December 06, 2017
In a world where Facebook has recorded so much of my family’s year, I treasure this time of year as an opportunity to really reflect on its highlights and find a theme running throughout them. When we look back and narrate a passage of time, we reshape our memories, effectively writing history. Just as I find it meaningful to write old school holiday letters for my family’s Christmas cards, telling the story of the past months also helps us better approach the work that lies ahead at the Women’s Center.
November 10, 2017
In my June POV, I talked about disparities in birth outcomes across the globe, noting that “a disproportionate number of women in the US who die from pregnancy or childbirth-related causes are women of color, poor women, women without access to healthcare.” World Health Organization data shows that both perinatal mortality rates and maternal mortality rates range widely.
October 04, 2017
In a former life, I taught middle school for eight years. Four in a public school in a small industrial town south of Trenton, and four in a private school in Princeton. (I joke that eight years is three times as long as we make students stay in middle school.)
But the reality was that I loved working with this age group. They ask hard questions and expect honest answers. And they taught me so much about structural inequalities in our country.
September 11, 2017
August 21 saw ‘Hoos gathering all over Grounds – reconnecting with friends, welcoming the Class of 2021, viewing the solar eclipse, and stepping into new roles for the 2017-2018 year. Among those who have committed to playing a leadership role in the University community this year are 74 undergraduate men and women working with us to mentor local middle school boys and girls and 27 interning with members of our staff at the Women’s Center. We are committed to developing strong women leaders and those who will work beside them to bring about social justice.
August 16, 2017
At the Maxine Platzer Lynn Women’s Center, we develop strong women leaders and those who work beside them, ready to face the real and daunting challenges of building the public good and ensuring justice for all. These are words we use often, but not lightly. They are the heart of what we, as a public university, are called to do. We shape the next generation of leaders. These are the ideals we pursue with you.
To our new and returning students:
August 08, 2017
Expecting parents field a lot of questions, but none more often than this one. This question reveals how deeply embedded gender is in our social interactions. It is also indicative of an overly simple understanding of sex and gender identity.
A number of complex biological factors interact to determine and signal a person’s sex. For most people these dimensions match:
chromosomal make-up (XX or XY genes)
the ways that their body has developed (female or male), and
July 12, 2017
A couple of birthdays ago, my husband and daughter gave me a plaque for my office with a quote from Louisa May Alcott: “She is too fond of books and it has turned her brain.” How well they know me! Periodic escape into the world of fiction is one of the activities that keeps me me. For as long as I can remember, reading has been a form of self-care for me. When you live on the academic calendar, as I have my whole life, summer becomes a time to indulge in a love of reading. And when you’re a booklover, people often ask for recommendations. Where to start?
June 07, 2017
This spring here at the Women's Center we were honored and humbled to present Carolyn Miles, CEO of Save the Children and a 1988 Darden graduate, with the University's 2017 Distinguished Alumna Award. With Mother's Day occurring just a couple of weeks later, I was struck by the timeliness of the challenge Carolyn posed to the colleagues and admirers gathered in her honor.
May 01, 2017
We live in a society that does not value mothering (as measured in economic terms).The amazing thing isn’t that it is hard to make all of these pieces fit together in a coherent, sane manner – it’s that anyone manages to do so! Simultaneously, our national ethos of bootstrap independence suggests that success is a wholly personal accomplishment that is achieved with no external supports.
April 07, 2017
Humans tell stories to make sense of life. We like neat analogies.
Boy : blue :: girl : ____. If you reflexively answered "pink," you've probably 1) been prepped for the SAT and 2) been socialized into an American understanding of gender differences (and if you think that analogy has always been so, that's anachronistic.)