Gender Studies to Host Lecture on Feminism from Indian Perspective
On Thursday, October 24, the Gender Studies Program will sponsor a lecture presented by Fulbright scholar Anita Singh, English professor and co-coordinator of the Centre for Women’s Studies and Development at Banaras Hindu University in Varanasi, India. Her lecture, “Mapping Feminist Debates: Questions from the Indian Context,” will begin at 3:30 p.m. in Old Main room 308
Check out Prof. Mathews-Benham’s latest project!
Sandra Mathews-Benham, professor of History of Women of the American West, was featured in an article on creative ways to fund projects like her second book.
What once was the Women’s Resource Center at Nebraska Wesleyan is now the GAP, the Gender Advocacy Place, signaling openness to all men including LGBTQI individuals. Lea and Wesley are working to educate about sex, gender, sexual assault, and more. Reach the GAP at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Professors are offering great Gender Studies courses this fall: Feminist Theories, Sociology of Gender, Psychology of Gender, Women of the American West, Masterpieces: Sexualities, and Coming of Age. Thanks to a great NWU faculty for making the program what it is.
All day on Wesleyan’s campus, students from across departments will be presenting on their research and creative work. Several Gender Studies and Gender Studies related presentations will be taking place as follows:
Angie Beezley Trans identity formation: Personal narratives of
trans-masculine people Sociology 11:00AM-12:00PM Great Hall
Rebecca Brune Should Cinema Have a Social Responsibility in Representing Prostitution? Gender Studies 1:00-1:20PM SC 242
Becca Boellstorff Writing her own story: Ofelia of Pan’s Labyrinth and Non-Gendered Narration Gender Studies 1:20-1:40PM SC 242 Oral
Louisa Ehrlich The (Un)Ethical Use of ‘Human’ Gender Studies
1:40-2:00PM SC 242 Oral
Sammi Campbell Heavy Philosophy 2:00-2:20PM SC 242 Oral
Megan Scherling A Comparison of Gay Marriage Policy in Canada and the
United States Modern Languages 2:20PM-2:40PM SC 225 Oral
This is an incomplete list, and there are many presentations that will pique the interest of the Gender Studies-minded! A full schedule can be found here. A reception will be held at 4:30pm in the Great Hall. Hope to see you all there!
Though the term “unrequited love” already exists, a more popular phrase floating around these days for the phenomena of one member of a relationship wishing for a romantic connection while the other prefers to remain platonic is “the friend zone”/”being friendzoned.” At first blush, the change in terminology doesn’t seem all that problematic. It is a common human experience to be rejected or disappointed by romantic pursuits – and it is, of course, acceptable to express that angst and hurt when this happens.
It’s important to clarify that the problem here lies not in the term “friend zone” itself, but in the gendered expectations and poorly veiled misogyny that have developed surrounding it. To best illustrate what I am describing, I will point you to this image, one of the first that came up when I did an internet search on “the friend zone.”
There are many men who have the attitude seen above, that a male/female relationship only exists because the man finds her sexually or romantically attractive, and therefore a woman should act accordingly, i.e. behave as if she is being courted. This not only implies that men should only take interest in or provide kindness to a woman if she will provide sexual favors in return, but also vilifies women who exercise their right to reject a sexual advance or to maintain a personal relationship with a man in which they feel safe. Almost any man who complains about the friend zone will describe himself as a “nice guy” in the same breath as his vitriolic diatribe about about how stupid the women in his life are for not appreciating him in the way he would like, which says to me that simply being nice to women is something, in his mind, that should be rewarded and applauded.
Instead of advocating for “nice guys” who offer their friendship in return for sex and spew hate at the “friends” who don’t oblige, let’s encourage a shift in communication – one that is rooted in honesty, listening, and valuing one another. I shudder to think of the truly amazing and beneficial friendships that have been destroyed by this sense of entitlement – because, yes, as amazing as women’s bodies are, there is in fact more to them. As long as there is this stringent belief that men and women can only interact positively while one is pursuing the other, women will continue to be reduced to vending machines that deliver sex in exchange for compliments and support while men are wolves in sheep’s clothing whose motives must always be questioned. I think we can all do much better than that.