Thursday, February 24, 2011

Guerrilla Girls Come to Kutztown! by Merlene Oswald

The Guerrilla Girls are feminist masked righter’s of wrongs who use facts, humor and outrageous visuals to expose sexism, racism, and corruption in politics, art, film and pop culture. They use “culture jamming,” a form of disruption that plays on viewers emotions, to spark conversation. They try to attract their audience with their unique text and graphics that present feminist viewpoints in a humorous style.

The Guerrilla Girls were created after several women attended an art show at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and discovered the majority of featured artists were men. Out of a concern for the under-representation of women in modern art the Guerrilla Girls were formed. In the inception they designed posters, for the streets of New York, expressing strong disapproval of the gender and racial imbalance of artists represented in galleries and museums.

Established in 1985, their name was chosen to relate with the fear of guerrilla warfare and make people afraid of whom they might be. They call themselves “girls” instead of “women” to reclaim the belittling usage of the word. Their gorilla disguise was introduced at one of their first meeting, when an original member misspelled "guerrilla" as "gorilla." When performing they take the names of deceased female artists as pseudonyms.

Members claim no one knows their identities, with the exception of close family members. The actual group membership has never been revealed and the group suggests there are supporters all over the world.

The Guerrilla Girls became noticed in 1989 with their poster campaign asking, "Do women have to be naked to get into the Met. Museum?" After counting the number of male and female nudes in the artwork at the Metropolitan Museum, they found 85% of the nudes were female. This poster came to existence after they were asked to design a billboard for the Public Art Fund in New York. Their poster idea was rejected, so they advertised on New York City buses.

Since those early days the Guerrilla Girls have preformed over 200 performances and workshops around the world. They also have published several posters, stickers, advertised in creative ways (on buses, in bathrooms), and have written five books, the most recent "The Hysterical Herstory of Hysteria and How it Was Cured From Ancient Times Until Now." Their most popular book is an art history book, The Guerrilla Girls’ Bedside Companion to the History of Western Art, which has been used in college curriculums. In an interview from NPR’s Fresh Air a Guerrilla Girl said, “We never imagined that we would become a model for feminist activists and would become part of women’s and gender studies curriculums all over the world!”

The Guerrilla Girls continue to be leaders for feminists transforming mass media with their use of sarcasm and ridicule. A quote from the Guerrilla Girls web site, “It’s our honest hope that all this attention to our work and the issues we raise adds up to changes for women artists and artists of color."

The Guerrilla Girls will be performing in the McFarland Student Union Room 218 March 20th!

Buy their book and bring it to the event for the Guerrilla Girls to Sign!!!!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Woman's "Place" is Everywhere.

March is just around the corner and everyone knows what that means, it’s a time to celebrate! It’s Women’s History Month! March 8th is “International Women’s Day”, a time to remember and honor all the remarkable women of days past who have served as role models and inspirations to the women of today.

Notable Women in History

Frida Kalho
-Mexican Painter
-Known for her self portraits that capture her "pain and passion" and its intense vibrant colors
-"I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best. I was born a bitch. I was born a painter."-Kalho

Kathe Kollwitz
- German painter, printmaker, and sculptor whose work offered an eloquent and often searing account of the human condition in the first half of the 20th century.
-Her empathy for the less fortunate, expressed most famously through the graphic means of drawing, etching, lithography, and woodcut, embraced the victims of poverty, hunger, and war.
-Initially her work was grounded in Naturalism, and later took on Expressionistic qualities.

Amelia Earhart

--American Avaiton Pioneer
--First woman to receive the U.S. Distinguished Flying Cross
--Awarded for becoming the first aviatrix to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean
--She was also a member of the National Woman's Party, and an early supporter of the Equal Rights Amendment.

Alice Paul
-American suffragette and activist
-Along with Lucy Burns and others, she led a successful campaign for women's suffrage that resulted in the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1920.

Wilma Rudolph
-Received bronze medal as a member of the American 400-meter relay team.
-She also received golds in the 1948 Olympics in the 200 and 100 meter dash.
-Wilma was remembered for overcoming polio as a child, and becoming a track star.

Elizabeth Cady Staton
-was an American social activist, abolitionist, and leading figure of the early woman's movement.
-Her Declaration of Sentiments, presented at the first women's rights convention held in 1848 in Seneca Falls, New York, is often credited with initiating the first organized woman's rights and woman's suffrage movements in the United States.

Georgia O'Keeffe
-She is chiefly known for paintings of flowers, rocks, shells, animal bones, and landscapes in which she synthesized abstraction and representation.
-O'Keeffe played a central role in bringing an American art style to Europe at a time when the majority of influence flowed in the opposite direction

Monday, February 14, 2011

Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

The Kutztown Women's Center is proud to present, in conjunction with Women's History Month, a series of speakers that are Professionals in their fields.

The Series will run on March 2, 16, 18, 22 and 30 to help Kutztown students “Learn from those who have walked that line before.” All lectures begin at 4:30 in the Academic Forum and offer students the chance to ask questions about the field they wish to pursue.


Let’s Talk Business! The first speaker in this series, Dr. CJ Rhoads, published author and consultant on business strategy has a varied career background ranging from entrepreneurial ventures to board-level decision making at Fortune 500 companies. Among her many accomplishments, Dr.Rhoads is also the CEO of ETM Associates Inc. Dr. CJ Rhoads will speak in the Women’s Center “First Steps Speaker Series,” on March 2 at 4:30 in the AF 102.

Buy her Book!!

Microsoft Office 2007 in Business: Core

Case Closed!- The second speaker in the Kutztown Women’s Center Speaker Series “First Steps,” will be presenting on March 16 at 4:30pm AF 102. Donna Steslow, is an Assistant Professor of Business Law here at KU, however before coming here she served as a law clerk and was employed as an associate attorney.

Open your mind and explore your thoughts within- Dr. Hamlet is an assistant professor in the department of Counseling and Human Services who will speak on behalf of the psychology department on March 21 at 4:30pm in AF 102. In addition to teaching Dr. Hamlet is also a licensed psychologist who has been working in school and community counseling for the past 20 years.

Express yourself with Shoshana Gosselin! Interior Decorator Shoshana Gosselin has been designing for residential and commercial spaces since 2002. Shoshana’s designs have been published in The Morning Call and Lehigh Valley Style magazine. She appears on WFMZ-TV 69 News at Sunrise monthly, and her DIY ideas and projects have been featured on March 23 4:30 pm AF 102 Shoshana will speak in the Women’s Center “First Step’s Speaker Series” for those looking for a little flair.

What Can I do with an English Major?The opportunities available for students majoring in English are versatile, but can also be challenging to find. KU Assistant Professor Dr. Carissa Pokorny-Golden
has been a high school teacher and is currently serving as a Navy officer. Her
academic and career journey is unusual and could help those wondering how to
utilize their English degree in their professional lives.

Education 101- Dr. Darlene Schoenly is the last speaker in the Women’s Center “First Steps Speaker Series.” Dr. Schoenly has been in the education field for 40 years and has held numerous roles and positions. She will lecture on March 30 at 4:30pm in the AF 102

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Page turners

I know I already blogged about Valentine's Day, but here's some interesting things I found while internet shopping that I thought I should share...

so, curl up with a nice book and a box of chocolates and you have a nice Valentine's Day right there!

Friday, February 11, 2011

You're My Dream Boat

The Top 10 Merriam-Webster Dictionary Words for Valentine's Day:

1. Romantic
2. Valentine
3. Amour
4. Adonis
5. Aphrodisiac
6. Infatuation
7. Casanova
8. Unrequited
9. Saccharine

Movies to Watch for Valentine's Day if you don't have a Valentine..

ANTI-Valentine's Day Movies:

1. John Tucker Must Die
2. Swimfan
3. Obsessessed
4. The Shining
5. To Die For
6. Any Scary Movie or anything that doesn't deal with love or cutesy hearts

You could always read some anti-Valentine's Books like the "The Bell Jar," ok maybe that's taking it a bit far,'s one holiday! Who reads these days?

If you do have a special someone and you decide to watch a movie together here are a couple of choices that you might enjoy...

2.Romeo and Juliet
3.The Notebook
4.The Last Song
5.Going the Distance
6.Little Manhattan
7.You've Got Mail
8.How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
9.Love Story

If it makes you cry, it's perfect.

Fast Facts About Valentine's Day!!

-110 million roses, the majority red, will be sold and delivered within a three-day time period.
-California produces 60 percent of American roses, but the vast number sold on Valentine's Day in the United States are imported, mostly from South America.
-15% of U.S. women send themselves flowers on Valentine's Day.
-73% of people who buy flowers for Valentine's Day are men, while only 27% percent are women.
-About 1 billion Valentine's Day cards are exchanged each year. That's the largest seasonal card-sending occasion of the year, next to Christmas.

-More than 50 percent of cards are sold the week of the holiday, with the largest and most elaborate Valentine cards sold 48 hours before February 14.
-70 percent of those celebrating the holiday give a card, followed by a telephone call (49 percent), gift (48 percent), special dinner (37 percent), candy (33 percent) restaurant meal (30 percent), and flowers (19 percent).
-Teachers will receive the most Valentine's Day cards, followed by children, mothers, wives, and then, sweethearts.

-Children ages 6 to 10 exchange more than 650 million Valentine's cards with teachers, classmates, and family members

Hallmark has over 1330 different cards specifically for Valentine's Day.

Conversation Hearts: In 1866, candy manufacturer NECCO made the first "Conversation Hearts" — then called "Motto Hearts." According to NECCO, eight billion of these little candies are sold between January 1 and February 14.
More than 35 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolate will be sold for Valentine's Day.

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


What is FGM? FGM or "female genital mutilation", also known as female circumcision or "cutting" is a practice that began in Africa over 2000 years ago. It is a painful procedure that is performed on girls before puberty. There are three parts to this procedure;

1.Sunna Circumcision - consists of the removal of the prepuce or the tip of the clitoris.
2.Clitoridectomy - consists of the removal of the entire clitoris (prepuce and glands) and the removal of the adjacent labia.
3.Infibulation(pharonic circumcision)-- consists of performing a clitoridectomy. This is then stitched up allowing a small hole to remain open to allow for urine and menstrual blood to flow through.

These are all usually performed without any anesthesia or pain medicines.

Now, why would someone want to do that to do a child? I don't know about you but that was a tad difficult to read about and think about never mind see it done in my own town, or village. Well FGM has become a cultural practice with many beliefs that it is necessary for a woman to survive in society. For one, woman can never be truly beautiful if she does not go under this mutilation.

Also, FGM countries follow the ideas that this procedure will--
"--reduce a women's desire for sex and in doing so will reduce the chance of sex outside the marriage.
--This is vital to this society as her honor for the family is depended on her not to be opened up prior to marriage.
--Some view the clitoris and the labia as male parts on a female body, thus removal of these parts enhances the femininity of the girl.
--It is also believed that unless a female has undergone this procedure she is unclean and will not be allowed to handle food or water.
--Some groups believe that if the clitoris touches a man's penis the man will die.
--As well as the belief that if a baby's head touches the clitoris that the baby will die or the breast milk will be poisonous.
--The belief that an unmutilated female can not conceive, therefore the female should be militated in order to become fertile.
--Bad genital odors can only be eliminated by removing the clitoris and labia minora.
--Prevents vaginal cancer.
--An unmodified clitoris can lead to masturbation or lesbianism.
--Prevents nervousness from developing in girls and women.
--Prevents the face from turning yellow.
--Makes a women's face more beautiful.
--Older men may not be able to match their wives sex drive.
--Intact clitoris will generate sexual arousal and in women if repressed can cause nervousness." (

I'm sorry but that is ridiculous.

How is FGM performed?

The age varies but usually the child is from 4-8 and due to poverty the procedure isn't done by a medically trained people. The children are held down and as older women as the mid-wife performs the procedure with anything sharp, which could be anything from; broken glass, a tin lid, razor blades, knives, or scissors. These items usually are not sterilized before or after usage.

Once the genital area for removal is gone, the child is stitched up and her legs are bound for up to 40 days. A girl is not a woman until she undergoes the procedure

What?! What about the side effects??!!
FGM can have serious side effects; infections, HIV, small benign tumors hemorrhages, clitoral cysts and even death.

The long term effects may also include kidney stones, sterility, sexual dysfunction, depression, various urinary tract infections, various gynecological and obstetric problems.

"In order to have sexual intercourse the women have to be opened up in some fashion and in some cases cutting is necessary. After child birth some women are re-infibulated to make them (tight) for their husbands." (Puked yet?)

Yes, this is part of their culture but it's killing children! Shouldn't someone step in and do something?!!

Of course this is a humans rights issue!! Amnesty International now has taken up the fight to do away with this practice that mutilates millions of girls each year. In Africa an estimated 92 million girls from 10 years of age and above have undergone FGM.This needs to stop!

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