IC Feminists meet Tuesdays at 8:00 pm in Friends 207!

feminism -1 : the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes; 2 : organized activity on behalf of women's rights and interests; 3 : anything that differentiates women from doormats; 4 : the radical idea that women are people and that all people are capable of treating one another fairly without regard to gender; 5 : movements and personal actions that eradicate misogyny, create love, spread peace, accept women as powerful, make movements, shake patriarchy, and generally make everyone feel awesome.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Predator Theory

[Trigger Warning]

Here is a break-down of some really important research on rape over at Feministe.

It supports many ideas of feminist literature on the topic of rape.

"When compared to men who do not rape, these undetected rapists are measurably more angry at women, more motivated by the need to dominate and control women, more impulsive and disinhibited in their behavior, more hyper-masculine in their beliefs and attitudes, less empathic and more antisocial."

Not really surprising, but still very important.

"The undetected rapists overwhelmingly use minimal or no force, rely mostly on alcohol and rape their acquaintances. They create situations where the culture will protect them by making excuses for them and questioning or denying their victims."

Again, not surprising, but so so critical.

Also, here's a great response to the analysis over at Fugitivus.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

"Men can be feminists?"

Yes, men can be feminists.

Why, you may ask? Well, why the hell not?

I've been wanting to write about my experiences as a male feminist for quite some time now. Yes, I am a cisgender male. Yes, it is impossible for me to have exactly the same experiences as a cisgender woman. If I decide to stay as a cisgender male, I will never give birth to a child, menstruate, experience many forms of sexist discrimination, worry about my safety while walking across campus at night, etc. etc.

I realize this. I wanted to make that disclaimer before I continue so as to let people know what I am aware of the discrepancy between the discrimination (or lack thereof) that I will face in my lifetime as compared to that of many many women. In order to write about feminism, I must identify where I am coming from (the perspective of a male) and use my experiences to speak about topics such as women's rights. If I don't, then I think that discredits a lot of what I have to say. Sure, I can talk about inequalities, but I can't truthfully say "I have experienced this firsthand". Of course I've learned about gender inequalities in many of my classes and have witnessed these injustices happen to my female friends and relatives, but I am not a woman.

That being said, I am a feminist. You don't have to be a woman and firsthand experience these inequalities in order to identify them. In fact, I find it irresponsible to identify these inequalities and then sit idly by and do nothing to change them.

Indulge me as I speak about my experiences as a male feminist.

I'd like to speak in particular about people's reactions to feminism. When I was tabling for IC feminists at the student organizational fair, many people came up to me to point out that I am a boy.

"There's men in the club?" some asked.
"There's a boy next to a box of tampons? Where I come from, that doesn't happen." said one young woman from Jamaica.
"Can I pick up chicks at the feminist meetings?" one young man asked.
Oh, and rest assured. I got plenty of "WTF" looks.

Then there's the people who came up to the IC feminist table just to get a laugh out of their friends several feet away. That was fun.

"Men tabling at the feminist club, that's so great!!" said several people.

It is this last instance that I would like to talk more about. I got a lot of positive reactions from people who were pleasantly surprised to see a man handing out information about feminism. I got some compliments and encouragement from IC faculty. It made me feel good.

Then I thought to myself, "Why is this a big deal?". To answer that thought, it's not. I find it unfortunate that when you find one man who cares about gender equality, it's cause for praise. These people who gave me verbal encouragement were kind, but it just reminded me how unfortunate it is that my gender surprised them. I'd like to see so many women AND men caring about gender inequality that no one would look twice when they see a boy sitting next to a box of tampons.

When I talk to people about our campus feminist group, a common question I'm asked is "How many boys are in the group?". I answer them politely, but what I would like to say is "Why the hell does that matter? Does having a large representation of males in the group make it more legitimate?"

I know people mean well, but it just bothers me when people ask those questions. I know they're curious, as I would be too. Before I started going to meetings, I wondered if I would feel out of place. It's a natural thing to wonder about... but it just makes me itchy when people ask it.

It's great when men self-identify as feminists, but when it's cause for celebration, then you know something is wrong with society.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Weekend Blogginz

What a beautiful weekend! The only thing that could make this weekend any better would be learning about womens' internalized oppression.

One may ask "But, why would I want to dampen a positive mood by learning about an upsetting topic?"

I'm glad you asked!
Well frankly, because it matters. Plus, I view awareness about societal restraints as a positive thing, rather than a negative one. Sure, it isn't a positive issue to read about, but knowledge is power. I believe in recognizing problems rather than glazing over them. I believe in identifying them, confronting them, discussing them, and solving them. I believe in addressing the issue head on, instead of letting it be this big, scary, and mysterious force that has power over us.

So, there you have it.

Also, here's this kick-ass modern artist who combines her knowledge of math, ecology, and the social sciences to make some amazing political statements.

Oh, and one more thing! If anyone has any sexist ads that they happen to stumble upon whilst thumbing through a magazine, please save them and give them to us! We're going to need lots of sexist ads for our Shred Sexism event. It's unfortunate enough that we are bombarded with these negative images, so why not use them to make a political statement?

Have a lovely rest of your weekend :)

Monday, September 7, 2009

New Semester, New News, New Blog Entry

Ah yes, it is that time of year. The leaves in the beautiful trees of the finger lakes are beginning to hint at traces of gold and yellow. The students are carrying their towels down to 2nd Dam to go frolic in the majesty of the gorges (be careful!). The professors are beginning to make us regret taking on so many credits in one semester. *Deep sigh* ... can you sense it? A new semester has begun.

I cannot explain to you how excited I am to begin blogging this semester. There are so so so many things I want to talk about/share/learn from this bloggination. I highly encourage comments to discuss topics touched upon in blog entries, general feedback, and suggestions for future topics to blog about.

To start things off, I am pleased to cordially invite you to our first meeting of IC Feminists for the 2009 Fall Semester! Our meeting is Tuesday, September 8th at 8:00 in Friends 207. People of all sexes and genders are super duper welcome to come! Bring a friend! Bring ideas! Bring joy and joyness!

With that said, now that it's a new semester, we have a new E-board! I am proud to introduce the always lovely members of this semester's Executive Board:

Co-President Kimberly LaReau
Co-President Emma Tanner
Secretary Mary Ryan
Treasurer Alaine Blessman
Publicist Laura Kathrein
Event Manager Joy Kucinkas
Webmistress Matt Worhach (me!)

These fabulous gals and I will try our darnedest to be awesome E-board members. I think I can speak on behalf of everyone to say that we are psyched to see new and returning members this semester.

Anywayz, time to get down to blogging-business. I hardcore want to bring a website to everyone's attention: Skin Deep, a Cosmetic Safety Review Board which strives to research current cosmetic products currently on the market and determine just how hazardous they are to our health.
I spent a good 2 hours on that site today looking up various products I use, and it successfully scared the crap out of me. Now, I'm not one to endorse resources that seem to thrive off of fear/insecurities *cough* the Cosmetic Industry *cough*, but I like to look at it this way: Cosmetic companies profit off of making you feel like you need their products. Skin Deep is not trying to get people to purchase a product, they are in fact doing the opposite. Their database serves to educate consumers on products, not to produce body insecurity. What surprised me the most about the site was that various companies that advertise themselves as "Natural" apparently throw that word around like a hot potato. The USDA does not regulate the phrase of "Natutal" in cosmetics, so companies could theoretically bottle used grease from KFC and call it "Natural Hair Oil". Ew.
Looking at this website is a good idea for at least this reason: it caused me to think about just how many beauty products I use myself... which, after careful calculation, I figured out is a crapload. I don't consider myself to be someone who uses a lot of beauty products, but think about it: toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, hair gel, deodorant, cologne, shaving cream, hand lotion, body lotion, face moisturizer, hand soap, body wash, face wash, mouthwash, teeth whitening strips, acne treatment, chap stick, etc. etc. etc. It freaked me out to think about how much money the Cosmetic Industry is making from me in just a week. Plus, I'm a man! All of the things I listed are just the tip of the ice berg for what products women are expected/encouraged to buy.

I've decided to keep my Grocery receipts and highlight anything that could be considered a Cosmetic/beauty product. At the end of the week, I'll make a tally as to just how much money I did spend on those products. There's certainly a chance that being conscious of my weekly purchases could affect what I actually buy, but I suppose that's at least a start to understanding my own consumer-habits.

I will keep y'all posted on my little project. I know you are probably super excited to find out whether or not I floss. For now, I will keep you on the edge of your seat.


Monday, January 26, 2009

Hello Fabulous Feminists

We hope everyone had a wonderful (and relaxing) winter break. We're changing the IC Feminists weekly meetings to Monday nights this semester! So, join us tonight, January 26th at 8 pm in Friends 207 for the first meeting of the spring semester!

We can't wait to catch up with you all, and to tell you about the grand things taking place this semester. We want to give everyone a heads up for one event we are really excited about...

Relay for Life, on March 28th, 2009! For those of you who aren't familiar with Relay for Life already, it's a 12 hour fundraiser event with bands, a cappella groups, pie-eating contests, guitar hero, poker, bingo, hypnotist, masseuse, etc! Check out the facebook event for more info - last year 3,000 students participated and raised over $225,000! If you are interested in joining the IC Feminists' Relay for Life Team, you can register on the Relay for Life site at this address! If you have any questions or need help registering, just ask one of the e-board members or send us an email at icfeminists@gmail.com! This year's Relay for Life is going to be bigger and better than ever! March 28th, 2009 - Save the date!

We'll see you tonight at 8:00 in Friends 207!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Natural Beauty Campaign Raffle Winners!

Congrats to all the NBC Raffle Winners!
  • Liz Smith (Library Staff): Sexy Soap
  • Zach Tomarelli: Sunscreen
  • Ashely Chiocco: Girls Fight Back T-shirt
  • Rebekah Forni: Girls Fight Back Book
  • Ninoshka: Massage Oil
  • Jessica Cacciola: Hand Salve by Burts Bees
  • Becky Webster: Antibacterial Lotions
  • Theresa: Antibacterial Handwipes
  • Katy Liebold: Antibacterial Handwipes
  • Sam Wan: Toothbrush
  • Emma Harris: Toothpaste
  • Alan Borger (Library Staff): Toothpaste
  • Stephanie Kromhout: The Diva Cup!
To claim your prize, please come to the Student Activities Center on the 3rd floor of Egbert Hall in the Campus Center and show your faculty/staff or student ID to the front desk representative beginning Friday 11/14. Thanks for coming- and a big thanks to Greenstar Cooperative Markets for sponsoring our raffle prizes!