by Julia Overton-Healy
All too often, as a Student Affairs professional woman who coaches a lot of young college women, I hear women students start a sentence with “I’m sorry but…” They are usually asking a question –perfectly encouraged since they are, after all, trying to learn something; or expressing a thought—again, wonderfully welcome because we are in a classroom and thought is our main currency of exchange. Sometimes they want to share an opinion; always a happy moment since it indicates they’ve thought about the information they now understand and have weighed it against other information they have and formulated a decision about the entire process. Often they are simply reacting to someone else’s comment; again, highly welcome since conversation and discussion is one of the best ways we learn about our world. So I am baffled when I hear “I’m sorry but” as a prelude to a question, thought, opinion or reaction—all of which are welcome in my class!
I’ve started interrupting my students now when I hear them do this. I’ll just butt right in—rude, I know—and ask them “what are you sorry for?” Continue reading #NotSorry
by Craig Bidiman
I’ve had a few interesting interactions with men over the last two years during my insurgence into the realm of studying and advocating for healthier masculinities. One topic that constantly arises is feminism.
Feminism is an interesting topic in the masculinities realm because I have found that some men are quite resistant to identify as a feminist.
Feminism—simply put—is advocating for gender equity. For all.
And men—simply put—are not good at sharing. At all.
Even though men are often not good at sharing, I have faith we can share feminist dialogue with each other. Yet, in order be effective, I have found that the conversation must go through three distinct steps. Continue reading Three Simple Steps for Men to Engage Resistant Men in Feminist Dialogue
by Shelly N. Laurenzo
I have been fortunate enough, during the past semester, to participate in a women’s leadership program on my campus called Women of Change (WoC). Three senior members in student affairs and academics brainstormed and developed this program over several years before finally receiving a grant for this inaugural cohort. Just to give you an overview of WoC, there are eight women in the program from a variety of offices in student affairs (residence life, health center, and judicial affairs to name a few) in entry and mid-level positions. We began in December with our kick-off retreat and have met every other week for three hours during the spring semester.
Continue reading Women of Change: Building women’s leadership programs on campus
by Amy Howton
(This post is cross-posted from amyjhowton.com, My Feminist Praxis)
I pretty much hate mainstream feminism. Critiques of mainstream feminisms and the movement’s pervasive reinforcement of the status quo really get me fired up. And I mean fired up–head bobbing, fist pumping, mumbling Amen and all. Here’s the problem: I’m about as mainstream as it gets. I’m white, married, middle-class, working as a professional feminist in a campus-based women’s center, I might as well get “mainstream” tattooed on my forehead.
Of course, the privilege that accompanies this mainstream status is nuanced in how I actually experience it. As I join with colleagues and students to advocate for gender and social justice in and beyond our institution, our work often times feels marginalized, dismissed, devalued. Continue reading Notes from the Mainstream
by Adrianna Kezar
Leaders in student affairs have embraced new notions of leadership as collaborative, non-hierarchical, collective and focused on social justice and change. Well not everyone, but certainly I find leaders in student affairs strongly align with new ideas about leadership embodied in models such as Helen Astin’s social change model of leadership or Allen and Cherrey’s systemic leadership. And, not surprisingly, it is research on effective women leaders that was used to create new conceptions of leadership.
Unfortunately, as women are entering positions of authority on college campuses, the environment is changing markedly and is becoming much more corporate and market-driven in orientation. The pressure to compete comes from the global economy in which a more capitalist orientation is seen as preferable and essential for success in the coming decades. Continue reading Women’s Leadership in a New Era