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GENDER IN THE NEWS Global Terror at the Margins: Lessons from Chibok What’s Not in the News Did You Know? Artist Spotlight In Response
Events & Kudos Response to Santa Barbara Incident of Violence
JOY FERGODA LIBRARY
Rest In Power: Maya Angelou & Yuri Kochiyama Reading List
All-Gender Bathrooms WRRC Summer Resources Each Aggie Matters Crisis Resources
FACULTY INSIGHT | by Dr. Amina Mama
Global Terror at the Margins: Lessons from Chibok
People demanding the release of abducted secondary school girls from the remote village of Chibok, in Lagos, Nigeria on May 5, 2014. Photo credit: Reuters
On May 14th 2014 over 300 school girls were abducted from the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State by heavily armed men, an event that will remain etched in the collective memory of Nigerians for the foreseeable future. Government inaction during the ensuring weeks compounded the pain and frustration of Nigerians, leading to daily
public protests. A politics of solidarity leads us to find common cause with the young women and their families, in basic human ways that transcend the religious, ethnic, class, gender and caste stratifications of nation and location. The Chibok incident is a harsh reminder of the misogynistic and militarized realities that feminists have resisted throughout modern history. Women in Nigeria have struggled long and hard to against misogynistic violence that has featured in Nigeria’s heavily militarized nation since the colonial occupation. i What can we learn and how must we respond? Who can do what at local and national levels? Can our muchcelebrated 50 year-old African Union–currently chaired by the first woman ever–be prevailed upon to pressure the Government of Nigeria to do better? What does this particular event tell us about the global geopolitical and economic conditions under which the abuse and trafficking of women and girls in war zones continue to rise and enjoy such impunity? Dr. Mama continued on page four
WHAT’S NOT IN THE NEWS / VIEWPOINT
Blood Donor Restrictions by Hannah Southgate The Red Cross reports that over 41,000 blood donations are needed per day in order to keep a stable blood supply for patients in need, making blood donation is a necessary and important act. The FDA, however, has banned donations from men who have sex with men (MSM) since the 1980s in order to reduce potentially infected donations from a then high-risk group for HIV. Only 10% of the 38% of the eligible US population donates blood; in light of the fact that advances in HIV testing have made this blanket restriction irrelevant, this rule must be taken down in order to combat both the implicit homophobia and the blood deficiency. Since calling for a boycott towards blood donation would only worsen the blood deficit, gay, bisexual, and queer men have organized a National Gay Blood Drive that provides HIV testing followed by standardized blood donation in order to show how much healthy blood the FDA is rejecting by instating a lifelong ban on MSM. With other countries such as Italy, Mexico, and Spain not placing discriminatory restrictions on MSM, it is important to put pressure on the FDA to remove this rule from the list of donor qualifications and encourage blood donation from as many people as possible, rather than unnecessarily limiting the donor pool.
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DID YOU KNOW?
Preferred Name Policy 2014 Awardees UC Davis is now allowing students to have their preferred first name displayed in public and semi-public university information systems. For UCD purposes, the Office of the Registrar defines preferred name as “a first name (i.e. given name) that may be chosen to be used instead of [a student’s] legal first name.” While legal name will still show up in certain contexts, such as on government documents, a student’s chosen or preferred name will be used “whenever possible,” including on SmartSite and AggieCards. Currently, students are only able to change their first names, with the exception of the UCD Campus Directory, where it is possible to edit first, middle, and/or last name. More information is available at: registrar.ucdavis.edu/records/preferred-name.cfm
Congratulations to the 2014 awardees of the Ellen Hansen Memorial Prize, and thank you to all the artists who submitted work! Anna Martinez | Winner Actual Size 16x15x9.5 cm Emily Wikle | Honorable Mention What do you see? Lauren Rayburn | Honorable Mention Metamorphosis The Ellen Hansen Memorial Prize is awarded annually to a UCD woman student whose original creative project best demonstrates the bravery and independence of women. The gallery exhibit was displayed at the Pence Gallery in downtown Davis (212 D Street) from May 9–25.
Pregnancy and Media Misogyny by Torey Dolan On April 17, Chelsea Clinton announced that she and her husband are expecting their first child. While the Clintons are a prominent family in U.S. politics–her parents are a former Secretary of State and a former President–Chelsea Clinton’s pregnancy is a personal milestone, not a political event. The 24-hour news media, however, took this announcement and began to question if this would prevent Hillary from a possible 2016 presidential campaign; as several commentators have noted, this question is not only irrelevant but sexist. Grandchildren are not perceived to be a hindrance to a male politician’s career. Mitt Romney, for instance, has a small army of grandkids, so why would one hinder Hillary? Simply put, misogyny permeates 3 | wrrc.ucdavis.edu
our government systems. It is all too common in D.C. that women are marginalized in legislation and representation, but even in the rhetorical realm, politicians and media elites alike make it clear that women and other marginalized groups are outsiders. Women make up more than half the country yet less than 30 percent of the Senate. Even today the media questions a woman’s capability as a public official based on “hormones” and “emotion.” The media has a tendency to lock women–even highly educated and successful women such as Hillary Clinton– into harmful ideas of gender. Having a grandchild won’t hurt Hillary, the same way having two Presidents for grandparents wouldn’t hurt her grandchild.
continued from page two For the women’s movements across the vast African continent, Chibok manifests the failures of modern, multi-party-democracy state structures that consistently fail the people they govern and marginalize the interests of women and women’s movements. To respond effectively to the ongoing abductions and trafficking of women and girls requires clear-sighted analysis, and a commitment to change both the local and the global conditions that the Chibok tragedy reveals. Global media attention is at best a mixed blessing. On the positive side it has prevented the Chibok incident from being ignored. However the global attention is a mere whisper compared to the national outrage expressed in Nigeria’s vociferously free media. Here it has more direct effects, helping to galvanize civil society into action. Existing civil society organization are organizing sustained protests, and mobilizing citizens across the fracture lines of social injustices to bring women and men, Muslim and Christian alike, out in daily protests that confront a government that has shown staggering ineptitude. Perhaps President Goodluck Jonathan took up the ostrich-position, hoping that the case would disappear if he kept his head in the sand. He is even credited with escalating the crisis, following military’s attack on the Boko Haram camp in 2007. At that time, hundreds of followers were killed and the group’s principal mosque destroyed. Global mass-mediated attention has its downsides. The publicity it has afforded the local Islamist leaders of Boko Haram has seen them transform from a localized problem to recognition as a “global terrorist organization”, in the words of US President Obama. Even as members of the Nigerian public call for external help, local observers express concern that sensationalist attention might provide the USA with the excuse it has been looking for to expand the operations of the US High Command for Africa on African soil. ii Direct intervention from 4 | wrrc.ucdavis.edu
external forces may well worsen matters, especially if this involves further militarization, or facilitates the imperialist agendas that already dominate the world. So far the dispatch of 16 US military personnel has not produced results, although the Nigerian military now claim to know where the girls are. The truth is, whether they have been sighted or not, they remain lost almost a month after they disappeared into the Sambisa forest with their captors.
“To respond effectively to the ongoing abductions and trafficking of women and girls requires clearsighted analysis, and a commitment to change both the local and the global conditions that the Chibok tragedy reveals.” The global media attention will not last – the US public attention shifted to the matter of misogynist gun violence that hit the Isla Vista community during Memorial Day weekend. It will fall to Nigerian civil society and allies to sustain the pressure for meaningful action, instead of continued bungling. The President’s wife compounded the ire of protesters during the first peaceful march, ordering demonstrators to go home, and detaining a woman demonstrator from Chibok. iii Demonstrators have since been met with police and military forces, as well as busloads of hired hands brought in to disrupt the protests, creating serious challenges for civil society organizers. In the weeks that have passed since the abduction, no one has recovered the girls, and there is still no information on their whereabouts. However, local reports say that 53 of the girls have managed to escape on their own initiative, to find their way home through the harsh terrain. Their condition is not known at this time.
What can be done? Currently the African Women’s Development Fund (www.awdf.org) and the San Francisco-based Global Fund for Women (www.globalfundforwomen.org) are mobilizing funding support for the local women’s organizations already engaged in anti-violence work on the ground. The funds they dispatch will be used to support the strategies that women’s movement organizers are already formulating. These combine immediate local support and outreach to the affected communities with medium and longer-term agendas. Beyond this, there are plans to develop individual and collective trauma counselling systems that are culturally appropriate need to be supported to develop community alert and response capabilities.
“Local women’s networks have consistently challenged the resurgence of religious conservatism that relies of hateful sexual politics.” More broadly, the existing women’s peace and anti-violence networks in the West African sub-region need to be dramatically strengthened and supported within and beyond the immediate vicinity of the worst affected communities. Organizing requires mobilizing and providing resources to those who will live and work in the affected areas long after the hue and cry has died down. Local women’s networks have consistently challenged the resurgence of religious conservatism that relies on hateful sexual politics. Women across Nigeria are demanding that secular education and economic justice must be strengthened to build community resistance to all forms of extremism.
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For poor communities, and for women in particular, education and decent livelihoods remain the most viable routes to freedom and security. Let us hope that the sad fate of the young women of Chibok can galvanise serious efforts to reverse the marginalization of poor communities living out the consequences of a global order that commodifies and sexualizes of women, and has seen a small religious sect at the margins of a post-modern world to re-emerge as the world’s latest ‘Global Terror’ organization. • i The village of Chibok is situated in a region that was briefly colonized by the British the Northern Protectorate from 1900-1914. In 1914 this colony was unified with Southern Nigeria Protectorate and the Lagos Colony, becoming the Northern Province of colonial Nigeria. ii An independent investigation carried out in 2013 found recent U.S. military involvement in 49 out of 54 African nations. iii Saratu Angus Ndirpaya of Chibok town and protest leader Naomi Mutah Nyadar were taken to a police station by State Security Service agents, where Naomi Mutah Nyadar was detained until protestors secured her release.
Dr. Amina Mama is a professor of Women and Gender Studies at UC Davis. Committed to strengthening activism and activist research in African contexts, her research interests include culture and subjectivity, politics and policy, women’s movements, and militarism. All expressed views are those of author, not necessarily those of UC Davis, the WGS department at UC Davis, or the WRRC.
Donations can be sent to: The African Women’s Development Fund www.awdf.org The Global Fund for Women www.globalfundforwomen.org
Events & Kudos THURSDAY, MAY 22
Family Activities Night
UC Davis Quad | 5–7pm This is an opportunity for student, faculty, and staff families to build community and have some fun together. Families can connect with each other, share resources, and relax in a family-friendly atmosphere. Free games and crafts will be provided for children and pizza will be served.
Food Pantry, Lower Freeborn Hall | 4–6pm CalFresh provides assistance to qualified households to purchase healthy and nutritious food. The program issues monthly electronic benefits that can be used at many markets and grocery stores. For more information, please visit: www.mybenefitscalwin.org
Sex Talk Tuesdays
Righteous Babes Lounge | 12–1pm A sex-positive, confidential, and non-judgemental space to discuss sex and sexuality. Folks of all genders, sexualities, and relationship statuses are welcome! Participate to your comfort level.
Thank you, volunteers!
Many thanks to all our wonderful volunteers for sharing your time, energy, and talents! Volunteers are instrumental in keeping the WRRC running smoothly and your work is appreciated!
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FRIDAY, JUNE 6
WISE Mentoring Banquet
Multipurpose Room, SCC | 12–1pm An opportunity for the cohort of this year’s WISE mentoring program to celebrate a year of mentorship in the STEM fields. Thank you to all who were a part of WISE 2014–15! Lunch will be served.
Lavender Connection Support
Location shared with participants | 10–am Share common experiences and issues related to being LGBTQ in a support group setting, including: family, relationships, coming out, and spirituality. An initial consultation and/or screening appointment is necessary to be part of this group. Please call CAPS (530-752-0871) for more details.
WRRC Conference Room | 4–6pm Free math tutoring at the WRRC! Join other students to study and discuss mathematics in a gender-positive, friendly, and informal setting. Snacks will be provided!
Thank you, Urban Body!
The 2014 cast and crew of Vagina: OurStories would like to thank Urban Body on 802 2nd Street for their generous donation and support of our production!
WRRC Response to Santa Barbara Incidence of Violence Dear Community, This statement is in honor of George Chen, Katherine Cooper, James Hong, Christopher Ross Michaels-Martinez, David Wang, and Veronika Weiss. We would like to express our solidarity and condolences to those who were affected by the recent events in Santa Barbara. The media has focused significant attention on the mental health of the perpetrator and the violence of the crime. However, very little attention has been placed on misogyny and sexism, which the perpetrator named as primary reasons for the attack. By his own admission, we know that the perpetrator was motivated by hatred of women, a sense of entitlement to women’s bodies, and a toxic cultural ethos of violent masculinity. As we remember those lost, we want to acknowledge the implications of gendered violence on our community. For some, it can cause feelings of fear and helplessness and evoke memories of gendered violence in our own lives. The events in Santa Barbara illustrate that the impacts of sexism are far reaching and are experienced by people of all genders. The loss of these six lives and injury of thirteen others has highlighted a need for our community to address–explicitly–the normalization of sexism and gendered violence in mainstream U.S. culture. Every day in the United States 3 women are murdered by an intimate partner, and 1 in 6 women are raped in their lifetime. Hate-motivated crimes are not isolated or random acts. These hate crimes are part of a larger, sexist climate that cultivates gendered violence.
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It is essential to name sexism and misogyny as undeniable components of this crime so that this oppression does not become invisibilized in conversations on this campus. Mainstream culture and media often respond to gendered violence by victim blaming, diagnosing the perpetrator, and focusing solely on the act of violence itself. This type of rhetoric marginalizes the lived experiences of survivors and those who live with the threat of gendered violence on a daily basis. In the aftermath of this tragedy, we choose to act and meet our community’s urgent need for healing and proactive social change. Dismissing or ignoring sexism contributes to a hostile climate and actively works against equity and justice. Join us in working toward violence prevention and gender equity. In Solidarity, Women’s Resources and Research Center Team Suzanne Amor, Joy Evans, Lamia Hajani, Mari KnuthBouracee, Leilani Kupo, Katherine Genis, Deniss Martinez, Whitney Mollenhauer, Ayana MurakamiFreeberg, olives Nguyen, Erienne Ramos, Nikko Gabriel Reynoso, Ashley Teodorson-Vau, Jasmine Wali, Karla Zabaleta-Hinojosa Published May 30, 2014
THE JOY FERGODA LIBRARY
REST IN POWER
Maya Angelou & Yuri Kochiyama
MON-THURS: 9AM-5PM FRI: 9AM-4PM
The Joy Fergoda library collection is home to many of Dr. Aneglou’s books, including her volumes of poetry (And Still I Rise, Phenomenal Woman, several others) and her autobiographical works (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and Gather Together in My Name, among others).
Our library holds Yuri Kochiyama’s memoir, Passing It On. Her writing is also included in Dragon Ladies: Asian American Feminists Breathe Fire (edited by Sonia Shah).
Search our library online at:
wrrclibrary.ucdavis.edu For books lists and more, visit wrrc.ucdavis.edu.
DID YOU KNOW?
READING LIST OF THE MONTH
Pride Month Anthologies •
Genderqueer: Voices From Beyond the Sexual Binary, Joan Nestle, Clare Howell, and Riki Wilchins, editors (2002)
Bi Any Other Name: Bisexual People Speak Out, Loraine Hutchins and Lani Kaahumanu, editors (1991)
Does Your Mama Know?: An Anthology of Black Lesbian Coming Out Stories, Lisa C. Moore, editor (1998)
Q & A: Queer in Asian America, David L. Eng and Alice Y. Hom, editors (1998)
Interested in more reading lists? Be sure to check out the rotating books displays in the Joy Fergoda Library!
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In addition to books and other library materials, the Joy Fergoda Library offers study space, wireless internet, public access computers, course reserves, a microwave, printing/copying services, free tea, and Skittles!
RESERVES The Joy Fergoda Library has course readers and textbooks on reserve! Students may check out a reader or textbook from our reserves for 2 hours at a time. Reserves may not be taken outside the library. Stop by the library desk to learn about which materials are currently offered. Need help finding something? Please ask, and someone will be happy to assist you!
NORTH HALL SPOTLIGHT
All-Gender Restrooms The Women’s Resources and Research Center recognizes that, in spite of previous efforts, the first floor North Hall bathrooms are not a safe place for many people to go to the bathroom. We believe that all people of all gender identities and presentations have the right to access safe and dignified restroom facilities without fear of harassment, judgment, or violence. This challenge particularly affects people who are transgender, non-binary, or gender non-conforming, as well as people who might require a caretaker of a different gender. We are committed to establishing the first-floor multi-stalled restrooms in North Hall as gender-neutral restrooms. This will be instituted in the near future in the following ways: • Signage Changes: Both restrooms on the first floor will have signs that say “Restroom” on the door, rather than the dress and pants stick-figures. We are also working on creating large educational signs for the enclaves before the bathrooms to provide more detailed information about the changes. • Behavior Changes: Some trans and non-binary folks have expressed that intentionally utilizing both bathrooms and sharing information with peers are a couple ways cis folks can be allies as we all make the shift in the way we use the space. As always, do not engage in gender policing (i.e. scrutinizing, judging, or categorizing another person’s gender) in the bathrooms and elsewhere. These measures are intended to move us toward bathrooms that are safe in practice, not just theory. Please note that the secondfloor restrooms will not be affected. Ideally, we will be constructing a single-stall, gender-neutral bathroom on the first floor beginning in September 2014. We hope you will support the upcoming changes and participate in creating safer restrooms for all. Please connect with a WRRC intern or staff person if you would like to learn more about allgender restooms. If you have any questions please contact Suzanne Amor or Jezzie Zimbardo, or consider attending a Trans Safe Zone training session provided by the LGBTQIA Resource Center.
SUMMER RESOURCES at the WRRC
During the summer term, the WRRC will be open to the public. More specific dates and times will be announced soon. Folks will have access to WRRC spaces and in-center resources during open hours, and staff will also be available. Some of our resources are available in online format, including the How to Support a Friend series. If you will not be in Davis over the summer, please note that many of our online resources focus on the Davis and Sacramento area, although general, statewide, and national resources are also listed. Crisis hotlines are listed in on page 9 of this newsletter.
DID YOU KNOW? Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is also located in North Hall, right above the WRRC. All registered students are eligible for individual counseling free of charge. Appointments & Information: (530) 752-0871 24-hour consultation line: (530) 752-0871 Online: schcs.ucdavis.edu
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Resources at the WRRC OUR SPACE
Come by the WRRC to study, hang out, or nap in any of our great spaces, including the: • • • •
Righteous Babes Lounge Joy Fergoda Library Resource Room & Lounge Conference Room
Interested in reserving one of our spaces? Please visit the center to fill out a request form. A staff member will then contact you to confirm the reservation.
STUDENT STAFF Jasmine Wali Nikko Reynoso olives Nguyen Ayana Murakami-Freeberg Whitney Mollenhauer Lamia Hajani Kat Genis Suzanne Amor
CAREER STAFF Karla Zabaleta Jezzie Zimbardo Ashley Teodorson-Vau Leilani Kupo Mari Knuth-Bouracee
CAMPUS PROGRAM SPOTLIGHT
Each Aggie Matters Each Aggie Matters unites the tens of thousands of students, faculty, and staff at UC Davis in an open dialogue about mental health. Although mental health concerns are frequently stigmatized and/or hidden, Each Aggie Matters “refuse[s] to stay silent about such an important issue–an issue that impacts us all.” Mental health is as important to our well-being as physical health. In fact, the two are inter-related. As with physical health, we can prevent unnecessary suffering if we can identify mental health challenges early by taking good care of ourselves and each other. The Each Aggie Matters website offers educational materials and information about campus resources, such as CAPS. One of these resources is the ‘Just in Case’ mobile website, a tool designed to connect folks with support and information from a smartphone. In addition, the website features a section for reading and sharing stories about mental health in our communities. To learn more about Each Aggie Matters and mental health resources on campus, please visit: http://eachaggiematters.ucdavis.edu/ 10 | wrrc.ucdavis.edu
Campus Violence Prevention Program - Victim Advocate (530) 754-6387 UC Davis Police (530) 752-1727 Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Center, Woodland (530) 662-1133 Counseling and Psychological Services, UC Davis (530) 752-0871
Homeless Housing & Food, Davis Community Meals 753-9204 Sexual Harassment Anonymous Call Line, UC Davis 752-2255 Cross-Cultural Center 752-4287 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual Resource Center 752-2452 Student Disability Center 752-3184 Women’s Clinic at Cowell Student Health Center 752-2300 Academic and Staff Assistance 752-2727
Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network 1-800-656-4673 CA Youth Crisis Line 1-800-843-5200 Suicide Prevention 1-800-273-8255 GLBT National Hotline 1-888-843-4564 Suicide and LGBTQ Youth Crisis Line 1-866-488-7386 EXHALE, after-abortion counseling 1-866-439-4253 Backline, pregnancy, parenting, abortion, adoption 1-888-493-0092
Women’s Writes is a monthly online newsletter that promotes events, news, and resources that contribute to women’s rights, gender equity, and social justice. Opinions and events do not necessarily reflect the views of the UC Davis Women’s Resources and Research Center. To learn more about Women’s Writes and view archived issues, visit: wrrc.ucdavis.edu/html/newsletter.html
Women’s Resourc es & Research Center 113 North Hall, One Shields Avenue � 530.752.3372 530.752.0222 email@example.com wrrc.ucdavis.edu Monday-Thursday, 9:00 A.M. - 5:00 P.M. Friday, 9:00 A.M. - 4:00 P.M. Closed from 10 A.M. - 12 P.M.
Women’s Writes is a monthly online newsletter that promotes events, news, and resources that contribute to women’s rights, gender equity, an...