Tag Archives: gender

The Power of the Party: Gender Inequality in Greek Life

by Julia LaSalvia, ’13

Author’s Note: Before I launch into an argument explaining my issues with the Greek system at Stanford and ultimately why I left, I must make a disclaimer: I think there are a lot of amazing people in the Greek community, many of whom are my best friends at Stanford. I was in a sorority for three years and a lot of my most memorable experiences occurred with the friends I made through my Greek organization. However, for the majority of time that I was in the sorority, I felt like there was something wrong. I couldn’t understand why girls, including myself, would take part in a system in which we voluntarily subscribed to superficial judgment by our peers and were constantly made to feel like we needed to impress the opposite sex.

Greek social culture revolves around male gratification – it’s often overt, sometimes subtle, but the conclusion remains the same: in Greek culture, fraternities hold the power. My goal in writing this essay is not to offend anyone, but rather to start a dialogue that might determine a way in which we can change the power dynamic of Greek culture so there is more equality between genders.

Continue reading

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

$ex Machine

by Lyla June Johnston, ’12

I wrote this poem on an airplane a few years ago. It’s been sitting in my notebook for a long time. I took it out the other day and decided I wanted to make a hip-hop track of it. I wanted to reclaim hip-hop as the healing force it was born to be by making it flashy, sexy and truthful. It’s main message is that we are not the sex slaves that pop music tells us we are, we are human beings that deserve love and respect.

How it developed was pretty interesting. I found the beat to go beneath it from the creative commons search on soundcloud.com. It was produced by a man in Sweden whom I’ve never met who goes by the name of “Dr. Mess.” I asked him if I could overlay some lyrics on it and he was fine with it. This is the beauty of making art for the people, not for the profit, under creative commons license as Dr. Mess does. The greed and fear that comes with copyrighting is relinquished and so we can collaborate more freely, even from across the ocean. Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sexual Quantification: No More Western Dichotomies, Please

by Erika Lynn Abigail Persephone Joanna Kreeger, ’15

What percentage gay/straight are you?

I was asked this question earlier today on a form I had to fill out for the iO Tillett Wright photo shoot this afternoon at Terra. I had initially wanted to get my photo taken for the same reasons as probably many of the other people who got their picture taken: it’s a national campaign, it’s making waves and iO Tillett Wright had a great TEDx talk about her project and sexual orientation.

But that question bothered me. It bothered me a lot. I ended up writing “me/me%- I don’t conform to bs dichotomies.” And I took my picture, and as much as I wanted to, I didn’t challenger her. But I kind of wish I had. Here’s why:

The most apparent concern is its treatment of bisexual/pansexual/non-gay/straight/fluid identities. As someone who is attracted to people of multiple genders, I don’t think of myself as part straight and part gay. I think of myself as someone who is attracted to multiple genders in very different ways. Furthermore, my attraction to those different genders (if you will, the degree of my attractions to these broad categories of people) has varied significantly over my life. Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Road

by a Stanford student

This poem is about my mother, who tirelessly juggles traditional roles of an Indian wife with professional demands of working in the Silicon Valley. I constantly wonder how India will progress if its women remain in the kitchens, and in the shadows.  

Roll it out, roll it slow
Make no holes in the dough
Make it round, make it thin
Make it flat, make it spin

Watch it swell
Watch the heat
Make it fast
So we can eat

Take a second, maybe two
Lie down, for a few?
Nope, take it back
Get ahead of the pack Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

On Global Womanhood

by Lan Anh Le, ’15

hairIn Afghanistan, a new Internet café for women will have its opening in honor of International Women’s Day. Young Women for Change, the NGO that is hosting the event, aims to make the café a space that will help Afghan women communicate and connect. In Sierra Leone and Uganda, female soccer players gather to celebrate of this year’s International Women’s Day, at two events that aim to raise awareness of issues related to gender equality and women’s empowerment in sports. In Ireland, a public reading of short stories featuring women from James Joyce’s Dubliners, sponsored by UN Women, is held in celebration of International Women’s Day.

All around the world on March 8, International Women’s Day is being celebrated in various different forms, from large festivals with booming music and colorful flowers, to marches that involve big banners and megaphones, to dance performances, to public events and conferences. Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Marxism, Feminism and Women’s Liberation: A Discussion with Deepa Kumar

by Emma Wilde Botta, ’14

Screen Shot 2013-03-06 at 12.07.33 AM

Stanford has a lot of events about women. Conferences on women’s empowerment, discrimination in the workplace, women in research, increasing women’s participation in politics, the list goes on. All these events address ways in which women are marginalized in society.

However, missing from these discussions is a careful examination of the root cause of women’s oppression today.

Are men just naturally superior to women? Will equality before the law guarantee the liberation of all women within society? Will more women in leadership lead to women’s liberation?

Before we answer these questions, we must first identity the root cause of women’s oppression and then turn to strategies for women’s liberation. Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Will 2013 Be a Banner Year For Gender Equality Around the World?

by Jessica Pham, ’13

This piece was originally posted on PolicyMic.

At the end of January, as Hillary Clinton prepared to leave her position as U.S. Secretary of State, she emphasized how crucial expanding women’s rights and equality would be to current and future U.S. foreign policy. The need to focus on gender equality was not only a moral obligation, she explained, but important for international security and stability:

“[I]t’s not a coincidence that virtually every country that threatens regional and global peace is a place where human rights are in peril or the rule of law is weak. More specifically, places where women and girls are treated as second-class, marginal human beings. Just ask young Malala from Pakistan. Ask the women of northern Mali who live in fear and can no longer go to school. Ask the women of the Eastern Congo who endure rape as a weapon of war … [T]he jury is in, the evidence is absolutely indisputable: If women and girls everywhere were treated as equal to men in rights, dignity, and opportunity, we would see political and economic progress everywhere. Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sex and Cis-tems of Oppression

by Joanna Poppyfield, student

Note: This post contains images that are NSFW.

bodySince I began my transition from living as a male to living as a female between my sophomore and junior year of college, my mother often expresses her pity for me at my “disability,” as she calls it. She refers to my penis.

When I began my medical transition — that is to say I started taking hormones — it was assumed that I would have surgery to “fix my problem.” Sure, there was always the option to not have the surgery, but it was often presented as less valid. I felt like there was no other option but to have surgery, or else I’d never be a “true girl.”

I’ve been living the past four years as a trans*woman — someone who is assigned a male sex and gender at birth, but instead identifies as a female — but I’ve felt feminine ever since I comprehended what feminine meant. I attached the words feminine and girl later on in my life. Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

What We Think of Blue and Pink: a Discussion with Julia Serano

by Lina Schmidt, ’15

jsflier

Stanford Students for Queer Liberation would like to invite you to “What We Think of Blue and Pink,” a discussion with activist Julia Serano on Tuesday, January 15th at 7:30 PM in the Black Community Services Center. Students of all disciples are welcome at Dr. Serano’s talk, which will examine social conceptions of gender — for example, the idea that pink is “for girls” and blue is “for boys.” Such prejudices are reinforced through media, literature, and even theories of psychology. Dr. Serano examines this in her book, Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman On Sexism and the Scapegoating of Feminity.

Whipping Girl broke ground when it came out in 2007, because it provides a way of looking at gender that makes room for everyone’s differences and different experiences, while finding the underlying patterns. Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Let’s talk about Trans Rights, And That Means You

by Elizabeth S. Q. Goodman, third-year graduate student in Mathematics 


I use some terms in this article which may be unfamiliar to many readers. Here is a useful glossary that gives definitions I believe to be current. Also, trigger warnings for several brief discussions of violence.

A full-time blogger named Natalie Reed recently wrote about an upcoming bill, C-279, which aims to make gender identity protections in Canada. Many Canadians, she says, assumes that transgender people already have protections against discrimination; but these laws are not sufficiently explicit, have been subject to interpretation, and even a court case about discrimination against a trans woman ultimately ruled that such discrimination was legal. Please read her article, skip my piece if you already care about trans rights, and if you’re Canadian, I hope you’ll write to your MP. Even if you’re not, you can sign this petition which is gaining momentum, and you can spread the word.

So, why should cis Canadians worry about trans rights? Why should cis Stanford students or Americans care? Even if we do care, what good will it do to talk about rights for transgender people, particularly transsexual people? Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,