Feminist of the Week-Grace Jones

Beverly Grace Jones, more widely known as simply Grace Jones, is a Jamaican singer, model, actress and record producer. She began her career as a model, and later secured a record deal with Island Records, not long after breaking into acting. She is best known for hits such as “Slave to Rhythm” and “Pull Up to the Bumper”. She was nominated for a Grammy award for best long form music video, and won a Saturn award for best supporting actress in Conan the Destroyer. Her work has been an influence for many female performers such as Annie Lennox, Lady Gaga and Rihanna.

She is most widely known for her ‘gender-bending’ appearance and voice. Her visual expression are what began her career as a model and are often what people remember her most by. It was that that made her an influence on artists like Andy Warhol and designer Thierry Mugler. Her sharp features, deep voice and square cut clothes are often credited for beginning the movement and popularity of androgyny in the 80’s. Grace wasn’t afraid to marry strength and power with femininity, and her influence continues to inspire today.

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Feminist of the Week-Caitlin Moran

Author and former television personality, Caitlin has been writing professionally since the age of 16. Born in 1975 in Brighton, England as the eldest of 8 in an impoverished family, she received no formal education and was nearly entirely self-taught. At 18 she left home for London to pursue a career writing, starting at the music magazine Melody Maker. She has described many instances of sexism against her in these early days in the office, and notes that she often publicly shamed those responsible. At 18, she became the presenter of a new television show, Naked City. She later went to work on Raised by Wolves. 
She has published several books, the first being her 2011 break-out How to Be A Woman, which offered a tongue-in-cheek criticism day-to-day sexism. It was described by Vanity Fair as “the U.K. version of Tina Fey’s Bossypants….You will laugh out loud, wince, and—in my case—feel proud to be the same gender as the author.”
This was followed by another essay series Moranthology, which covered many similar topics, brushing more upon pop-culture issues and icons — she writes about a night out on the town with Lady Gaga, a play-by-play of the Royal Wedding, and her disgust with the critically acclaimed Downton Abbey. This too was well-received.
Most recently in 2014, Moran published her semi-autobiographical How to Build a Girl, which is based heavily on her childhood, as well as Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar. NPR’s Fresh Air hailed it as “Very funny…. Moran never loses touch with what seemed to me an authentic and believable teenage voice…. The joy of this easy-read novel is not just the scrappy protagonist…. Moran makes strong statements about social inequality and gender throughout.”
Moran has been determined to be Britain’s most influential journalist on Twitter. In the past she has spearheaded boycotts of the social media platform in response to Twitter’s refusal to remove offensive content. She has well over 500k followers.
Today she works for The Times with her husband, music critic Peter Paphides. They have two daughters.
Caitlin Moran

Feminist of the Week-Sappho

Sorry for the late posting, but better late than never!

When most people think of the classical “thinkers” many people think of Homer, Plato, or Socrates. Although all of the people aforementioned are relevant, there is one person who not many people recall. A poet, aristocrat, founder of a school, and a woman that went by the name “Sappho”. Her poetry is commonly referred to as a refinement of the Greek style.  Sappho was born into a wealthy family and lived on the island of Lesbos her entire life. She married another wealthy man, but instead of doing the norm for women at the time, which was simply being a homemaker, she started a school for young, unmarried women. Although many of her works have been destroyed and lost, many other writers of the time quoted her in their own writing as an important cultural figure.

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Feminist of the Week-Janet Mock

Sorry for our absence last week.  Things got a little crazy, but we are back with more Feminist of the Week!

Janet Mock is a transgender rights activist and author of the New York Times bestselling book Redefining Realness: My Path To Womanhood, Identity, Love, & So Much More, her memoir about growing up as a transgender woman in Honolulu, Dallas, and Oakland. She is an active user of Twitter, starting the hashtag campaign #GirlsLikeUs to empower and connect trans women. She is a contributor to Huffington Post, writing about transgender issues. She is also a contributing editor at the magazine Marie Claire.

In February of 2014 Janet Mock was a guest on Piers Morgan Live on CNN in order to promote Redefining Realness. However, Mock and the rest of the trans community was unhappy with the interview, with Mock saying that Morgan “doesn’t really want to talk about trans issues, he wants to sensationalize my life and not really talk about the work that I do and what the purpose of me writing this book was about.” The following feud resulted in Mock being reinvited to the show to attempt to educate Morgan about the root of the criticism against him.

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Feminist of the Week-Jean Kilbourne

It started back in the late 1960s: Jean Kilbourne decided to flip through the pages of popular magazines and gather a collection of ads that portrayed some sort of sexism and linked them to public health issues such as eating disorders. In the future, she would go on to create the Killing Us Softly documentary — and many more following — which focuses on the image of women through advertisements and the impossible beauty standards that are set for men and women alike on how they should appear.

Kilbourne is best known as a guest lecturer on many different college campuses across the United States, bringing to life social issues and encouraging people to move towards a solution in a unified manner. Twice she has received the Lecturer of the Year Award from the National Association for Campus Activities and was once named in Time magazine as being one of the three most popular speakers on college campuses. Her lectures include topics on media, public health, and violence to name a few. She is one of the pioneers to address the objectification, especially of women, existent in pop culture.

Jean Kilbourne

New Series-#WCW

Good afternoon!  As you have probably seen, we started a new series on the website called #WCW.  Every Wednesday, we will be highlighting an awesome woman from campus.  This is very similar to the Feminist of the Week series, but with women from our own community.  In order to submit someone to be featured, just email the WRC email account, wrc@truman.edu.  Please make sure you have the permission of the person you are writing about before submitting them to be featured.  We’d love to hear from you and learn more about the amazing women in our Truman community!

Feminist of the Week-Emma Watson

Welcome back!  I am very excited about this week’s feminist.  She is one of my personal favorite actresses, and I am so excited to see where her work takes her.

     Emma Watson is a very famous actress, known mostly for her role as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter films.  She was named as the Women Goodwill Ambassador for the U.N. She gave an excellent speech to launch the “HeForShe” campaign, which went viral on the internet.  This campaign strives to reach equality for all people, including men, women, girls, and anyone who is discriminated against.  If you have not seen this speech, please take the time to do so. Here is the link for the YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9SUAcNlVQ4.  I like this speech so much because she addresses that fact that the word feminism has gained a bad reputation recently, frequently being misconstrued as ‘men-hating’, aggressive, or simply unattractive.  However, she states that she decided she was a feminist simply because she wants to have the same pay as her male counterpart and to have the right to make decisions about her own body.  I won’t spoil the rest of the speech for you, but it is definitely worth your time!

     In addition, I love that Emma Watson is a feminist because she is well known and appeals to the younger crowd, specifically, college women.  I think this is a very important demographic to reach out to because a lot of women are learning new ideas discovering their own values and morality in this time.  It’s important to be open minded to understand all of these new ideas in the most truthful way as possible.  I fully believe that Emma Watson describes what feminism is, and why men need to be just as much a part of feminism as women do.

Emma Watson

#WCW

Happy Wednesday Folks! This Wednesday is extra great because it is the start of the WRC’s first ever Women Crush Wednesday! Where we highlight some of the AMAZING women that inhabit Truman’s campus.

Today’s Women Crush is Katie Shields!

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Katie is a senior Health Science AND Sociology major. Her interests include saving the world one day at a time by doing super cool things like being a vegan, walking rather than driving and recycling alwayz. A leadership role she has had here at Truman was being one of the service chairs for Alpha Sigma Gamma, helping the ladies do an excellent job of serving the Kirksville community. She is also a part of the Serve Center, assisting Truman’s campus to serve the wonderful people of Kirksville daily. Something incredible she’s done in the past is last summer she lived in Washington DC being an intern at the National Epilepsy Foundation, helping to truly make a difference for the epileptic population in America. Overall, Katie is a nice, funny, cool, caring and cat (well her cat) loving lady! If you see her on campus give her a pat on the back for not only crushing it this Wednesday, but every day of every week! Keep on saving the world Katie, the folks here at the WRC appreciate it and you!

Truman Public! If you know a woman on campus who is your woman crush and deserves to be recognized, send a pic and a paragraph like this to wrc@truman.edu!

Feminist of the Week-Annie Oakley

This week, we are going a little farther back in time to focus on our feminist of the week, Annie Oakley.

Annie Oakley, born Phoebe Anne Mosey, was an American markswoman who became famous through performing daring sharp-shooting stunts for Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show. Annie was born on August 13th, 1860, to a poor farming family in western Ohio. Following the death of her father, John Mosey, Annie learned to hunt to support her mother and siblings. Her mother discouraged Annie’s hunting initially, claiming that it was not a woman’s place to handle guns. Annie was eventually sent away to a boarding school for girls. At the age of ten, the head of the school hired her out as a live-in servant to a family who mentally and physically abused her. After two years with this family, Annie ran away and returned home. At home, she continued to further her hunting prowess. Tales of her shooting skill spread throughout the region and soon local hotels and restaurants were commissioning Annie to provide them with fresh game. By age 15, Annie received enough income from hunting to support her family and pay off the mortgage on her mother’s farm.

Annie began her trick-shooting career at 15, when the famed marksman of a travelling gun-show made a $100 dollar bet that he could beat any shooter in her town. Despite being disparaged for her sex and age, Annie Oakley outshot the marksman. She was hired to join his travelling show and later became his wife. Together, the couple joined Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show, where Annie garnered the nickname “Little Sure-Shot.” She went on to perform sharp-shooting feats across Europe and the United States, performing for world leaders such as Queen Victoria, Kaiser Wilhelm the First, and William McKinley.

Annie strongly promoted the idea that women should be able to fight in the military. At the outbreak of the Spanish-American, she is known to have sent a letter to William McKinley, offering the service of “fifty women sharpshooters” to join in the United States combative forces. Annie is also thought to have taught at least 15,000 women basic shooting techniques throughout her career. She believed it crucial that women learn to shoot for physical and mental exercise and for self-defense. She is quoted saying “I would like to see every woman know how to handle guns as naturally as they know how to handle babies.”

Annie is also known for campaigning for equal pay for women. She did not openly align herself with the women’s suffrage movement, however; modern scholars attribute this to the fact that being an open suffragette would have hurt Annie’s career.

Annie continued to perform and further her reputation as a markswoman into her sixties. After her death, it was discovered that she had spent the entirety of her fortune on her family and charity. Despite initial social prejudice against her sex and socioeconomic status, Annie Oakley is considered today to have been one of the most influential women of her time.

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Feminist of the Week-Beyonce

Today’s FOTW focuses on a woman that we are almost all very familiar with – Beyonce Knowles Carter.

Beyoncé has been in the public eye since her teenage years and only continues to reinforce her feminist beliefs with age. The world has gotten to watch as this talented singer, dancer, actress, mother, and wife explores her sexuality and her feminism publically. Although she has been under scrutiny by some who believe her to not fit the definition of feminist. However, her song ***Flawless clearly explains what feminism really is. In this song, a sound clip from Nigerian writer, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s TED Talk entitled “We should all be feminists”. Basically, a feminist is “a person who believes in the social, economic and political equality of the sexes”. It’s that simple! All throughout Beyoncé’s career, she has always pushed for female empowerment in songs such as “Survivor” by Destiny’s Child and “Run the World”. The list could go on and on, but, the point is, don’t discredit another woman’s feminism. Just because it’s not the same as yours doesn’t mean it’s wrong. Feminism is meant to be inclusive, not exclusive.

Beyonce