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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

Women’s History Month events

McKenzie Blanton tries on a hijab for “In Her Shoes: Experience the Hijab,” an event hosted by the Muslim Student Association for Women’s History Month. Photo courtesy of Anum Ahmed.
McKenzie Blanton tries on a hijab for “In Her Shoes: Experience the Hijab,” an event hosted by the Muslim Student Association for Women’s History Month. Photo courtesy of Anum Ahmed.

By: Brie White, Staff Writer

Wofford College celebrates 2016 Women’s History Month with the pledge campaign: Respecting Others, Respecting Ourselves. A number of events are being offered by the College to acknowledge, document and educate women and others during this month.

Upcoming events include: a theater performance on March 28 of “Just one Night,” followed by a panel discussion with Safe Homes, led by Lisa Lefebvre and Dan Day.

On March 29 from 4-6 p.m. the 14th Annual Conference on Gender will take place in the Montgomery Room, including students from a wide variety of disciplines sharing their research on gender studies issues. Pizza and cookies follow this presentation.

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Aubrey Knight, senior psychology major, will present her paper, entitled “Breaking the Binary: the Subversive and Liberatory Potential of Alternative Masculinities.”

“I’m talking about how people who have alternative masculinity – and that can be trans men, gender nonconforming individuals who are typically masculine or butch women – subvert patriarchal culture by adapting masculine traits and reclaiming them or breaking up the mythology that masculinity is specifically reserved for males,” Knight says.

Knight hopes that her paper will add “spice” to the conference.

“I think it’s important to explore gender studies and women’s studies from both an academic and a personal standpoint. I think this kind of conference offers a chance to do both, and I think that it may expose the Wofford community to some aspects of gender studies, whether its minority genders and minority sexualities, that they may not otherwise encounter, and I think that’s beneficial and a growing experience for the campus,” Knight says.

The remaining Women’s History Month events will extend past the month of March. April 14 encompasses two events. At 11:30 a.m. there will be a Lunch and Learn with Marcel Anderson in the Holcombe Room. Anderson, a sexual assault survivor, will discuss the recovery and healing process post assault, with emphasis on being a male survivor. He will also present his new book.

Later that evening, there will be a Sexual Assault Awareness panel in Leonard Auditorium. Dean Matthew Hammett will lead a panel discussion that addresses sexual violence on college campuses and within the Spartanburg community. Discussion topics will include the best ways to support survivors and to help create an environment that promotes healthy relationships.

The final event planned in association with Women’s History Month is the “Hunting Ground” screening to take place on April 26. Wofford will host the screening and then staff members will discuss Wofford’s sexual misconduct policy and the resources this provides.

Additionally, a viewing of “Girl Rising” took place on March 16 with a panel discussion led by Jennifer Gutierrez-Caldwell, director of diversity and inclusion.

“Educating girls can break cycles of poverty in just one generation. Yet millions of girls aren’t in school,” she says. “‘Girl Rising’ uses storytelling to inspire action that gets girls into classrooms worldwide. After the screening of the documentary the audience will be able to hear from a panel of Wofford students, faculty and staff as to how education has broken cycles in their life.”

Another event, “In Her Shoes: Experience the Hijab,” hosted by Anum Ahmed of the Muslim Student Association, gave students the opportunity to wear hijabs.

“This event was held so volunteers could try on a hijab for a few minutes, stepping out of their boundaries and stepping into the shoes of a hijab-wearing Muslim woman,” says Ahmed. “We wanted people to see the beauty but also the normality of the concept, and from seeing people’s reactions and talking to them, I think that’s what they got out of it.”

Already past is the SCATE night: Kick-off for Women’s History Month and Sexual Violence Pledge, the “Ephemeral Flights: Works by Jessica Elaine Blinkhorn” and a meet-the-artist talk and the opening Reception. More information about Blinkhorn’s exhibit can be found at woffordoldgoldandblack.com.

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