Greetings my lovely readers,
I’m sad to say that this will be my last regular post with the Women’s Center Blog. I started at the Women’s Center as the Communications Intern last March (and I can’t believe it’s already been over a year!) However, I’m graduating today (which is incredibly weird and I don’t know how to process it), but I’m excited for the things ahead I’ll encounter.
But first, I’d like to reflect on my year at the Women’s Center – and a short snapshot on the war on women that’s been impossible to ignore.
Interning at WmC really cemented my interest and passion for sexual health and reproductive rights. As the Communications Intern, I became engulfed in current news about women’s health, rights, activism, social justice and so many more issues that affect us today at the University of Minnesota, and across the world.
I learned about eco-friendly feminism, menstrual activism, the risks of peaceful protesting, the “Personhood Amendment” and our country’s somewhat silenced, incredibly overlooked war on womanhood and GLBT communities. I’ve had conversations with anti-women protesters, anti-choice choosers, sex-positive role models, sex-workers, volunteers who protect women at abortion clinics from angry protesters, domestic violence survivors, sexual assault victims, menstrual activists, men against gender violence, members of the kink community and students involved in the social justice community on campus. I’ve met all of these people from interning at the Women’s Center and for that, I am truly grateful.
While working at the Women’s Center, I became involved with The Birds and Bees Project in Minneapolis and will be credited with assisting in the production of a nationally distributed sexuality education guide in December 2012; with my Youth Studies colleagues, I completed a exploratory research project on LGBTQ youth and bullying in schools while working with LGBTQ youth directly. I’ve interviewed at some of the most publicly acclaimed sex-positive places in the Minneapolis area and across the country (locations to remain anonymous for various reasons). And I’ve found my nook in the community.
A lot of people don’t really know about the Women’s Center at the U, but there’s so much that we do for our surrounding community and our students. I constantly hear that we don’t need women’s centers, but then I see current events in the news regarding reproductive rights, the pay gap, domestic violence and sexual assault on campus, the lack of female representatives in Congress and the Senate… and I’m easily able to counter the claims against us. Whether or not someone agrees with our purpose on campus, we are 110% necessary. We are 115% relevant in today’s community. And we are 250% present for our female-identified students, staff, faculty and alumnae. Our work might be overlooked sometimes, but it’s applied around the world by all the women we work for.
I am proud to say I interned at the Women’s Center; the experience and eye-opening knowledge will last a life-time. The people I’ve worked with at The Women’s Center and around the Women’s Center are influential, amazing, glorious men and women who are devoted to making a change in our community for the better. My only hope is that the next intern to take over for me learns as much as I did.
-Gina L. Curci