Mad Max Love

Charlize Theron - photo from Vanity Fair

The other week I went to see Mad Max; if I am being honest, I went opening night and squeezed into the very packed theater, and left feeling as though this was one of the better movies I have seen in a very long time (sorry Lego Movie; I still love you though).

I was excited to the see the movie, and had been eagerly waiting to see it since what I will call early April. I was not surprised to see it, but there were/are some grumpy men claiming that the movie is feminist propaganda. To that I say, too bad! But if you are curious, you can read their complaints here.

Charlize Theron was phenomenal, and I was thoroughly in love with her as Furiosa. In fact I just loved the women in this film. They felt real to me, and I became invested in them. These felt like women I could know, not the typical flat characters that I find in other films and books. They were more than glorified eye candy. I won’t give away too much for those who have not seen it, but like my beloved comic Rat Queens, (check that out, if you haven’t) there is something very refreshing about seeing women being portrayed as women. Despite that these women who were slaves and represented these idealized versions of women, there is a fight against this. I think this is why I am so amused by the complaints about this movie being feminist propaganda, or how there are too many women in this film. Their attitudes and the way women are represented in media, is exactly why this film is being celebrated. The women in this film dare to defy being decoration or set pieces within this post apocalyptic world and the film. I would argue that if the women were just sex slaves in the background, there would not be an uproar about how there are too many women in the movie. As a friend of mine jokingly said in response to the complaints, “How dare you ladies go around having thoughts and opinions and things?” He jokes, but it certainly rings true, at least whenever women cross that line into “the man realm.” Gamergate anyone?

More from Vanity Fair

Also, there were some pretty sweet, real explosions that occur in the movie. So go see it!

Hello Giggles also pointed out Tom Hardy, and the amazing faces he makes when people ask him ignorant questions:
Tom Hardy

That face is priceless, and can people please stop asking about why there are women here and there, in supposedly “male” things. Just no.

(images from Vanity Fair)

The Fearless Female and the Freedom to Be Happy

Looking for something to do tomorrow, 3/24?

The Fearless Female and the Freedom to Be Happy

Strong Lives Lead to Happy Lives

Where: AA 196
When: 12:30 -1:30

Where: AA 331
When 2:00 – 3:00

strong life photo!

“College students want many things: fun, friends, success, and an opportunity to find their own way toward a fulfilling, happy life. Dr. Erin Foley teaches students how to build a STRONG LIFE. She delivers messages aimed at helping students go after their opportunities with strength, confidence and an eye toward what’s possible.

Sponsored by the Student life Office, Dr. Foley will be conducting two programs: “The Fearless Female and the Freedom to Be Happy” and “Strong Lives Lead to Happy Lives”. ”

The Women’s Center

It is Women’s History month, and frankly there are not enough days to cover all of the awesome that women have achieved and are achieving, from the likes of Marie Curie to our grandmothers who made things work, even when they appeared to be impossible (my grandmother stayed home with eight kids and they all lived to tell about it and everyone came out mostly unscathed), or a random woman we run into doing something we love that inspires us. Ladies do a lot!

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I was thinking about highlighting different women who are doing cool things now, but then I thought about the women I interact with on this campus, and the women that they interact, and that struck more of chord with me. We have some truly gifted women on this campus, who breathe life into everything they do.

Since the beginning of the semester, we have had both the “Women Helping Women” and “Elect Her” on this campus, both of which were wildly successful. Not only did some amazing Faculty and Staff help coordinate the events, but our students came out and made the events memorable. The beginning of this year has been exciting, and is setting a great foundation for more great things to come throughout the year.

Continuing on the momentum, we have a display that near AA 252 for Women’s History Month, which is a collection of books and pieces of art work, that come from the Faculty, Staff, and Students here on the Alexandria Campus.

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The books in the in display, have been written by women who have inspired us to participate in groups like the Women’s Center, and share the invaluable knowledge and insight from that these authors have imparted upon us. In turn this has led to classes and projects that have inspired students, and their works of art in the display, inspire us.

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We have some powerful, and creative women on this campus, and I look forward to seeing the things they do in the future. I would also like to thank Prof. Martin for putting this together!

A Little Bit of Hope

The news is often filled with terrible, awful things, which to be fair these things are going on in the world, but it gets a little depressing at times.

So today, I just wanted to share some things with you, some people rather, that have turned some rather horrific and unfortunate situations into opportunities to fight for not only themselves, but for others who may not have found their voices yet.

Hope is a powerful thing:

The Hunting Ground

Urusula Burns

Many of us have seen Xerox boxes around campus, holding the precious paper we use for copying and printing, but did you know that the CEO of the Fortune 500 company is Ursula Burns. This week we are looking Ms. Burns in our Black History Month series.

ursula burns
Why you may ask?

We are all aware of the minimal female presence in the STEM fields, and women of color are even rarer. Ms. Burns managed to knock down those hurdles back in the 1980’s by getting a Master’s in Mechanical Engineering from Columbia University(Xerox), when it was even more of a rarity. She is also the first black female CEO of a Fortune 500 Company.

Ms. Burns is an inspiration, and has managed to break both gender and racial barriers in the Stem field. For more on this powerful, check out the video, where she talks about her upbringing, and the challenges she faced to get where she is today.

Elect Her

This past Friday, the AAUW (the American Association of University Women) hosted their Elect Her event on the Alexandria Campus. Their elect her program focuses on training college women to run for student government. We had 50 students turn out for the event!
elect her

We are very proud of our students who participated, and are happy that the AAUW was able to come out and continue empower our students! Thank you for everyone who helped put this together, and to all those who participated.

Check out Elect Her for more information on the program.

Rita Dove

As many of you know, it is now February, really it has been February for about a week, and it came far too quickly for my liking, but what can you do?

February is Black History Month, and typically there is a lot of focus on Civil Rights Leaders, who dedicated blood, sweat, and tears to gain equality. This year, I would like to highlight some of the amazing black folks who have had great achievements or contributions, and also look at some up and coming people who are doing some amazing things. Without the struggles of yesterday, we would not have the path we walk today.

Today we highlight Rita Dove. If you like poetry, you may love her, if you have not seen any of her stuff, please come down to the library and check her stuff out.

rita dove 2010

Why is she so phenomenal? She was a Poet Laureate, as well as a Pulitzer Prize winner. She is also a professor at UVA. She has several collections published including, Mother Love, American Smooth, and a personal favorite of mine, Sonata Mulattica.

Women Helping Women

This past Saturday we had the honor of participating in the event Women Helping Women, which was a day long even that had various workshops that could be attended. The theme this year was, “Taking Care of Yourself.”

Women Helping Women

We have some amazing women who helped put this even together, as well as some wonderful speakers who came out and shared the words of wisdom. I was able to catch some of the “Work Life/Balance” workshop by Dr. Walters, and it hit home for me, and I imagine it did for anyone else in the room. We all struggle to juggle the various responsibilities we have in our lives.

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Thank you to all the people who helped to put this together, the speakers, and the people who came out and participated in this great event. Uplifting one another is so important!

Dr. Walters,  Dr. Lorente, and a participant!
Dr. Walters, Dr. Lorente, and an attendee!

Food for Thought

Each week there is at the very least one story that highlights a person that has been sexually violated in some way. Whether it is in another country, or in our own backyard. This week we had the story of two ex football players from Vanderbilt, who were actually tried and convicted. Let’s hope they get a deserving sentence! For more on that check out the story here.

This story and similar ones that I stumble upon each week were echoed on Tumblr (also known as a black hole for me.)

SchoolSexual Assault

It seems like Vanderbilt was fairly proactive, which is great, but that is more of a gem in a sea of crap. The way schools handle sexual assaults has been a big point of contention for me, but seeing this photo just drove it home. If someone cheats on exam or paper, there is usually little leniency for the perpetrator, but if someone is sexually assaulted, the administrations conjure up excuses, move heaven and earth, hell too? in order to justify the actions that took place. Just let this sink in for a bit.

This little gem popped up on my feed too:

Source

There is so much truth here.

Lending a Hand

depression 2

Mental Health has been a topic national discussion, in the wake of Robin Williams’ suicide, and the call for their to be a more efforts put into researching mental health, as well as an honest discussion on how the mentally ill are regarded in this country.

There is a huge stigma attached to having a mental illness, and it is this stigma that add more reasons for people not to seek help. Mental illness is seen as a weakness, and that people should just “suck it up,” which is why we see so many mentally ill on the street, people who are deemed “lazy” or they just did not “try hard enough”. It becomes their problem, and takes any culpability away from a society that turns a blind eye to those who are struggling, and suffer from very real issues.

One of the things we discussed yesterday during the Women’s Center meeting, are the things we can\will be doing during this semester, and hopefully for many semester to follow. Starting February we will be having a Support Group on Wednesday’s from Noon – 1 led by a counselor from Access Hope and starting next week on Thursday’s from 3:30 – 4:30 there will a Recovery Community meeting.

We are all really excited to have these groups available, and hope that they provide some support to those in need.

This is a national battle, but we can do our part in our little community. Here are some folks who are sharing their own stories, and pushing to make change in how we interact with mental health:

http://www.cnn.com/2015/01/16/health/mental-wellness-warriors-fighting-for-those-who-need-it-most/index.html