Monthly Archives: September 2014

9/21 Round Table

This week we had a very powerful Round Table Discussion with Professor  Abebe Fekade, who talked about intimate partner violence.  Lately we have  heard a lot on this topic because it has been in the forefront of the news, but Professor Fekade wondered what can be done to implement a lasting change.  

During these highly publicized incidents there is often national commentary on the events that take place, and a frequent comment that is repeated, is “why did she not just leave?” or other comments that focus on what the victim could have done to avoid the situation, instead of addressing the larger issue of abuse, and how it is brushed aside in our society.

The past few weeks are a perfect example of how we as society are horrified by the actions of others, and basque in that horror for the days or week that it is in the news,  and go on with our lives until the next horror becomes the breaking news story.  There is a failure to sit down and question what is going on in our society, and why these things are happening, and what can be done to circumvent them.

Within the last few weeks we have had the video where Janay Palmer is punched by her fiance, the police officer who sexually assaulted 8 black women,   Hannah Graham the  missing UVA student, and just now, a news alert popped up that a man in Oklahoma beheaded a woman at work, and tried to kill another woman. Most of these stories will fade into news oblivion, but for these victims and their families that horror will stay with them.

It can be claimed that these incidents have nothing to do with one another, and that these separate acts of violence are committed by those that are deranged, and a not a reflection of a heavier burden that is weighing down on society. Our discussion, touched on how this burden is seen when there are cultural norms that suggest that abuse is something kept between partners (that is just how they are), or  that violence is a way of expressing love  and protection. This just normalizes this behavior, and places a large amount of responsibility on victims.  It is also trivializes genders, and places them into rigid roles, that provide an oversimplified explanation as to why violence occurs.

Our discussion did not end with all the answers as to what we can do to stop this, but we did talk about having a weekly discussion group that focuses on  intimate partner violence, a place where we discuss some of these issues, and maybe come up with a way to make some headway. One of the things we did all agree on was respect;  it may seem so simple, but it is often overlooked .  Respecting people as they are, and not placing rigid gender roles, or archetypal roles, could help us learn about others, as well as ourselves, and appreciate both the similarities and differences.


9/16 Round Table: Massage Therapy

Yesterday we had a great round table with Professor Nichole Danraj  about massage therapy, and some of the benefits that go along with it.  There are many people out there that are all about massages because they feel great. It is relaxing, and a nice way to pamper yourself or a loved one. 

Our own Professor Nichole Danraj coming in and talking about the benefits of massage therapy!
Our own Professor Nichole Danraj coming in and talking about the benefits of massage therapy!

Professor Danraj was able to give us an insider perspective on the 600 hrs of work that must be done in order to get certified, which when you think on it, is great. You don’t want someone working on your body that does not know what they’re doing, that can lead to more harm than good.  She directed us to a registry that provides a list of certified massage therapists, as well as useful  resources for those interested in joining the field.  Those can be found here:  American Massage Therapy Association

One of the topics she touched on, was how massage therapy has been shown to be beneficial for anxiety, depression,  PTSD ,wounded warriors, as well as being helpful for patients going through cancer treatments.   These are all areas where finding treatment can be difficult, and often cause more stress on top of the underlying  condition.  Having massage therapy as a way to reduce that stress, and help people being either more comfortable or healthier is amazing.

We had a great time, and I think we all left wanting to book a massage.  If you are looking to relieve some stress, head to the cafeteria tomorrow,  9/18 from  10- 2 for a chair massage. There will be sign-ups, so hurry quick so you don’t miss out!


Good News!

There has been a  lot of debate across the country about women’s bodies, and what everyone else thinks women should or should not be doing with them. In some cases this has resulted in states implementing laws that have limited the access to clinics that provide abortions. This is particularly a struggle for women with low-income, who have not been cut off from affordable female health care.

This is why it is good to see that one clinic is up in running again. According to an article on , a Texas judge ruled against a piece of a  legislature that would make access to abortion clinics nearly impossible for women in southern Texas.

I realize there is a lot of focus on the fact that this a clinic that does abortion procedures, which is a hot button issue, but I think what people are missing at the heart of this, is that women have more access to  female healthcare.  Yes, women get abortions, but women also get pelvic exams, pap smears, birth control, and various other things on a more frequent basis. These things are rather important, and can be crucial in preventing serious problems later down the road.  It is also an important way that women can be aware of their bodies, and how different things function.

Ultimately, women should have the right to make the choice to do what they will with their bodies, but with laws like these popping up, that is becoming even more of an issue, and it is threatening basic women’s health as a result.  This is a step in the right direction, hopefully these women continue to have access to this clinic.