Video Speaks for Itself   Leave a comment

Posted April 30, 2010 by Maggie in Uncategorized

Women Take Back Their Night at Penn State   Leave a comment

On the evening of Wednesday April 14th around 300 students and locals gathered at Penn State’s Old Main lawn to rally and speak out against sexual violence.

According to the Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network,

Every 1 in 6 women and every 1 in 33 men will be sexually assualted in their lifetime. College women are four times more likely to be seuxall assualted. Every two minutes someone in the U.S. is sexually assualted. And finally 60% od sexual assualts will not be reported. 

Take Back the Night is a national event that gives women and men who have been sexually assualted the chance to speak about their assualts and in the terms of the event, ‘take back their night.”

During the rally the director of Centre County’s Women’s Resource Center spoke alongside rape victim and Penn State alumnus, Kristine Honkas

Members of FMLA at Penn State's Take Back the Night

FMLA president, Jane O'Reilly works the megaphone

 

Hope has two beautifuldaughters: their names are anger and courage. Anger that things are the way they are. Courage to make them the way they ought to be.

The event turned into a march around campus and through the downtown area of State College. During the march stops were made to allow victims to tell their stories within a circle of supporters. Many spoke and many were touched.

For more information on the event check out these links: statecollege.com and The Collegian

Posted April 15, 2010 by Maggie in Uncategorized

An Account of the Trip to D.C. -Zoe Yeaton, FMLA member   Leave a comment

This past weekend, March 20th and 21st, four members of our FMLA chapter along with members of Triota went to the National Young Feminist Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C. It was a very fun and very informative experience. I believe I speak for the group when I say that it was energizing to be in an area with so many like-minded young women.

We arrived at the University of D.C. on March 20th to register at 9 a.m. There were tables with pamphlets and freebies from groups such as NOW and NARAL. We went into the main auditorium for a general assembly called Never Go Back: Protecting and Advancing Reproductive Rights at 10 a.m. Eleanor Smeal, the president of the Feminist Majority Foundation, gave a particularly rousing speech concerning the health care reform bill and the Stupak amendment. Afterward, our group split up to do the first workshop session. Our FMLA president and I attended Equality on All Fronts: Organizing on Queer Feminist Issues on Campus. We learned a lot about legislation building up to and including Prop 8 in California.

Afterward, we broke for lunch. Some members attended an anti-war march in front of the White House for the afternoon. I remained at the conference and attended a second workshop, Who’s Feeling the Heat? The Gendered Impact of Climate Change. While sometimes too generally “green” focused, the workshop showed how women are disproportionately affected by climate change. Women across the world have to walk dangerous lengths to bring scarce water back home, women are not adequately prepared for disasters due to lack of encouragement in physical activity, and many of the world’s farmers are women whose crops are affected by high temperatures and little rainfall. After the workshop, our first day closed with another general assembly called Women, Jobs, and the Economy. It showed statistics and graphs demonstrating that women, particularly young or ethnic minorities, are suffering from high unemployment rates in this recession.

Later that night, we attended a “social mixer” at a restaurant called Annie’s Steakhouse that was in downtown D.C. The purpose was to socialize and network with other conference attendees. We made a few new friends, most of whom were from Texas (who would have thought?). A good time was had by all.

The next morning, we went back to the conference to register at 9:15 a.m. Our first general assembly was Women’s Rights on the Global Stage. The audience was in for a surprise as Tamara Tunie was a speaker, who is most famously known for her role as the coroner in the TV show Law and Order: SVU. The assembly focused on maternal mortality rates in Africa and third world countries. Next, conference attendees were divided into regional caucuses groups, with our group covering the states from Pennsylvania down the east coast and wrapping around to Texas. Here, we got to ask specific questions related to our FMLA chapters, fund raising and recruitment concerns, ideas for raising feminist awareness on campus, etc.

Members of FMLA pose in D.C.

We broke for lunch in the beautifully warm D.C. weather, and then returned for a final workshop that the whole group attended on How Abortion Works: Provider and Political Perspectives. It was incredibly informative, including statistics and facts on who gets abortions, why, at what point in the pregnancy, death rates, etc. We also go to hold the apparatus that performs the abortion procedure, which is essentially a large plastic syringe vacuum. It helped demystify the procedure which is quick and very safe, and it provided information to better inform others on pro-choice reasoning. Afterward, we had our final assembly Fired Up? Ready to Go! which was essentially a pep talk from many women of powerful and important positions. This brought our conference experience to conclusion. After agreeing that this was something that we would want to do again, we packed up and came back home to State College.

-Zoe Yeaton, zsy5003@psu.edu

Posted March 25, 2010 by Maggie in Uncategorized

National Young Feminist Leadership Conference in DC (3/19/10)   Leave a comment

This afternoon Penn State’s FMLA and other feminist group on campus will be traveling to Washington DC to be a part of the Feminist Majority Foundation’s National Young Feminist Leadership Conference held on Saturday and Sunday. There members of FMLA will meet other university’s feminist groups; Tania Stewart, the National Campus Organizer for the Feminist Majority Foundation and other feminist activists to discuss women’s rights issues.

Read this Collegian article for more detail.

By: Maggie O’Keefe, mwo5024@psu.edu

Posted March 19, 2010 by Maggie in Uncategorized

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Women/Men’s Last Stand Commericals   Leave a comment

Last Sunday was the Superbowl and notoriously many good commercials were played but one in particular upset us here at FMLA: Men’s Last Stand. In this commercial it is depicted that men have to endure nagging wives/girlfriends throughout their day. The commercial lists different oppressions men have to deal with on a supposed day to day basis.

The commercial also implied that everything women do men don’t. It also made men looked fools who want to be dirty, don’t want to eat healthy and only find joy in driving a fast car.

In response to that commercial a spoof was created called Women’s Last Stand which showed women being oppressed by men except that some of the things this commercial speaks of are true, women being paid 75 cents to a man’s dollar, being objectified at work, etc.

By: Maggie O’Keefe, mwo5024@psu.edu

Posted February 12, 2010 by Maggie in Uncategorized

‘The Pregnancy Pact’- A Movie Review   1 comment

The Penn State FMLA group came together last night at watched Lifetime’s, “The Pregnancy Pact” – a true story about Gloucester High School and it’s pregnancy boom in 2008. Pointedly about 5 young girls who made a pact to get pregnant (although that was never confirmed). Upon viewing this movie the group sat and discussed the movie and the issues it represented. All in all the movie was good. Some of the acting was horrific but it gave the message loud and clear, “why are 15 year old girls wanting to get pregnant?” However the movie failed to actually answer the question but in my opinion that is a good thing. It leaves room for thought and discussion which the group did. The movie hindered at the fact that these girls were seeking attention and ‘unconditional love’ and the best way they thought to find it was through children. Their children. The movie also hit on religious and political viewpoints about abstinence, birth control and contraceptives. This small town in Mass. is a highly Catholic community which might be a reason for the pregnancy boom as teenagers wanting to rebel in a most unusual way: creating families of their own.

At any rate, teen pregnancy is an issue of concern. Any 15 year old who wants to be a mother clearly has some issues but so does the community if they aren’t willing to prevent it. In the case of Gloucester they were willing to pay for a day care center in the school for the babies but not for a sex ed class that would distribute condoms.

The issue of sexual health was never mentioned but that is also a concern in situations like this. Fifteen year old bodies may be able to have children but it comes with health risks. I think though that the biggest message the movie conveyed was communication between parents and children. These girls knew nothing about pregnancy and taking care of a baby, they got pregnant because they thought it was cool. It was very obvious that their parents had never talked to them about this and the movie did a good job representing that.

By: Maggie O’Keefe, mwo5024@psu.edu

Posted January 25, 2010 by Maggie in Uncategorized

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What’s Going On At PSU?   Leave a comment

While perusing The Collegian website today I can across an article in brief about the fourth sexual assault case this semester. I italicize ‘this semester’ because that’s the part that baffles me. This semester has only been going on for a little over a week and yet four sexual assault cases have been reported. That means that 4/9 nights since classes started- a PSU female student has been physically vandalized. It’s just too much. So I ask, what is going on at PSU? Is there anyone to blame? Do girls allow this? Are the men on campus pigs? Or maybe it is the atmosphere that Penn State cultivates. We are after all the # 1 party school in the nation. Is there something about the party system that allows for this kind of behavior? Girls get dressed up in clothing that, to be honest, without alcohol in their system, they would know they were freezing in. Guys at frats tend to only let girls in so the male/female ratio is even. I’ve heard fellow students talk about how lame they felt Saturday night because they didn’t have a party to go to, and I’ve heard fellow students brag about hitting up several parties all weekend long. The first question we all ask Monday morning in class is “What did you do this weekend?” hoping to hear an outrageous drunken mishap story.

Well maybe its time we set our priorities straight. Its fun to party and yea alcohol can add to the craziness, but how crazy are we getting? If people are getting hurt, like let’s say sexually assaulted almost every night of the week, then someone needs to put their foot down. Police and university laws aren’t going to do it. We are all 18-21 year olds- for us what is better then breaking the rules? So I say the foot needs to be ours. Ladies and gentlemen, know what your limit is and know when to say ‘no’. Be smart and be safe.

By: Maggie O’Keefe, mwo5024@psu.edu

Posted January 20, 2010 by Maggie in Uncategorized

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