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Setting the framework for further work with the BMC Community regarding gender on campus

S. Yaeger's picture

Over the past year, I've been working across several classes and with several other students, as well as some people out in the world, to try to improve the way we handle gender on campus.

This project started with a post on tumblr from a young trans woman who was very angry at the idea of trans women being excluded from a women's space.  

At first, I and a few other mawters reacted defensively, but then I started thinking about gender on campus and all the ways we don't talk about it effectively.  

I started a conversation with her on serendip, wherein we discussed some of the problems of a Women's College in a post binary world.  (Post binary in the sense that not everyone identifies on the binary)

At the same time, Aybala was doing her work within the administration of attempting to determine the potential of admitting transwomen into the college.  She's already provided a link to that work in her post here.

Recently, and with a lot of help along by this class, I have begun to think about how the BMC community exists in several places at once.  

We are defined by the admistration as a space for women, women here presumably meaning people with vaginae, but we are not all women, and not all women are admitted here.

Seeing the way we, as a class, interacted around gender, and how it was difficult for us to have a productive conversation about it without people feeling awkward or shy, got me thinking that perhaps we need to have some more productive conversations within our current community about how to address gender and sexuality on campus before we can talk about who is included and who is excluded.  

Fortunately, some other students were also thinking in that direction, so I will be, along with several other students, working over the summer to create a plan for next year.

This planning will include the creation of a tumblr where students can ask questions anonymously and without fear of judgement, which is set up and ready to go here:

Working with Amorophast, Aybala50, Colleen Ryanne, and MC to implement Q forums very early and often in the semester where new students can learn about and question gender on campus without fear of judgement.

Talking with public safety and dining services to address their understanding of gender on campus.  Specifically, the ways in which identities and orientations are discussed in the workplace and with students.  I feel like this is especially important with public safety around the issue of sexual assault. 

And facilitating a Mcbride specific Q Forum during customs as well as recieving dorm leadership training in order to better facilitate discussions such as these both within the McBride Community and within the community at large here at BMC.

Though there is not much to write here at this time as this will be an ongoing project, I will be updating here frequently, as well as maintaining the Q Forum tumblr.