Slider 1

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

AS Gender and Sexuality Center presents Take Back the Night

The AS Gender and Sexuality Equity Center (GSEC) is hosting their biannual event Take Back the Night on Thursday, November 7th from 6:00pm to 9:00pm in the Bell Memorial Union. Take Back the Night is a way for Chico State students and community members to get involved in the protest against rape and other forms of sexual violence against women. The night will culminate in a silent march through downtown Chico that allows women to reclaim their right to feel safe and secure after dusk.

Last semester this event drew a record-breaking 363 supporters for the candle-lit walk. In a time when sexual assault is a pressing issue on our campus and in our community, it’s important for students to stand together to show they are not willing to allow this to go on.

Below is a schedule of the event and workshops:

·            6:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Keynote speaker: Jacke Humphrey-Straub (BMU Auditorium)
·            6:45 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. Women Only Survivor Speak Out (Old Common Grounds)
A place for women to share their personal experiences in a safe and supporting setting.
·            6:45 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. Gender Inclusive Survivor Speak Out (BMU 210)
A place for all genders to share their personal experiences in a safe and supportive setting.
·            6:45 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. Gender Inclusive Workshop (BMU Auditorium)
An interactive workshop focused on combating rape culture in our community.
·            8:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Words of Inspiration (BMU Auditorium)
Students and community members come together in solidarity to perform words of inspiration.
·            9:00 p.m.  Candle Lighting and Silent Candlelit March (SSC plaza and march downtown)
The candlelit march is a silent march for survivors and their supporters who are standing up against sexual assault and violence against women. We will march through downtown Chico to shed light on the issue and to make our presence known.

The GSEC is a student run activist organization that strives to empower students through its programs, the Women’s Program and the LGBTQ Program. They offer opportunities for leadership, personal development and referral services, and are a safe and inclusive space where the campus and community can effectively support the academic mission of the university.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Take Back the Night Fall 2013

As Halloween approaches and will soon bypass us, one GSEC event in particular is coming up much sooner than we think.

Take Back the Night is a biannual event here at Chico State, facilitated by GSEC and it will take place this semester on November 7, 2013. The event is composed of a keynote speaker, a Survivor Speak Out, a gender-inclusive workshop, a Slam Poetry Call-out, and silent candlelit vigil and march, all to promote awareness of sexual assault and to empower survivors and victims of it. Chico State is not unique in putting on this event. In fact, Take Back the Night is a movement that started in 1975 after the murder of Susan Alexander Speeth, who was stabbed to death while walking home alone in Philidelphia, PA.

As a freshman student, I'm very excited to see what will happen at Take Back the Night. I haven't been directly involved in its planning, so this will be all the more new for me. From what I have heard, though, it's truly an empowering and moving experience like no other. I can only imagine hearing the stories of the ordeals that everyday people have been through while sitting quietly in a dimly lit and warm room; learning and teaching people about the ideas that are perpetuated through society that are meant to oppress and demean innocent people every day for something out of their control; hearing some great poetry performed powerfully that also calls out the bullshit of society and those who go along with it; and perhaps most of all, I am looking forward to when no one is speaking, where the only sounds heard are the quiet chatter of passerbys, cars going by, and footsteps as we march, illuminated by candles and our need to take back the night for all who it had wronged.

Adrianna McCain

Thursday, October 17, 2013

"Animal Style" came before "Same Love" just sayin'.

I know we’ve all seen, if not heard, Macklemore’s Same Love once in our lives.  It’s an empowering song that has become an anthem for the LGBTQ+ community among others such as: Lady Gaga’s Born This Way and Christina Aguilera’s Beautiful. More recently, I found an artist that I wouldn’t have expected to come out with an LGBTQ+ issues song.  His name is MURS aka Nick Carter aka Making the Universe Recognize and Submit aka Making Underground Raw Shit.  Before I continue, go ahead and watch the music video for Animal Style…

I want to announce that my views on this song, MURS, rap music and the LGBTQ+ community are solely my own personal opinions and by no means represent anyone other than myself.

What speaks to me about this song, other than its message, is that MURS is an African American rapper promoting and supporting the LGBTQ+ community through rap music.  Rap has long been a genre, more so a culture, where homosexuality is disgraced and shamed.  Identifying as queer and identifying as part of rap or hiphop culture hardly ever goes without some form of bullying, slander, or discrimination.  It seems to be a clash of stereotypes; the feminine, weak, emotional view on gay men goes against the hard, thuggish, tough view of rappers.  We live in a world that bases each other off of stereotypes when we really just aren’t educated enough on differing cultures. Sad, but true.

With that said, this music video really breaks some boundaries.  You may argue, “well Macklemore’s Same Love could be considered rap.” I suppose, but what makes Animal Style stand out is the fact that the rapper is African American; his race takes the stereotype of the “rap, black” culture mixed with LGBTQ+ culture a step further.  MURS is opening up the door and mind of rap culture for a more inclusive audience.  It’s a culture that no one would have expected to take a supportive stand on LGBTQ+ rights.  At the same time, the fact that MURS isn’t white and he’s using his fame and talent to speak up for the LGBTQ+ community, his intersectionality can extend support to someone who identifies as both queer and as a person of color.  Macklemore, Lady Gaga, and Christina Aguilera are all great examples and leaders for social change, and they’re also all white.  I just want to celebrate the accomplishments of MURS and the impact he’s making through songs like Animal Style, breaking the pattern that only white artists are striving to create change for the LGBTQ+ community. 

Thanks, MURS.

Maddison LeRoy

Sunday, October 13, 2013


And now for something completely different.
WTFeminism! is a YouTube channel where one of the interns, Adrianna, hopes to educate folks and dispel rumors about feminism. Here's the first video, bustin' myths about feminism:

Adrianna McCain

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The AS Gender and Sexuality Center will be screening the film “Pink Ribbons, Inc”

CHICO, Calif.- In honor of October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Gender and Sexuality Equity Center and Chico Women’s Health Specialists will be screening the film “Pink Ribbons, Inc”. In an effort to raise awareness of breast cancer on the CSU, Chico campus the film will be screened on October 23, 2013 at 7:00 PM in BMU 210. All genders are welcome!
The documentary discusses the intersection between business and philanthropy by examining the ways in which the breast cancer movement has been commercialized. The film explores issues surrounding the movement and raises the question: who is truly benefiting from the movement – the cause or the company? Based off the book, Pink Ribbons Inc. by Doctor Samantha King, the film features interviews with women living with breast cancer, activists, medical experts, and the people behind breast cancer awareness fundraising.
Following the film there will be a brief discussion facilitated by the interns of the Gender and Sexuality Equity Center.  The film showing is open to anyone in the community interested in receiving better education on pink ribbon product consumption and breast cancer awareness. The screening will run from 7:00-9:00 pm on Wednesday, October 23, 2013 on the Chico State Campus in the Bell Memorial Union, room 210.
The Associated Students Gender and Sexuality Equity Center [GSEC] is a student run activist organization which strives to empower all students through its two programs: the Women’s Program and the LGBTQ+ Program. The GSEC challenges societal norms that have been used to oppress and marginalize by providing opportunities for leadership, personal development, and referral services. We offer a safe and inclusive space where the campus and community can effectively support the academic mission of the university.

For more information or questions, feel free to visit our office in BMU 005, call us at (530)898-5724, or email us at 

Saturday, October 5, 2013


Being a feminist and an activist, I hear a lot of “but they chose to...” and whatever follows that statement. Chose to be homeless, chose to be lazy and not have a job, chose to do drugs, chose to be gay, chose to get pregnant, chose to break the law, chose to be overweight, chose to, chose to, chose to..Everybody seems to just have chosen all of these things, all of these identities, all of these actions.

 In my women’s studies class about international women, we talk a lot about what choice is and what it really means. According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, the word choice means “the act of picking or deciding between two or more possibilities.” That definition seems pretty broad to me. Someone’s choice can be decided anywhere from two possibilities, to ten possibilities, to a million possibilities, and so on. I think it is important to look at the word “choice” from a different lens than most people would like to. For example, when someone says “they chose to be homeless.” I would like to ask those people, do you think anyone would choose to not have any place to call home? Do you think that individuals who are homeless say “hey, I’m going to just be dependent my whole life and be hungry and not have a home?” 49% of Americans are born into poor families. Another 13,000 babies are born addicted to drugs. Was that a choice they made, to be born into poor families? Was that a choice they made to be born addicted to drugs? 

 If you think that someone chooses a life of being homeless, or a life of being poor, I urge you to recognize your own privilege. I urge you to look at your life and say what privileges in life did I grow up with or continue to have that other people do not have the fortune of having? What privilege in life did you have that got you to believe that any individual “chooses” to be homeless, “chooses” to be overweight, “chooses” to get pregnant? What options do you have, what resources were available to YOU growing up? Did you grow up with a home? Did you grow up with two loving parents? Did you grow up in a drug-free environment? Did you grow up with at least one parental figure employed? Do you identify as straight? Do you have a supportive and caring family? Do you have healthcare? Do you have a job? Do you have an education? Do you eat three meals a day?

 Privilege has the power to give individual’s more options, more possibilities to “choose” from. Those who are less privileged than others may not have the same options that those who are privileged have. If you think that every person has the same options, I ask you to rethink that notion. Recognize your privileges, unpack your privileges and look at how fortunate you are to simply be reading this blog post on a working computer or on any mobile device. There must be some privilege you have that enables you to read this blog post. 

 I am completely stunned and shocked about the lack of empathy individuals have for those who are less privileged. I cannot grasp why individuals have become so self-centered and so self-concerned that they have no empathy for anyone who they see as “less than” them. People have become so apathetic that they have began to discriminate and hate against others. We do not live in a world free of racism, ableism, sexism, classism, or heterosexism. We do not live in a world free of discrimination. 

 I may have more or less options to choose from in comparison to any person in this world. I don’t have a choice to what sexual identity, to what sex, to what social status, to what family I was born into or with. But what choice I do have, and what choice every person has is whether or not they are going to help make a difference. I do not have a choice of my privileges or my disadvantages. But what I do have a choice in doing is helping end violence against women, helping end discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community, helping end racism, helping end discrimination in any and all forms, to stop hate. I have two choices in this situation where I see so much despair, to speak up or to do nothing at all. And I refuse to not do anything, I refuse to stay silent. I refuse to not care about humanity. I refuse to not use my privilege of education, I refuse to stay ignorant, and to stay “out of” the global cause of activism for human beings. I choose to act and to stand up for all of those people who seem to have “chose to” be gay, be homeless, not go to school, go to jail, be overweight, be a teen mom, for all those people who society says “chose to” be “less than.” 

Jordan Walsh

Thursday, October 3, 2013

What does "queer" mean to you?

1.     strange or odd from a conventional viewpoint; unusually different.

This is the definition I received when I searched the word “queer” on  Awesome.  To be queer is to be different, separated from the identities of patriarchal, heteronormative and misogynistic norms. What I find most interesting about this definition is that to be queer is strange and odd from the conventional viewpoint that is hetero male based, and I can’t help but wonder: Why aren’t people questioning the conventional viewpoint as strange and odd?  Does it seem right or okay that women are significantly underrepresented in this so-called “normal” society? Is it sitting well with everyone that women and men that sexually identify as anything other than straight are victims of oppression and hate?  Personally, the term queer is a word that emancipates me from the dominant culture whose tiny labeled boxes are just too exclusive for the “conventional” she or he.  
Queer to me means that I am stirring the pot that is the system.  Yes, rattling the cage of the beast whose bars are set too high and much too firm.  “Why would you refer to yourself as queer? Aren’t you offended by that word?” Not at all.  One huge reason why I love to use the word queer is because it makes other people feel uncomfortable; it makes them squirm and wrestle with the term in their heads, trying to figure out what box to put me in with what correct label.  I was on the phone with my sister the other day telling her about the GSEC’s up and coming Queer Week that we put on every year, telling her how stoked we all are and what we’ve got planned and she interrupts me-

“It’s called “Queer Week”? Is that okay to say?”
I said,
            “Yes? Do you not think so?”

“I just always thought “queer” was a derogatory word used for someone who’s gay.”

In her defense, queer has long been a word that was used in a discriminatory way and in some places, still is.  However, it was then that I realized how useful the word queer could become in educating people about the limitless number of sexual identities existing; that the LGBTQ acronym isn’t the only way to identify.  In using queer, we are utilizing a large umbrella term that encompasses all ranges of sexual identities from gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, pansexual, cisgender, two spirit, and the list goes on and on. I highly recommend doing some research on just how many different sexual and gender identities there are; it will make you really consider just how strange and odd it seems that the majority only classifies people as straight or gay.

In all seriousness, I think many people have been living under rocks for their entire lives.  Or they are just blind to the fact that there are thousands of people who do not fit inside of the categories and boxes that the conventional viewpoint has constructed.  We have got to start breaking apart these boxes we have ingrained in our minds of what is right and what is wrong with people.  I won’t even suggest that we create new boxes that would be more inclusive to minorities because there will always be a new identity to emerge.  There is a whole level of consciousness that the system is completely oblivious to.  In the meantime, I will accept these labels of being strange for not conforming to intimidating ideologies about my sexuality, and being odd for loving openly and truthfully.

Maddison LeRoy