February 19, 2014
Since the 1980s, Bakersfield College has participated in the country-wide effort to recognize the historical accomplishments of women with a month-long series of programs each March. This year, Women’s History Month and More bring focus and attention to the transformative power of education on the lives of women and the world in which they live.
Thirty years ago President Jimmy Carter issued a Presidential Proclamation declaring the week of March 8, 1980, as the first National Women’s History Week. In 1987 Congress expanded the celebration from week into a month, and March is now National Women’s History Month.
In celebration of Bakersfield College’s centennial birthday, “Women in a World of Men: Legendary Leaders at Bakersfield College” will offer a lively panel exploring the legacies of Grace Van Dyke Bird, Shirley Trembley and Margaret Levinson—each of whom played a part in transforming women’s opportunities in education in different ways.
Bakersfield College will also host two different screenings of Girl Rising, a documentary illustrating the impact that educating young women has on societies. Another event, “When Words Wound: Language and the Oppression of Women,” addresses the societal consequences of written discourse that reaffirms sexism, oppression, and crimes against women.
The final event, “From El Movimiento to Real Women Have Curves: Chicana Activism and Education through a Feminist Lens,” entails a journey through California Chicana activism and education through the lens of recent feminist scholarship.
All events are free, open to the public, and held either at Bakersfield College's main campus on Panorama Drive or on the Delano Campus. The full schedule of events is available online at: http://womenshistorymonthatbc.weebly.com/
Women’s History and More events are sponsored by Friends of Women’s History Month, the Bakersfield College Alumni Association, and the Norman Levan Center for the Humanities.
Bakersfield College’s event schedule is:
When Words Wound: Language and the Oppression of Women
Tuesday, March 4, Fireside Room, 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.
Two of Bakersfield College’s most dynamic theoreticians, Dr. Reggie Williams and Professor Andrea Thorson, address the ways in which language acts in concert with society’s sexism, often furthering the oppression of women. Dr. Williams, Professor of Philosophy at Bakersfield College, will deliver a talk entitled, “Feminisms and Rape,” in which he will argue that several important feminists, namely Andrea Dworkin, Catharine MacKinnon, Gail Dines and Rae Langton, understand “rape” in a way that understates its gravity, essentially trivializing rape. He will conclude by offering a new understanding of “rape” that he believes better captures its appalling nature. Professor Andrea Thorson, Associate Professor of Communication at Bakersfield College, will present her research, entitled “Language and Women: The Power of Words”. She will discuss the historic and current trends in language used to define, ignore, or oppress women in America, arguing that this analysis of the treatment and construction of women through the use of words creates an understanding of the power of words, as well as provides a process for challenging and resisting these accepted and problematic language choices.
Women in a World of Men: Legendary Leaders at BC
Monday, March 10, Fireside Room, 6:30-8:00 p.m.
Females currently make up over 55% of the students enrolled at Bakersfield College, but women were not always welcome at institutions of higher learning—in fact, for much of American history they were not allowed to enroll in colleges and universities. However, women have played a very important role in the shaping of Bakersfield College, even when the world in which they studied and worked was dominated by men. Grace Van Dyke Bird, Shirley Trembley, and Margaret Levinson carved rich routes of contributions to BC. Learn about the journeys of women in America to receive equal access to education and about these remarkable local role models.
Girl Rising, Documentary
Thursday, March 13, Forum East, 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.
Thursday, March 18, Delano Campus, 6:30-8:00 p.m.
Girl Rising is a groundbreaking, feature film about the strength of the human spirit and the power of education to transform societies. The film presents the remarkable stories of nine girls around the world, told by celebrated writers and voiced by renowned actors . . . delivering a simple, critical truth: Educate Girls and You will Change the World. After the film, BC professors, Stephanie McWilliams and Patricia Thompson, will lead a discussion of the powerful film
“From El Movimiento to Real Women Have Curves: Chicana Activism and Education through Feminist Lens”
Thursday, March 20, Forum East, 6:30-8:00 p.m.
This talk offers a survey of California Chicana activism and education through the lens of recent feminist scholarship. Pre-dating the Civil Rights movements of the 1960s, women of mestiza and Mexican descent have been active in political struggles and forms of collective resistance in the United States. Drawing from feminist, oral histories and sociology, Professor Ho will highlight the dynamism and diversity of Chicana participation in the formation of the United Farm Workers and the East LA Blowouts. Moving forward chronologically from El Movimiento, the second half of this talk will turn toward Chicana hybridity and cultural production, focusing on embodied performances of class and racial crossing, as well as Chicana stories of upward mobility made public through late twentieth-century theater and film.