See this link for Women’s History Month 2022 Resources and Events Calendar:
Members of the WGS Council at Hostos are excited to share resources and events for Women’s History Month 2022. We hope that these virtual events and activities might inspire students to submit essays, creative writing, or visual arts to the “Dismantle Patriarchy” contest by the April 7th due date
Calendar of Events:
Tuesday, March 8, at 3:30 p.m
Dr. M. Cristina Alcalde “The Road Ahead for Women of Color: Pandemic Lessons and Opportunities”
Dr. Alcalde currently serves as Miami University’s vice president for institutional diversity and inclusion. She has a Ph.D in Anthropology and specializes in the fields of Gender and Women’s Studies and Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies.
Friday, March 18, at 2 p.m
“COVID-19 and Gender: A Student Panel”
In this panel, students will answer questions and
talk to one another about the ways that their gender
and other identity positions have influenced their
response to and responsibilities throughout the
ongoing pandemic in school, work, and home.
The goal is to build solidarity among students and the college community
while reflecting on the role that gender and other identity positions play in
our daily lives.
This event is generously supported by the Educating for Diversity grant at Hostos.
Tuesday, March 22, from 3:30 to 5 p.m
Ivan Velez Jr. “VENGEFUL GODDESSES, WARRIOR QUEENS AND OTHER MONSTERS, a Comics Writing Workshop”
Cartoonist Ivan Velez Jr. (Tales of the Closet, Blood Syndicate, Ghost Rider) breaks down the myths and legends in comics that helped define gender roles, morality and feminine stereotypes for us all. Not only will you learn the basics of making your own fabulous comics/manga and fabulous heroic women, but also understand how to create characters of all genders that use old legends and are newly diverse in color, ethnicity, age, class, ability and body types. It’s time to create new legends and archetypes that are fair, fun and profound by touching upon social issues and real-world flavors; and using the powers of cartooning and Manga to make the world a better place.
Women in Science: Navigating Career Challenges
Friday, March 25th
Organized by Professor Carmen Inda
Hostos Alumni Presentations and Panel:
Journey BEYOND HOSTOS
Hostos Student Presentations:
WOMEN AWARDED NOBEL PRIZES
The following assignment, which was created by Prof. Victoria Muñoz, may be employed as a conversation-starter and source of inspiration for many class assignments in different departments. Students can also use the critical thinking questions as a starting point to device creative projects or works of art that consider how to challenge patriarchy, with a goal to participate in the “Dismantle Patriarchy” nation-wide student competition.
Excerpt from bell hooks, The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love (Washington Square Press, 2004).
Patriarchy is a political-social system that insists that males are inherently dominating, superior to everything and everyone deemed weak, especially females, and endowed with the right to dominate and rule over the weak and to maintain that dominance through various forms of psychological terrorism and violence. […] I was always more interested in challenging patriarchy than my brother was because it was the system that was always leaving me out of things that I wanted to be part of. In our family life of the fifties, marbles were a boy’s game. […] One evening my brother was given permission by Dad to bring out the tin of marbles. I announced my desire to play and was told by my brother that “girls did not play with marbles,” that it was a boy’s game. This made no sense to my four-or five-year old mind, and I insisted on my right to play by picking up marbles and shooting them. Dad intervened to tell me to stop. I did not listen. His voice grew louder and louder. Then suddenly he snatched me up, broke a board from our screen door, and began to beat me with it, telling me, “You’re just a little girl. When I tell you to do something, I mean for you to do it.” […] After this beating I was banished—forced to stay alone in the dark. Mama came into the bedroom to soothe the pain, telling me in her soft southern voice, “I tried to warn you. You need to accept that you are just a little girl and girls can’t do what boys do.” In service to patriarchy her task was to reinforce that Dad had done the right thing by putting me in my place, by restoring the natural social order.
[…] The man who has been my primary bond for more than twelve years was traumatized by the patriarchal dynamics in his family of origin. When I met him he was in his twenties. While his formative years had been spent in the company of a violent, alcoholic dad, his circumstances changed when he was twelve and began to live alone with his mother. […] In the early years of our relationship he was extremely critical of male domination of women and children. Although he did not use the word “patriarchy,” he understood its meaning and he opposed it. His gentle, quiet manner often led folks to ignore him, counting him among the weak and the powerless. By the age of thirty he began to assume a more macho persona, embracing the dominator model that he had once critiqued. Donning the mantle of patriarch, he gained greater respect and visibility. More women were drawn to him. He was noticed more in public spheres. His criticism of male domination ceased. And indeed he began to mouth patriarchal rhetoric, saying the kind of sexist stuff that would have appalled him in the past.
[…] His story is not unusual. Boys brutalized and victimized by patriarchy more often than not become patriarchal, embodying the abusive patriarchal masculinity that they once clearly recognized as evil. Few men brutally abused as boys in the name of patriarchal maleness courageously resist the brainwashing and remain true to themselves. Most males conform to patriarchy in one way or another. […]
Clearly we cannot dismantle a system as long as we engage in collective denial about its impact on our lives. Patriarchy requires male dominance by any means necessary, hence it supports, promotes, and condones sexist violence. We hear the most about sexist violence in public discourses about rape and abuse by domestic partners. But the most common forms of patriarchal violence are those that take place in the home between patriarchal parents and children. The point of such violence is usually to reinforce a dominator model, in which the authority figure is deemed ruler over those without power and given the right to maintain that rule through practices of subjugation, subordination, and submission. Keeping males and females from telling the truth about what happens to them in families is one way patriarchal culture is maintained. A great majority of individuals enforce an unspoken rule in the culture as a whole that demands we keep the secrets of patriarchy, thereby protecting the rule of the father. This rule of silence is upheld when the culture refuses everyone easy access even to the word “patriarchy.” Most children do not learn what to call this system of institutionalized gender roles, so rarely do we name it in everyday speech. This silence promotes denial. And how can we organize to challenge and change a system that cannot be named?
Critical Thinking Questions:
1. What is bell hooks’s definition of “patriarchy”? Provide her definition in your own words.
2. How, according to hooks, does patriarchy traumatize both boys and girls?
3. Why, according to hooks, is patriarchy is problem that cannot be named?
4. What is a first step to dismantling patriarchy?
5. What can we each do in our own lives to challenge patriarchy?
Enrichment Essay Option: Using your learning from the exercise above as an inspiration and starting point, w1rite an essay that answers the following question: How would you dismantle patriarchy? Optional: When you’re done with your essay, consider submitting your essay to the Dismantle Patriarchy Student Essay Competition. Ten nation-wide high school-level and ten nation-wide college-level contest winners will be awarded $1,000. The deadline is April 7th. More competition details and submission link may be found at https://dismantlepatriarchy.org
Vice President for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion at Miami University Dr. M. Cristina Alcalde Speaks at Hostos for International Women’s Day
On Tuesday, March 8, which was International Women’s Day, more than fifty members of the College community signed on to Zoom at 3:30 p.m. to listen to a presentation from Dr. M. Cristina Alcalde titled “The Road Ahead for Women of Color: Pandemic Lessons and Opportunities.” The robust turnout from faculty, students, and staff alike showed the timeliness and relevance of the subject matter. Dr. Alcalde, who currently serves as Vice President for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion at Miami University, drew on her expertise as an administrator and a scholar of women’s and gender studies to highlight the challenges women of color face in the workplace and to identify opportunities for equity.
To frame the conversation and welcome the audience, Professor Elizabeth Porter, Assistant Professor of English and Coordinator of Hostos Community College’s Women’s and Gender Studies Program, opened, sharing a few words on the theme of International Women’s Day: #BreakTheBias. Hostos College President Daisy Cocco De Filippis offered heartfelt greetings to the Hostos community and a warm welcome to the speaker. Professor Ana Lopez from the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Unit in the Humanities Department, introduced Dr. Alcade, highlighting her contributions to the discipline of Anthropology and the research areas of gender violence, racialization, and migration.
Dr. Alcalde’s presentation included a slideshow that carefully walked attendees through relevant data that pointed out challenges and opportunities in the workplace. She acknowledged that opportunities were also challenges, but her nuanced explanations helped the audience understand how positive and future-oriented language could inspire change. While there were numerous topics addressed in this presentation, there were some key takeaways to share. For example, allies should use their privilege to speak up and call out problems they observe. When microaggressions happen, it is important that the person who caused the harm acknowledges and apologizes for their mistake, rather than becoming defensive or ignoring the effect of their microaggression. Men, of course, can be allies, but so can white women. One of the unfortunate effects of not disaggregating data is that white women and women of color are often lumped together in statistical analyses of workplace cultures. Since white women benefit from racial privilege, the experiences and needs are not the same as for women of color. Supports for women of color must honor intersectional identities. Finally, workplaces that strive for inclusion must not expect “assimilation,” but embrace and understand the differences that inform people’s perspectives and sources of knowledge.
After the presentation, Dr. Alcalde answered a wide range of questions from members of the audience. Due to the open and safe environment that she had created, participants felt empowered to ask for specific guidance on becoming better allies or handling gender discrimination they personally had faced. A question from Professor Jerilyn Fisher, former coordinator of WGS and current member of the WGS Council, referenced Dr. Alcalde’s 2021 piece in Ms. Magazine on the topic of burnout during the pandemic for women of color. Dr. Alcalde’s responses to all questions were validating and illuminating.
The Women’s History Month lecture informed and connected the college community. The objective of Women’s and Gender Studies programming is to foster wide-ranging discussions of gender through an intersectional lens and from interdisciplinary perspectives. Dr. Alcalde’s lecture was a wonderful way to kick off this month’s events! Please see the Women’s History Month page of the WGS Commons for the 2022 calendar of events as well as resources for teaching. Also, Prof. Laskin (Library Faculty) has created a LibGuide for Women’s History Month that can be enjoyed all year round! Thank you to members of the Women’s and Gender Studies (WGS) Faculty Council for help with planning and promoting this event, which include Professors Andrea Fabrizio, Inmaculada Lara Bonilla, Jerilyn Fisher, Alexandra Milsom, Victoria Muñoz, Krystyna Michael, Miriam Laskin, Marcella Bencivenni, Karen Steinmayer, and Carmen Inda García.
Women’s History Month 2019
We had very exciting and successful celebrations for Women’s History Month in 2019. Attendance was robust!
Students saw an original one woman show about using activism to work toward the obliteration of sexual assault; they learned about the life and times of Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein; they studied the poems of sister-giants, Lucille Clifton and Ntozake Shange, they heard Norma Cantú speak about her newest work of fiction; they watched a documentary about the extraordinary life of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg; they learned about Wonder Woman as maverick cartoon character and movie icon; they watched a film that characterizes the plight of a young boy seeking to unite with his mother who emigrated to the US for a better life; they interacted with an author of a book emphasizing gender equality and fairness for very young children and experimented with their own storyboards; they participated in a well-known game show, “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” in order to heighten awareness about sexual harassment: what it is, what to do about it.
A rich month of learning and engagement!