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Q&A with Marta Hanson ’11, new Associate Director for the WCC

As the Associate Director I have several different responsibilities. First of all, I work with the student staff at the WCC. We have about 10 undergrads and 3 graduate students on staff as well as one professional school liaison at the medical school and several interns. All the programming at the WCC is driven by our student staff to provide opportunities for scholarship, leadership, and activism, and my role is to be an advisor to the students.

YWCA response to sexual assault op-ed

We strive to serve each caller, whether male, female, transgender, non-identifying gender, adult, or child, with the utmost respect, understanding, and sensitivity. We know that no one is immune from sexual assault. We provide our volunteer advocates with extensive training on how to deal with a myriad of situations including working with underserved populations.

What is your gender?

While gender has been a historically common demographic question, asking it as a choice between two binary options leaves much to be desired. We should move from unquestionably asking “male or female?” to a more nuanced interaction with gender and gender identity, one that acknowledges the complexity of gender. It’s time to move past binaries, time to deconstruct exactly what we mean and want when we ask, “What is your gender?”

Harassment 101, part I: On the street

The statistical consensus of social science points to the overwhelming prevalence of street harassment as a gendered phenomenon that targets women disproportionately to men. This demonstrates that it is not sufficient to conclude that some men are malicious. Rather, street harassment represents a norm of a generalized, shared claim that men make to social power, and the ownership of women’s lives and sexual status.

Hey there, beautiful

Not only are the aforementioned arguments ineffective at deflating the video’s intent, they move us toward the wrong sorts of conversations regarding the matter at hand. Instead of trying to correct our reactions toward the video or determine whether people have a right to be offended, we ought to be focusing on discussing what the video intends to convey without minimizing or writing off any reactions to it.

More than just hair

I rocked a buzz cut at the age of 16 when I made a decision to stop chemically straightening my hair and “go natural.” A relaxer is the name of the chemical treatment used to straighten textured hair, and black women have been doing it for decades. Within the past few, there has been a…