Wednesday, November 12, 2014

National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week Food and Clothing Drive for the WRC

In honor of National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, the Women's Studies Club will be collecting donations of Coffee, Canned foods (Ravioli and such), birthday cake supplies (mix, frosting, candles, etc.) and Plus-Sized sweat suits for the Women's Resource Center of the New River Valley. 

Donation boxes will be in the Bonnie and the English Department (Russell Hall) from Monday, November 17-Friday, November 21. If you plan to participate, the National Coalition for the Homeless would like you to participate in their Social Media "Thunder Clap."

If you would like to make a monetary donation, please contact the administration office at: (540) 639-9592, , or P.O. Box 477, Radford, VA 24143 . Checks can be made payable to the Women’s Resource Center.

You may also make a monetary donation online via PayPal at:


Located in Radford, Va., the WRC of the NRV is a human service agency with the purpose of providing programs and services to adult and child victims of domestic and sexual violence. The WRC has been providing hope and help to those who need it in the New River Valley for 30 years. The center, the oldest in Virginia, has been and will continue to be, the cornerstone of courage and inspiration for thousands of people in our community.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Hey, Baby…give me a smile….

In the past few days, this video (also posted below) went viral on Facebook.

It is created by Rob Bliss of Rob Bliss Creative in conjunction with Hollaback! A non-profit group working to end street harassment which is currently in 79 cities and 26 countries. 

Most women have been harassed as they walk down the street at some point in their lives. It may be negative or mocking, but often it is catcalls, honking and unwanted complements. Unwanted compliments are difficult. It can be hard to complain about a guy saying you have nice hair or some other part of your body that is not sexual. If it is sexual, it is easier to identify. 

Where is the line between paying someone a compliment and harassment? How many women walk down the street and tell passing guys that they like their eyes or their toned arms? The closest we usually get to that is to tell them we like their shirt. Usually this is to identify with them in some way, recognizing a fellow fan, alumnus, etc. As women, we accept some types of compliments regularly about our appearance. Those types are great and we love it when people, usually people we know, pay them freely. But, of course, the difference is that they are not objectifying us in any way. 

Since it is something that often happens when we are alone, for each of us it is a singular experience. We can tell people about it but, it is hard to articulate how it makes us feel. It is entirely possible you tell someone and they say, “He said you have nice hair? The jerk!...So, what’s your problem?” Many of us don’t bother telling anyone because, what good would complaining do and, if you don’t explain it right, it might sound like bragging.

I thought this video was great. It does a couple of things. It tells me that I am not alone in my experience, that there are more than just a few guys out there that think this is ok and, gives me something to show men to see what happens when a woman walks down the street in jeans and a crewneck shirt.

I think the perspective is interesting and the sound is great but, you don’t get the proximity. There is a point where a guy is trying to give her his number and there are several people around her and there is some distance between her and the camera. There are a couple of times the fact that the guys are up close to her plays into it. 

The one that walks beside her for several minutes is disturbing but, I personally think he would have gone away if she had looked at him. If that didn’t work, one gigantic step to the right and a change of pace would have changed the dynamic and he would have gone away or pursued. At that point, the people around would be overtly aware that his attention was unwanted. However, her escape route is not the point; the point is that she shouldn’t have to deal with this while simply walking down the street.

Since writing this, other news/social media outlets have picked it up.
Just a few:

  •  There are many other articles and blog posts by now and plenty of people like Michael Che that will miss the point. Which Salon weighed in on. 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Women's Studies Club Endorses Susan B. Anthony for Congress!

Candidate Morgan Griffith 
(R-district 9) 
on the issues:

-Voted NO on reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act (2013)
-Strongly opposes women’s right to choose (1999, 2006, 2007, 2010)
-Supported a constitutional amendment to prohibit same-sex marriage (2009)
-Voted against a bill prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation for government employees in Virginia (2010)
-Voted against a bill that would extend anti-discrimination laws to include transgender people (2010)

Griffith is running against William Carr (I), who has not publicly stated his views on these issues, but identifies as a Conservative. If you do not agree with either candidate, do not waste your right to vote! 

We are encouraging a write-in 
vote for Susan B. Anthony.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Wintermester 2014 and Spring 2015 Women's Studies Classes

The following classes count toward the minor in Women's Studies at Radford University

Wintermester 2014-2015:
Lifespan Developmental Psychology - 40032 - PSYC 230 - 01

Spring 2015:
History of Women (A) - 20045 - HIST 306 - 01
11:00 am - 11:50 am MWF Cook Hall 311

Human Sexuality - 20597 - HLTH 453 - 01
12:30 pm - 1:45 pm TR Peters Hall
Human Sexuality - 20598 - HLTH 453 - 02
11:00 am - 12:15 pm TR Peters Hall

Human Growth and Development: Birth through Adolescence - 21584 - HUMD 300 - 01
9:30 am - 10:45 am TR TBA
Human Growth and Development: Birth through Adolescence - 21585 - HUMD 300 - 02
11:00 am - 12:15 pm TR TBA
Human Growth and Development: Birth through Adolescence - 21586 - HUMD 300 - 03
5:00 pm - 8:00 pm M TBA
Human Growth and Development: Birth through Adolescence - 21587 - HUMD 300 - 04
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm W TBA
Human Growth and Development: Birth through Adolescence - 21588 - HUMD 300 - 05
5:00 pm - 8:00 pm M TBA

Lifespan Developmental Psychology - 21216 - PSYC 230 - 01
12:30 pm - 1:45 pm TR TBA
Lifespan Developmental Psychology - 21217 - PSYC 230 - 02
1:00 pm - 1:50 pm MWF TBA
Lifespan Developmental Psychology - 21218 - PSYC 230 - 03
9:00 am - 9:50 am MWF TBA
Lifespan Developmental Psychology - 21219 - PSYC 230 - 04
10:00 am - 10:50 am MWF TBA

Social Psychology (SS Core) - 21236 - PSYC 343 - 01
11:00 am - 12:15 pm TR TBA
Social Psychology (SS Core) - 21237 - PSYC 343 - 02
8:00 am - 9:15 am TR TBA
Social Psychology (SS Core) - 21239 - PSYC 343 - 03
9:30 am - 10:45 am TR TBA

Social Inequality - 21143 - SOCY 250 - 01
2:00 pm - 2:50 pm MWF TBA
Social Inequality - 21145 - SOCY 250 - 02
3:00 pm - 3:50 pm MWF Online

Men and Women in Society - 21146 - SOCY 326 - 01
11:00 am - 12:15 pm TR TBA
Men and Women in Society - 21147 - SOCY 326 - 02
3:30 pm - 4:45 pm TR TBA

Race and Ethnic Relations - 21148 - SOCY 331 - 01
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm T TBA
Race and Ethnic Relations - 21149 - SOCY 331 - 02
2:00 pm - 2:50 pm MWF TBA

Scholar-Citizen: Introduction to Women's Studies - 20002 - WMST 101 - 01
1:00 pm - 1:50 pm MWF TBA
Women in the World: Introduction to Women's Studies - 20005 - WMST 101 - 04
9:30 am - 10:45 am TR TBA
Women in the World: Introduction to Women's Studies - 20006 - WMST 101 - 05
11:00 am - 12:15 pm TR TBA

Senior Portfolio - 20007 - WMST 400 - 01
4:00 pm - 4:50 pm M TBA

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Guest Post: Black Sheep

In my family, Granny-Bird and I are the black sheep, different from the rest. While my family and extended family are all conservative Christians, my grandmother and I are the liberals with no religion. When my other grandmother lectured me about reading books that weren’t Christian enough for her liking, Granny-Bird encouraged me to read and grow as I please. She never tried to restrict who I am. Sure, she’s a bit of a clean freak, which conflicts with my messy personality, but we’ve always been able to work through our differences. As I’ve grown older, Granny-Bird and I have grown closer, especially after she moved down here, only an hour away from my family. When I came out to my parents, they weren’t too accepting of me. Granny-Bird, on the other hand, never even batted an eyelash. I told her I was gay and had a girlfriend and she just said, “Okay, do you like her?” She could care less who I’m dating, as long as I’m happy. When my parents freaked out about me volunteering with Planned Parenthood at the Pride festival in Roanoke, Granny-Bird gave me a high five and told me, “Right on!” Granny-Bird has helped me learn that I don’t need my parents' approval to dictate what’s right or wrong, that I can determine this on my own and that’s okay. This new found confidence she has given me has helped me become more comfortable in who I am and what I can do with my life.

I came into this interview unsure of what I might learn, because already, in just the past few months, I’ve started learning so much about her life. Now that I’m an adult, everything my mother never wanted me to know can be out in the open. Since they only live an hour away, I go over there and do dinner with them when I’m home on breaks, without the rest of my family. Having this one on one time with Granny-Bird has given me the opportunity to learn more about her life. Granny-Bird, whose real name is Elizabeth Lint, was born in 1943 to conservative, Christian parents in Durum, North Carolina. She has a husband, Tom, a daughter from her first marriage, Erika, a son-in-law, Rob, and 4 grandchildren, Caitlyn, David, Steven, and Jacob.

Growing up, Granny-Bird explained, “Girls were expected to be little frilly, quiet, appeasing, nonentities. Better seen with a smile on your face, and helping everybody out than being someone who had an opinion.” The plain way she explained all of this told me how this idea was ingrained in her at such a young age. She was forced to go to teas and other social obligations, because young girls and women were expected to attend events like that. She explained that, “People were looking at you and saying ‘oh how nice dear’ and you know good and well they’d stab you in the back in a heartbeat. That’s what it was like. We were the little nothings.” Women were still viewed as useless, pretty things until later in Granny-Bird’s life. Even in recent a lot of women are still viewed as objects.

One of the most profound and saddening stories she told me was when she applied for George Washington University to become a doctor. I could see the anger and sadness in her face as she told me “I received a rejection letter, even though all of my credentials were superb. I sent a letter back asking what deficits do I have and how I can make it so I would be eligible. They wrote back and said ‘You’re a woman and you’re too old’; I was in my thirties at the time. This story was something she had actually told me earlier that day and I had told her would be something I’d love to use in the interview, because that moment really showed her how limited the world was and what caused her to always fight for more for herself and her children and grandchildren. Not only was her age in an issue, but the fact that she was a woman who wanted to be a doctor was also called into question. When she said, “I think today’s society has become much better for women, but it’s been an uphill battle all the way. I would not wish that early experience on any woman today.” She looked sad when she told me this, because those early experiences really took a toll on her and her peers. I asked her later if these gender norms had affected her first marriage, but she just gave me a look that told me that talk was for another day.

When I started asking her about historical events, she first mentioned being involved in demonstrations against the Vietnam War and how she has “always been proactive in protesting injustice”. I started to ask her if she had any experiences that involved women’s rights and she jumped right into describing how she “became more of a women’s lib person back when women had difficulties getting birth control and how they were treated as if they were whores [if they used birth control]” This is when she started working in a women’s health center in Northern Virginia. I never knew that Granny-Bird had ever worked in a center, because part of the center was an abortion clinic. My mom disagrees with abortion, so she kept that part of my grandmothers past hidden from me. I’m the only one of my siblings that knows. I loved hearing about this, because I learned that Granny-Bird is passionate about women’s rights of all kind and doing whatever it takes to try to give women the rights they deserve.

Speaking of my mother, Granny-Bird and my mother have always had a bit of a rough relationship. When I asked my grandmother about how she raised my mother, she said she raised my mother to be “independent” and to “advocate for herself”. My grandmother has always wanted my mom to become a professional woman and not just a stay at home mom. Although my mother is a stay at home mom, my grandmother spoke very fondly of it when she told me, “However she is a professional, because she has homeschooled. So I guess in a way I would say I am very proud of her and she has done well in what I consider a very difficult role.” I’ve never heard Granny-Bird say she was proud of my mom for how she chose to live her life and I don’t think my mom has ever heard those words as well. The fact that my grandmother can now say she is proud of her shows that women have gone from staying at home, to working out of the house, and now they have the option of either with less stigma than either has had in the past.

When I asked my grandmother what she thought about women today, she paused for a bit before declaring, “I think that today’s women have a lot more ability to advocate for themselves. They have made a lot of progress in becoming full citizens and I’m very proud of that, that they have done that. Similarly though, there is still a lot of societal pressures to make them more docile and malleable to the needs of men” She realizes that when she was growing up, women weren’t really full citizens. Although there is still progress to be made today, she loves to see how far women have come. When I asked her what she wanted to see in the future, she clearly stated, “I would rather see women equal”

Her closing statement is something that I can never forget. When she said these words, she looked at me, grabbed my hand and spoke these words not just for the interview, but so that I could hear these words and understand how they impacted my life. “Dream your dreams and don’t be afraid to try to have them, live them, be them. And don’t let the naysayers keep you back. You are who you are and be true to that.” These words resonated with me, especially after recently coming out to her. I think she knew that, because I started getting misty-eyed at that point in the interview, which is why I decided to end the interview there.

Granny-Bird is one of the strongest, wisest, and greatest people I know. She survived abusive parents, her lesbian sister’s drug related death, and is now the sole survivor of her immediate family. She is proud of that and I’m proud of her too. She overcame gender roles that were forced upon her by pushing them back and asking why. She knew what she wanted and went after it, no matter the odds against her. I can’t imagine my life without Granny-Bird by my side, encouraging me to always follow my heart, no matter what anyone else thinks or says about it. I want to be like her, a professional woman, fighting for the rights of women. I hope someday someone looks up to me and is inspired by me, the way Granny-Bird inspires me every day.

- Caitlyn Busser

Monday, April 14, 2014

Guest Post: Filling-In the Gaps

            Lorraine Rudowski has worn a number of hats throughout her life: sister, daughter, mother, nurse, wife, professor and grandmother.  This woman, my grandmother, taught me everything I needed to know in life.  Everything from when to keep my mouth shut to how to tell someone, only when necessary of course, to “fuck off” politely.  She is a woman of integrity and has more drive than anyone I have ever met.  I decided to interview my grandmother because I knew that she had a variety of experiences in her lifetime, especially being the wife of a man in the Foreign Service and traveling for much of her adult life.  Due to her recent development of Alzheimer’s disease my family asked me if “I really thought she was the right person to interview.”  To this I responded with a wholehearted yes.  The interview was a little rockier than I had hoped and some of her information (dates, locations, etc.) was shaky but my grandmother, as she has always done, gave me her best.
            She was born in 1929 and raised in New Bedford, Massachusetts.  She grew up with her mother, father and two sisters.  When asking my first couple of questions about gender expectations in the household she told me that she was expected to follow the rules, all the rules, there were no exceptions.  Because there were no boys in her family I asked her about being a girl in her community, and what that meant at that time.  She told me that she and the other girls received a lot of respect from the boys in her area, not like today where you see all this hoopla about harassment and such.  I asked her about her first job, and whether she was paid or not.  She explained that she had a wonderful singing voice (in the most modest way one can say that about themselves) and that because of this she had a radio show on Sunday evenings where she would sing with another young man.  She was paid minimal for this work but she believes that was a product of the times and not because she was a woman.  After she graduated from high school she moved to Connecticut to live with her aunt and uncle, she was 18 at the time.  She started working at a bank and was paid for the work she did there.  I asked if there were men working at this bank as well, trying to get a feel for whether or not this was a typical job for a woman to do, but she informed me that there were in fact men working there as well. 
            When I brought up the issue of gender bias in the work place she told me that she did not experience any of that, she said the environment in which she worked was pleasant.  So I followed that with a question asking her if she believed there is a difference in being a woman in the workforce today as opposed to when she was working.  She explained that she believed there was definitely a bigger difference for women today and that she thinks men in this time period are more aware that women are fully capable of replacing them at work, this she stated “is not a happy feeling I’m sure.”  My grandmother continued to say that some women are probably content with the under representation of their gender in the workforce, however there are definitely women who are very aware of it and very unhappy about it.
            The next couple of questions I asked were about her family life, for example when she got married.  My grandmother was married at the age of 18.  I asked her why she chose to get married that young in which she responded that my grandfather’s mother was very intent on them being together.  She told me “she [my grandfather’s mother] really picked me out, in fact I was living with my aunt and she said you are to come and live with me.”  She had her first child at the age of 19; I quickly asked her if having children this early was something women did during that time.  I say quickly because my grandmother has a tendency to go on a completely different tangent when talking about her children, this I know from asking questions about her life prior to this interview.  She told me yes, that women typically had children at a young age because they didn’t normally attend college like they do today.  She told me that she had gone to college for a small period of time in Hartford, Connecticut and that even though a lot of her classmates were men, it was a coeducational school so there were also women, but a limited number.
            I wanted to know if she raised her children with gender expectations in mind.  Her response was pretty straightforward, “you always do that, you expect boys to be stronger and more willing to help, and you expect girls to follow the line of the mother and help you around the house and in schooling, you expected her to look for female potential for a job in other words you wouldn’t pick up a hammer or shovel.”  This was interesting to hear though, because of what I know about the childhood of my aunts and uncles prior to this interview.  She may have thought she was raising her children with gender expectations but because my grandfather was normally at work or traveling because of his job my uncles did help around the house.  My uncles have told me many times before that they all know how to sew. This is because when they were living in Africa, shopping malls weren’t really at their disposal so they had to sew their own clothes.  My mom and aunt, the only girls in the five children my grandmother had, didn’t really do any heavy lifting, so maybe that is what she was referring to, but the boys definitely took part in chores on both ends of the gender spectrum.
            I wanted to know what it was like for her during World War II and Vietnam.  She told me that her personal experience during WWII as a woman was not really any different because of her gender.  However, with Vietnam, she did feel that being a woman contributed to some of the things she dealt with.  A major aspect of this was being married to a man in the army.  She said that her and the other wives always had a feeling that their husband would be called next.  I’m sure the men also had the same feelings but it was the women who would be home with the children while their life partner was somewhere in a war zone.  She did mention that because my grandfather was older at this time he was not involved in any combat but was called to go after the war.  When I asked her about being a woman during the civil rights movement she at first told me that she wasn’t in the same area as that was going on, that she was in Washington (one of the shakier parts of the interview).   She followed this, however, by saying “it was difficult for them [the women] to accept it.  Number one they wanted it [civil rights] but how to work it in responsibility with men was very difficult for women at that period of time.  Some of them [the women] were extremely arrogant and that made it difficult for them and some of them were extremely, not weak, but not wanting to stand up and say look I’m a woman, I can do what you do, a lot of women that did that didn’t get a good response from it.”
            Towards the end of the interview I started to notice that she was getting a little bit tired and wanted to try and wrap it up and ask her about her thoughts of younger women today.  My grandmother believes that younger women today have a much better opportunity than they did at her age.  She noted that this is especially true with continuing on in school, that didn’t really happen in her time.  When I asked her about the difference in expectations she said that women in her time were expected to do the cooking and the cleaning and the rearing of the children, as opposed to today, where women are expected to find jobs and get babysitters.  I asked her what she thought about the hopes and dreams of women today and she said that we should try and immerse ourselves in politics and change what we want to be changed.  Confused, I asked her if she thought all the younger women of today have these hopes and dreams and she said no, so I went on to ask if she believed that was a bad thing.  This is where the interview ended, her answer to my last question was “no, I don’t think it’s a bad thing, I think people with special attitudes and [people] that haven’t been raised in that way [to want to get involved] then they wouldn’t be looking at that [getting into politics] but you can’t stand still…your generation, you’re not supposed to stand still.”

            The interview overall went better than I had expected.  I wish my grandmother would have gone deeper into her life a little bit more, but I made the decision not to push too hard.  I believe that in her younger years my grandmother wasn’t really aware of how gender differences play such a large role in society, but I think she realizes it more now.  I think she believes that she raised her children with gender expectations but at the same time didn’t realize that she was also pushing the boundaries with them.  In the end, I was incredibly glad that I got to interview my grandmother on this topic because her answers were definitely different than I would have expected.  I expected more feminist answers than the ones she provided because that is how I have pictured her, but I think that is important.  Like the Ted Talk we watched on having one story of people.  You may think one way about a person but after getting to know them in a different way, such as interviewing, you get to witness a whole other side.  
- Tayler D'Alelio

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Fall 2014 Women's Studies Courses

ARTH 431: Contemporary Women in Art  2:00 - 3:15 TR Porterfield Hall 208 Roann Barris

CRJU 365: Diversity Issues in Criminal Justice 11:00-12:15 TR Waldron Hall 200 Bakhitah B. Abdul-Ra'uf
CRJU 365: Diversity Issues in Criminal Justice 12:30-1:45  TR Waldron Hall 200 Bakhitah B. Abdul-Ra'uf 
CRJU 365: Diversity Issues in Criminal Justice  3:30-4:45  TR Whitt Hall 124       Bakhitah B. Abdul-Ra'uf
CRJU 365: Diversity Issues in Criminal Justice  6:00-9:00  W  TBA                     Lori A. Elis

ENGL 453: The Female Literary Tradition 11:00 - 12:15 TR Stuart Hall B01  Renee A. Dickinson 

ENGL 470: Rachel Carson 1:00 - 1:50 MWF Russell Hall 349 Laura Vernon 

HLTH 325. Diversity of Health in U. S.  9:00 - 9:50 MWF Peters Hall B160 Melissa L. Grim 

HUMD 300. Birth through Adolescence. 9:30 - 10:45   TR Peters Hall C116 Wendy L. Eckenrod-Green 
HUMD 300. Birth through Adolescence.    5:00 - 8:00    M Peters Hall B160 TBA
HUMD 300. Birth through Adolescence. 11:00 - 12:15 TR Peters Hall C116 Wendy L. Eckenrod-Green 
HUMD 300. Birth through Adolescence.  2:00 - 3:15    TR Peters Hall C116 Wendy L. Eckenrod-Green 
HUMD 300. Birth through Adolescence.  1:00 - 4:00    W Peters Hall C116 TBA
HUMD 300. Birth through Adolescence.  1:00 - 4:00    M Peters Hall C116 TBA
HUMD 300. Birth through Adolescence.    5:00 - 8:00   W Peters Hall C136 TBA

NUTR 316. Nutrition in the Life Cycle I: Maternal and Child 11:00 - 12:15 MW Whitt Hall 005 Jyotsna Sharman

PSYC 230. Lifespan Developmental Psychology. 3:00 - 3:50 MWF Russell Hall 007 Emily B. Dove
PSYC 230. Lifespan Developmental Psychology. 2:00 - 2:50 MWF Russell Hall 007 Emily B. Dove
PSYC 230. Lifespan Developmental Psychology. 6:00 - 9:00 R Russell Hall 007 Jason D. Watson
PSYC 230. Lifespan Developmental Psychology. 8:00 - 9:15 TR Russell Hall 033 Jonathan D. Renz

PSYC 250. Psychology of Diversity. 11:00 - 12:15 TR Waldron Hall 226 Valerie S. Leake

PSYC 343. Social Psychology. 12:30 - 1:45 TR Reed Hall 201 TBA
PSYC 343. Social Psychology. 4:00 - 5:15 MW Russell Hall 007 Jessica L. Doll
PSYC 343. Social Psychology. 3:30 - 4:45 TR Russell Hall 033 Jessica L. Doll

PSYC 391. Psychology of Women. 8:00 - 9:15 TR Cook Hall 112 Hilary M. Lips

SOCY 250. Social Inequality. 1:00 - 1:50 MWF Waldron College Hall 200 Elizabeth C. Lyman 
SOCY 250. Social Inequality. 2:00 - 2:50 MWF Waldron College Hall 200 Elizabeth C. Lyman

SOCY 331. Race and Ethnic Relations. 2:00 - 3:15 TR Davis Hall 212 Carla Corroto

SOCY 389. Sociology of the Family. 3:30 - 4:45 TR Waldron College Hall 200 Lawrence M. Eppard

WMST 101. Women in the World. 10:00 - 10:50 MWF Young Hall 311 Michele D. Ren
WMST 101. Women in the World. 11:00 - 11:50 MWF Young Hall 311 Michele D. Ren
WMST 101. Women in the World.  9:30 - 10:45 TR Young Hall 311 Dana S. Cochran 
WMST 101. Women in the World. 11:00 - 12:15 TR Young Hall 311 Dana S. Cochran

WMST 400. Senior Portfolio: 1:00 - 1:50 M TBA Moira P. Baker