Tag Archives: Lina Schmidt

REMINDER

by Lina Schmidt, ’15

This article originally discussed only the Boston Marathon bombing. Because it is being posted now, it has been revised to include some events of the past few weeks that are also important to conversations about prejudice and privilege.

A lot of my friends, family, and fellow students at Stanford have been watching the news over the past few months. A lot has occurred: the Boston Marathon bombings, the trial of George Zimmerman and, recently, two Supreme Court decisions with grave implications for the Voting Rights Act and Native tribal sovereignty. These events all have something to do with the way US culture views race and ethnicity or, to its peril, attempts to ignore them.

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(Queer) Activism at Stanford University

by Lina Schmidt, ’15

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What is queer? and what does queer want? were two questions asked over the course of the class “Introduction to Queer Studies” (FEMST 120). Questions about what queer “means” are important to me because, as both a queer-identified individual and as a member of the campus group Stanford Students for Queer Liberation, parts of my identity are implicated in use of the word. The  meanings of queer can be a scholarly pursuit. However, the placement of queer in the title of a student group committed to “social change” makes its meanings relevant to the entire Stanford community, regardless of academic focus.

Described as a “discursive horizon” (Queer Theory 1), queer is fluid; a site of connotation rather than denotation. As a result, writings about queer — “Queer Theory” — are sometimes contradictory. The goal in reading, however, is not to produce a consistent worldview but to challenge entrenched ideas. For example, Annamarie Jagose suggests that 0ne use of queer is as an umbrella term for non-normative identities, serving as a contraction of “LGBTQIA.” Another writer, Cathy J. Cohen, suggests that queer has a more “radical potential” through its inclusivity not just of non-normative sexuality, but of differences in race, class, physical ability, and more (Punks 11-16). Continue reading

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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

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Latoya Peterson on the Power of Blog Posts

by Lina Schmidt, ’15

latoyaLast week, STATIC hosted a talk with Latoya Peterson, the owner and editor of Racialicious.com. Latoya, who is currently a Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford, addressed a large audience in El Centro Chicano. She discussed her experiences with writing, particularly the successes and challenges of writing about popular culture from a critical feminist and anti-racist perspective.

Writing was not immediately Latoya’s career. She emphasized that being a working writer isn’t necessarily the result of a college degree, talking instead about what motivates her to write. Often, she said, she begins with an idea that she can’t get out of her head. It is this — a reaction to something — that provides the raw material for a piece. Writing for Racialicious, a blog that focuses on the intersection of race and popular culture, there is always something to critique. However, calling out racism in mainstream culture can make a writer into a target. Continue reading

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

by Lina Schmidt, ’15

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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

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