sexual violence; Emma Sulkowics, Simon Fraser University, sexual assault policy

Why do universities persistently fail to address sexual violence?

The now infamous Miss Pinkham #SweaterDay video brought international attention to Simon Fraser University (SFU) in a way that undermines the hard work that has gone into building SFU’s reputation as a world-class university. This may be about to happen all over again. Earlier this spring the provincial government ordered all universities in British Columbia to develop a stand-alone Sexual Violence policy. Recent events at … Continue reading Why do universities persistently fail to address sexual violence?

“Check yourself woman”: 1970s American Feminism and the Power of Primary Sources

There is nothing like reading primary sources to really immerse oneself in a moment in time. My current project has me reading about the women’s liberation movement in the United States, particularly the different ways white and African American feminists experienced and theorized their subordination. In this post  I try to sum up what I’ve learned and share two sources that deepened my grasp of the disconnect between African … Continue reading “Check yourself woman”: 1970s American Feminism and the Power of Primary Sources

Neither Sin Nor Civil Rights: Ethel Sawyer’s Study of a Lesbian Community

In 1965 24-year-old Ethel Sawyer completed the first known academic study of an African American lesbian community. Sawyer’s analysis of “mate stability” helped me develop an understanding of why in the 1950s and 60s gay women who rebelled against sex and gender norms participated in the most normalizing of all institutions: marriage. Although Sawyer did not hear of any such ceremonies during the two years she spent conducting … Continue reading Neither Sin Nor Civil Rights: Ethel Sawyer’s Study of a Lesbian Community

When your institution “gets” sexism

On February 3rd it came to the attention of many faculty at Simon Fraser University that there existed an incredibly sexist video created for the purpose of promoting “Sweater Day.” People were quick to draw it to the attention of the administration who promptly took the video down. In an email from the newly minted Vice President of External Communications, Joanne Curry, the video was … Continue reading When your institution “gets” sexism

The Trouble with Invoking Jim Crow to Fight for LGBT Issues

Pink Panthers Movement’s Response to the Arizona Anti-Gay Law Arizona’s new bill allowing for discrimination based on sexual orientation is rightfully attracting a lot of pushback from LGBT activists. One of the go-to arguments is that the law revives Jim Crow, the practice of segregating African Americans from whites. While there does seem to be a natural logic here, I think the LGBT movement should … Continue reading The Trouble with Invoking Jim Crow to Fight for LGBT Issues

Are there degrees out ‘outness’?

In the history of lesbian and gay politics, historians put a lot of stock in whether or not the people we study were “out.” But what exactly does “out” mean? This past week I interviewed Robert W. Wood, author of 1960 book Christ and the Homosexual Wood is a retired United Church of Christ (formerly Congregationalist Church) minister who knew since high school that he … Continue reading Are there degrees out ‘outness’?

Research’s Circuitous Route

Click through for larger This past weekend Elise flew to Boston on a last-minute research trip.  Unfortunately in the rush to get to the archives she left her computer at the airport security check point. This Monday she sends a pictogram to explain research’s circuitous route. originally from elisechenier@dreamdwidth, crossposted to outlawstoinlaws@dreamwidth, a community for sharing and discussing same-sex marriage before 1980. Like the Elise … Continue reading Research’s Circuitous Route