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, April 1, 2013


A new phenomenon has surfaced in society that targets a specific, class, gender, sexuality, etc. There are about ten names that I can think of off the top of my head that are usually meant to describe women, specifically, women of color in the lower class; I am referring to the term ratchet. Another word to add to the list of names women are called to categorize them based on their socioeconomic status. Ratchet is meant to describe a woman of color in the lower class who carries herself in a reckless and "ghetto" manner, but to a higher degree, if you will.
There has been buzz from celebrity and former Disney channel star Miley Cyrus, as she posted a video of her "twerking" to an urban track which originated from New York called The Wop (Check it). It doesn't just stop there. No, there are reality television shows which have opened double doors for this "ratchet culture"; shows such as Love & Hip Hop, Basketball Wives, etc. Even though these individuals appear to live in the fast lane with the latest designer clothes and accessories and cars, their demeanor on the show is ratchet (as hell). Viewers feed into this type of behavior which is why the shows continue to exist and newer ones are created. I ask the world of television, and media, what is the real definition of ratchet, I mean the webstar dictionary definition of the phrase; because I am aware that it existed even before people used it in the way that they are using it, but how did the transition of meanings develop?

According to the dictionary definition of the term, ratchet is "a toothed bar with which a pawl engages". (look at image to the left) So, how does it turn from a tool to the way one behaves? If there is any indication of relativity in that, please someone make sense of it all for me. I feel the real reason why "ratchet" is continuing to be used is because it is evidently an entertaining term and people love feeding into peculiar things instead of the positive and influential things that go on in the world. I will not be surprised if more and more kids get involved with this way of being and become even worse than the older generation now. Websites such as, allow this behavior and accept it as their target approach to get users engaged. There are videos of females "twerking" for cash, or competitions to see who can shake their "moneymaker" the best. What the world should be encouraging and recognizing are the girls of color who graduate in the top percentile of their class, or become entrepreneurs and open up their own business. How about we make up a word for that kind of behavior instead of allowing "ratchet" to label the decisions people choose to make.

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