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Palko POV

October 04, 2017

Director Abby Palko shares her thoughts through her series, "The Palko POV"

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

Palko POV

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 08, 2017

Palko POV

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 

June 07, 2017

Palko POV

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

Palko POV

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.)

February 28, 2017

We Move, Therefore We Are

Story by Abby Palko