist perspectives of sexual assault that sought to blame rape on a woman’s clothing, rather than on the sick mind of the rapist. Clothing had nothing to do with it. We also began to point out in the 1990s that so-called feminine expressions like feminine couture, long hair, and high heels
were embraced by men during different eras of history. Men and women in ancient Egypt wore high heels; and let’s not forget Louis XIV with his red heeled shoes, flamboyant colorful costumes, and long mane of curls. During the mid-1990s, the term metrosexual emerged to describe men who became obsessed with their appearance and who liked to shop and spend time grooming themselves. That trend of challenging the feminine and the masculine across the genders has continued into the new millennium, particularly as new movements began to defy the gender binary all together. As we have challenged binaries in our fashion, in our culture, and in our social justice struggle, so too have we dared to challenge them in our workspaces. The workforce has flourished with femininity. In a Forbes article (May 2, 2014) “4 Feminine Traits that You Should Maximize at Work,” Selena Rezvani argues that research shows “classical feminine management traits in fact translate to more employee loyalty and commitment, increased innovation and better products and services.” Rezvani contends that empathy allows humans to problem-solve because with empathy, humans are able to imagine the impact of services, concepts, and products from various points of view and produce the best results. In addition, she asserts that the ability to admit we do not know everything and thus “ask for directions”- a quality usually considered feminine—leads us to complete extensive research, to ask our colleagues, and to find the answers, which helps us avoid mistakes. Collaboration is also key to success. The feminine management style, Rezvani notes fosters “a democratic team-centered approach,” which allows for the development of innovation as every employees has an investment when all ideas are shared, and everyone has the ability to help fine-tune the best concepts. Finally,
she concludes that feminine management calls for “building an infrastructure of support,” which creates broader alliances that invite dissent and discussion. Dialogue and critical analysis leads to an awareness of all the possible pitfalls and risks and fosters stronger decision making. I have witnessed the success of feminist management in my work, and recently during our Feminist Festival event, “Open Kitchens: Women Chefs Changing the New Orleans Food Scene,” several of the chefs demonstrated the power of incorporating feminine management styles, such as their insistence in working as a team, soliciting and incorporating ideas from their employees, and perceiving their workforce as a family that they treated with respect. Feminine traits are also needed in our political worlds. Dialogue and dissent, collaboration, empathy, and the ability to know what we do not know and seek to learn it makes humans better leaders. Claire Cane Miller’s “Women Actually Do Govern Differently,” in The New York Times (November 10, 2016) explores a variety of recent studies that show women congress members tend to employ these feminine traits in ways that bring an important balance to governing. They commonly employ “a more democratic leadership style” that leads them to work collaboratively, build coalitions, and achieve consensus. In addition, they usually empathize with human suffering as “researchers found that women were significantly more likely than men to sponsor bills in areas like civil rights, health and education” as well as “far more policies meant to support women, children, [and] social welfare.” And women are productive. “Women in Congress sponsor and cosponsor more bills than men do, and bring 9 percent more federal money to their district.” Interestingly, the research in Miller’s article also demonstrates that when women assume executive positions, they are often more “hawkish.” Some researchers argue that such a tendency might be an attempt by women to “overcome stereotypes.” Famous women leaders like “Margaret Thatcher, Golda Meir, and Indira Ghandi, all of whom governed during conflict, were described as governing like men.” Maybe. Or maybe they had masculine qualities too. Maybe the executive positions in their eras required them to use different skill sets. And some may also argue that they relied too much on masculine qualities. Many
women in leadership roles have also demonstrated the powerful combination of feminine and masculine qualities. Most recently, Southwest’s Captain Tammy Jo Shults, a former Navy fighter pilot, made an emergency landing after the engine on her plane blew out and saved 147 passengers. Throughout the ordeal, she remained calm, courageous, and rational. After she landed the plane, she immediately entered the cabin to care for passengers and expressed deep empathy for the family of Jennifer Riordon, a passenger who was fatally wounded when the engine blew out
the window next to her seat. Shults relied on both traditionally masculine and feminine qualities to lead. And so have many men: Captain Chelsey “Sully” Sullenberger acted in a similar way when he had to make an emergency flight landing in the Hudson River in 2009. In our times, despite changes, our patriarchal society still teaches us which traits to cultivate based on our genders. Feminism has railed against those patriarchal rules. However, some feminists have fought to achieve gender equality by insisting that women will only succeed in a
man’s world by hiding their femininity and emphasizing their masculinity. This feminist perspective freed women to be masculine; however, it warned them against being feminine. Now of course, in many fields, women also face the pressure to present themselves in traditionally feminine ways and sometimes in hyperfeminine ways. I know many women who are frustrated over the pressures to wear makeup and dresses as they rather not; and in some professions, women face the pressure to undergo plastic surgery to look younger or to create curves in variety of areas, which can be dangerous. Of course, patriarchal standards also harm men as they require that men suppress their feminine characteristics; and they particularly harm transgender persons as the patriarchy refuses to even recognize their existence. I am not suggesting that we pressure humans to present ourselves and act in either feminine or masculine ways. Rather, I am arguing that we should allow all human beings to present ourselves through dress, action, and speech in ways that allow us to express ourselves in our own authentic ways. To me, feminism, in part, means breaking the patriarchal mold so that we are free to travel the spectrum of femininity and masculinity, become our best and most empowered selves, and create a more holistic and balanced world. I can wear pumps, dresses, and makeup and still be strong, ambitious, and assertive as well as empathetic and collaborative at work. I am. So too a woman might wear a hijab, or a pantsuit, or jeans and flip flops and express themselves in masculine and feminine ways. Some say that since men rule the world, we need to embrace our masculine sides to succeed. But I say that many feminists are changing that world by demonstrating the power of femininity in our culture, workplaces, and political arenas. Moreover, women represent half of the world’s population; so, if we take a stand alongside our allies of all genders, we will have the power to break patriarchal molds and create a human world.
Why I'm a feminist Feminist Worlds
I am a feminist because growing up means seeing the world for how it really is. When I came to college, I learned for the first time that some people see and treat me differently because I am a woman. I also learned that although this was a revelation to me, others had consciously been experiencing this their entire lives. I had been afforded the kind of privilege that comes with a set of blinders. Now that I was about to become an â€œadult,â€? I needed to choose to take those blinders off and do my part to change the world. I am a feminist because I believe that changing the world is more of a concrete goal than a childhood dream. We spend so much time talking about how future generations can change the world that it is easy to forget the changes we can make now. Once I began to learn about feminism and the extra challenges that women are faced with, I could not stop seeing them in the real world. I took on challenges that pushed me to be more confident in myself and sought out more opportunities to contribute more 8
to the world around me. Throughout my college career, I dedicated myself to the advancement of feminism, and that led to my own growth as a person. I am a feminist because there is more work to do. Engaging with feminism during my time at Loyola gave me a space to grow as a leader and learn more about the world around me. But the most important thing that I learned is that the path of feminist social justice is one that I am on for the rest of my life. Now that I am leaving the college world and entering the real world, that path will take a new shape, but my purpose will always be to fight for gender equality. I will remember my mentors and peers within the Loyola feminist community for the constant inspiration that they provided to me during my time here. I will look forward to what progress can still be made and how I can help contribute. Most importantly, I will continue to state proudly that, even beyond the doors of Loyola, I am a feminist.
Sequoya La Joy
Why I'm a feminist because that question is still being asked because you say that word like it’s dirty and shameful because you act like a feminist is a loaded gun or a ticking time bomb because maybe we are because i know what it’s like to be silenced because i know what less than looks like because I remember being fourteen and in love with a nineteen year old because no one blinked when he would pick out my clothes or drive me to and from school because no one asked me why I stopped going to church and seeing my friends because no one asked if I was okay when my eye was swollen shut because people asked if I was sure when I told them he had hit me because no one asked again if he still was when I stayed for three more years because a police officer asked me once why wouldn’t just give him a chance because I was trying to get a restraining order because he wouldn’t stop stalking me when he got out of jail because he went to jail for drugs not for raping two girls and then me at that party because even my friend’s brother saw because i talked to him on the phone once and he said when he walked in the bathroom to see what was going on he saw him standing over me and was asked if he wanted to play because it took a year for him to tell me that story because maybe he did want to play because I was told I shouldn’t have gone out wearing that because I was told I shouldn’t have been drinking that night because I was told I shouldn’t have been walking alone at night because I was told I shouldn’t have had my headphones in because I was told I should have heard the van pull up beside me because I was told I should have ran faster because the police officer at the hospital asked why I didn’t get a look at their faces because the police officers never checked the cameras in the area it happened because the police officer forget about mine and 1200 cases like it because my kit was never tested because it took years to get a response from them about the status of my case because when it happened again they asked why it took so long to report because sargeant it’s been two and half years and you’ve done nothing for the first case because I wanted someone there with me when I talked to the police again because I was so alone the first time because we told you on the phone it was a sexual assault and you still sent the wrong kind of officer so I had to repeat myself three times because the police stopped responding to my emails after three months because I once overheard the owner of the bar it happened at call bullshit on a woman’s story that happened in the same month as mine because when I wrote an article about it, people vouched for his character and tried to assassinate mine because my friends still ask me if I want to go there because I know so many women who have lived through these things too because we have to have stories like these for you to see our point because the question should really be how couldn’t you be a feminist?
Elizabeth and Stephanie Elizabeth Hebert When I consider why I’m a feminist, there’s no defining moment of oppression that sparked me to “resist the patriarchy.” In fact, I had a lot of opportunities that many people don’t have. I grew up learning in small classes with advanced curriculum being told that the sky was the limit. Many of my teachers were strong women that encouraged my classmates and me in all our endeavors. I don’t think I ever considered growing up that my value should be lesser because of anything about me, and that’s a privilege. But because of that, I didn’t respond well to being discounted because of my gender (and I still don’t). I’m a feminist because I believe everyone is inherently equal in their value as human beings. No quality such as race, gender, sexuality or religion should define a person’s worth. I believe that when power and respect is given to a group of people, it does not take power and respect from others. Rather, when power and respect is shared and granted equally, everyone gains more power and respect.
Stephanie Adams Feminism is the advocacy of the rights of all people of all genders on the basis of economic, social, and political equality. I believe that this is important to fight for these rights. Being a feminist doesn’t mean that I believe that women are superior to men, rather that all are equal. To me, feminist issues are not just issues for women, but that feminist issues include issues of race, sexuality, and politics in addition to gender issues. I am a feminist because I believe in the equality of all the genders. I am a feminist because on average, women get paid less than men, with women of color suffering more from this wage gap. I am a feminist because I believe that there should be more women in STEM careers. I am a feminist because I have seen the effects of toxic masculinity on men in my life. I am a feminist because I don’t think it’s fair that women are so often scared to reject men because they fear what they might do to them. I am a feminist because when someone reports that they have been sexually assaulted, they are not taken seriously. I am a feminist because the only crime where someone is asked what they were wearing is rape. I am a feminist because in some countries, there are laws oppressing women. I am a feminist because of the unequal balance of men and women in positions of power, such as in politics and business. I am a feminist because I believe that all are equal and everyone should have equal opportunities to succeed
The Second National Muslim Womenâ€™s Summit at Harvard University by Rula Thabata
he Second National Muslim Womenâ€™s Summit at Harvard University brought together 50 young Muslim women from across the United States to prepare them for organizing training at the Kennedy School of Government and co-sponsored with Women in Public Policy program. The program sponsored by the nonprofit organization just went through rebranding as MALIKAH, an organization to empower all people who identify as women against violent social and structural systems which oppress. Part of the organizing training was to prepare the women for a year-long fellowship with the support of a
cohort. This summit empowers women by empowering themselves and each other. When I applied and was chosen to attend last year, the experience changed my life. At a time when violence against women is normalized through the media and even by those in office very commonly, one might find it difficult to find hope. However, in the room of 50 women and amazing organizers of color talking about the pedagogy by which their work was led, how it can be led by faith, and what community work means to them, I found hope. Discussions at the national Muslim Womenâ€™s Summit ranged from orientalism to what it means to be a Muslim woman in
America today. As an organizer, it was important to me to be intentional in not only the curriculum as I become a fellowship coordinator, giving advice on their projects, but being open to learning and unlearning. I remember the importance of women becoming engaged in politics and their communities regardless of what their background is. When one discusses intersectionality, it is important to remember the value of particular communities creating spaces of their own and how even in those communities, everybody has multiple identities, which shape their lives and have shaped their experiences.
Diversity in the workplace
s the workforce expands to fit an increasing population, the need for diversity within the workplaces continues to grow. Businesses have recently exuded more effort into creating a diverse environment that would be suitable for its growing market. Although, this effort has made a difference in the makeup of a company, are businesses truly doing enough to combat the lack diversity that still exists? As a member of a generation that is beginning to dominate a workforce, I believe my generation must make sure that all groups feel included and valued. It is clear from the statistics that the United States is still struggling to create a diverse workforce. For example, McKinsey & Company and LeanIn.org conducted a study that evaluated the status of women from different backgrounds in businesses, specifically corporations. Researchers for this study found that even though the U.S. population is made up of 52 percent of women, only 20 percent are in c-suite roles. This number is less for women of color who represent 19 percent of the U.S. population, but only 3 percent of the csuite. Fortune.com reported that 73 percent of senior executives, men and women, are white. The percentages for other races are troubling as senior executives are mostly white; only 21 percent are Asian, 3 percent Latinx, 2 percent black, 0.2 percent Native American, and 0.1 percent Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander. These percentages do not represent or reflect the entire U.S. population. Those persons who suffer from disabilities are also not represented well in the workforce. As of 2015, the unemployment rate for disabled persons was 10.7 percent while the unemployment rate for those that are not disabled was 5.1 percent (Bureau of Labor Statistics). The LGBTQ community also suffers from discrimination. GLAAD, conducted surveys that showed that “40 percent of lesbian, gay, and bisexual people and almost 90% of transgender people have experienced employment discrimination, harassment or mistreatment.” This causes these groups to be discouraged to work in more businesses, lessening the amount of diversity. I interviewed Loyola University New Orleans’ Chief Diversity Officer, Dr. Sybol Anderson, to gain insight about the significance of diversity to the workforce.
When did diversity become such an important factor in workplaces? Did it happen to become important after any events that happened in the country such as in the 1960s when advocating for civil rights? I think you’re right to pinpoint the civil rights era in a time of which issues of equity and access came on the scene; but I think of this issue as kind of going through waves of interest. We might think of the civil rights era as a time that really focused on access. Then we have the passage of the affirmative action executive order ensuring fair and equal opportunities, in particular federal government opportunities. Once marginalized groups begin to have access, then the next issue becomes salient and prevalent: Are we treated fairly and equitably within the marketplace? . . . My sense is that in the ‘80s, there was a focus on the importance of human resource management. We took a lot of lessons from Japan in terms of how they cultivated employees. This may have been a source. That seemed to be a period of time where we began thinking about human and social capital. That might have been a springboard for discussions of recognizing different cultural backgrounds in a positive sense. This would include the rise of multiculturalism. I think that it wasn’t until the late ’90searly ‘00s when we really began seriously focusing on equity and the importance of equal outcomes. What I mean by that is equal access to leadership positions, not just simply getting through the door. It’s not enough to celebrate my food and culture. The real issue is to give me equal access to opportunities. The question, “Can I work my way up in this business,” became a huge factor. That’s right. Let’s address the glass ceiling and call out that it does exist. There has been this development in that way.
by Hadori Bukle
those terms, black women have been in industries if you think about it even during slavery. Certainly, black men were involved. I can think about this even before slavery to the 17th century when the Africans first came here. They were cultivating. They were brought here because they had the skills to cultivate the land in the ways the English did, unlike the Irish who didn’t cultivate agriculture in the ways the English did. The Africans came over and they were trading. From those standpoints when you think about trades and industry, then African Americans have been working side-by-side with white men, in many cases as indentured servants. Many of them were able to purchase their freedom. In the post slavery era, blacks have been working the whole time, just without the recognition or compensation accrued to them for the labor, ingenuity, architectural designs, and developments. Which group has the fastest growing rate while integrating themselves within a business setting primarily dominated by white men? This is very complicated because I would have to look at the data. We know that the greatest beneficiaries of affirmative action were white women. There’s a sense in which if we were to look at those numbers, we would see that white women have had certainly increased access to the workplace. It would be interesting to look at the [demographic breakdown] of those numbers. What is most interesting to me is how corporate CEOs are now beginning to understand that the future is brown so they will have to begin to think about cultivating people of color into leadership positions more aggressively if their ability to be competitive depends on it.
Which group was the first to work with white men in terms of having access to positions that were traditionally held by white men? Let’s look at this in U.S. history postslavery. . . . Women have said that they want to have access to the workplace; but we know that African American women have been in the workplace forever. African What do you think executives should do American women have always worked to make sure everyone feels included? outside of the home. If we look at it in
on higher education. If we can get your generation and the generation after you to assume that this is how it is supposed to work, it can improve. Your generation embraces diversity and wants learn about new cultures. We have to commit to providing that education on cultures and perspectives in order to prepare young adults to enter the workplace and shape it. How important is diversity to you? It’s everything. By nature, I am holistic in my thinking. As a philosopher, I’ve come to embrace a view of truth as holistic. As we seek the truth and try to understand the world, I see that I am committed to the idea that as much as I can learn on my own, that is only one view. I cannot attain the truth with blinders on. The truth is the sum total of all of these different perspectives What diversity means to me is if I am going to really understand the situation I’m in, I need to bring in many perspectives. I cannot just learn about them. I have to really try to see it through their eyes.
Dr. Sybol Anderson First of all, they have to recognize the value. The thing that I see in a lot of case studies that I have read so far is this instrumental attitude which I guess is natural for corporate leaders to think in those kinds of utilitarian and instrumentalist terms like “It’s about the bottom line. How do we capture larger market share? How do we outpace our competitors?” and so on. They see the changing demographics and they know that the nation is becoming browner. They also know that people with disabilities now have more access to the workplace and more education to the workplace so their wealth is increasing. Now they have to adapt the workplace and market to them. There’s this sort of strategic utilitarian attitude that says we need to cultivate leadership in these areas so we know how to market to these consumers. What we want and what is needed to make people feel more included is to have something more than this instrumentalist and utilitarian approach to it. I think there has to be a
sense of the intrinsic value and the benefit to everybody of bringing diverse perspectives together. Leaders have to be open to the perspectives of these different groups and not just manipulate them. They have to respect them and recognize their perspectives. . . . Employees are not just a means to an end. They are ends to themselves. If we want to produce products for them, what are the products they want us to produce for them and what ways do they want these products presented? Let’s not treat them as tools. Let’s get their perspectives. This is why more diversity training within business schools is going to be really important for the future to develop this critical thinking that can help corporations do this the right way.
What value does it bring? I think it bring tremendous value. When we can bring all of our different perspectives together, it creates synergy to take it to the next level. Companies are going to be productive beyond their wildest dreams when they learn to relax and allow people to express themselves freely, to bring that ingenuity and intuition to the table. One of the key values to having diversity in the workplace is recognizing that everyone has something. If we just listen and allow people to freely express that, the limits are boundless.
What steps would you take to make sure there is more diversity within a work environment? I think there are so many things that have to happen. I am trying to focus
Domestic Violence: Cries for help by Sarah Donaldson
omestic violence is the act of abuse from one person to another in an intimate relationship. Relationships spawning from lovers, partners, family members, elders under necessary care, and children in any of the above situations. The act of violence tends to be an act of dominance one person asserts over the other. However, it is important to note that in many states some of these specific relationships fall under subcategories and are charged under those definitions if charged as a crime at all. The main problem with domestic violence is that it is often a repeated offense which has lasting effects on the victims, whether those effects are physical or psychological. Domestic abuse has many sub-categories. Types of domestic violence include economic, sexual, psychological, and child abuse. Though most of these subcategories overlap, most of the time there is a focus on charging the reported crime under only one of these categories instead of recognizing that in most cases the crime is a blend of all the categories. Abuse can and will happen to anyone; it is not dependant on gender, race, religion, or age. Psychological studies from the national justice center measured the effects of prolonged exposure to domestic violence. They found that children who grew up in an abusive environment often face many social and physical problems that increase with age. If a child has lived in an abusive environment for most of their life, they begin to normalize the environment. Normalization may lead to future abusers or future victims of domestic violence. 2006 Louisiana Laws - RS 14:35.3 â€” Domestic abuse battery defines domestic violence as â€œDomestic abuse battery is the intentional use of force or violence com-
mitted by one household member upon the person of another household member without the consent of the victim.â€? Louisiana has one of the worst records on domestic violence. It has been ranked one of the most dangerous states for women. The number of women murdered by men in a domestic setting. The Violence Policy Center ranked Louisiana in the top ten most deadly state for women for the last six years. There have been fifty domestic homicides in 2016 alone. It is true that Louisiana stresses the domestic violence between men and women in intimate relationships. However, recently there has been a shift in changing the language to include more gender-neutral policies that ensure relationships of all calibers are protected under domestic violence laws. However, the domestic violence laws themselves are confusing and hard to quantify. The police officer called to the scene often has the discretion to decide whether the situation is troubling enough to classify as domestic violence. Another issue is how hard it is to measure intent and pattern if there is only one documented case of domestic abuse. This is a major issue for the victim. If the victim decides to press charges, more times than not, the attacker does not receive adequate punishment, or the trial goes on longer than the victim has the strength to handle. In addition, all the psychological damage the victims have undergone may cause them to blatantly forgive their attackers and drop all charges. One of the major problems when discussing domestic violence appears in the Louisiana Law Review of the Distinctiveness of Domestic Abuse: a Freedom-Based Account by Victor Tadros. He argues that there are different forms of violence and how they are treated. Domestic violence, according to Tadros, is a treated as a social
and political type of crime. In other words, the criminal system generally does not focus on the person who is accused of the crime. Unfortunately, the most substantial criminal laws on the matter are those involving the murder of the abuser by the abused. Tadros reasons that because it is hard to specify the offense of the accused. Thus, it is easier to lump the domestic violence in with other types of crime such as homicide or sexual abuse. Domestic violence is not something that can be solved easily and overnight. In order to solve the problem, there must be a better system of understanding on how to identify actions of domestic violence. There must also be improvements in the judicial system when dealing with cases of domestic violence. However, that is no easy task. Therefore, a need for more discussion on the topic is imperative. Education on the topic is also crucial in understanding how to deal with domestic violence abusers as well as how to handle the turmoil the victims have suffered. The underlying psychological and economic issues that accompany the majority of these cases, it becomes more and more difficult to draw out how the case should be handled. Should the want of the victim be prioritized? What is considered substantial evidence? How do you help a person when they have normalized the situation? Most importantly, how do you investigate these matters without tipping off the abuser in question while upholding honesty in the investigation? Should the victim be used to help convict the abuser, or should the mental strain of the case be avoided? These questions and more are what make the issues of domestic violence so difficult to solve. Let us continue and spark a discussion on solutions to domestic violence together.
Feminism in music
by Daniel DeBarge
Welcome back to the Feminism in Music Series. This series includes some of my favorites from a variety of genres and eras. I hope you enjoy. As always, feel free to share with me songs you would like me to check out for the next series; email me "Attention Daniel DeBarge" at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lesley Gore - "You Don't Own Me"
Lesley Gore doesn’t mess around with figurative language or poetry in stating her message that, quite simply, “You don’t own me.” Gore was definitely ahead of her time as this song was released in the 1963 when she was 17 years old. "I'm young and I love to be young I'm free and I love to be free To live my life the way I want To say and do whatever I please And don't tell me what to do Oh, don't tell me what to say And please, when I go out with you Don't put me on display"
Shania Twain - "Man I Feel Like a Woman"
This song is one of my guilty pleasures. For real, I used to sing this all of the time when I was little (I still do). It is one of those feel-good songs that celebrates the fun of being a woman. I would also go one step further and say it even breaks gender norms as I become in touch with my feminine side whenever this song comes on. "The girls need a break tonight we're gonna take The chance to get out on the town We don't need romance, we only wanna dance We're gonna let our hair hang down The best thing about bein' a woman Is the prerogative to have a little fun"
No Doubt - "Just a Girl"
This song, written by the singer of the band, Gwen Stefani, is a satire that attacks the stereotypes and expectations the patriarchy has for women. Stefani is sarcastically agreeing with whoever is telling her what she is as a woman as a way of rebelling against the status quo. Stefani definitely achieves what she was aiming for.
Salt N Peppa - "None of Your Business"
This early 1990s hip hop track celebrates female empowerment in regards to their sexuality. The two rappers are basically saying, “We can have as much sex as we want, with whoever we want, and men have no right to judge us or try to control what we do.” This is especially important since many male rappers speak about the same kinds of things and do not get judged but rather celebrated. At the end of the day, Salt N Peppa just want equality, plain and simple. "If I wanna take a guy home with me tonight It's none of yo business And if she wanna be a freak and sell it on the weekend It's none of yo business Now you, shouldn't even get into who I'm givin' skins to It's none of yo business So don't try, to go and change my mind, I'll tell you one more time It's none of yo business"
Destiny’s Child - "Independent Woman Part 1"
Destiny’s Child celebrates women empowerment here in many ways. Primarily, the song exemplifies how women can control themselves financially and pay for their own bills, jewelry, cars, houses, etc. It also talks about women having independence over their emotions as well and how if a man tries to control any of this, basically, “you get dismissed”. "Question: Tell me what you think about me I buy my own diamonds and I buy my own rings Only ring your cell-y when I'm feelin lonely When it's all over please get up and leave Question: Tell me how you feel about this Try to control me boy you get dismissed Pay my own fun and I pay my own bills Always fifty-fifty in relationships"
"'Cause I'm just a girl, a little 'ol me Well don't let me out of your sight Oh I'm just a girl, all pretty and petite So don't let me have any rights Oh... I've had it up to here!"
What Does My Hair Mean to Me?
0 minutes every night, 30 minutes every morning. An hour everyday I spend doing my hair. Seven hours a week and the upper body strength of a weight lifter, my hair became another chore. So much so, I started to neglect it. Life as a full-time college student and part-time worker gets pretty hectic, so I tend to focus on school and work and neglect myself. When doing my hair I would rush through it, yanking and pulling at the delicate knots, just wanting it to be over and done with. I realized that I can’t continue to mistreat my hair, but I was never really a fan of wigs, weaves, or protective styles. After months of trying to figure out what to do with my hair other than cut it all off, I took to head wraps. In the beginning, it was a way for me to be lazy and cute. “It ain’t nothing to wake up in the morning and throw a scarf on your head, ” is what I’d tell my friends. Not only did headscarves protect my hair from the erratic temperatures in New Orleans, but by having my hair tied down, I never really touched it other than to wash it or scalp massage. And that hour a day turned into 30 minutes at most. All I had to do was wake up, shake out my hair, and then wrap it for the day; and at night take of the scarf, throw on my bonnet, and hop in bed. I fell in love with the art of turbans,
by Jessica White
as there are more ways I can style a scarf than I can style my actual hair. Head wraps were the way for me, the fix that I needed to a less time consuming hair regimen. As time went on, and I fully embraced the wraps, being the spiritual person that I am, I began to explore this expression in a self reflective route. At this point in my life, I consider myself an Omnist. I believe not one religion holds all the truth, but all religions hold a piece of the truth. And all these pieces we hold come together to make one truth. It is very interesting to me to how many religions have certain practices surrounding hair such as Sikh men never cutting their hair, Islamic women covering theirs, and Ghanian women ( and some men) wearing traditional and fashionable headscarves. I find it so fascinating how all the different religions view hair, and learning all of this I began to ask myself what does my hair mean to me? Hair to most, if not all, of us is how we express ourselves. We can color, cut, or cover it however we please to best express our true selves. Prior to this journey, I didn’t do much to my hair. I would just wear a twist out and then throw it on top of my head. My hair was my identifier, my “pineapple”, and it was how my friends recognized me. And at work, customers would come to my register as I check out their groceries and so many would com-
ment and compliment (and some disdain) my hair. My hair was the first thing anyone saw in me. I was very appreciative of all the positive responses, but I started to feel like it wasn’t me that people saw; it was only my hair. I’m not one to place values on looks and the physical, so for that much attention to be on me and on my hair I felt like my own paradox, my own folly. Covering my hair was a way for me to remove my physical self from my true self, my soul. I don’t want people to look at me and be distracted by hair, I want them to see and experience my true self. I want people to feel the love in my heart, hear the warmth of my tone, and not just see the admirable bush of hair on my head. I’ve been wearing head wraps daily for a little over half a year now. My hair and scarf collection alike have grown a considerable amount. I’m constantly trying to find new ways to rock my turbans in the endless beauty of the art. I take my inspiration from all of the different religions, belief systems, and cultures and refine it to find my own truth. This is all a journey for me, and I’m figuring it out as I go, but as of now, my hair to me is another form of self expression. And how I choose to express myself is by concealing the, what can be, distracting mane a top my head hoping, that it forces people to not see me, but to see ME. My love. My light. My true self.
A feminist book club by Tess Rowland
hope you all enjoyed our August 20th discussion of Margaret Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale. For our summer read, I chose Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead. Anyone in the Loyola community is free to join us for our discussion of the book in the fall semester. I will be announcing the time and date in August via the WRC email list. Lean In is much more than a personal story of one of the most successful women in modern America; it is a call to female leadership and empowerment. Sandberg literally calls on women to lean in—intellectually, physically, emotionally, and spiritually to their fields. She shares with us her great successes, but she also shares her failures as she understands that our greatest triumphs emerge not from taking a risk once and succeeding, but rather out of failing and rising after taking many risks. And she shares tips and hardships from many of her successful female colleagues. Sandberg has had many successes. She graduated summa cum laude with an economics degree from Harvard in 1991 and
an MBA with distinction in 1995; served as Larry Sanders research assistants at the World Bank, and later as his chief of staff in the US Department of Treasury under President Bill Clinton’s Administration; and rose the ranks of Google during a six-year stint to vice president of global online sales and operations. And then came the opportunity of a lifetime—Mark Zuckerberg recruited her to serve as Chief Operating Officer of Facebook. Immediately, Sandberg’s husband and brother-in-law urged her to negotiate, an idea that had not even crossed her mind. Negotiating is something that women often fear to attempt in the workplace because assertive women are often viewed in a negative light. Yet Sandberg realized how important it was, not just for her, but for all women to step up and negotiate; in the process, she informed Zuckerberg that he would not want to hire a person as COO, whose job it was to negotiate deals with the world’s powerhouses, who would not even dare to negotiate her salary. It worked! Sandberg certainly shows us the sexism women face in the workforce, but she also
shows us that we can create our obstacles when we fail to take risks, when we shrink from negotiations, when we neglect to lean in and embrace the work and the triumphs. Sandberg calls on women to lead; only when we share the leadership roles across industries, will we have the ability to create real change. In an effort to contribute to the rise of women leaders, Sandberg created the Lean In Foundation from which she developed Lean In Circles. These circles, which usually consist of 10 to 12 women serve as support groups and networking circles that promote female leadership. Currently, the movement has grown to foster 36,000 circles in 162 countries. The Loyola Women’s Resource Center is in the process of forming our very own Lean In Circle which will meet monthly as part of our Feminist Fridays. See the Feminist Friday Facebook page and the WRC emails for information about the next meeting. Join us and dare to lean in and rise to lead.
I Have Something to Say:
by Sidney Parish
hether you inflict judgments upon yourself or upon others, nothing good ever comes out of body shaming. We live in a revolutionary time where women and men are both breaking all sorts of expectations as to how to look; yet we still find the need to shame others and ourselves based upon physical appearance. The sad thing about body shaming is that it does not pertain to one particular demographic, making it a harder issue to tackle. Regardless of your gender, weight, or body size, there seems to be no escape from the fact that people are going to find something wrong. Many people will argue that this issue stems from social media and pop culture where unrealistic beauty standards are imposed on us on a daily basis; and while that may be a factor, I think it is deeper. For one, no one body is the same; so why shame someone when we have no specific and realistic standard to compare it to? For instance, we tend to think that sizes 0 to 4 are “idealistic,” when in reality, the average American woman wears clothing within the size range of 12 to 16. Secondly, I think we have a hard time grasping the concept that having a certain body size or shape does not make one superior over another. It is a gross mindset to possess, and truthfully does more harm than good to both yourself and others around you.
like this before. However, I am not saying this also does not happen to women. We just have to constantly remind ourselves that this happens to everyone, regardless of gender. It must also be noted that we are capable of body shaming ourselves, which arguably holds the same degree of severity as shaming others. This self-shaming can be tied in with several other issues ranging from self-esteem problems to bullying to actual disorders such as body dysmorphia. Regardless, we tend to be our own harshest critics, and what we think of ourselves holds a stronger impact than what others think of you. Despite what you or others may believe, shame is not an effective motivator. As someone who has been shamed for being “too skinny” for years, it truly does nothWhat some people fail to recognize is ing but make a person progressively more that men also fall victim to body shaming. self-conscious about his or her physical However, we usually tend to brush it aside appearance and weight. When we shame or see no problem with it at all. We may not others and ourselves, we are simply lookrecognize it, but the most common practice ing at an entire person as a skin vessel and of body shaming that men fall victim to is essentially saying that what is inside of when we put labels onto the “type” of guys him or her does not matter. But a person is we would potentially date. The number of just more than his or her body, and this is times I have logged onto Twitter and seen precisely what we need to remind ourselves tweets that consist of phrases “I will only in order to resolve this issue. date a guy who looks like ____” or “Don’t talk to me unless ____” is disturbing, and I can sadly admit I have thought things
Coworker's Ignorance by Trent Dardar
ince my last column, I’ve been working in downtown New Orleans as a host. Usually I love the people I work with and everyone is really welcoming. Also, there are so many gay men and women who work there so I never feel uncomfortable or out of place. That was of course until my restaurant hired a new host—a 19 year-old woman from Uptown New Orleans. For this column, we’ll call her Asia. One day, me and Asia were working together on a rather slow day, so naturally we began talking about anything and everything just to pass the time. She is a few years younger than me, but we still got along pretty well. That was until she pointed out a guy that had passed our restaurant wearing acrylic nails. Incomprehensibly, she mouthed the words, “that guy was too gay!” The words instantly triggered my middle school self who tried so desperately to mask my femininity in order to stay in the closet. Anger consumed me. Suddenly, my years of studying Gender and Sexuality studies was going to come in very handy when giving this girl a piece of my mind.
Sadly, there was a manager who was a very straight middle-aged man standing to my left, so I decided to wait a bit more before speaking my mind. A minute later, she was still going on-and-on about how she doesn’t know what she would say to her little nephew if he asked about a guy dressed so femininely. Then my manager told a story about how he once told one of his younger relatives that a drag queen they saw in the street was a princess. While I think that is somewhat adorable, I later realized how problematic it is to lie to children about queer bodies. It is similar to how many parents in the U.S. approach sex education. Many choose to simply not educate their children about where babies/ sexual pleasure comes from in fear that they’ll be sexually active too early in their lives. The fact is that hiding that kind of information will only make children more interested in the subjects that people hide from them. Not to say that every child that has been lied to about a guy with acrylic nails or a man impersonating a woman starts doing that themselves, but I believe it affects how that child will interpret the things they see in life before they are
appropriately exposed to them. I had a pretty sheltered childhood, so I was never exposed to queer people in a positive way until I went to college. From personal experience as a queer person, it takes several years of deconditioning to live in a love your body. I’m still learning to this day. What’s important is that we keep challenging normality so that queerness can enter the realm of normality so that we may all happily coexist as a society. There’s no way you can be “too gay.”
When Women Take a Stand:
Meet Martha Alguera, Louisiana Lead of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America & Margaux Schexnider, President of Loyola University New Orleans’ Students Demand Action for Gun Sense in America
Alguera’s life in various ways and ultimately inspired her to take a stand. She was robbed at gunpoint. And then three years ago on Christmas Day, she was driving her mother and daughter down Carrollton Avenue when a person sitting on a car on the side of the road with a machine gun started “spraying the car across the lane from him, which was the car in front of me.” Alguera recalled a sense of helplessness, fearing that a stray bullet would hit her mom or child. “My little girl,” she recalled “was traumatized by that for awhile.”
On February 14, 2018, America witnessed one of the world’s deadliest school shootings take place at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Seventeen lives were lost, and seventeen people were wounded. Since the attack, America has witnessed a wave of protests and walk-outs as student protestors call for common sense gun laws. These demonstrations have garnered a lot of media attention as well as scrutiny.
Alguera joined Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America (which she refers to as Moms), an organization founded in 2012 after the Sandy Hook School Shooting. It is a part of a greater network called
By Sequoya LaJoy Everytown, which provides support via fundraising, research, and lobbying. Moms is now the largest gun violence prevention agency in the country with over five million members with chapters in every state. Louisiana had three groups; however, in the wake of Parkland, six new groups emerged and three more are in the process of forming. Moms is now the fastest growing grassroots organization in the country. Despite its name, it isn’t just for moms. Alguera notes, “There’s also dads, students, and friends. Half the people in the organization aren’t actually moms, but it was like MADD-Mothers Against Drunk Driving, that was kind of the model. Actually, the director of MADD just joined MOM’s as one of our national directors.”
Many women have been at the forefront of the gun control movement even before Parkland, working in the trenches to organize, fundraise, and lead protests. I am proud to note that one of those women leaders, Martha Alguera, is the Executive Assistant to the President and Board of Trustees at Loyola University New Orleans. Alguera is the state chapter lead of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, an organization dedicated to the implementation of common sense laws to regulate firearms. Gun violence touched
fatally shot by her partner every sixteen hours, and domestic violence victims are five times more likely to be killed if their abuser has access to a gun.
Moms focuses on policy work as the leaders realize that they need strong legislation to mitigate gun violence. The group is particularly busy during the state legislative seasons to support or oppose bills involving guns. Members of Moms engage in letter and phone campaigns and make many trips to Baton Rouge to speak with legislators personally and to protest bills they oppose. In addition, Alguera, like many members of Moms, considers it important to address all of the ways that people are able to access guns and to develop laws that work for particular cities. In Louisiana, state law prohibits individual cities from enacting their own gun laws without the state’s approval. Alguera and her fellow Moms in New Orleans would like to repeal that law. As Alguera notes: “So that’s something that we’re working on, where each city can enact their own gun laws in relation to the crime that they experience. It’s not a one size fits all for these laws.” Outside of policy work, Moms engage in a variety of community work. For example, every June 2, they participate in Wear Orange Day, which a group of teenagers in Chicago started to honor and remember Hadiya Pendleton who was shot and killed at age 15. “They chose the color orange because orange is the color that hunters wear to tell people, hey, I’m a human being- don’t shoot,” Alguera explained. Moms managed to convince city leaders to light the superdome in orange and to host an event to commemorate victims of gun violence on Wear Orange Day. Moms also started the Be Smart campaign, which teaches the commu-
nity about responsible gun ownership. Although Louisiana has a strong hunting and gun culture, Alguera has found that most Louisianans respond well to the program because it mainly teaches gun safety, such as how to properly store a gun and ammunition and asking parents before your child goes on a playdate if there’s a gun in the house. “Before I send my kid on a play-date, she doesn’t like big dogs. So I’ll ask, do you have a big dog at your house because my daughter doesn’t like big dogs,” Alguera said. “So I started asking that, do you have a gun? I’ve only had to ask it twice. Both times it’s been no and thank you for asking.” Moms also has an event every October to commemorate Domestic Violence Month. According to TheTrace.com, an American woman is
Alguera also emphasized the importance of diversifying the organizations because gun violence affects all of us. Moms was started by a middle-class suburban white mom, but in a city like New Orleans with the most gun violence in any city in Louisiana, it’s vital to have representation for people of color. Gun violence in New Orleans primarily affects black communities and mothers of color. Thus, Alguera tries to bridge the gap between the white housewives who started Moms and mothers of color. As a Latina woman, Martha is able to use her status as a woman of color to encourage other women of color to join the movement. Alguera also insists that it is vital to ensure that Moms takes urban gun violence into consideration. To achieve their goals of bringing in more women of color and including urban violence as a focus of Moms, Moms has begun holding meetings in public urban areas where more people of color reside. I asked Martha for some advice for those who may be scared to get involved with the movement and about those who are fearful of the backlash that some activists experience from angry members of the public. Alguera states, “ignore them and move on. Ignore and #keepgoing. You can’t let them scare you. We had legislators who have been harassed by constituents for voting to raise the age. So . . .
From Left to Right: Matha Alguera, Margaux Schexnider, Patricia Boyett, and Al Alcazar we were calling his office and giving him calls of support. We were tweeting him and commenting on instagram ‘Thank You Senator Mills.’ It’s a small minority doing this intimidation; more than 90% of Americans are for stronger gun laws. It’s a small minority of people that are against it.” She suggests activists focus on that 90 percent and keep fighting for sensible legislation. Alguera knows how frustrating that fight becomes when it often seems no change will come. She had hoped that the Sandy
Hook shooting would have been the event that finally pushed legislators to pass sensible laws. Despite the intransigence of lawmakers, she has continued to fight the good fight and advocate for reform. She remains hopeful that the Parkland shooting will really tip the scale and encourage people to take a stand and declare that they have had enough. It has certainly energized the youth around the country. The student leaders in Parkland have launched a movement that is rolling across the nation. These students along with Moms have inspired the emergence of a student group at Loyola led by Margaux Schexnider, a freshman social justice advocate. Schexnider started the student group, Students Demand Action in partnership with Moms Demand Action and made it apart of Loyola’s Emerging Leaders Program led by Elizabeth Keating, Assistant Director for Leadership and Student Engagement. Schexnider, like her peers, has grown up watching news reports of mass school shootings and has experienced many school drills about how to respond when
there is an active shooter on campus. “This became normalized to me,” Schexnider said. “Sometimes you're just going to have to turn your desk over and use it to protect you from bullets, it's just how things are.” After a drive-by shooting that occurred in the New Orleans neighborhood of Gentilly that left 2 people dead, Schexnider recalled, “I kind of came to an awakening that what we are going through is not normal. As cliche as that may sound, the fact that that could have been my peers and me made me panic.” So, she started considering ways to get involved. Schexnider has engaged in social justice advocacy for many years. She mainly focuses on women’s rights issues. She has interned with United Way’s Public Policy Department to promote bills on equal pay and inclusive language for domestic violence legislation. Domestic violence killings are her main motivator for advocating for gun control. Women in the US are 16% more likely to be shot and killed then other women in any other developed nation. Most states still allow domestic abusers to own guns after their first offense, which Schexnider finds offensive to women and very dangerous.
Soon after Schexnider founded Students Demand Action, she hosted a rally at Loyola on March 14, which featured talks by Schnenider, Martha Alguera, and Patricia Boyett, as well as an interfaith prayer led by Alvaro B. Alcazar. In addition, Schexnider served as a speaker at the March for Our Lives rally in New Orleans on March 24. She focused her speech on “how gun violence is an intersectional issue that affects a lot of different groups of people; women, African Americans (due to the dichotomous narrative between white and African American shooters), the LGBT community, the disabled, etc. and with each group I pointed out, people that identify with that group started cheering, and it just made me feel super connected to the people that were listening which is super rewarding” Schexnider is also involved in fighting for common sense policies and opposing ones she considers detrimental. Schexnider deeply opposes the proposal to arm teachers: “Arming teachers is such a detrimental idea. For a lot of students, and especially in Louisiana which has such a high rate of child abuse, school is often considered a safe space for a lot of students. Schools are supposed to be welcoming environments to promote the advance-
ment of individuals, and the introduction of guns detracts from that. With all the cases of police brutality and racial profiling, I don't understand how anyone can believe that putting guns in schools . . . is a good idea.” Schexnider is also in favor of making it more difficult for people to purchase firearms by developing more thorough background checks, raising the minimum age, banning abusers from owning guns, and implement-
ing mandatory mental health screenings, and banning assault style weapons. As a community, Loyola University is so lucky to have staff and students like Martha Alguera and Margaux Schexnider, two women leaders who are fighting the good fight and advocating for change. I encourage you to follow the lead of these amazing women and take a stand against gun violence.
Interested in getting involved with Moms Demand Action or Students Demand Action? Visit everytown.org and momsdemandaction.org for more information about joining the fight against gun violence. Text ResistBot which will send a fax to your congress members. If youâ€™re interested in Resist Bot (just text resist to 50409). Make it a priority to go to lobby days at the capital to talk directly with your congress members.
Are you a victim of gun violence and need assistance? You may be eligible for Victim of a Crime funds and should visit ovc.gov for more information. Victims of gun violence who need legal representation can contact Southeast Louisiana Legal Services, the Loyola Law Clinic, and Catholic Charities to see if free legal counsel is available. Victims of gun violence at the hands of their former or current domestic partners can contact Sexual Trauma Awareness & Response team as well as New Orleans Family Justice Center.
Loyola Leadership in SGA: Women in Power
by Athena Merida
he Student Government Association is a representation of Loyola’s students as a whole. More than half of our student body is made up of powerful women looking to make a real difference in on campus and in the New Orleans community. They are marching in Downtown New Orleans for Women’s Rights, passing diversity bills in Senate, and striving for change between the streets of St. Charles and Feret. Loyola University New Orleans is rooted in the ideals of leadership and social justice. Loyola encourages students to be involved in any organization that they might be interested in and even create a new club if they feel obliged. This upcoming freshmen class added up to 802 new students that were flooding the rooms of Biever, the tables in the Orleans Room, and making the Starbucks line a little longer on your way to a 9:30 class. Out of 802 freshmen students 62 percent of them are women; women who I’ve interacted with who want to take charge, join clubs, and become leaders at only the age of 18. Olivia Dadoun, a freshmen involved in First Year Council, spoke on her classmates and their passion for activism. She noticed that the Women’s Resource Center has had the most employees they have seen in years; it must be due to the desire to be involved and make change. This boost of students at Loyola has not only made it a little more crowded in the Orleans Room, but it encourages the newer students to get involved on campus. They are passionate about change and pushing for a new wave of women in leadership positions on campus. Looking at the undergraduate population, 60 percent of student body is women which gives us an overwhelming chance to be a Woman in Power on campus. Student Government Association is an organization that governs over the entire
student body and helps advocate for the issues that the student body might have. Student Government Association is made up of an executive board of seven positions, and five out of the seven executive positions in 2017-2018 were powerful women who sought to make an active change on our campus. These leaders are involved in many other organizations on campus. Under the executive board, reign the senators that represent their colleges: College of Arts and Sciences, College of Music and Fine Arts, and the College of Business. Out of all the senator positions only two are male. Here is a list of all the amazing, trailblazing women senators this past year: Brianna DanielHarkins, Victoria Cinnater, Claudia Mascari, Rana Thabata, Kristen Williams, Accacia Grant, Liza Whitfield, Marissa Friduss, Sam Reich, Brette Baughman, Jana Sanders, Rebekah Vensel, Mimi Bui, and Kaylen Lee. These women all represent their colleges and have their own reasons why they chose to have leadership positions in SGA. Rana, a Senator of the College of Arts and Sciences, was previously her SGA President her junior and senior year of high school which empowered her to move on into college Student Government as well. Many students have had previous experiences with student government and wanted to continue with their passion of government in their community. Brette Baughman, a Senator for the College of Business, felt empowered by the previous SGA President, Ellie Diaz, to get involved with student government and maybe hold her same position in the future. Our campus has been dominated by women who are fearless in reaching their goals no matter what the trail looks like to get there, and the women who already have leadership roles are only going to inspire more women to go out and make a difference. We know Loyola University is a school
with a cause to inspire change and to encourage women to act as advocates. We are an institution of men and women with and for others, and many women on this campus are doing just that by being a part of an organization that pushes students to go beyond the norm and do something amazing within four years here. Each senator I spoke to informed me that they never felt treated differently or thought less of due to the fact that they are a women. Corina Lopez, the Chief Justice of SGA, states “it is vital that women have access to connections and opportunities here on our campus, that will translate to workplace opportunities. In a society in which women are oftentimes not seen as equals, or are not given the recognition or credit they deserve in the workforce and in life, working around so many advocates who embody gender equality makes me hopeful that we will see more women enacting and implementing changes in our society and in our legislation.” This only continues the narrative of how essential women have become on this campus with the fire they have to create a major change no matter if it is just a few students on campus or it’s on a larger scale- like all of New Orleans. We live in a city where we got to witness the election of the first ever black, female mayor, LaToya Cantrell. She fought her entire election for women’s rights, and this is just another reason why women are running for office more than ever. They thrive to change and with that, the women in SGA can strive to do the same. I am proud to know that 60 percent of our student body are women and most of our senators are as well because it means there is a shift going
on in our society today. We are no longer the women who take what we are given and are quiet about it. We are the women who fight to receive what we are worth and represent a new kind of a women leaders. The SGA elections had just recently passed and we have a newly selected officers. We’re happy to congratulate Sierra Ambrose and Joann Cassama on being elected President and Vice President! It is amazing that in a society where women feel oppressed in
higher positions that at Loyola we elect women to such high positions on campus. We’d also like to congratulate the following women who were elected to be senators at large and for their respected colleges: Kristen Williams, Samantha Sanchez, Kloe Laudun, Laura Prado, and Sam Reich! The Women’s Resource Center looks forward to seeing all the amazing work these officers will do in the following term. Like the saying goes, “empowered women empower women”. Let’s hope these elected officials will
encourage and empower other women on campus to run for positions in their organizations. Loyola’s women leaders are making strides throughout campus and we can only hope others continue their legacy.
Rape Laws and Culture
From Middle Ages to Modernity
eminist movements over the past few centuries have fostered significant progress toward dismantling patriarchal systems and the sexual subjugation that has plagued women throughout recorded human history. In recent years, many people are coming forward to share their stories of sexual assault and demand changes, particularly since the advent of the #MeToo Movement. Certainly, Western cultures have made great stride since the Middle Ages in Europe, when society viewed women and their bodies as a commodity both socially and under the law. America’s modern justice system, despite its many flaws, is far better than the medieval system. Nevertheless, there are striking parallels between modern rape culture and that of the Middle Ages. Medieval England fostered a deeply patriarchal system that it has taken centuries to dismantle. From 1100-1500, women were under the authority of men for the duration of their lives. Women were often used as pawns—a possession a man could acquire if he was able to defeat other men. This reality left no room for a woman’s free will. A female child was the possession of her father, and a female adult was the possession of her husband. Therefore, if she was raped, it was viewed as theft of a man’s property with little regard for her own bodily autonomy. A woman’s virginity, specifically,
by Noelie Zeichik
was so deeply valued by the religion and the law. If a woman gave birth to a son, he inherited his father’s property upon his death. A woman’s virginity before marriage was the only way to confirm paternity of the children she bore and insured that the father’s estate fell into the hands of a man’s biological son. Society viewed the presence of a hymen as the marker of a woman’s virginity, and midwives were often tasked with locating the hymen. Of course, this is not a sure way to tell if someone has had sex as a hymen might break through other activities such as horseback riding. With all this value placed on virginity, women were less likely to report rape. Society viewed raped women as impure and dishonorable. Medieval laws did proscribe specific punishments for men who violated women; however, men designed the laws in such a way that women were nearly always blamed. According to the laws, if a man were to touch a woman without her consent, he was to pay a fine, seven halfcumals. If a man put his hand upon her, he was to pay ten ounces. The law also placed a great deal of responsibility on the woman. If a woman was being raped, the law stated that she “ought to cry out” so that someone might hear and come to her rescue. However, in a dangerous situation, the body responds in one of three ways: flight, fight or freeze. This psychological concept was not known in the Middle Ages. If a woman
was being attacked, she may not be able to cry out because her body was in survival modem and she might stop moving all together. Having had the stipulation that women were to cry out when being assaulted placed the responsibility on her as opposed to the perpetrator. Moreover, the courts in medieval Europe made little distinction between a woman willingly committing adultery and cases of rape. The lawmakers also made no distinction between rape and abduction because they were more concerned with the impact on the family as opposed to the woman’s experience. In Medieval Roman Law, this was called raptus. Raptus was punishable by death. However, if a woman consented to sex with someone other than her husband, the legal system still considered it raptus, punishable by death. This lack of distinction completely undermined a women’s mental capacity and free will, not to mention the emotional ramifications she suffered from the rape and the execution. The laws were designed to protect the husband’s property. Thus, wealth and gender played a significant role in a person’s access to protection of the law. Certainly, America’s modern legal system proves far superior to medieval courts; however, patriarchy and privilege infect them both. In the contemporary era, police,
lawyers, judges, and juries often take into
to greater protection under the law because they are able to pay for high-powered account what a victim was wearing lawyers. Perpetrators prey on vulnerable as if her clothing caused the rape. The people today just as they did during the “boys will be boys” attitude of today Middle Ages. reinforces the idea that men are unable to control themselves and that women are Rape culture also thrives in some forms expected to cover up because men just of literature. One of the most significant cannot help themselves. The problems in modern example of “blurring the lines” is the legal system also derive from prizing E. L. James’s Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy. women’s purity and the slut shaming that The main character, Anastasia, is coerced persists. Some modern cultures place a into sexual submission. It is actually a story woman’s entire value on her sexual purity. about manipulation and arguably assault, And many people compare virginity to a but it is considered by many a sexy trilogy gift, only to be given to a husband on their in the erotica genre because her love interwedding night. Girls are taught at a young est, Christian is incredibly handsome and age that “losing” their virginity takes some- wealthy. His violent sexual acts are followed thing from a woman that she can never by grand romantic gestures and expensive have back. However, America has made gifts. While James’s trilogy opened minds strides in understanding how a woman about the intricacies of female sexual desire might react to a sexual assault as scientists by making the erotic mainstream, it is develop concepts such as the sociobiology extremely problematic in its masking of of trauma. And popular culture has also rape under the pretense of romance. This managed to convey such messages. Netflix’s story is not new; medieval literature often 13 Reasons Why, though it has a host of links rape and romance. The 12th century problems, succeeded in showing how a French author Chre woman could react to assault by freezing. tien de Troyes wrote about female Yet sexism still infects modern culture. submission and male domination as gratifying and pleasurable. The violence is Cultural mediums have also long been used masked by lush and sexy romance, which to perpetuate rape culture. In 12th century makes it hard to categorize it as rape. Europe, many songs in the pastourelle form, encouraged men to take advantage Certainly, feminist movements have of poor peasant women as such women forced great changes as women enjoy far lacked power to protect themselves or fight more bodily autonomy than they did in for justice. In addition, such songs were the Middle Ages. Society now makes the also sang in a way that encouraged men to distinction between adultery, rape, and turn rape into a fun game. In the contem- abduction. And women are not owned porary era, songs circulate that are asby their husbands. But these changes do toundingly problematic in similar ways. It not overshadow the striking similariis trendy to walk the line between sexy and ties between the culture of today and the sexist. Songs like Robin Thick’s “Blurred culture of the Middle Ages. Women are Lines” glorify rape with the famous line “I often still blamed when raped because know you want it.” Also, the ever dubiof their attire. Many women are afraid to ous Justin Bieber’s “What do you mean” speak out about rape and assault because with lyrics like: “When you nod your head they fear that no one will believe them. yes but you want to say no.” Even though The most vulnerable populations are still modern society is significantly less tolerant targeted by perpetrators at an astounding of music that persecutes other oppressed rate because they do not have the resources groups, such as people of color and the to defend themselves. Songs and books that LGBT community, women are often deeply glorify rape only perpetuate stereotypes, disrespected through music because it is and in the worst cases, encourage violence. deemed “sexy.” Yet all oppressed groups Courtroom bias and victim blaming make continue to suffer from sexual subjugation it difficult for women to be vocal for fear of and injustice. The impoverished, along with not being believed or taken seriously and people of color, and queer people are more often allow rapists to continue violating susceptible to assault and rape, in part others. Major changes need to be made in because of white privilege and cisgender support of women both socially and in the privilege that lead to bias in the courtroom. justice system. The struggle to dismantle In addition, wealthier people have access rape culture and patriarchy persists.
FEMINIST FESTIVAL 2018
The Women’s Resource Center hosted its Third Annual Feminist Festival at Loyola University New Orleans from March 4-16 to ce lebrate the extraordinary triumphs centuries of feminists have achieved in the long pursuit of gender equity and explores how we might continue to pave the path forward for future generations. We had many wonderful partners in the process, including our co-sponsor, the Women’s Studies Program and Living Our Vision Everyday (L.O.V.E.). In addition, we collaborated with a variety of departments and programs at Loyola as well as with community leaders and organizations. We would like to express our deep gratitude to all of our co-sponsors, partners, guests, and attendees. And we invite you all to journey back with us as we revisit some of the highlights of the festival.
Breaking the Chains of Domestic Violence by Noelie Zeichek
Photo Credit to Jonikia Allen, Jondi Designs
The St. Francis de Sales Court No. 325, Knights of Peter Claver Ladies Auxiliary and the Women's Resource Center at Loyola University New Orleans hosted “Breaking the Chains: Domestic Violence & Safe Dating Awareness Brunch.” Funmilayo Smallwood, the State Jr. Daughter Directress, of the Ladies Auxiliary created the program and led the programming team. On March 4, Loyola student leaders, members of the Ladies Auxiliary, and influential women across the larger New Orleans community gathered for a time of food, fellowship, learning, and solidarity to draw attention to domestic violence, which is inconsistent with our culture of life. The Honorable Cynthia Willard served as the master of ceremonies. Keynote speaker, Jennifer Taylor-Collins, shared with the attendees the pervasiveness of domestic abuse in our community and nation and guided the community members and student leaders how to look for warning signs for potentially abusive situations in their own relationships and that of those in their inner circle. In addition, Loyola was proud to have an alumna, Jasmine N. Brown, an Associate in the Metairie office of Blue Williams, L.L.P., Attorneys and Counselors at Law speak at the event. Brown received her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and her Juris Doctorate from Louisiana State University. The brunch also featured a powerful liturgical movement performance
by Tahirah Thea Stevens.
Survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault for more than 10 years and has since provided prevention education to countless middle school, high school, college students and young adults in the metropolitan New Orleans area. She has conducted customized presentations to more than 6,000 students, school personnel, and community advocates; developed and hosted a variety dating/ sexual violence prevention programs and events; and consulted with a myriad of agencies, churches and schools. Her work includes presenting a webinar for Teen Dating Violence Awareness month in collaboration with the Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI), being invited by Louisiana Appleseed to present to the New Orleans City Council, serving as a facilitator with the New Orleans Sexual Assault Response Team (NOLA SART), and serving on the board of the Safe Spaces Coalition. Furthermore, she established the Speak Up! Dating & Sexual Abuse Prevention Program at the New Orleans Family Justice Center which has significantly grown since its initiation in 2007. Jennifer has made it her mission to help others through her insight, humor, and empathy. Through her tenacity and motivation, she continues to be committed to ending the cycle of violence in her community. Ms. J is a graduate of Dillard University where she received her Bachelor of the Arts degree in Psychology.
Gross is currently the Tour Manage for New Orleans jazz-funk band, Galactic. Boyfriend describes herself as “a writer, rapper, singer, producer, performance artist and fashion visionary. Her over-thetop live show along with her messages of female empowerment and inclusivity have helped to develop a dedicated fan base… a fan base of hair-curler adorned hes, shes and theys… a fan base of lingerie-wearing straights, gays and undecideds… a fan base of enlightened youth as well as the old and wise. BOYFRIEND is not to be slept on.” DJ Soul Sister is the award-winning “queen of rare groove,” and not only one of the longest-running live DJ artists (mixing and blending 100% vinyl) in her hometown of New Orleans, but known worldwide as a vinyl crate digger, party promoter, and tastemaker.
Successful Women in the Music Industry by Andie Slein
Even though each woman holds a very different position within the entertainment industry, the three were able to agree on one thing—they have to work much harder than their male counterparts to succeed. In a business where personal connections are so vital, these women noted that they have to overcome constant sexism in order to prove themselves by exceeding expectations set for them, whereas men in their fields only need to meet these expectations. Each of the speakers encouraged young women in industry to prepare for the battles in front of them, to stay true to themselves, and to build up other women along the way. Great advice from some powerful women in entertainment!
The Music Industry Studies department welcomed three professional women in music, Chrissy Gross, Boyfriend, and DJ Soul Sister to share their experiences as females in a male dominated industry. Professor Kate Duncan, a full-time faculty and Coordinator of the Popular & Commercial Music program at Loyola University New Orleans and an active musician and arranger in New Orleans, moderated
Intersectional Feminism Forum by Athena Merida
public spaces. She prints her photographs on fabric, using a manual technique. Most recently her work deals with threatened Afro-Colombian cultural traditions.
Feminist Fridays Presents... Discipline and Femininity: A Discussion on Foucault & Feminist Theory by Dr. ConConstance Mui
The women of these Afro-Colombian communities have been engulfed by war and drug trafficking, losing many loved sons and husbands to drug fishing, forcing them to face physical and psychological violence. Along the way these women have lost their voices; the excessive violence and trauma halted their love of singing; historically singing and dancing served as the formation and bond of their community, and brought the women close together. The women have begun returning to this tradition to preserve their culture and embrace The Intersectional Feminism Forum had an their identities. One popular dance is Salsa array of panelists that specialized in differ- Choke, which is geographically specific to ent areas under the umbrella of feminism. the women in the art exhibit, and mixes hip Jaita Talukdar was one of the panelists who movements, foot patterns, and small arm is an associate professor in the DepartFeminist Fridays is a student organization movements. ment of Sociology and is the co-chair for that meets weekly in the Women’s Resource the Women’s Studies program. Dr. TalukLiving Room (Marquette 315) to discuss Zennaro seeks to stem the erasure of dar is originally from India, so moving to contemporary feminist topics. Andie Slein Afro-Colombian women through her art the United States to further her studies in has served as the moderator this year and and her narratives of these communities. Sociology also came with a culture change. She uses a special transfer process to place co-moderator last year with Lucia Vives. She touched on the expectations her own her photographs on cloth to symbolize the The moderators select topics to discuss family had for her career and how it difbased on contemporary struggles and lead importance of fabric; fabrics serve to hold fered from her own goals. She now focuses and bind, while also serving as a metaphor the discussion. Feminist Fridays focuses on on the global perception of fitness and how for the Afro-Colombian women who hold intersectional feminism. it affects the mindset of urban Indians. I onto their culture and bind the commuloved learning more about the issues that The moderators invited Dr. Constance Mui nity together. The fabric also serves as a we might face not only in our community, (Youree Watson Distinguished Professor metaphor for the way these women have but globally as well. of Philosophy and founding member of weaved themselves into the cultural fabric of Colombia by performing songs for their the Women's Studies Program at Loyola University) to speak to the group and communities. Zennaro emphasized that International Women’s Day guests about her fascinating interpretations these women are being replaced by difAntonia Zennaro and a of Michel Foucault and feminist theory. Dr. ferent cultural elements, torn out of their Celebration of Afro-Colombi- cultural fabric in a way. The beautiful pho- Mui specializes in Continental Philosophy, with emphases on Sartre and Feminist tographs of these women weaved onto the an Women in Art and fabric is meant to honor them, to recognize Theory. She is Executive Editor of the Photography journal, Sartre Studies International, and them, to share their powerful and moving By Emmaline Bouchillon is co-editor of a forthcoming 45-chapter culture with the world. Rachel Barnack anthology entitled, The Sartrean Mind, to Serena Hill be published by Routledge in 2018. On March 8, International Women’s Day, the WRC in conjunction with Dittmar Dittrich from of Loyola’s Center for International Education hosted Antonia Zennaro’s “A Celebration of Afro-Colombian in Art and Photography.” Zennaro is a documentary photographer and social artist, who works on long term projects in conflict zones and their aftermath, exploring memory, traditions and the human condition. Her visual communication seeks to build bridges and bring the different realities into
Painting Through Trauma By Sequoya La Joy “Painting Through Trauma” was a guided meditation meets painting workshop led by Portia Gordon from STAR. Portia is a licensed professional counselor who specializes in work around trauma. The workshop opened with calming music and went on to
include guided imagery with guided mediation. We then painted ourselves as rosebushes or how we pictured rosebushes. Some participants chose to share or explain their paintings and the trauma associated with them. It was a safe and inclusive space that allowed trauma survivors a sliver of safety and an opportunity to express themselves.
Melange Dance Company’s HerStory HerStory, presented by the Melange Dance Company, is a journey of America’s waves of feminism through dance. Opening with the suffrage struggle and culminating with the #MeToo Movement, Melange dancers provided a deep insight into the struggles women have confronted and continue to face. The program is enriched with video clips that educate the audience on the cultural context of the stages of feminism. The use of these videos in conjunction with the dancers’ careful choice in music and movement gives us a visual timeline of the plight of women in this country. Journey back with us as we remember the powerful performance of HerStory through the photographs of the exceptional show.
Photo Credit Tomas Oriheula
Hi Anxiety: Life with a Bad Case of Nerves Luncheon with Author, Kat Kinsman by Athena Merida Meeting Kat Kinsman gave me comfort to know how different people function throughout their daily lives with anxiety. She discussed what was written in her book, Hi Anxiety: Life with a Bad Case of Nerves, and how she personally had to deal with the consequences of dealing with it by herself. She also spoke on how her family and friends dealt with her anxiety and how important it was for them to be there for her as much as she could be for them. I, myself and others who attended, admitted to experiencing and being diagnosed with anxiety. It’s hard to live in a world of people who probably will never experience anxiety. Kinsman discussed how some people function just fine, but they will never understand how people with anxiety function daily. It was nice to be in a safe space where others understood the troubles I experience and Kinsman removed the stigma of anxiety and made it something that wasn’t bad to discuss.
Kelly Fields, and Kristen Essig. Wiggins was until very recently the executive chef at the French Quarter gastropub Sylvain. Zagat named her one of its “30 Under 30” for New Orleans in 2017. She was featured in Southern Living in 2017 as “one of thirty women moving southern food forward.” Fields is the Chef Partner of Willa Jean, named for her grandmother. She has received numerous accolades, including Eater New Orleans’s “Chef of the Year” for 2016 and a nomination for the prestigious James Beard Award for Outstanding Pastry Chef. Essig is the co-chef/owner at Coquette and has been named as one of Food and Wine’s “People’s Best New Chefs” in 2015.
Kat Kinsman, Senior Food and Drink’s editor Time’s breakfast-focused site, ExtraCripsy and Mary Sonier, co-owner with husband Greg of Gabrielle Restaurant moderated the panel. The women shared stories of how they navigated a variety of challenges, including gendered obstacles to achieve success. We were struck particularly about how they perceived their work Open Kitchens: Women Chefs kitchens as an extended home and their employees as part of their extended famChanging the New Orleans ily. They spoke of the importance of high Food Scene expectations, but also inclusiveness and by Patricia Boyett and Grace Riddick compassion. At the close of the panel, Leah Chase spoke of how her kitchen served as The Women’s Resource Center in conjunc- her refuge and her joy; when she lost her tion with Dr. Justin Nystrom, the Director mother, she “stayed in the kitchen. I lost of the Center for the Study of New Orleans, my daughter, stayed in the kitchen. I lost hosted a panel of phenomenal women chefs my husband . . . he died in the kitchen.” But and explored their struggles and triumphs always she returned to her pots in good in a male-dominated industry. The event times and bad; cooking for people makes was held in honor of pioneering chefs in “people happy.” And she finds such honor New Orleans, Leah Chase and Ella Brenin joy in making folks happy. nan, in whose name CSNO and the WRC are seeking to fund two scholarships. The panelists included, Martha Wiggins,
The Leah Chase and Ella Brennan Women’s Scholarship: This scholarship is awarded to women who exemplify the persistence and adventurous spirit of Leah Chase and Ella Brennan, both of whom broke gender barriers in the restaurant industry and became pioneering leaders in their fields. The scholarship is designed for women who seek to model both the perseverance and determination of these legendary New Orleans figures and who demonstrate a commitment to the social justice mission of Loyola University New Orleans by serving as women with and for others. Throughout their educational experience, recipients of this award will work with a mentor who will help them excel in their intellectual pursuits, cultivate leadership skills, engage in community service experiences, and develop a professional network with successful women in New Orleans. These scholars will have the opportunity to collaborate with a diverse community that seeks to empower women to reach their full potential and to navigate contemporary obstacles to become the pioneers of their generation.
tives in an industry dominated by men. We were pleased to show six films and to host a talk back with the winning filmmaker, Daneeta Loretta Jackson. Destiny Lives Down The Road, directed by Daneeta and her husband and creative partner, Patrick Jackson, is a coming of age story about Destiny, a seventeen-year-old who is seeking to protect her young sisters and escape the poverty that they suffer caused by an environmental disaster, a drug addict mother, and a deadbeat dad. Destiny, who was a talented dancer before the natural disaster struck, works a variety of odd jobs to pay for dance classes. Destiny dreams of “dancing her way out this hellhole.” However, she soon “realizes that the difference between fantasy and reality is vast. It's time to grow up”
The Women Filmmakers Short Film Competition
by Rachel Barnack, Patricia Boyett, and Olivia Dadoun The Women Filmmakers Short Film Competition showcased the top film submissions created by women from all over the world on March 13, 2018 in Loyola’s Nunemaker Hall. Films from New Orleans, Texas, France, Germany, and Australia explored a variety of struggles and joys women confront, including poverty, ageism, xenophobia, infertility, sex and love. The Women’s Resource Center partnered for the third year in a row with Caterina Picone to launch the showcase and competition. Picone served as Head of Programming. A senior majoring in English with a focus on Film and Digital Media, Picone is already an award-winning filmmaker. Her film, Ophelia, which she produced and directed, won the best interpretation of Shakespeare at the 2017 Shakespeare Film Festival in Stratford-upon-Avon. She is currently working on a short film, The Language Of Silence. We consider the short film competition a vital part of our festival as we hope to empower women and women’s narra-
Jackson informed the audience that gathered in Nunemaker that she was delighted to return to Loyola University New Orleans. She graduated from Loyola with a BA in English in the 1980s. She credits storytelling “masters” such as John Biguenet, Peggy McCormack and Ted Cotton for teaching her how to construct interesting narratives. “More importantly,” she notes, “I learned about social justice. A lot of our films deal with social issues, and I think the desire to tell those stories came somewhat from my Jesuit education.” Jackson worked as a writer for several years, including stints for several magazines in Tokyo, Japan. In Tokyo, she fell in love with the “indy scene,” which altered her career path. She moved to England to attend the London Film School, where she met Patrick, her soon-to-husband and creative partner. While in film school in 2000, they founded The ElekTrik Zoo, now a New Orleans-based creative content collective. Jackson graduated from the London
Film School in 2003 at the age of 37. Jackson revealed that she has faced both sexism and ageism when she began making films. “In the beginning,” she recalls, “I had to fight very hard for my vision. I was constantly questioned: are you sure this is the way you want to do it? Are you sure you know how to do that? Are you sure you want to be a director? Maybe you should work in makeup. Let me help you, sweetheart.” And she watched with frustration men, who had less experience and talent, succeed with the help of “the old boy network.” However, she persisted, and ultimately decided: “I'm going to do it my way. I'm the director. If you don't like my vision, then buh bye.” Jackson has had an exciting career ever since. Through The ElekTrik Zoo, the Jacksons have made over 40 short-form narrative, documentary, and experimental films, and 3 long-form films, as well as projection art and a variety of commercial, industrial, PSA, branded videos, social media spots and web videos for clients large and small. They have screened and exhibited their work in 32 countries. The Jacksons like “to tell stories both fiction and documentary that blur the boundaries between made up and truth.” They tend to focus on stories of “female disfunction, developing identity as a girl-child and the essence of the feminine for childfree women past childbearing years.” In 2008, Jackson, a native of Louisiana was drawn back to her home state after 15 years abroad. Influenced by the struggles that still lingered across south Louisiana in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the Jacksons started filming Daneeta’s nieces and nephews in the middle of Chalmette, which she notes “was still a disaster area.” They called the fictional place they were creating, “Down the Road,” and experimented with “themes of innocence and magic and coming of age in a post-apocalyptic world.” One of Daneeta’s nieces, Dominique, became the inspiration for Destiny as they were moved by her struggle to fit back into her post-Katrina life. They fictionalized a story around Dominique and “cast real people as fictionalized versions of themselves.” They had no resources, so they borrowed everything they could; they borrowed a camera from “the late, great Royce Osborn, we borrowed a car, used our own
stuff and the kids’ toys as props, and we rented a burned-out trailer from a guy who turned out to be the Opioid king of St. Bernard Parish. This is the way we shot Destiny lives Down the Road for $800.” The film was a hit; it won Best Louisiana Short at the New Orleans Film Festival and screened internationally at Oscar qualifying festivals such as the London Film Festival and Bristol Brief Encounters. Moreover, it attracted the curators at the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans who commissioned The ElekTrik Zoo to produce “Chalmatia: a fictional place Down the Road,” funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Louisiana Division of the Arts. As Jackson notes, the exhibition “included over 400 photographs, 86 text pieces, an hour-long film, and an installation component.”
it “explores,” she notes, “the eventual loss of our Homeland to climate change.” In addition to all of these projects, the Jacksons created a Twitter Bot that engages people in conversations about Childfree women; and collage stories told from the perspective of the “children of disaster.” We are deeply inspired by the Jacksons’s work and moved by the many mediums they have experimented with to share the narratives of girls and women. "Destiny lives Down the Road" info: Seventeen-year-old Destiny lives in the wake of one environmental disaster after another. If that's not enough, she's got a deadbeat dad, and her mom parties until dawn every night. Her fantasy is to dance her way out of this hell hole and bring her sisters with her. When she joins a dance school after a five-year hiatus, she realizes that the difference between fantasy and reality is vast. It's time to grow up. 'Destiny lives Down the Road' blends fiction and creative non-fiction into a coming of age story set in the real post disaster landscape of Chalmette, Louisiana. The film follows the fictional Destiny as she interacts with all non-actors playing themselves in real situations.
Destiny helped the Jacksons develop what Daneeta calls “our trademark hybrid style of using live locations and real people as actors. We believe that it lends a level of authenticity to our work. . . . Our stories can’t just happen anywhere. They are set squarely Down the Road.” And they have continued to develop a variety of projects from Destiny. Their transmedia work, which is a form of telling stories across multiple formats and platforms, includes the creation of a fictional world located somewhere in Southeast Louisiana called "Down the Road".
Currently, they are working toward producing a feature film, based on Destiny. But the Jacksons are always working on many different projects at once. Their film, Nicaboob “about a teenaged boy who is bullied off of Youtube only to discover a real human connection” is on the festival circuit. Their documentary about the history of the Industrial Canal screened on April 25 at Sync Up Cinema. They are also in preproduction for an “experimental documentary” funded by the Jazz and Heritage Foundation. Homeland (a working title), is a project close to Daneeta Jackson’s heart;
The Feminist Festival hosted Elyce Picciotti, state lead of Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In Circles to introduce the concept of them to the Loyola community. Sandberg formed the concept of the circles from her book, Lean In, which summons women to seek leadership roles in every industry and to literally and physically lean in—to take up as much space as possible. Only when women share leadership will women achieve equality. The circles, usually consisting of 10 to 12 women, function as support and networking groups to help empower women.
by Avalon Harold and Ragine Green
It was important because it provided a solution and an action plan for us women to take greater steps in repaving our own paths. As women, we are finally taking charge and shaping our futures so that we do not face injustice any longer. LeanIn Circles have helped so many women around the world feel empowered, heard, unified, and professional. Bringing a second Circle to Louisiana would help change so many sexist norms that still exist in the South. During the presentation, Picciotti, founder of the first Lean-In Circle in Louisiana, showed a video called “The State of Women” that brought me and others in the room to tears. This event in Feminist Festival 2018 demonstrated the kinds of wonderful and powerful change women can make when we unite and strive towards a common goal of total equality.
Crawfish Boil & Feminist Concert By Victoria Williams
Where there’s crawfish, there’s a long line of hungry Loyola students waiting to get theirown basket of tasty mudbugs! The crawfish boil and concert was a lively event filled with delicious food and great music from some of Loyola’s most talented musicians, including Marissa Marissa Cazalas, a Colombian-American singer/ songwriter, producer, pianist, bassist, and guitarist in New Orleans. She writes and performs Pop/Rock songs with a jazzy and soulful twist. She grew up listening to and being influenced by John Mayer, George Harrison, and Norah Jones, and began playing piano at just three years old. She is now writing, recording, performing, and producing her own music in New Orleans, LA. It was a joy to hear her play; we all sat back, enjoyed the tunes, and chowed down on some fried Oreos and crawfish.
Celebrating Loyola Community Feminists
s we have the great privilege of working with so many amazing feminists through the Women’s Resource Center, we would like to take this time to honor some fabulous feminists honored by the Women’s Resource Center and the Women’s Studies Program.
The Outstanding Feminist Staff Member Award
Dr. Diana Ward, Chief Student Conduct Officer and Title IX Deputy
This award is presented to a staff member annually who demonstrates an exemplary commitment to gender equality through service, leadership, programming, and/or advocacy. Dr. Ward attended Tulane University, earning her B.A. in Anthropology, her M.Ed in Educational Administration and Leadership Development from Arizona State University, and her PhD in Educational Leadership from the University of New Orleans. She has done extensive research on matters relating to Education Law. We are so fortunate that she accepted the position of Chief Student Conduct Officer and Title IX Deputy at Loyola this fall. From the moment she arrived, she devoted herself to clarifying our policies on Title IX and conduct and creating a system of restorative justice. In addition, she has reached out tirelessly to student organizations and to faculty and staff members to host workshops and seminars on our policies.
In addition, Dr. Ward demonstrates a devotion to intersectional feminism by creating an inclusive environment and working to share with the Loyola community her exceptional knowledge of a myriad of gender issues and a deep understanding of laws designed to prohibit gender discrimination, including Title IX and Title VII. She has gone beyond her call of duty to engage in programming with the Women’s Resource Center; she has developed an exceptional Transgender 101 workshop for Love Your Body Week, and she is serving as our keynote speaker before our screening of Light of the Moon next Wednesday for Fem Fest. Dr. Ward practices the Jesuit mission of social justice and compassion in all her work. Her professionalism, her intellect, and her kindness have made her one of the most admired staff members on campus. We are delighted to honor Diana Ward as our Outstanding Feminist Staff Member.
The Feminist Faculty Member of the Year
it in her classrooms, in her research, and in her service. She is always willing to engage in thoughtful dialogues with students and colleagues about difficult issues and to reach deeper truths and understandings. She is one of the most popular professors on campus with students and colleagues. We are delighted to honor Dr. Bingham as our Feminist Faculty Member of the Year.
The Outstanding Feminist Alum Award
Dr. Natasha Bingham, Assistant Professor of Political Science
Dr. Bingham’s teaching interests include comparative politics, comparative social movements, central and Eastern European politics/Russian politics, women and minorities in politics, Women and Gender Studies. She teaches courses on Comparative Politics, Russian Politics, Russian Philosophy and Russian Foreign Policy, and Women's and Gender Studies courses. Dr. Bingham always goes beyond the call of duty and has served as an advisor to LOVE and co-advisor to Women in Politics. She has served on multiple panels and given talks at a variety of feminist events, including at every feminist festival. She will moderate the panel tomorrow, “Intersectional Feminism” in Miller Hall 114, 6:30PM Dr. Bingham exemplifies the feminist spir-
Ms. Serna is an exceptional role model for young girls. As Patricia Boyett recalls, she first met Ms. Serna when she agreed to bring an Electric Girl demonstration to our first Feminist Festival. “It was such a pleasure to watch her interact with a young girl who had been a student at her camp the previous summer—as she brought her into the presentation and made her feel strong and intelligent and worthy of the attention of the audience. Ms. Serna is a role model for grown women as well. We all admire her a great deal at the WRC and are delighted to honor Flor Sern as the WRC’s Outstanding Feminist Alum.”
The Outstanding Community Partner Award
This award is presented to a faculty member annually who demonstrates an exemplary commitment to gender equally through teaching, scholarship and/or service. Dr. Natasha Bingham received her Ph.D. from Louisiana State University in 2012. Her research interests focus on intersectionality of gender, race, and ethnicity and gender and sexuality in former Soviet republics and US politics and has been published in PS: Political Science and Politics, Politics & Policy, Journal of Lesbian Studies, Women’s Studies: An Inter-Disciplinary Journal, and Comparative Sociology.
and their families in Louisiana.
Ms. Flor Serna This award is presented to a graduate annually who continues to exemplify the feminist mission of social justice by dedicating her/his/their life towards gender equality. Flor Serna is the co-founder and Executive Director of Electric Girls. In 2015, as a response to her experience as the only female recording engineer at Vital Sounds Recording, she founded Electric Girls to develop leadership skills in young girls through their learning of electronics and computer programming skills. Electric Girls has served more than 700 girls in the greater New Orleans area to date through in-school, after-school, weekend, and summer programs.
Ms. Portia Gordon This award is presented annually to a community partner who demonstrates an exemplary commitment to gender equality through service and advocacy throughout New Orleans and collaboration within the Loyola community.
Portia Gordon is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Registered Play Therapist. She currently holds the position of President for the Provisional Counseling Professionals of Louisiana, 2016-2018. Ms. Serna holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music Technology from Loyola University, Born and raised in Baton Rouge, Ms. with minors in business and computer sci- Gordon received her Bachelors of Science degree from Xavier University of Louisience. She previously taught STEAM (Sciana in Psychology, with a minor in Art, in ence, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) to fourth – seventh graders at Lou- 2010. She then stayed at Xavier to complete her Masters of Arts in Counseling, ise S. McGehee School and was the parttime director of the production studio and specializing in Clinical Mental Health, which she completed in 2013. She has been Mobile Idea Lab at St. Martin’s Episcopal a counselor at STAR® since 2013, but has School. Ms. Serna’s mission is to be a part of creating a more equitable future for girls always worked to educate and advocate for
healthier views of sexuality. She believes that through play, education and communication, we can create a world where sexual violence is no longer an issue. One of her greatest passions in life is to help others see their full potential and be their own change agent
ful for his work and his presence in our Feminist community.
STAR has always been a wonderful community partner of the WRC and Ms. Gordon has been particularly extraordinary to work with. She has come on campus on numerous occasions to share her expertise with us and to host workshops. Most recently, she hosted the Painting Through Trauma workshop at our Feminist Festival for survivors. Ms. Gordon provides such hope and care for survivors. We are thrilled to honor her as our Outstanding Community Partner.
Patricia Boyett considers Mr. Taylor a phenomenal staff member and was not surprised that his peers selected him for this award. As she asserts, “I was immediately impressed with Mr. Taylor’s incredible talent as an artist and a graphic designer; his creative ideas and his dedication to his craft push him to always learn new skills and to develop innovative artistic pieces. In addition, he is exceptionally responsible and already carries himself like a professional. I am also struck by his ability to work both as a leader and team player on the art team and in collaboration with other WRC teams. He is a phenomenal artist and person, and it is a great pleasure to work with him.”
The Distinguished Service to the WRC
WRC Feminist Leadership Award: Recipients
Hadori Bukle: Ms. Bukle is a sophomore, Business Management and Marketing double major from Phoenix, Arizona. Her passion for equal rights led her to work in the Women's Resource Center in early 2016. In addition to her work at the center, Ms. Bukle is a member of a national business fraternity, Delta Sigma Pi (Delta Nu chapter) and served as VP of the organization. A brilliant scholar who has earned a 3.7 GPA, she is also the recipient of the Student Investment Fund Scholarship for 2017 from the College of Business. Ms. Bukle has worked at the WRC since the spring of 2016. As Patricia Boyett recalls, “She impressed me immediately as a consummate professional who is mature far beyond her young years and carries herself. Ms. Bukle completes every project with meticulousness and dedication and is a model employee.”
Mr. Lance Taylor
Ms. Hadori Bukle & Ms. Andie Slein
This award is presented annually to a student who went far beyond her/his/their duty at the center to develop projects, help other students, and ensure the success of the WRC. Self-nominations are acceptable.
This award is presented annually to a student who is an outstanding feminist leader. The selected student demonstrates such leadership through activism, advocacy, and programming in collaboration with the Women’s Resource Center and the Women’s Studies Program.
Lance Taylor is a freshman art major. He began working at the WRC during the fall semester and impressed the director and all the staff members immediately with his imaginative mind, his incredible talent as an artist and graphic designer, his devotion to the work, and his great sense of humor. He designed the poster for Feminist Festival and the program. He has also contributed his artwork and designs to our Feminist Forum magazine. He has gone beyond and above the call of duty on multiple occasions, and we are all so grate-
This year the WRC student staff selected two people to receive this award: Hadori Bukle and Andie Slein
Ms. Bukle has been central to the planning and execution of workshops and networking luncheons designed to help women excel in the workforce. She so impressed a CEO at a networking luncheon that she was invited to coffee to discuss her future career prospects. She currently serves in the role as the WRC’s team leader for programming and contributes a column on women in business in our Feminist Forum. In addition, Ms. Bukle has served as a wonderful role model and has helped many students reorganize their lives, focus on their studies, and move as professional and confident women in the world. Boyett calls Ms. Bukle “the CEO—because I am quite certain she will be a CEO one day and help break many glass ceilings for herself and for others.”
Women’s Studies Awards
Andie Slein is a senior pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Music Industry and a minor in Legal Studies. Ms. Slein will attend Loyola Law School in Los Angeles in the fall. Ms. Slein began working at the WRC in 2015 and impressed everyone at the center with her many skills. She has worked as a graphic designer, the managing editor for our magazine, Feminist Forum, and as an officer manager. In addition to her work at the WRC, Ms. Slein serves as the moderator of Feminist Fridays, helped launch a social justice movement in the wake of the election in 2016, and has produced and directed Vagina Monologues. Patricia Boyett notes, “I have always been amazed by Ms. Slein’s exceptional work ethic; she always takes overloads for classes and works several jobs; and she still finds time to daily work toward advancing feminism. When she graduates, I will miss the many powerful conversations I have had with her about feminism. I admire her courage in daring to think critically about the feminist movement and leading and moderating difficult conversations about feminism. I am certain that she will become a successful lawyer and that she will pave many important paths for women in the legal field and beyond.”
Ms. Sequoya La Joy Sequoya La Joy is graduating in 2018 with a degree in sociology and a minor in criminology. Throughout Ms. La Joy’s academic career at Loyola, she has devoted herself to gender equality. She has led Students Against Sexual Assault for years and worked at the Women’s Resource Center since 2015. She has been a Social Justice Scholar since Fall 2016 and has volunteered with organizations such as STAR, Hollygrove Farmer's Market, The Barman's Fund, and most recently with Cafe Con Ingles and Southeast Louisiana Legal Services. As a SASA leader and a WRC staff member, Ms. La Joy has organized screenings of the Hunting Ground and Light of the Moon, Title IX talks, and STAR workshops. As the fundraising leader at the WRC, she has been key in our fundraising efforts for STAR and the Family Justice Center during Denim Day and Take Back the Night and broke the fundraising record for Take Back the Night in 2016. She has applied for and received many diversity and SGA grants for intersectional feminist programming, which included a panel on a women's organization in Congo that created healing communities for women who suffered from gender violence. In addition, she, along with another wonderful student, Gabrielle Rodriguez, received an SGA and diversity grant to attend the renowned Feminist Camp in New York this summer. Ms. La Joy considers her greatest accomplishment the research she has embarked upon for her capstone project. She recreated a survey executed 10 years ago on Loyola's campus by Sociology professor,
Dr. Marcus Kondkar, that gauges attitudes and experiences with sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking. The sexual coercion study has been dispersed to a random sample of 20 undergraduate courses at Loyola and a fraction of the data will be used for my capstone presentation and then presented and published in full hopefully in the Fall of 2018. A brave woman determined to help others, she also served as the keynote speaker of Take Back the Night in 2015 and constantly advocates for survivors. Patricia Boyett considers Ms. La Joy among the most dedicated and compassionate students at Loyola and perceives her research and advocacy work on sexual assault vital for survivors. “It has been such a wonderful and powerful experience to work with Ms. La Joy, and I have no doubt that she will use her exceptional talents as a writer, a programmer, a researcher, and an advocate to make the world a more just and feminist place.” Sequoya was also awared the Janet Mary Riley Award for the Advancement of Women's Issues. This award is presented to a Loyola student who has demonstrated outstanding leadership on issues central to women on campus and in the larger community. The student promotes the mission of Loyola University New Orleans and has demonstrated commitment to women's issues through programming, research, leading an organization, or through other academic efforts.
Check out Issue No. 4 in Fall 2018 for the writings of the three other winners of the 2018 Women's Studies Award Writing Awards: Francesca Bua, “Overcoming Oppression Through Expression," essay written for Dr. Elizah Buhrer’s class on Women in the Middle Ages Thanh Mai, “The Infantilization of Women," essay written for Dr. Constance Mui’s class on Philosophical Perspectives on Woman Molly Olwig, “In My Watermelon Dress” (Short story)
Honoring Loyola Feminist Administrator & Faculty Members for Dedicated Service to Gender Equality at Loyola and Beyond Dr. Melanie McKay
Dr. Melanie McKay is Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs and Associate Professor of English at Loyola University New Orleans. She received her PhD from Tulane University in 1982 and has had an exceptional and diverse career. She served as the director of the James L. Knight Center for the University of Miami and the founding director for the University of New Orleans Downtown Center. She arrived at Loyola in 1990 and joined the English Department. In addition to teaching and writing numerous books and articles on rhetoric, professional communications, and literature, she became Director of Writing Across the Curriculum and later Special Assistant to the Provost for Professional Development and founded the Center for Faculty Innovation. In 2009, she accepted the position of Vice Provost in 2009. She has created remarkable programs for faculty development and the First-Year Experience for Loyola freshmen. Dr. McKay has also brought her expertise and talent to the New Orleans community. She has served as a consultant in professional communications to non-profits, financial institutions, government agencies and industry. She also consulted and taught for the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities. In addition, she served as the Vice President of the Board of the fabulous Tennessee Williams Literary Fes-
tival and director of literary programming for several years. A lifelong feminist, Dr. McKay has also been deeply involved and supportive of the Women’s Resource Center and the Women’s Studies Program at Loyola. As Vice Provost, the director of the Women’s Resource Center reports to her. The current director, Patricia Boyett, is deeply grateful for the incredible support Dr. McKay has shown to the center and the admirable manner in which she works daily to ensure that women have a substantial voice on campus and in the larger New Orleans community. In addition, she is an ideal supervisor who provides the space for the director and the thirty students who work at the center to develop and create programming and the magazine, while also providing brilliant guidance. She serves as a model feminist in her magnificent success as a scholar, professor, consultant, and administrator as well as in her devotion to empowering women. We have been so grateful for her presence and will profoundly miss her as she retires this year. Thank you Dr. McKay!
see my name being nominated for a position, I knew it was Barbara who must have suggested it. When I hit those bumps in the road as an international female faculty of color, I went to Barbara for the support. Her doors were always open for me. For that I will be indebted forever. She, however, is not only my feminist foremother, but also Loyola’s. Barbara came to Loyola in 1984 from the University of Mississippi where she was one of the founders of the Sara Isom Center for Women, which was among the first women’s centers and women’s studies programs in Mississippi. When she arrived at Loyola, she started working with some of her fearless female colleagues such as Dr. Connie Mui (in the department of Philosophy) and Dr. Cathy Wessinger (in the dept. of Religious Studies) to not only restart the WRC which was closed down in 1980 due to budgetary reasons, but also to start a Women’s Studies Minor here at Loyola. Her story tells us that it was a difficult task to accomplish when while courses such as the “Philosophy of Man” was being offered, folks could not understand why a minor was needed that focused on women. The persistence of Barbara and her colleagues paid off in 1988, when the workgroup submitted their proposal for the Women’s Studies minor, and in 1989, the curriculum committee approved it, making it the first interdisciplinary minor at Loyola. Over the years, Barbara has taught courses such as “Women in Literature” and “Southern Women Writers” and has been an ardent supporter of both the minor and the center. For folks who are unaware, it is Barbara’s monetary gift to us that has it made it possible to have our very own Women’s Dr. Barbara C. Ewell Studies Collaborative Research Grant. By Jaita Talukdar with Grace Riddick I, along with all my colleagues and students in the Women’s Studies As the Dorothy H. Brown Distinguished Program and at the Women’s Resource Professor of English, Barbara C. Center want to thank Barbara for all that Ewell’s list of accomplishments are long, she has done for us. To show our appreciabut today I would like to talk about how tion to this amazing woman, we her role in nurturing and protecting young unanimously agreed to rename the crefeminists on campus, and making sure ative writing contest in her name. Starting that they thrived as academics and activthis year, it will be called the Barbara C. ists. I first met her at a reading group Ewell Women’s Studies Creative Writing held in the Women’s Resource Center Contest. almost ten years back. Oover the years, I have known her as a very supportive colleague who was not only making sure that I get a seat in the table, but that I also had a chance to speak up. When I would
Loyola University New Orleans Women's Resource Center Feminist Forum Magazine May 2018