Morning Cup Archive
- In the News: Iraqi Civilians Join U.S. Veterans in New Effort to Recover from War's Devastation
- Join Dr. Jonet for #TooFEW: Feminist People of Color Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon on Friday, March 15 (2013) from 11am-3pm EST
- Alice Walker: Beauty In Truth
- Anita Sarkeesian at TEDxWomen 2012
- The Stream : Beyond the 'angry black woman'
- Dr. Hamzeh and Aggies Rising for One Billion Rising
- Dr. Luna and her WS 202G Bring the Idle No More Movement to NMSU
- Dr. Williams Participates in SIROW
- Hip Hop Hijabis: A Movie in the Making
- When Did Men Stop Wearing High Heels? The BBC Tells Us...
- Free Online Course on Global Poverty Starting Feb. 12 by EdX
- The Sexy Lie: Caroline Heldman at TEDxYouth@SanDiego
- United Nations Declares Malala Day on November 10, 2012
- A Question for Professor Benanti...
- Student Profile: Fareyd Bonnett
- PCA/ACA Spring 2011 with Dr. Jonet
- Women's Studies Professor Mary Benanti Shines On
- Lisa Mendez is "Tentatively Titled" Lisa Mendez is "Tentatively Titled"
- "WONDER WOMEN! The Untold Story of American Superheroines" Premieres at SXSW 2012
- A World Gone Meme or Feminist Theory Hits the Internet...Finally
- Not Quite...
- 2012:Two New Faculty Members
In the News: Iraqi Civilians Join U.S. Veterans in New Effort to Recover from War's Devastation
From Democracy Now:
On the 10th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, we look at how U.S. military veterans and Iraqi civilians have come together to launch the "Right to Heal" campaign for those who continue to struggle with the war's aftermath. We're joined by U.S. Army Sergeant Maggie Martin, who was part of the invading force in March 2003 and is now director of organizing for Iraq Veterans Against the War. We are also joined by Yanar Mohammed, president of the Organization of Women's Freedom in Iraq, who describes how the condition of women has deteriorated in Iraq, with many young women and orphans pushed into sex trafficking. Mohammed's organization has also documented the toxic legacy of the U.S. military's munitions in Iraq by interviewing Iraqi mothers who face an epidemic of birth defects.
See Video and Read Transcript on Our Tumblr Page
Join Dr. Jonet for #TooFEW: Feminist People of Color Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon on Friday, March 15 (2013) from 11am-3pm EST
Have you ever wondered why there are few instances of detailed entries on women and gender studies, disability studies queers (GLBTQI), people of color, and transnational feminists and scholars on Wikipedia? Wikipedia itself has noted its own systemic bias-Wikipedians are by and large privileged, educated Anglophone males who might not consider these fields worthy subjects to annotate. According to the Wikimedia Foundation's study in 2011, only 13 per cent of countributors to the site were female. Claire Potter has pondered about this in a recent article titled "Prikipedia? Or, Looking for the Women on Wikipedia." If this concerns you, now's your chance to rectify this!
In celebration of Women's History Month and WikiWomen's History Month, groups across the United States are organizing both virtual and in-person meet-ups to edit Wikipedia to include more perspectives on women and people of color on Friday: #tooFEW - a feminist Wikipedia edit-a-thon! Originally conceived of as part of a virtual way to connect the upcoming THATCamp unconferences on feminism, there are now widespread events everywhere. If you can't find a way to physically get to one of the edit-a-thon parties, please consider just jumping in, editing entries and following on the Twitter conversations using the hashtag: #tooFEW
Dr. Jonet states that "This is a powerful action by feminist digital media to use its voice to make presences that often go undocumented in contemporary social media felt. It also adds to rethinking how we understand activism as a culture and demonstrates the importance of rethinking a number of boundaries that create these kinds of systematic absences, as well as denies the importance and presence of digital feminisms/gender studies."
Here are Some More Ways to Help!
- Help generate ideas for new entries or entries to be improved - you can add your ideas to our working list here
- Participate in Wikipedia community
- Sign up for a Wikipedia account (consider using a pseudonym at the outset, you can always change it once you're comfortable)
- Watch this video to learn just how to edit Wikipedia. Be sure to set aside some time for this video, it's an hour long, and we recommend clicking on FLASH - it tends to play better that way. (Although, we will provide editing help at the edit-a-thon, if you don't have time to do this.)
- Join us virtually by doing your work during our edit-a-thon. If you're on Twitter, send out a Tweet that includes the hashtag #tooFEW to let us know you're out there. We'll be live editing from 11am-3pm EST, Friday March 15.
- Tell Somebody
- Students - Do they need extra credit? Can this be a class project? Are you learning about some really cool people in POC/Trans*/Queer/Women's History that don't have wiki pages or have pages with bad information? You can fix it!
- Friends - Do you know other folks who should know about this? Please spread this information to activists you know, faculty, etc. Everyone is welcome!
- Organizations - These edit-a-thons work best with lots of folks working on specific things. Do you know orgs like INCITE or SONG that know specific types of folks who should be added to Wikipedia or projects folks should know about?
Dr. Jonet encourages students, faculty, and others interested in doing the everyday activism of expanding what Wikipedia offers to do this kind of work well beyond March 15th or Women's History Month. Use this as an opportunity to begin this process, and help everyone by bringing scholars, activists, and individuals to the attention of the world by creating or suggesting a Wikidepdia page.
Read more on our Women's History Month 2013 Page
See the original post by Adeline Koh at The Chronicle of Higher Education Blog for more info!
Alice Walker: Beauty In Truth
Alice Walker: Beauty In Truth is a feature documentary film which tells the compelling story of an extraordinary woman's journey from her birth in a paper-thin shack in cotton fields of Putnam County, Georgia to her recognition as a key writer of the 20th Century.
Alice Walker made history as the first black woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for her groundbreaking novel, The Color Purple, which has been transformed from a novel, to a Hollywood movie and latterly to a successful Broadway musical. This universal story of triumph against all odds is not that different from Walker's own story.
Born in 1944, eighth child of sharecroppers, her early life unfolded in the midst of violent racism and poverty during some of the most turbulent years of profound social and political changes in North American history. Alice Walker's inspiring journey is also a story of a country and a people at the fault line of historical changes.
Alice Walker: Beauty In Truth offers audiences a penetrating look at the life and art of an artist, a self-confessed renegade and human rights activist. In 2010, Yoko Ono honored Walker with the LennonOno Peace Award, for her ongoing humanitarian work.
Read more about film here
Check It Out: International Museum of Women Muslima
An online exhibition featuring the art, voices, and stories of Muslima women around the globe. Explore the exhibition, and add your voice today! Even join the "SPEAK UP! LISTEN UP!" campaign by taking the pledge and receiving special notifications about ways to take action. The pledge states: "I pledge to support the efforts of Muslim women and others worldwide who are leading the movement for a more just, equitable, and inclusive world. I will speak out against negative stereotypes about Muslim women and encourage others to truly listen to their voices."
As the site states: "All too often our media, leaders, and communities project an image of Muslim women that is distorted, negative, and one-dimensional. When we deny the diversity and potential of Muslim women, we deny our world of ideas, imagination, and solutions.
By signing the pledge, you join women and men around the world in a movement to hear and amplify the voices of Muslim women who are creating, achieving and leading. You also pledge to take action in your daily life to foster the dialogues that will create a more just and inclusive world. Join the movement. Be part of the change."
Anita Sarkeesian at TEDxWomen 2012
Anita Sarkeesian talks about online misogyny in the video game community, and her experience with harassment because of her work. She is a media critic and the creator of Feminist Frequency, a video webseries that explores the representations of women in pop culture narratives.
The Stream : Beyond the 'angry black woman'
The mammy, Jezebel and "angry black woman" - All are stereotypes of African American females used by whites to justify slavery and racial inferiority. But even today, why do these black female tropes continue to resurface in popular US media, and what is the societal impact of these stereotypes for African American women?
In this episode of The Stream, we speak to:
Franchesca Ramsey @chescaleigh
Comedian and video blogger
Imani Perry @imaniperry
Professor, Center for African American Studies, Princeton University
Moya Bailey @moyazb
Member, Crunk Feminist Collective
Darron Smith @DrDarronSmith
Professor, University of Tennessee
Dr. Hamzeh and Aggies Rising for One Billion Rising
Students in Dr. Manal Hamzeh's WS202-M01 (Representing Women Across Cultures) class with other students from NMSU's Public Health Student Organization are organizing for theONE BILLION RISING event on Feb 14 from 10-2 @ the base of Tortugas "A" Mountain. NMSU students have organized the event through a group called "Aggies Rise." As Dr. Hamzeh describes it, "ONE BILLION RISING is part of an on-going feminist V-Day campaign that is committed to bringing global attention to gender-based violence. It is also committed to rising until all kinds of gender-based violence is eradicated. Particularly, this is an event that will bring at least a billion people all over the globe at one time, in order to dance and join arms demanding the end of violence against women, girls and gender nonconforming people." She further notes: "It is important for NMSU students to participate in the One Billion Rising event on February 14th because this is an event that will take them out of the "sanitized" learning spaces on campus to the outside real world. Thus, by participating in this event, the student will be able to feel and learn how gender-violence is real and how it is closer to their lives and more prevalent than they were made to think. They will learn that they can not stay passive after they learn about its epidemic magnitude and horrible consequences. It is particularly important for the students in the Women's Studies program to participate in this event because they need to not only learn about the details of this gender-based epidemic, they also need to be engaged in action to contribute to its eradication. Inviting and encouraging students to engage in resistance against injustices and join social movements on the local, national and global levels is a major objective all students commit to achieve as soon they attend the first meeting in the WS202 course, "Representing Women across Cultures (Borders & Contexts)."
Please register to help put Las Cruces and NMSU on the map of ONE BILLION RISING.
It Was Rape: New Film by Jennifer Baumgardner
From film's website:
Rape is wrong, illegal, reprehensible—and yet still tragically common. In this film, eight women tell their diverse personal stories of sexual assault, from a Midwestern teenager trying alcohol for the first time to a Native American woman gradually coming to terms with her abusive childhood. Gripping and emotional, this film is an opportunity to empathize with people—not just absorb faceless statistics—and to puncture the silence and denial that allow sexual assault to thrive. Ultimately, these stories shed light on how this epidemic affects us all.
It Was Rape began screening in December of 2012. This spring it will be part of film festivals, Take Back the Night events and anti-violence programming in Alabama, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Louisiana, Ohio, New York, and Arizona. To schedule a screening in your community or to purchase the film for institutional or advocacy use, please contact email@example.com.
"It Was Rape boldly explores sexual violence through the experiences of survivors. This film both challenges the audience to think about sexual violence in a deeper, more nuanced way, and inspires genuine empathy for individuals impacted by violence." —Sarah Dodd, Assistant Director of the Sexual Assault Prevention Programs at North Dakota State University
"It Was Rape is one of the best documentaries I've seen on this issue. A must-see for any classroom discussing the issue of rape."—Kelly Finley, Lecturer, Women's and Gender Studies at University of North Carolina at Charlotte
"If [It Was Rape] starts a conversation, it won't be a quiet one, which is just what Ms. Baumgardner wants."—Susan Dominus, New York Times
Dr. Luna and her WS 202G Bring the Idle No More Movement to NMSU
On January 28th, Women's Studies faculty member Dr. Jennie Luna led a teach-in with her students from WS 202G in support of the Idle No More movement. Students and faculty from across campus participated in the teach-in, round dancing, and spoke of the original of the movement in Canada, as well as its larger implications for First Nations peoples and treatment of land worldwide. The event was covered by the Las Cruces Sun News.
Dr. Williams Participates in SIROW
On 25 January, Women's Studies Director, Dr. Laura Williams participated in SIROW, the Southwest Institute for Research on Women that is located at the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, The University of Arizona. The Women's Studies Program at NMSU is a Regional Partner along with other WS and Gender Studies Programs and Departments in the Southwest. The meeting is set up as a networking space for the different programs to come together to discuss issues, successes, and other matters specifically faced by Women's and Gender Studies Programs and Departments. This year, the meeting was located in Tucson, Arizona at The University of Arizona where SIROW is located.
Hip Hop Hijabis: A Movie in the Making
From the Sponsume.com Website:A feature documentary about ‘Poetic Pilgrimage'.
Two Muslim converts promoting women's rights through music. And finding their own voices on the way...WHO ARE THESE HIP HOP HIJABIS?
Sukina and Muneera met at a local teen talent show in their hometown of Bristol where Muneera was DJing and Sukina was singing. They bonded over their love of music, passion for social justice, spiritual curiosity and shared Jamaican heritage.
A close friendship developed and eventually manifested itself as Poetic Pilgrimage - a spoken word and Hip Hop duo on fire!
After exploring different belief systems they eventually converted to Islam in 2005 inspired by the autobiography of Malcolm X despite initial concerns about the position of Muslim women. When research reassures them that the original spirit of Islam holds women in high regard, they decide to challenge certain attitudes via catchy tunes and hard-hitting rhymes.
And as the feisty and fun-loving young ladies they are, the fact that some consider music to be haram, or forbidden, is not going to deter them on their quest for justice...
The Hypersexuality of Race: Professor Celine Parrenas-Shimizu Discusses Her Work
Professor Celine Parrenas-Shimizu, Asian American Studies, UC Santa Barbara is the author of the recently published book, The Hypersexuality of Race: Performing Asian/American Women on Screen and Scene. This book analyzes the production of sexuality for Asian women in western modern moving image visual cultures such as early cinema, stag films, contemporary pornography, Hollywood blockbusters, musicals and independent sexually explicit media by Asian American women.
When Did Men Stop Wearing High Heels? The BBC Tells Us...
Free Online Course on Global Poverty Starting Feb. 12 by EdX
Interested in studying global poverty? Here's a free on-line course taught by 2 MIT giants, Banerjee & Duflo. The course begins Feb. 12 and ends May 24th. Learn more about free online courses to help us all learn more about many different topics through EdX, a not-for-profit enterprise set up by it founding partners Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The Sexy Lie: Caroline Heldman at TEDxYouth@SanDiego
From the TEDx site:
A leading advocate for spotlighting how the mainstream media contributes to the underrepresentation of women in positions of power and influence in America, Caroline Heldman offers straight talk and an often-startling look at the objectification of women in our society. She illustrates how it has escalated, how we have become inured to its damaging effects and what we can do individually and collectively to demolish the paradigms that keep us from a better world.
Chair of the politics department of Occidential College in Los Angeles, Dr. Heldman appeared in the acclaimed documentary, Miss Representation and is co-editor of "Madame President: Are We Ready for a Woman in the White House?" She is a frequent commentator on radio and television and a regular contributor to Ms. Magazine.
United Nations Declares Malala Day on November 10, 2012
2012:Two New Faculty Members
Dr. Luna, Our New Faculty Member!
Some Bio Detail: Dr. Jennie Luna was born and raised in East San José, California. Granddaughter/Daughter of migrant farm workers and cannery workers, she is first in her family to attend and graduate from a four-year university. She has been active in Danza Mexica/Azteca tradition for twenty years. Her research focuses on the history of Danza Mexica in California and Xicana Indígena identity formation.
Dr. Luna's research incorporates Nahuatl language study, representations of indigeneity, and the role of women in the Intercontinental and global Indigenous movements. Her other research interests include Indigenous women's reproductive rights, traditional birthing methods, ceremonial practices honoring moon time, Indigenous transnational migration, urban Indigenous experiences and re-location, Xicana/o identity politics, spirituality, grassroots community studies, movement eras, creative writing, activism, social justice inquiry and educational reform.
Her dissertation is titled: "La Danza Mexica: Indigenous Identity, Spirituality, Activism and Performance." She has worked as both scholar and community organizer in California and New York City as co-founder of Calpulli Cetiliztli Nauhcampa Quetzalcoatl Danza circle and La Red Xicana Indígena international network
Dr. Laura Williams Officially Joins NMSU WSP and Becomes New Director
After years of working and teaching for NMSU WSP, Dr. Laura Anh Williams has officially joined WSP faculty and has become the new Program Director. Dr. Williams, whose work focuses on gender and sexuality in Asian American literature, and their intersections with animal studies, food studies, and feminist ecocriticism, accepted the position in January 2012. She was later nominated by her colleagues to serve as the Program Director and began this appointment in July 2012. She is excited to continue working with WS faculty to develop the program curriculum and generate even wider student interest in the program.
From the Documentary's Website
Silk Road Rising's Not Quite White: Arabs, Slavs, and the Contours of Contested Whiteness (24 min., 8 sec.), directed by Jamil Khoury and Stephen Combs, is a documentary film dedicated to a vision of whiteness that is anti-racist and rooted in economic justice.
Not Quite White explores the complicated relationship of Arab and Slavic immigrants to American notions of whiteness. It expands the American conversation on race by zeroing in on whiteness as a constructed social and political category, a slippery slope that historically played favorites, advantaging Northern and Western European immigrants over immigrants from Eastern and Southern Europe and the Middle East. Inspired by Jamil Khoury's short play WASP: White Arab Slovak Pole, Not Quite White integrates scenes from WASP alongside interviews with Arab American and Polish American academics who reflect upon contested and probationary categories of whiteness and the use of anti-Black racism as a "whitening" dye.
In Not Quite White, Silk Road Rising Artistic Director Jamil Khoury draws upon his own Arab (Syrian) and Slavic (Polish and Slovak) heritage as the lens through which to investigate the broader issue of immigrants achieving whiteness and hence qualifying as "fully American." The film advances society's on-going conversations about the meaning of whiteness and efforts at redefining whiteness.
A World Gone Meme or Feminist Theory Hits the Internet...Finally
For those of us who know and love Feminist, Queer and other purportedly "dense" and "unfun" forms of critical theory, the recent appearance of Feminist Theory memes on Tumblr has been a much appreciated turn in public academia online. First we were all taken with Danielle Henderson's channeling of Feminist Theory in "Feminist Ryan Gosling" (see below), and now we have Kristie L. Yandoi's "Feminist Harry Potter" (see below) a blog that brings attention to Feminist Theory "one Harry Potter reference at a time" and Hola Lind@'s Gael García-Bernal Feminista (below) a bilingual blog that states, "If you like feminism, social justice, and Gael García-Bernal, then this is for you." NMSU WSP Feminist Theory prof, Dr. M. Catherine Jonet notes that these memes offer great teaching tools, if not "cultural flash cards" for learning and circulating Feminist Theory. She points out that the memes' combination of critical theory and popular culture respond to a kind of "wish fulfillment' where fans demonstrate a desire for the concepts circulated in Feminist Theory to be expressed as idealized and sexy with pop icons becoming all the more desirable for doing so. Jonet comments that "Feminist Harry Potter" in particular offers a recuperation of the Hermione character as heroine and a questioning of the much beloved series's compliance to dominant ideologies of gender, race, and class. Well, what are we waiting for? How about "Feminist Gaga" or "Feminist Downton Abbey?" Let's not leave out the ladies as part of this meme and let's certainly not leave out public academia's guilty pleasure. Sybil loves social justice and isn't Mary kinda sorta the New Woman?
"WONDER WOMEN! The Untold Story of American Superheroines" Premieres at SXSW 2012
Wonder Woman has traveled a tough road of late, but the Amazonian princess is getting a historical retrospective in the form of a new documentary slated to show at South by Southwest, "WONDER WOMEN! The Untold Story of American Superheroines."
WONDER WOMEN! THE UNTOLD STORY OF AMERICAN SUPERHEROINES (formerly THE HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSE AS TOLD BY WONDER WOMAN) traces the fascinating evolution and legacy of Wonder Woman. From the birth of the comic book superheroine in the 1940s to the blockbusters of today, WONDER WOMEN! looks at how popular representations of powerful women often reflect society's anxieties about women's liberation.
WONDER WOMEN! goes behind the scenes with Lynda Carter, Lindsay Wagner, comic writers and artists, and real life superheroines such as Gloria Steinem, Shelby Knox and others who offer an enlightening and entertaining counterpoint to the male dominated superhero genre.
Tracing the evolution of Wonder Woman's narrative as it reflects the state of American politics and culture is fascinating. But it's kinda weird hearing Kathleen Hanna of Bikini Kill and founder of Riot Grrl cite the Lynda Carter "Wonder Woman" and "Charlie's Angels" as inspirations. Those two shows were the very essence of "Jiggle TV."
The disconnect is heightened by the outrage that was sparked last summer by the first looks at Adrianne Palicki as NBC's new "Wonder Woman," practically spilling out of her bustier. "How is she supposed to fight crime dressed like that?!?!?!" was a common cry. We have no idea about the physics behind such mysteries, but Wonder Woman has been fighting crime dressed like that for more than 70 years. But the show went to an early grave, before even making it to air, taking the issue with it.
Text from ww.nbcnewyork.com/blogs/popcornbiz
Lisa Mendez is "Tentatively Titled" Lisa Mendez is "Tentatively Titled"
Lisa Mendez graduated in May 2011 with a B.F.A. in art with a focus on photography and a minor in WS. During her time at NMSU, Mendez has been the unoffical artist in residence for the WSP. Here is the artist's statement and images from "Tentatively Titled."
It started with a physical change- my body shedding inches and losing weight. As a result, I gained confidence in the "new person" I have become, both physically and emotionally. Yet, the psychological fusion of my new body with my old thoughts has proven to be an arduous process. While I have made great efforts to engage in an active lifestyle and challenge my comfort level of my own nudity, I continue to experience a conundrum. The development of my "new" outward appearance has not necessarily reconciled with the thought process I've engaged in prior to this evolution, which often included wavering thoughts concerning my body image and womanhood.
"Tentatively Titled" offers me the opportunity to engage viewers in the documentation of a continuing life-changing process. This body of work includes excerpts from diary entries I have written within the last year in which I discuss my changing appearance, and the self-imposed responsibility that comes with it, while the images offer you the opportunity to experience my journey in a visually intimate manner.
Women's Studies Professor Mary Benanti Shines On
Women's Studies Professor, Mary Benanti was a featured monologist in "Shine On: Shining Stars of the Past, Present and Future" on April 8th 2011. The program, which was produced by NMSU Creative Media Institute's Mark Medoff, who is a Tony Award-winning playwright and Oscar-nominated screenwriter, focused on the personal journeys of faculty representatives from each of the 24 departments in the College of Arts and Sciences. In a statement to University Communications, Christa Slaton, Dean of the College of Arts and Science, stated: "Shine On was a celebration of the extraordinary talent and dedication of the faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences. The program featured the personal journeys of faculty throughout the college - how they were inspired by their own professors and mentors in life and how they chose to dedicate themselves to helping New Mexico State University students reach for the stars and achieve their dreams. It was inspiring."
To learn more about the evening: http://www.nmsu.edu/ucomm/atnmsu/cur/springcelebration.html
To see Mary Benanti's monologue, visit her faculty page.
PCA/ACA Spring 2011 with Dr. Jonet
Dr. Jonet and WS/English students presented on the panel, "Disturbing Femininities: Gender in Contemporary French Film" at the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association national conference in San Antonio, April 2011. Pictured: Dr. Jonet, Alheli Harvey, Erin Easely, and Julia Smith. Rotated Image: Julia Smith presents her paper, "Subversion through Masochism in Despentes's Baise-Moi"
Student Profile: Fareyd Bonnett
Fareyd Bonnett Answers Our Questions
Major: Creative Writing (English), Minor: Women's Studies
Year of Study: Junior
Why did you become a Women's Studies Major/Minor?
I started out at as a Philosophy major. I was interested in Philosophy because I wanted an environment that would let you, "think outside of the box." Instead, I found philosophy a stifling major that interested itself in the regurgitation of
thousand-year-old ideas. While searching for something different, I took a WS class from a professor that was highly regarded (I believe she now teaches at UC Berkley). What I found astounded me.
In WS, I found a field of study that actually did revere free thinking and original ideas. WS was taught as an interdisciplinary field of study that "distrusts" many other social and biological sciences, and exposes their innate political biases. In WS, I found truly new ideas that challenged my own beliefs, and I found avenues to explore these ideas. Once into WS, I found myself most interested in Gender Studies (thanks primarily to Judith Butler) and Feminist Philosophy.
Who's your feminist/gender studies s/hero and why?
My personal hero was the professor at the University of Iowa that introduced me to WS, Marjorie Joules (I hope I spelled her name correctly). As for authors, Judith Butler was the single most influential, but bell hooks, and Susan Faludi also influenced me greatly. I also came to find myself so much at odds with people like Andrea Dworkin that I must admit that her work influenced me, although I despise her conclusions. I also enjoyed The 2nd Sex (albeit a tad old and containing many outdated ideas) and the humorous writings of Kate Bornstein.
I also admire the activist works of Emma Goldman, and I had the distinct privilege of defending the Clinic in Iowa City that bears her name from Fred Phelps and his gang of gay-hating cronies.
If you had a feminist/gender equality superpower, what would it be and what would you do with it?
It is a dark and stormy Friday night in Texas. "Queer-bashing night," the locals call it. A group of drunken good-ol-boys descend upon a known homosexual, on his way home. The attackers corner the boy. The ring leader speaks.
"You're gunna get what's comin' to ya, fag!"
But before any violence begins, a voice rings out from the darkness, "Stop!"
Frightened, the mob disperses, as a dark figure emerges from the shadows. The boy
nods to the Dark Knight, defender of all bullied people.
Another night passes, and people are safe thanks to the man, similar to, but legally different from Batman, who watches and protects.
What feminist/gender equality-oriented musicians do you listen to or suggest to others? Why do you enjoy these performers?
I adore k.d. lang, in fact, I have a major crush on her that goes beyond my love of her music. Part of what draws me to her music, is that she exists in a strain of very "macho" music that would normally be very resistant to an androgynous lesbian, but her undeniable talent has allowed people in places like Nashville, to revere her.
What books, films, or websites do you suggest for those interested in Women's/Gender Studies?
Books: Gender Trouble, Ain"t I a Woman?, Backlash, Sexing the Body, and for better or for worse I think everyone should read Intercourse.
Films: The Piano (imagery and ideals of the Victorian woman), The Hours (a good cross section of what modern womanhood/manhood entails), Farewell my Concubine (Complex issues of transgendered identities), Boys Don't Cry (True story about the violence facing transgendered people here in America)
What words of wisdom do you have to share with Women's/Gender Studies majors and minors about pursuing this area of study and how this knowledge will be useful in the future?
In the popular film, "The Matrix" when Neo visits the Oracle, she points to a Latin inscription above her door. Translated, it means, "Know Thyself." In America, we have all been gendered since our birth. This programming has implications in every aspect of our lives. To understand this social conditioning is to understand ourselves, and knowing oneself is the first step to true freedom.
We'll wrap up with possibly the most important question: Green Sauce, Red Sauce, or Twilight?
Well, I think Twilight is trite, Pop-culture crap. And that is me being nice. Wizards are cooler than vampires, so I take Harry Potter. After all, Dumbledore is the wise-old-gay mentor we all need.
A Question for Professor Benanti...
What do you like about teaching Intro to Women's Studies? Why do you think it is an important class?
Women's Studies is an eye-opening, exciting adventure into a world that has long been hidden from traditional scholarship. The introductory course provides a lens into that wondrous world that instinctively we knew existed somewhere, because we as women felt it in our psyche: "Surely I am not alone in my feelings. Somewhere in the universe this must reverberate with others like me." Once we open the magic door to that special place, it will never close back on us again. We will understand why we sometimes feel as we feel, think as we think, understand what we have been questioning and then we will question even more. Even though the introductory courses are a broad-brush of interdisciplinary research in many fields, they provide students -men as well as women - a grounding and a jumping off place for further investigation of the world around them as they learned it, know it, feel it. As a teacher, I never fail to feel the adrenal rush of being part of this new journey with every class of students whether they are online or in a traditional setting. Students challenge us in their comments and reflective writings and we teachers challenge them to see this world. When I read comments from my students -men and women -that say, "I learned so much," OR "I now understand myself better and am stronger for it," I am humbled and grateful to have been a part of that journey.