Video Gaming and Tropes Against Women

By Monét Muñoz
Generation YW Youth Specialist, YWCA Greater Austin 

Monét Muñoz

Monét Muñoz

Video gaming has often been seen as a world dominated by a male audience, viewership, and consumership. However, more recently there has been a surge of women who are consuming this form of media at a rapid rate. In the late 2000s, Anita Serkeesian came onto the scene and changed the way we look at video gaming today. Sarkeesian is a media critic whose work focuses on “deconstructing the stereotypes and tropes associated with women in popular culture as well as highlighting issues surrounding the targeted harassment of women in online and gaming spaces.” In 2009, Sarkeesian began a video web series titled Feminist Frequency as a thesis for her Masters Degree at York University, in which she discusses how women are sidelined in the realm of video games.

A New Perspective on Bathrooms

by Miriam Barnett
CEO of the YWCA Pierce County

No big deal. It’s just a bathroom.

Right?

That is exactly how I would have responded if someone asked me about our bathrooms at the YWCA. Then I attended a workshop at the YWCA USA Annual Conference called “Addressing Issues of Gender Identity and Gender Expression.”

As I sat in the audience listening intently to panel member Kylar Broadus, I heard his personal stories of violence for being a female-to-male (FTM) transsexual. I never thought about what it would feel like to have to decide which bathroom to use. And I certainly never thought of the humiliation and violence that trans people endure as a result.

If Our Country Wants to Reduce Sexual Assault on Campuses, We Must . . .

By Mike Domitrz 
Founder of The Date Safe Project

START BEFORE THEY GET TO CAMPUS (in fact before they get to high school).

RESPECTTo truly reduce sexual assault and sexual violence on college campuses, we need a movement focused on cultural transformation that takes place years before a college student steps on campus. If we really want to lower sexual assault on university campuses for the long-run, our country must move to educating the youngest of all genders on respect, boundaries, and honoring every individual as being valuable.

The Power of Art as a Vehicle for Social Justice

Remarks by Rabbi Donna Berman
Executive Director, Charter Oak Cultural Center

At the YWCA Hartford Region’s Stand Against Racism breakfast on April 25, Rabbi Donna Berman gave the following remarks:

“The power of the arts to start conversations we might not otherwise have, to sneak past our intellects and enter our souls and change our perspective, is vast. The arts have this uncanny ability to circumvent politics and ideology and, therefore, fly under the radar and soar directly into our heart. The arts can sneak in beneath the defenses so rigidly held by our intellects and help us get unstuck in our ways. Charles Bukowski said: ‘An intellectual says a simple thing in a hard way. An artist says a hard thing in a simple way.’

Finding My Identity

By Chloe Irizarry-Nelson
Racial Justice Department Intern, YWCA Madison

Chloe Irizarry-Nelson

Chloe Irizarry-Nelson

The Multiracial Network Stands Against Racism in Solidarity with the YWCA

By Victoria Malaney
@ACPA_MRN

YWCA Stand Against Racism LogoAs I sat down to write this blog as the Scholarship and Resources Coordinator for the Multiracial Network (MRN), I was thinking of recent articles that have been published online regarding multiracial beauty. Anecdotally, as a multiracial person it was not uncommon for my siblings and I to have strangers comment on our physical looks growing up. Sometimes the comments would be, “Oh your parents did good!” or “Wow, you all are just so beautiful!”, while these comments were unexpected and flattering I was always taken aback by the strangers who amongst stopping to comment us about our looks, we would also get the follow up question, “What are you?” The typical response, “I’m… [insert racial identifiers],” would ensue.

Breaking the Silence: Understanding Asian American Mental Health

By Sonia Kotecha, LCSW

As an Asian American, I have grown up learning the game of silence very well. Asian Americans have historically been labeled in the United States media as the “model minority,” lauded for a strong work ethic and strong family unit. This stereotype lumps all Asian groups as one and does not account for the diversity in the community with regards to ethnicity, socio-economic status, immigration history, barriers to acculturation, and much more. Many Asian Americans, including myself, have internalized this stereotype. There is a great deal of pressure to always present and perform well in school and in the workplace, and to be loyal to one’s family by not revealing any secrets that would bring about perceived shame and weakness. As a consequence, many of us suffer in silence, thus perpetuating the stereotype that Asians don’t need assistance.

York YWCA: Icons of Black History

By Yvette Davis and Roberta Geidner
YWCA York

February is Black History Month, a time to honor the rich history and contributions of the innumerable African-Americans who have risen from adversity in order to contribute
knowledge, skills and inventions to American society and beyond. African-American history is one filled with stories of people who have thrived in spite of decades of slavery, legalized segregation and systemic racism.

Black History Month was first established in the 1920s to encourage the coordinated teaching of the history of African-Americans, who are too often overlooked or deliberately
ignored in mainstream curricula.

Passing the Torch, Blazing the Trail: National Girls & Women in Sports Day 2014

By Shellie Pfohl
Executive Director, President’s Council on Fitness, Sport & Nutrition

Today, people from all 50 states will celebrate the 28th Annual National Girls and Women in Sports Day. This year’s theme, “Passing the Torch, Blazing the Trail,” is particularly pertinent because we are two days away from the Opening Ceremonies of the Sochi Olympics. More than 100 of our 230 winter Olympians traveling to Sochi are females; in London in 2012, the U.S. sent more female than male athletes to participate in the Games. In fact, many referred to London 2012 as “the Women’s Olympics,” because it was the first time that women competed in all of the same sports as men, for 302 total medal events.

The Coolest Thing About Online Dating Sites

By Jenny L. Davis, PhD

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Quartz, a business and marketing website, recently released data on the Facebook dating app Are You Interested, which connects single people with others within the confines of their Facebook networks. Quartz’ data are based on a series of yes-or-no questions about who users are interested in, as well as response rates between users, once notified of a potential suitor. The data show that white men and Asian women receive the most interest, whereas black men and women receive the least amount of interest. The writers at Quartz summarize the findings as follows: