Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, by Zach Weiner.Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College and the co-author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
In 2013, after years of trying to reform the institution from the inside, faculty and students at my college submitted two complaints to the federal government. The combined 330 pages allege sexual harassment, assault, and battery on campus and argue that the college has ignored and silenced victims, mishandled adjudication and, at times, protected men found responsible for assault. We are now under federal investigation.
Forcibly revealing Occidental College’s failings hasn’t been fun for anyone, but it has changed us. It is now easier to report assaults, we are likely more vigilant about recording those reports, and students have more knowledge about their rights. Here is what happened:
At The Occidental Weekly, Noel Hemphill writes that reports of sexual offenses have skyrocketed. They rose from 12 in 2011 to 64 in 2013. Over half of the cases reported were of incidents that occurred in previous years. That’s normal — victims often take a year or more to decide to come forward — but may also reflect a new desire by survivors to have their experience recorded in official statistics.
These numbers are disturbing, but it is unlikely that they reflect a rise in sexual offenses. Instead, they suggest that survivors of assault are feeling more empowered, have greater faith in their institution, and are pushing for recognition and change.Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College and the co-author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
We are happy to honor Gloria Anzaldúa. Anzaldúa was a lesbian Chicana feminist of European and American Indian descent, born in Texas to parents of Mexican lineage. This collection of identities informed her social theory and she is credited with articulating the importance of intersectionality, or the way in which multiple identities in a single individual inflect each other in powerful ways. Two of her most famous works include This Bridge Called My Back, with Cherríe Moraga (1981) and Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza (1987).
Image borrowed from qualiafolk.com.Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College and the co-author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
Gloria Jean Watkins (1952 – ) adopted her pen name, bell hooks, from her maternal great-grandmother Bell Blair Hooks. Her writing examines a broad range of topics, but one theme is the attention she draws to the interconnectivity of capitalism, race, and gender. Throughout her prolific career, she has repeatedly exposed the way these dimensions produce and perpetuate systems of oppression and domination.