On November 13, a group of women gathered in the South Building for a round table discussion about feminism.
Posters covered the front of the room with magazine cut outs of women in lingerie, women in short dresses, women covered in layers of make-up and women Photoshopped to look thinner. An opening discussion on the images suggested that women are displayed in a sexualized manner, and that advertising campaigns perpetuate stereotypes on gender and class. The discussion, led by Loren Delaney, a UTM women and gender studies student, addressed how women want to see gender dynamics change.
According to Delaney, the word feminism seemed to be misrepresented in its definition. When you think of feminism, you automatically think of a group of angry women, said a student in attendance. The discussion brought up points of inequality within gender relations that are still present today.
Although women and men appear to be equal, this is not the case. Take a look at consumerism. How many times do you see a man selling cleaning products? Of course, theres the
Mr. Clean commercials with an older, white male standing near a woman whos cleaning a kitchen or bathroom, while he gives his stamp of approval, said another student.
Students in attendance also discussed the idea of consumerism and how it is linked to women. Discussion topics included students ideas on what advertisements are considered sex and the idea that sex sells.
Hetero-normative societal values proved to be a problem as students in attendance discussed the isolation they feel. As a homosexual, how do you answer the question have you had sex? when you visit the doctor? asked Kumari Giles, an executive of OUT@UTM.
The Women and Gender Studies program at UTM offers many courses on gender relations. For all those looking to learn more about the WGS program, their office is located on the first floor of the North Building. A new student group called the Women Gender Studies Action Group is also seeking assistance to educate students on gender relations. Anyone who wishes to join them can find them in the North Building Café every Wednesday
at 12 p.m.