Get Ready for Gender-Neutral Housing, But Don’t Poster About It

holdinghandsIf CCSC has its way, Columbia’s Housing system will be slightly less oppressive next year. The council passed a resolution supporting gender-neutral housing last night, which will remove the gender restrction on double occupancy rooms. The plan, introduced by VP for Policy Sarah Weiss, 2011 VP Sean Udell, EAAH President Avi Edelman, and GendeRevolution President Miranda Eliot, would apply only to students purposefully picking into a double during General Selection. Neither blind doubles nor the first-year housing process would lose the gender restriction, so, if administrators agree to lift the restriction, Housing will still be spared new parents freaking out about their precious darlings living with someone of the opposite sex.

But three of the first-year dorms do get a little CCSC-ordered experimentation in the form of a new flyering program. The council also passed a resolution authored by CC 2011 President Learned Foote setting up a test program encouraging student groups to use less paper when postering. From after Thanksgiving until the end of the semester, John Jay, Hartley and Wallach’s ground floors will be equipped with new bulletin boards; the boards will have pre-drawn boxes marking out poster space, and groups will be encouraged to use only one poster per board. The policy will be self-enforcing, though – to quote the resolution, “we will attempt to institute a cultural change through voluntary participation.” Rumors of a Kumbaya sing-along to follow are still unconfirmed.

UPDATE: Bwog’s man in SEAS, Sean Zimmermann, reports that ESC passed the resolution as well at their board meeting tonight.


LectureHop: Women, Peace and Security – Challenges Ahead

Yesterday, former Vice President of the European Commission Margot Wallstrom spoke in IAB about “Women, Peace, and Security – Challenges Ahead.” Bwog International Affairs and Swedish Meatballs Correspondent Mark Hay reports:

Let it be known that the author does not often think about the role of gender in politics. But with three events this weekend focusing exclusively on gender relations in international security, I felt as if the universe were sending me a clear message to get in touch with my inner goddess (which is vital, considering that my inner God is dead after an encounter with Nietzsche). So last night I wound up at a lecture by Vice President of the European Commission and former Swedish Social Democratic Politician Margot Wallström, who came out swinging with one of the most jarring transitions in history—roughly paraphrased, “I recognize and appreciate the power of change President Obama has brought to this nation and the world, but you know what’s a more potent force of change in someone’s life? Rape.” 

Rape has turned into a fact of life in many of the world’s areas of conflict.  In some nations, incidents of rape affect as much as 70% of the population; it serves to completely destroy bonds of trust, and leads to stunning rates of passive suicide and social upheaval.  In Wallström’s eyes, the issue of rape in war and peace negotiations has reached a critical point: while rape rates skyrocket, international bodies are talking loudly but failing to carry the requisite big stick, due in part to the sheer lack of accurate data coming in from war torn regions.  And reporters in the West, she argues, are certainly not helping matters when they casually account rape against women as a fact of war, while reporting rape against men as a traumatizing act of torture.  To her, this is an expression of a hypocritical and institutional chauvinism still present in Western politics and society. (more…)

Gender Confusion

Although Hawkmadinebwog does not profess to be the highest authority on raptors, we have recently made the informed decision to call Hawkmadinejad by female pronouns. There is no absolute way for us to tell if the campus hawk is male or female other than DNA sex testing or actually watching Hawkma mate or lay an egg. This is because there is no uniform difference in coloration between male and female red-tailed hawks. Most raptors are not differently colored for each sex, though the common, local American Kestrel is one of the exceptions. The male American Kestrel has slate-blue wings, whereas the female does not:

More reasons for the decision and raptor information after the jump.


Remember Mead

Exactly thirty years ago today, November 15, 1978, cultural anthropologist, women’s lib advocate, and Barnard grad, Margaret Mead died.  In 1923, a mere 85 years ago, Mead graduated from Barnard with a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology and went on to receive a Ph.D from Columbia where she later served as adjunct Professor.  Today more than ever anthro majors at both CC and Barnard have reason to celebrate the contributions Mead gave to her field.  For those who are illiterate in anthro and its vagrancies, Mead’s a pretty big deal.  Breaking both scholastic and gender barriers,  Mead explored attitudes towards sex in South Pacific and Southeast Asian traditional cultures and went on to inform and advocate the 1960s sexual revolution.  What a lady!   

If you feel in a particularly commemorative mood head to the Museum of Natural History tomorrow for the final day of the Margaret Mead Film and Video Festival!

Lawyer Suing Columbia Now Speaking At Columbia

You’ll recall Bwog reporting last week that Business School Alum and self-proclaimed “anti-feminist” Roy Hollander was suing Columbia for offering women’s studies courses. Apparently, these courses are discriminatory against men.

Now, according to Bwog tipster Stephanie Quan, some Columbia women are interested in hearing his views. More specifically, the group Women in Science at Columbia have invited him to speak at the school, where he will “give a short talk briefing us on the case against Columbia and then answer any questions from the audience.”

The talk is scheduled for tomorrow, August 28th, from 1-2 PM, and the room is TBA Havemeyer 209. Whether it includes free food is unknown at this time.

Brave Business School Alum Combats Evils of Feminism

Roy Den Hollander (he of litigious demeanor at right), a proud business school alum (’97) and self-proclaimed “antifeminist,” is suing the University Trustees and the Institute for Research on Women & Gender for using federal aid to promote a “religionist belief system called feminism.”

Women’s Studies programs, he claims, are “spreading prejudice and fostering animosity and distrust towards men with the result of the wholesale violation of men’s rights.” And while the College Bulletin claims the major is “intended to introduce students to the long arc of feminist discourse about the cultural and historical representation of nature, power, and the social construction of difference,” the super-secret version explicitly states that the purpose is to “demonize men and exalt women in order to justify discrimination against men based on collective guilt.”


Columbia and Graciela Chichilnisky: A Legal History

Meet Graciela Chichilnisky, an econ professor who was just awarded a $200,000 settlement from Columbia, which is roughly the amount of your tuition or any one product from Nussbaum & Wu. She has been suing Columbia on and off since 1990 (back when some of you Terrible 12s weren’t even born!), claiming gender discrimination and unequal pay, claims that were also previously settled in 1995 for $500,000. As a result of the earlier suit, Chichilnisky’s salary was raised from $60,000 to $110,000.

So then, in 2000, Chichilnisky stopped teaching math and started working exclusively in the econ. department because Columbia was terminating the United Nations Educational and Cultural Organization, which she had chaired. She found that her office in the Mathemetics building was hers no longer. “It’s almost impossible to believe this is happening,” she told Spec. “The destruction and removal of one’s office space, without notice is like a violation of one’s physical space.” Columbia repsponded that the school is crunched for space and that Chichilnisky wasn’t making full use of her math office.

She filed another lawsuit claiming that her pay was less than that of her male counterparts, and that in dismantling her office, Columbia “has retaliated against her by breaching the terms of the settlement.” In turn, Columbia filed counterclaims, charging that Chichilnisky had a secret second job — she was the founder and CEO of a multimillion dollar corporation — and that she never disclosed that to anyone in Low. According to CU, this was a breach of the previous settlement agreement.


QuickSpec: Gender Studies Edition

Women must overcome shortness, queen bees, and Barbie in their epic quest for tenure

Freshman fornication facilitated? Lactation station rouses male curiosity, Carman pride

Sex columnist informs us being frightened of subway rats not necessarily gay, quotes…other sex columnist, who discusses (why not?) class implications of kinkiness

GS student: I’m not part of a Star Trek villain-race! I’m just “the scruffy Julie over here on the Aloha Deck”!

Masonary decapitation…it’s art!

Media Watch BONUS: NY Times metro section editorial kinda gently blasts M’ville expansion for potential post-gentrification property price hikes…and for using “archaic” word “Manhattanville”