For My People

By Cassie Brown

For my people who are insecure
For my people who suffer from depression
Who also suffer from anxiety
For my people who don’t have many friends
Who feel alone during hard times
For my people who enjoy being alone
But don’t like feeling lonely
For my people who go throughout the day with a fake smile on their face
Who don’t like sharing their problems in fear of being judged
For my people who have scars to remind them how bad things are
For my people who constantly ask if it’s worth it anymore
And they feel the only escape from their pain is suicide

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Special Edition: Critiquing the Critique

Women on Wednesday is a critical program with a rich, 26 year history of highlighting the voices of diverse, intelligent, savvy and  creative people, especially women working to end sexist oppression and promote a safe, inclusive and engaged community through advocacy, education, alliance-building and women’s leadership.

On March 30th, the Women’s Center hosted Vednita Carter and Joy Friedman from Breaking Free, one of the nation’s leading organizations for working with victims and survivors of sex trafficking and prostitution, at a Women on Wednesday session titled “Sex Trafficking 201: Dynamics of Prostitution and Sex Trafficking.” We’re excited to report a record-breaking audience of 157 for this engaging presentation from two survivors about the realities of the sex industry and the experiences of prostituted women. (Follow this link to listen to an audio recording of the session and hear their powerful stories yourself!)

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Repost – “Tennessee Anti-Transgender Bill Defeated by the Voices of Young Trans People”

We found this great article this week on Feministing.com, discussing the defeat of a Tennessee anti-transgender law.  Not only does this article talk about the great work of some transgender youth, it also talks about some important conversations that government officials are having when it comes to this issue, AND it highlights some of the amazing strides in awareness and the devastating repercussions that are occurring because of trans visibility.

http://feministing.com/2016/03/22/tennessee-anti-transgender-bill-defeated-by-the-voices-of-young-trans-people/

What do you think?  How can we become more involved in our own SCSU community with assuring the rights of transgender students are met?

Scrutiny

Emma Watson, Beyonce, Amy Pohler, and Amandla Stenberg.  These women enjoy fame in today’s society.  Each of these women also provide a great role model to women and girls in terms of reaching out with feminism to better the world for women everywhere.  And yet, what I see in magazines and media coverage mostly is someone reporting about their hair, their looks, their clothing.

The scrutiny of women in the media is extremely pervasive.  Have you ever taken a look at some pictures from awards shows?  A reporter might mention the designer of the tuxedo a man is wearing, but they certainly don’t pick apart the choices he makes for his hair, clothing, or jewelry.  A woman is posed and paraded from the time she steps onto the carpet, and then each choice she makes is dissected by a panel of people, the so called “fashion police.”

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Web Series as a New Form of Media

By Mariam Bagadion

The LGBTQ+ community started garnering attention and momentum in television beginning in 2004 with The L Word. Glee drew a larger audience and initiated a sort of normalization of queer characters in the media, (even though their portrayal of some of the queer characters perpetuated a few stereotypes and could be seen as just a little problematic, but that’s another can of worms) and newer shows like The Fosters and How to Get Away with Murder have queer characters as part of their main ensembles.

But there’s another form of media that has become the unsung hero for queer representation: the web series.

A web series is a scripted show, much like mainstream television that appears online in episodes that are only a few minutes long. Web series have all of the components of a mainstream television show by utilizing writers, directors, producers and actors with all of the creative freedom of a YouTube channel. Media censorship can limit what viewers see on television screens (which is a problem in itself, but again, different can of worms). These hoops are virtually non-existent for web series creators and many take advantage of it, promoting the visibility of all sorts of sexualities and gender identities. While definitely not complete, following is a list of web series that I’ve personally watched and thoroughly enjoyed for you to devour with hosts of queer characters and identities.

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Open Letter to SCSU Community

To the St. Cloud State University campus community:

On March 2, 2016, the Supreme Court will hear Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, a case that is fundamentally about autonomy, one’s ability to freely determine what is best for their health without interference, and access to the safe, and legal health care that meets individuals’ self-identified needs. This case challenges laws that restrict abortion access under the guise of concern for the health and safety of patients but are truly political ploys to limit the accessibility of abortion care. The outcome of Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt affects us all: it will change the realities of abortion access for decades to come: either by finding undue restrictions unlawful, or forcing clinics to shut down, and subsequently, people to seek alternative and unsafe abortion services.

Despite clarity from the Supreme Court that people have a constitutional right to abortion, states continue to pass laws that limit women’s access to abortion care through a variety of tactics, including:

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Continuing Conversations About Islamophobia

In St. Cloud, Islamophobia and xenophobia run rampant. We have discussed Islamophobia and xenophobia on this blog before, and it is important to keep these conversations going. When I read that “St. Cloud is the worst place in Minnesota to be Somali” my first reaction, as a white woman who not only attends school at the University but also lives and works in St. Cloud, was shame.

Islamophobia and xenophobia extend beyond the University and into the city itself, from systematic spaces like school systems to everyday spaces like grocery stores and in cars stopped at traffic lights. It happens, abruptly, in the flow of everyday life, and so, as a community, it is in everyday life that we must choose to stand against it.

Here is another link to this important article.

Also, on Tuesday, February 2nd at 5:00 pm, St. Cloud State will be hosting a discussion on “Islamophobia in Minnesota” featuring Jaylani Hussein.  Here is a link.  Be a part of this important, ongoing conversation!

 

Perspectives from SCSU4MIZZOU

By Sharai Sims

The first snow fall of this season happened on the same night St. Cloud State students rallied for solidarity with the students of the University of Missouri

Over the last several weeks we have seen college students around the nation stand together in solidarity with Mizzou against racial injustice that occurs for all students of color on a systematic level. On November 19, St. Cloud State students of all ethnicities, genders, and sexual orientations banded together to show their solidarity as a diverse community against injustice. The rally was a response to everyday experiences of racism and the denial of a call by student organizers for St. Cloud State University to make a public statement in alliance with Mizzou students. Students decided the best way to see change was to take action. With signs held high, voices screamed chants like, “My Gay Black Life Matters.”

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You Speak So Well

By Sean Schlosser

“Well you know, you just speak well. I mean where are you from?”

“Minnesota.”

“No, but really. Where are you from?”

These types of conversations are, unfortunately, not new to me. It comes with the territory. I’m Korean, but to society I’m just Asian, and because I don’t “broken English” my way through conversations, this is something I have to address (actually if I did have trouble speaking, that’d be addressed by another form of microaggression that I’ll talk about later).

I take a deep breath, then that special thing happens, the one from the movies. You know, where a conversation happens and a thought bubble pops up with different alternatives for me to respond with. There are a few ways I could respond, and to me the first one would be the most justified, which includes but wouldn’t be limited to making a scene, yelling, “What the hell kind of voice were you expecting to come out of my mouth?!?!?” arms flailing. I would make them as uncomfortable as the question made me feel. It’d be right, right?

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Need a break? Need a book?

It’s that time of the semester for college students…we only have a few weeks left of classes!  There are a multitude of ways to celebrate, but (arguably) one of the best is reading for fun. When classes are in session, it can be difficult to find time to really enjoy reading, and as awesome as reading about theory and practice is (it is, right?), sometimes you just need something else.

If that’s the case, we’ve got you covered.

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