“Just do it!” – The Women’s Center Motivational Images Roundup

“I’m pretty much just a corpse at this point.”

I cannot fully express how many times I’ve said those words in the past few weeks, or how many times the response has been:

“Same.”

Every time someone says “How’s it goin?” the collective response has been:

“Terrible. Everything is awful. Midterms suck. This is the worst.” (Or at least something to that effect.)

It seems like as a student body we’ve officially gone past the “I’m fine. Just tired.” lie and have moved into complete honesty. A large percentage of us are stressed out, malnourished, sleep deprived, and drowning in homework.

But never fear! Shia LaBeouf is here!

With midterms season coming to a close we’re bringing you the Women’s Center Motivational Roundup to help get you back into the swing of things between now and finals. Here is a collection of pictures, videos, and memes that motivate us for a variety of reasons. These might not motivate you as much as they motivate us, but it’s worth a try.

-MJ Jalloh-Jamboria

“He makes me feel like I can do absolutely anything. I’m never more motivated to push through a project than I am after watching this video.”

-Kayla Smith

Parks and Rec gifset!

-Megan Tagle Adams

“They make me feel warm and fuzzy inside and remind me that I am a round, fuzzy ball of cute and I can TOTALLY DO THIS.” – Dan Willey

Growing up, I didn't have many role models, other than my mother. I would find myself constantly comparing myself to the girls in my classes. I always wanted to be as smart, as pretty, etc. as some other girl. Needless to say, this ruined my self-confidence and resulted in me being very unhappy because all of my actions were based on being as ________ as someone else. I was too wrapped up in impressing others and failed to acknowledge my own negative perception of myself. While scrolling through Tumblr one day, I came across this quote and it has resonated with me ever since. Not only did it incorporate my love of flowers, but it made me realize that comparing myself to others was pointless and a recipe for unhappiness. I am capable of experiencing growth and doing great things, regardless of anyone else.

“Growing up, I didn’t have many role models, other than my mother. I would find myself constantly comparing myself to the girls in my classes. I always wanted to be as smart, as pretty, etc. as some other girl. Needless to say, this ruined my self-confidence and resulted in me being very unhappy because all of my actions were based on being as ________ as someone else. I was too wrapped up in impressing others and failed to acknowledge my own negative perception of myself. While scrolling through Tumblr one day, I came across this quote and it has resonated with me ever since. Not only did it incorporate my love of flowers, but it made me realize that comparing myself to others was pointless and a recipe for unhappiness. I am capable of experiencing growth and doing great things, regardless of anyone else.” – Meage Clements 

Biblical motivation (if you're into that kind of thing)

“Biblical motivation (if you’re into that kind of thing) This is my favorite piece of scripture and it immediately calms me down.” – Kayla Smith

“I was afraid to go back to school. I thought that if I tired again and had similar results to last time, it would just prove that I was not smart, or capable. I had to get over my fear and here I am! Almost finished!!!” – Carrie Cleveland

“It calms me down and reminds me that I’m okay where I am and I don’t need to freak out. It helps me breathe and stay calm so I can get more work done.” Julia Gottlieb

What could possibly be more motivational than Leslie Knope?

“Oh Leslie. She just looks like she’s really goin at it – and it looks like something I would do and totally have done!” – Jess Myers

“I have been in school for 10 years and I need to remember that I am SO close to the end and SO far away from the beginning.” – Carrie Cleveland

If you’re looking for some more tangible ways to deal with stress UMBC is definitely a good place to find resources. The Counseling Center on campus located across from Erickson Hall has individual counseling and workshops on stress management. They also have The Mind Spa which offers aroma therapy, biofeedback video games, and light therapy, among other services.

As always, self-care should be high on your list of priorities and the Women’s Center can serve as a place to kick back and relax or just take a break from the library. We also have a meditation room and a quiet study space outside of the lounge.

Take care of yourself this semester. We know it’s hard right now, but just do your best.

As a wise man once said:

Sometimes in life you’re gonna start slow. That’s okay.” – Apollos Hester

But a wiser woman also said:

“If you think taking care of yourself is selfish, change your mind. If you don’t, you’re simply ducking your responsibilities.” – Ann Richards

Am I Disabled?

A blog reflection written by Women’s Center Staff Member Daniel Willey

I recommend Unruly Bodies (GWST 345, taught by Dr. Kate) to anybody who asks. And to people who didn’t ask. But, whatever okay y’all it’s a good class! I took it two whole semesters ago and I still think about it every day. I’ve been thinking about it even more lately as I ponder the question: am I disabled? I’m 20 years old and I’ve never asked myself this question before. Nobody told me I was disabled, so I just figured I wasn’t. But as I read about disability studies in Unruly Bodies, I came to understand myself as I operate in society very differently.

In a really awesome video in which gender theorist Judith Butler takes a walk with disability activist Sunaura Taylor (link tw: some of Sunaura’s art contains nudity and images of caged and/or dead animals), they talk about what disabled means. Sunaura Taylor has congenital arthrogryposis and uses an electric wheelchair (she’s also a theorist, artist, abolitionist vegan, and disability activist). In the video, Taylor and Butler see an abandoned shoe and Taylor wonders if that person can walk without it. Butler says in response,

I’m just thinking that no one takes a walk without there being a technique of walking.  Nobody goes for a walk without there being something that supports that walk outside of ourselves.  Maybe we have a false idea that the able bodied person is somehow radically self sufficient.”

Wow, okay. So to break it down, what Butler and Taylor are saying is that people have their own ways of moving and doing but that some ways of moving and doing are more normal than others. Our world is built for people who can walk, or walk frequently and easily, and aids like shoes work quite well in this world. Sunaura points out that there is a difference between “disability” and “impairment.” She says her arthrogyposis and how it affects her ability to walk is an impairment, but that the disability comes from the fact that the world is not built for someone like her whose way of moving and doing is NOT walking, but on wheels.

But what does this have to do with you, Dan??

2700brI’m getting there, I promise.

Let’s talk about desks. you know the ones. If you’ve ever had class in Sondheim Hall you know what I’m talking about.

Last year I started having trouble with my back. I have two semi-herniated discs in my lower back which cause me significant pain throughout my day. I have difficulty sitting for more than 20 minutes at a time, but I do it because I’m a student and that’s what we do. But sitting, especially in these desks, all day cause me pain and make it difficult to do my work. I would like to stand at a standing desk in the back of the classroom, but I’ve never had the courage to do it because I feel embarrassed– embarrassed for not being able to fit into the classroom norm and because it doesn’t feel like a “good enough” reason for a special accommodation. Continue reading

Feminism 101 Podcast: The Nicki Minaj/T-Swift/Miley Cyrus Debacle

In the first ever Women’s Center Podcast, Julia Gottlieb and I, Mj Jalloh-Jamboria, talked MJ Profile Picabout the happenings of the 2015 VMA’s and prior happenings between Taylor Swift, Nicki Minaj, and Miley Cyrus. Our conversation reached interesting topics but mostly, after a brief recap of events, we dissected the reasons as to why Taylor and Miley felt entitled to their viewpoints, and how mainstream feminism and black feminism fit into the equation. We also briefly touched on respectability politics and the policing of black people. Enjoy the podcast and stay tuned for more!

Julia’s Reflection

Julia Profile PicAfter our conversation, and especially after The Women’s Center’s Roundtable on Critical Whiteness and White Womanhood, I’m thinking a lot about owning my white privilege. Many times in this podcast I referred to white women as “they.” I said, “they don’t see this, don’t know that, etc.” when I am part of that group as well. White women, as a group–we often miss the complexities of race entirely. And while I am committed to seeing and owning my race and privilege, in many ways I sometimes miss how race and class create different lives. What resonates with me from my conversation with MJ is that a man did not take Nicki’s spot, as Taylor Swift would say. A white woman took her spot. And if white women–if we ignore that, then we will continue to miss how Nicki Minaj’s life and place in the music industry is uniquely shaped by both her race and her gender.

A full transcript of the podcast is below.

Continue reading

Women are Funny (too)

First, let’s start off with saying that the Women’s Center is stoked about Hannibal Buress making his way to campus this weekend for Homecoming. We very much enjoy his character, Lincoln, on Broad City. More importantly, he called out the rape allegations against Bill Cosby in his stand-up routine back when very few others were because it was “too hard” and “unbelievable” to simply just believe and support the victims coming forward.

But, we’d be remiss if we didn’t share something we’ve noticed when it comes to comedians coming to campus for the annual Homecoming event. They’re all dudes! Nick Offerman. B.J. Novak. Bo Burnham. Donald Glover. Lewis Black. And now, Hannibal.

Now, this just isn’t a UMBC thing. It’s kind of just a thing we call sexism. For example, check out the hosts of late night television:

From Vanity Fair's October 2015 issue on late-night television.

From Vanity Fair’s October 2015 issue on late-night television.

Then there’s this catalog that was delivered in the mail the other day that shared all the great comedians colleges can book and bring to campus:

photo 1photo 2
Really?! Just four women out of 24 on this list of options?

tumblr_mymtqgGPwN1r6im42o1_250-part1tumblr_mymtqgGPwN1r6im42o3_250-part2

So, with that in mind, some of the Women’s Center staff has compiled this short round-up of some of our favorite women comedians. In their own words, staff members write about why these women are funny (too). Continue reading