Founded in 1974, the Women’s Center was established to:
Dismantle, from a feminist perspective, all forms of oppression, including but not limited to those based on ability, age, class, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Advocate for an equitable environment free from violence and harassment based on gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Create an anti-racist, non-sexist, queer-affirmative space where all people can feel valued and safe.
Facilitate and strengthen connections among people across lines of difference through programming and educational campaigns.
Integrate an appreciation of Women's Gender and Multicultural Studies across the disciplines.

Monday, November 8, 2010

"Wife Beater": Let It Dye Out - Tomorrow, November 9th

Tomorrow night at 9:30 pm in J. Lee’s The Women’s Center will be co-sponsoring the event “Wife Beater”: Let It Dye Out with Lambda Sigma Upsilon. This event challenges students to think critically about their use of language and how it affects our society and our culture. Our featured speaker for the evening is former Men’s Outreach Coordinator Jean Semelfort, who will be leading our discussion of these issues. After the discussion ends, participants at the event will be able to dye a white tank top purple, the color of domestic violence awareness.

It is important to recognize that when we use terms like “wife beater” without giving thought to the reasoning behind the phrase, we allow a culture that condones violence against women to continue doing so. Although most people are not violent towards women, by referring to white tank tops as “wife beaters” they are reaffirming the validity of violent people’s actions and also reinforcing stereotypes. The term “wife beater” tends to conjure up the image of a working class, low-income man who sloppily wears a white tank top around his home and is abusive towards his partner. The fact of the matter is domestic abuse takes place at any economic level, and by stereotyping it as an issue that only affects people of a lower income level we are ignoring the larger phenomenon and allowing it to continue.

We as a society need to take steps to reduce domestic violence in our own lives. By taking actions such as calling out friends/acquaintances for making jokes or making light of domestic abuse, or attending an event such as this and dyeing a shirt, we are each doing a small part to reduce interpersonal violence. These small moments (Also known as Green Dots!) will add up over time and create a greater shift towards changing the culture of our society. When participants at this event dye their tank tops, they will be left with a purple shirt that will serve as a constant reminder of their commitment to reducing domestic violence.

No comments:

Post a Comment