Abortion Stress Syndrome
Anti-abortion advocates say abortions cause debilitating
stress. Find out what you need to know about their campaign.
Goes to College
Wanna know what college is like for a feminist?
We go to the source with essays by students.
- Word: Tolerance
- Women to Watch
Price is Right : A classical music pioneer is
-La Virgen Gets a Makeover
Page: Blood Money
Eyes of the Beholder
African American women photographers turn the "gaze"
Kathy Najimy Takes on Hollywood Every Day In Every Way
Brenda Starr Goes to the Hall of Fame
Daughter of Cambodia Remembers
After losing much of her family to the Khmer Rouge,
one woman fights against land mines and her own demons.
is the Love?
Maybe the world needs a Black Love Day, according to the
author of this provacative essay.
My Life as a Woman, by Diane di Prima
-Arts of the Possible, by
- The Hero's Walk, by Anita
-Misogyny: The Male Malady,
by David D. Gilmore
-YELL-Oh Girls!, edited
by Vickie Nam
-Even Dogs Go Home To Die,
by Linda St. John
-Days of Awe, by Achy Obejas
-So Vast the Prison, by Assia
Millet: A book excerpt
Daisy Hernandez, Patricia Smith and Gloria Steinem
Academic Discrimination Lives On
eva | kathleen | maria
| college home
Velazquez, Class of 2004
Here is something of Smith: old buildings, where the heat
hisses softly as it rises from ancient pipes; trees whose
branches arc to the sky; and women. Mostly women, actually
the trees, the hissing steam, the old buildings
are all just the reference point for women's bodies, women's
Women walking, women talking, women simply existing as
women. Here at Smith, there is no opposite to exist against.
You soon forget those little idiosyncrasies that define
gender the pretenses of hip-sway and thigh-shift
except as mannerisms that define you as an individual
with a name. Who am
I but me? Here, we are no longer feminine because of outward
appearances. Legs go unshaved; but then, when the act
is finally performed it is not a forced rite that confirms
gender identity, but is a treat meant to affirm the sheer
physicality of denuded skin, the luxury of bare legs against
the air. Nails are painted out of sheer joy for the color
and the pleasure of perceiving it: black-blue is thrown
against silver glitter, electric purple is splashed onto
shell pink. Who am I but me? Creating beauty and defining
it becomes an expression of personal taste and choice.
To be feminist starts to mean claiming those parts of
your former, pre-Smith self and piecing them together
into a freely chosen whole. Being here, with only women,
challenges subconscious ideas about the self and womanhood.
What is female, exactly? Is it what males are not? Is
it having a period, having breasts, having a vagina? What
are the signs of being female?
Sometimes, when I am looking in the full-length mirror
in the weight room at crew, I am struck by how very brown
I am, how very black, as though all that was black and
of Africa was drip-dropped into one opulent, gracelessly
voluptuous body. I feel all ass and titties; the white
girls seem far more svelte with their slender, slender
hips and their flat, boyish chests, far more confident
and pure. I envision them in the boats, their camaraderie
and slim bodies propelling the team to victory. And yet
and yet and yet these women have become part of
me. Some part of them has come into me, and I have shared
something of myself with them. As they sprawl around me,
loose, easy, comfortable, and relaxed, I am struck by
how beautiful they are and yet how powerful. They know
what their bodies can do. Around them, I begin to ease
into an idea of what it means to be both strong and powerful
and female. I mentally caress my legs, stomach,
and buttocks, appreciating the subtle interplay between
muscle and movement. I love the baroque excesses of this
person that I am.
And I love that we are all women here, free to be women
here, female. How liberated I am depends on how liberated
my sister-girlfriend is. She becomes me as I become her.
She is my fellow warrior, my reflection in the mirror.
Who am I but her?
I thought I came here knowing something; I thought I came
here knowing who I was. I seem to have forgotten, but
maybe that doesn't matter. I have become so permeable
here; my ideas about being a black female have been forced
to evolve, to leap beyond the bastions of my younger thoughts,
brushing against rare and valuable answers to questions
I have not yet begun to ask. Maybe I need to start all
over and relearn all the old stories so they can become
new once more as I tell them again and again. Who am I
but me? I am always black. I am always brown. But here,
the edges have smudged and shifted. Here, we are all in
a sisterhood that cannot be withdrawn because someone's
bisexual or someone's Protestant or someone's not quite
We are black and here. We are female and here.
We are here, at Smith, where women are expected
to be leaders, expected to shine brightly in an incandescent
sky. We are coming into our inheritance, living out the
dreams of our mothers. We are here at Smith.
| kathleen | maria | college