In addition to out big semester focus (Semester 1: Rad Sex & Consent/Semester 2: Bluestockings Week) the Wom*n’s department does stuff all over the place (WAC, stitch n bitch, FFFFilms & Girlzone) every week to create community and a space for students to learn and grow as feminists and people and friggin’ make friends and all that stuff you’re meant to do at uni.
So here’s the thing, due to popular demand: Girlzone is WEEKLY now.
At 1pm on Thursdays in the Wom*n’s Room.
There’s free tea and cake and donuts and other grrls who are queer or questioning. Lemme make this clear: that can mean bi, pan, trans, poly, celibate, lesbian, and not-quite-sure. Like seriously, you are welcome.
It’s now necessarily a queery-style brain-breaking ideological conversation (not that it’s off-limits), it’s just a chill time to chat with others socially. And eat cake.
The Facebook event is here. You don’t have to press attending if you don’t feel comfortable with people on your Facebook seeing, but know you’re welcome
- Amy xx
We have big ideas and a big year planned in 2012. All of our events will be free or subsidised for students at the University of Melbourne.
In case you haven’t heard, we have an fantastic project happening right now in the Wom*n’s Room. Amy’s brilliant efforts ensured we had a freshly painted and steam cleaned room all ready for 2012. And so on that seemingly new slate we were very lucky to be able to commission an amazing local street artist to paint a mural for us and bring some colour back to the room. Below I’ll intersperse pictures of the mural coming to life with our reasons for wanting to do this.
The clean (but still messy!) women's room
They even painted the bookshelves!
- It is part of our aim to attract many more students to the room.
- We want to appeal to all students, and so are aiming to create a room with a wide mix of visual influences – we want an interesting and professional looking room.
Beginning the mural
- The repainting that was just done has unfortunately resulted in lots of the artwork/writing created on the walls by previous users of the room being covered over, and we don’t want to ‘whitewash’ the room.
- Our department aims to utilise our budget both efficiently and, as much as possible, by supporting independently working women. In this case, we are choosing to support a female graffiti/street artist who works in an ‘industry’ that is heavily male dominated, and also lacks any formal efforts at working towards, or monitoring of, diversity. Where we do contract women, we aim to pay them in accordance with their skill level and time, as too much work by women is underpaid, or not paid at all.
- Due to art generally and street art specifically being male dominated, we believe it is important to support and display women’s art. Providing a wall for a female artist is an incredible way to achieve this. We are also more generally supporting Melbourne’s street art scene through this project.
More colours and line work added
When we get the rest of the room tidied up, the new couches installed, and a few more bit and pieces sorted out the room is sure to look amazing. Hope you come by and check it out!
View from the doorway
As Amy mentioned on Facebook, we are having a working bee on Wednesday from 10am. A few lovely people put in a big effort today so there’s already a head start on the work. If you haven’t seen the room yet this year I think you’ll be surprised, it’s already looking totally different!
Something we started today was reorganising the small but awesome library in the room. All the books have been sorted chronologically, and we are working on creating a database of all the items we have so it will be possible to see the list online. Don’t forget to let us know if there’s anything you’d like that we don’t have – doesn’t matter if you haven’t read it yet – thats the point!
Hopefully see you Wednesday.
Got some last bitsa money left in wom*n’s budget…
If anyone has feministy books (or even films!?) they’d like to suggest for us to spend the $$ on let us know within the next couple of days!
Also feel free to suggest other things you think the wom*ns department should do with the last of the year’s budget!
Safe and happy holidays to all xo
Photo from What The World Eats. Part One and Part Two.
Hi all, feminist discussion group is running tomorrow at 12 in the wom*n’s room. We’ll be discussing the topic:
Food is a Feminist Issue(?)
This article was featured in Farrago in 2010.
Tuesday, August 17 2010 – by Esther Bohmer and Miriam Hamel-Green
In Australia, right now, one in every three women is sexually assaulted in her lifetime. In Australia, right now, one in every three women suffers mental health problems. In Australia, right now, one in every three women has at least one STI. Will one autonomous (women-only) space in Parkville fix all this? We don’t think so. But it is one step—and for many women, the first step—in addressing these issues for themselves.
The Wom*n’s Room exists, as the various—admittedly poorly maintained (2011 edit: now awesomely maintained!) —websites state; as both a safer space for women and somewhere to organise against that which makes us unsafe. The notion that in the last thirty years the University has managed to undo all patriarchal constructions is absurd. Yes, women occupy spaces such as lecture theatres, south lawn, bars and offices. But this does not happen free of misogynistic behaviour and danger. Men dominate discussion in tutes, women are verbally harassed around campus, and men are systemically privileged over women in academia, for example the topic “lesbians” is deemed too specific for a thesis, whereas we’re free to write 10,000 about one old, dead, white guy. And then there are the statistics mentioned above, which it is naive and dangerously unwise to presume aren’t manifested within our University Bubble. Women who recognise these facts and then choose to take action—such as those who participate in all the Wom*n’s Room has to offer—are not thus vulnerable cowards and victims; they are empowered individuals attempting to navigate society as best they can.