Sunday, December 11, 2005

Alito event at the Law School

The American Constitution Society (ACS) and Law Students Against Alito present

The Alito Nomination: What’s at Stake for WOMEN ?

Judy Waxman, National Women’s Law Center (NWLC)
Carolyn Treiss, NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut

WEDNESDAY, December 14
Room 127
Yale Law School
127 Wall Street

Lunch Provided! Please RSVP to if you plan to attend.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Four years and still nothing

This story came out a few days ago: leaders from nine universities (including our very own...*heart*) pledged a renewal of efforts to increase gender inequality in faculty at universities.

In case you didn't know, Princeton is hardcore about this, due largely to the aggressive reforms of President Shirley Tilghman. Despite PR efforts, however (the group, "Nine Presidents," was founded in 2001....), Yale and Harvard have not made great strides. It looks like things are in fact getting worse (what!?).
Women professors at the seven other Ivy League schools fell further behind men in the study of 1,416 U.S. academic institutions. The biggest difference, 22 percent, was found at Hanover, New Hampshire-based Dartmouth College.
Why aren't these guys getting with it?? Read the article... it's an interesting look at the problems and solutions we've discussed here before.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

just a note.

I am fine with sex and "sexiness." Seriously. But not when it becomes synonymous with the Playboy bunny. We have choices about the type of sexuality we portray - how about a little creativity, folks?

Sexual health @ YUHS

Today's YDN has an article on last week's University Health Services survey (which I believe RALY was involved with) reports mixed responses from the student body.
The survey had several questions about reproductive health, specifically emergency contraception (EC).

The preliminary results, according to a YCC member, showed that "some were specifically unhappy with urgent care wait times and the availability of contraception" but that 80% of those surveyed were satisfied with YUHS' emergency contraception services. The article suggests that many thought EC should be available in advance, which would avoid the Urgent Care backup. It does not, however, discuss other types of contraception, or the response from the written feedback section - hopefully that information will be released later.

In our role as feminist activists, we've heard a lot of bad stories - particularly about YUHS facilities to deal with rape and sexual assault, but also about STD/pregnancy testing and about EC. We're glad to hear the YCC is signing on to increase the availability of sexual health resources, but it seems the survey defined this rather narrowly. EC only applies to part of the population (straight women!) and feminists believe that everyone must be both informed and provided-for in order to be responsible and healthy. In other words, we need to make sure that sexual health is not just seen as a "woman's issue."

Monday, December 05, 2005

Make 'em listen

Rape and Sexual Violence Prevention (RSVP) has created a space for feedback on the internal review of Yale's policies toward sexual assault being conducted by the Sexual Harassment Grievance Board. They want to know what you think about the current state of the policy.

If you have personal stories, comments or suggestions please visit All contributions will be kept anonymous.

See previous posts for the details.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Don’t Judge an Article by Its Title.

Last Friday, while perusing Yale periodicals, I got really excited: the phrase “embrace feminism” appeared in the title of a YDN article. After a month of ranting about the publication of blatantly sexist viewpoints, including an article that attacked Broad Recognition for “bashing Yale’s periodicals,” I thought we had made some progress. Finally.

And, in a sense, Makda Asrat’s review in the scene section of the YDN about the play "Fefu and Her Friends," does do some justice to feminism. She at least acknowledges that women do struggle at finding a place in society and that every woman’s struggle is different and unique. (See the quotation from Director Sabina Ahmed.) For a minute there, it seemed like Yale students and even YDN writers had been reading up on post-colonial feminism. (Everyone remain calm.)

But my hopes were squashed by the last paragraph:
All this talk of feminism may deter members of Yale's population who have X-Y chromosomes to attend the play. However, the play, in addition to being visually and aesthetically pleasing, can be interpreted as a story of the universal struggle everyone goes through to figure out who they are, and how they fit into society -- this particular play just looks at this common struggle through a woman's lens. And if this is not convincing enough, there is a brief moment of girl-on-girl action that should draw some attention.
Apparently, the feminism part of post-colonial theory went missing from the analysis. Since a main goal of feminism is to highlight oppression and to strive for equality between men and women, men and their power and their social roles must also be examined. Feminism is NOT just a women’s issue; it is a social issue. As for the use of girl-on-girl action to entice men . . . no comment.

The opt-out myth

The implications of this fall's New York Times article about how women (especially Yale ones) are opting out of careers in order to stay home with their children is being contested anew.

Heather Boushey of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, recently released a report called Are Women Opting Out? Debunking the Myth. The report argues that the poor economy, more than social/cultural factors, accounts for the decreasing participation.
The impact of having children in the home on women's labor force participation (the "child penalty") actually fell last year compared to prior years.
Thanks to reader Liz for alerting us to this story; Feministing has more and an interesting debate in the comments section. Check it out.

Friday, December 02, 2005

friday feminism fix

Feminini-Tea: Swedish Family Policy: A More Equal Balance?

Friday, December 2
4:00pm – 5:30pm, Women's Center

Naz Mehta (JE '06) will present her research on gender inequality conducted at the Swedish Social Policy Institute in Stockholm. Please join us for a presentation on a singular project, clever conversation, and of course delightful snacks.

If you've never been to a Women's Center event, Feminini-teas are a good way to start. Free food and feminist company.