Celebrate International Women’s Day 2016


Each year on International Women’s Day, we are reminded to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women worldwide.

This year, the theme is #pledgeforparity, a call for all to champion gender parity. Please take a moment to visit the official International Women’s Day site to make your #pledgeforparity, read pledges from global leaders, and more. Celebrate International Women's Day with Wiley

Yesterday, we hosted a webinar called Women’sRights are Human Rights, covering topics like women’s participation in politics, violence directed at women, unpaid care workloads, and access to equal education across all geographies, classes, races and ethnicities, ages, and cis and transgender rights. The three person panel included Dr. Ranjoo Herr, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Bentley University and frequent contributor to Hypatia. We will post a link to the recording when it is available.

For now, we at Wiley have updated a special collection of scholarly works across the Social Sciences and Humanities to support awareness and equality amongst genders, blog posts from thought leaders spanning fields from philosophy to gender statistics, and more. We welcome you to check it out, and to tell us your story on how you’re supporting gender parity.

DID YOU KNOW?
The Akkadian/Sumerian poet Enheduanna (2285-2250 BCE) is believed by scholars to be the world’s first author and poet known by name.

 

Ageing into Lesbian-Feminism – An Excerpt from a Life

ari headColor

It was 1969, I was just 12 years old, and Stonewall had not yet happened. My best friend Linda and I hung out at the local schoolyard wearing army jackets with male names emblazoned on the pocket. She was not just my friend, though I had no name for what we were.

When I smacked a boy upside the head who tried to grab my breasts, the home economics teacher said if I couldn’t stop acting like that no boy would ever marry me. I had no vision of what life could be without marrying a boy and gay marriage was still an oxymoron; I decided that marriage was a trap that I would never willingly step into. I mostly still think that.

I discovered feminism with an insatiable hunger. I read every book, bought every woman’s music album and joined consciousness raising groups, and coming out groups.

Today my female students often insist they are not feminists. My feminism is quaint to them, not the radical edge of human transformation, but nostalgia from a bygone generation. In their eyes I am a woman who still thinks that gender matters. Of course they believe in equal rights and equal pay for equal work. Of course they think that “girls” should go to college and become doctors. Their definition of feminism is: a woman who hates men. I try to explain that it was actually men who hated women, and we rebelled, us feminists. I tell them that all they have in their lives today is the fruits of a movement that women planted with our own hands, the soil was our very bodies. Gender, I insist, still matters.

The lesbian-feminist community that reared me does not exist anymore. The small coffee houses, the sense of commonality are relics of another day. Partially the movement that was, has been absorbed into the larger LGBTQQI-alphabet soup movement for queer civil rights. Partially it became transformed into academic women’s studies programs. Partially it has been co-opted, sold out to the dazzle of consumer capitalism and the lure of romantic security, represented by gay business and gay marriage. A friend smiles and says, “We really thought we could change the world,” and I remind her: we did. We changed the world.

I work for transgender rights and argue queer theory, and insist that it is feminism which was the mother of these freedoms. I give credit to women’s liberation for not only changing my world, but for changing the whole world, for starting a dialogue about rethinking gender that continues on today. Like all important tasks, dismembering patriarchy is the work of my many lifetimes.

I am nearly a crone now — more than half a century on this blessed planet, and I’m still doing my work. I still devour feminist books, but I do not allow feminism to devour me. I am critical of some of what has been done in the name of feminism, but I will not let other women define feminism for me, or dictate which acts of mine are feminist and which are colonized. I keep insisting that feminism is not a dirty word, but is a movement that has made possible all that has come since.

I embrace the queer youth of today, and I know they can do what they are doing precisely because we did the work of feminism. I plan to get old, grow my facial hair, get another tattoo, and wear bright red lipstick. Feminism has given me the freedom to be fully myself.

By Arlene Istar Lev LCSW, CASAC

Arlene Istar Lev is a social worker, family therapist, activist, and mother. She is the Founder of Choices Counseling and Consulting (www.choicesconsulting.com), and The Institute for Gender, Relationships, Identity and Sexuality (TIGRIS – www.tigrisinstitute.com). She can be reached at 518-438-2222 or Arlene@choicesconsulting.com.

We encourage you to read more on LGBT and family/child ethics with our special collection here on the blog and to comment below.

Happy International Women’s Day!

Celebrate International Women's Day with WileyThe 2015 theme for International Women’s Day is ‘Make it Happen’ and that is certainly the case on the blog hosted by Wiley.  Experts across a variety of fields are asking tough questions and sparking conversation around women’s rights. Ranging from politics to business, history to philosophy, the classroom to the household, the blog reveals the crucial timing and necessity of its content. Readers, men and women from across the globe, are commenting on the blog, relaying their personal stories and shared views on society and the possibility of change.

Beyond the blog, a special collection of articles and book chapters are available free on the website. Scholarly works across the Social Sciences and Humanities work to support awareness and equality amongst gender. Included in these gender studies is the LGBT communities and scholarly works surrounding medical ethics and culture.

DID YOU KNOW?
Women’s lives differ drastically around the world. In Afghanistan 87% of women are illiterate and 70-80% are forced into marriage, and in India it is estimated that there have been 50 million cases of female infanticide over the last three decades. This is a stark contrast to the lives women can lead in other countries. In Canada, for example, 62% of university graduates are female, and 1 in 3 federally appointed judges are female.

Take advantage of the wealth of articles available while you can.