Saturday, May 1, 2010

Gender, Propaganda, and War

Thanks to classmates Christine Bowden, Rebekah Glover, and Rebecca Nesbitt for this link to a 1950s British newsreel film that represents the Kenyan freedom fighters, known as Mau Mau, as terrorists. The reel was produced while Britain held colonial control over Kenya, and the newsreel is clearly intended to drum up anti-Mau Mau support for continued British occupation. Based on our discussions on gender, war, and militarism, what questions come to mind about gendering terrorism, war, and the military when you view this newsreel?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sierra Leone Legalizes Free Health Care for Mothers, Infants

This news release from Medicins sans frontieres/Doctors Without Borders details Sierra Leone's new national law, which mandates free health care as of April 27, 2010, to the nation's most vulnerable groups: pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, and children under the age of five. These groups represent the highest rates of mortality in the nation, and the new law seeks to reduce these numbers by improving access to preventive and urgent medical care that many cannot otherwise afford.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Film: Searching for Angela Shelton, 4/27, Keezell G3, 7pm

To raise awareness for Sexual Abuse Prevention Month, one of my world literature service project groups will screen the documentary Searching For Angela Shelton. The film's director, Angela Shelton, searched for women who share her name only to find that over half, like herself, have been sexually abused. Soon her journey turns into a vivid and moving commentary on both sexual and child abuse in society today, as Shelton confronts the man who abused her. The film will be shown Tuesday, April 27th, in Keezel Hall room G3 at 7:00pm. I hope you'll attend.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

National Equal Pay Day is April 20th

Next week, the average U.S. woman will finally have earned, by working through all of 2009 and through most of 2010, what the average U.S. man earned in 2009. This article by the National Women's Law Center seeks to raise awareness of the continuing gendered wage gap. This relates to our recent class discussions.

Is Body Hair Only for Men?

This New York Times article on recent spottings of celebrities who do not shave their legs and/or armpits is a great discussion of the cultural pressure in the United States to perform certain beauty rituals that alter the body. These practices ultimately create more work that women and girls must perform in order to be socially acceptable. How does this track with your learning in this course? Reactions?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Backstreet Abortions: Few Other Options in Kenya

Thanks to classmate Rachael Capone for bringing this article to my attention, particularly as it's timely to our recent discussions about the State's regulation of women's reproduction. The connection between restricted abortion access and the maiming and/or deaths of mothers and fetuses is not a U.S.-only epidemic. I hope you'll read this troubling article in

Myth of "Gay Lifestyle" Fuels Discrimination

As we've discussed in class, terminology is political. Take, for example, the term "gay lifestyle," which suggests that homosexuality is a chosen, aberrant, way of life that differs dramatically from the "natural" heterosexual way of being. LZ Granderson's essay on takes issue with this use of a mythology of difference as a means for discrimination. What's your reaction, vis-a-vis our course?