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Fifty years ago, on June 7, 1965, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling on contraception, which would have a profound effect on women’s lives. The birth control pill had come to the market in 1960, but in much of the U.S., it was illegal to advertise contraception. A lot has changed since then, besides the fact we still need to have a prescription for women to obtain it! Continue reading

M. Carey Thomas: The Fight for Gender Equality in Higher Education

Created by: Michael Stein and Hannah Wilcove

For our feminist activism research project this semester, we decided to investigate the admirable contributions of Martha Carey Thomas, known more commonly as M. Carey Thomas. Thomas was born on January 2, 1857 in Baltimore, Maryland. Some terms associated with Thomas and her valiant work would include: educator, feminist, president, philanthropist, advocate, activist, and suffragist. Through verbal, written, and direct activism, Thomas left a significant legacy in the fight for equality in education.

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The Vagina Monologues

For my activist project I performed two monologues in the Women Involved in Learning and Leadership (WILL) production of The Vagina Monologues.  Originally I was going to perform only one monologue in the show that I felt was a comfortable, tame piece.  The monologue was called “The Flood.” The monologue is from the viewpoint of an older lady, never actually says the word vagina, and is comical; I felt like this was a ‘safe’ piece.

In the beginning of rehearsals I was a bit shy about saying vagina, talking about vaginas, or talking about anything to do with the vagina really. Throughout the process I became not only comfortable with, but excited about talking about vaginas. The opportunity arose to perform another monologue entitles “My Angry Vagina.”  The monologue exuberantly proclaims the word vagina, uses profanity, rants about tampons, thongs, gynecologist visits, and much more. I loved performing this piece! I felt so much excitement and energy in saying these words in front of people and I felt the energy within the audience.

I felt like my project was a success because the proceeds went to a good cause, I am so much more comfortable talking about vaginas, the audience liked the show, and I believe the audience was more comfortable talking about vaginas and issues surrounding the vagina after they say the show.  I think if I were to do the show again I would try and not be so reserved. I would go for a more challenging monologue. I also wish we could have done some sort of talk back with the audience to have an open discussion about the monologues, the VDay Campaign, and women’s violence issues.

Before the project I thought of activism as protests, signs, and marches. I did not think that activism could take on so many different forms. Now I think of activism as being a hands on, involved, and fun project that can be taken on by one or many people.  Activism can play a part in your daily life accomplish by a small, personal choice or by a larger group cause.  Before, I never saw myself as an activist, but now I can see that I can make a difference. I now also understand that there are really large issues in the world that may seem insurmountable, but can start to change with small steps. This idea helps you to realize that you as an individual activist can make a change.12400670_1002458573183956_4626574183146780835_n