Organized by the Sexual Violence Prevention Coalition and supported by the Gender Violence and Social Change program at the Maxine Platzer Lynn Women’s Center and the Office of the Dean of Students, Take Back The Night (TBTN) is an annual series of events that occurs mid-April at U.Va. The purpose of the week is to “educate the public, support survivors, and make a loud call to end gender violence in our community,” according to the Not on Our Grounds website.

The following are recaps of three events among the many during the Take Back the Night Week for 2015.

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Slutwalk London 2011 - 08

Photo from https://www.flickr.com/photos/garryknight/5829081556
Taken at the Slutwalk meeting at Trafalgar Square in London on Saturday 11 June 2011. These protestors demonstrate the all-inclusive attitude in regards to gender that Kendall Siewert argues the WGS program should adapt by changing its title.

Story by: Kendall Siewert

Most majors don’t have nomenclature issues. Math majors study math, French majors study French, sociology majors study sociology. It seems obvious when put in such simplistic terms. But when we apply the same line of logic to U.Va.’s Women, Gender and Sexuality major, it gets blurry.

WGS majors study women, but they also study men, genderqueer and gender non-conforming individuals, transgender men and transgender women. Singling out women in the title places an unequal emphasis on what makes up one portion of a larger picture. And herein lies the problem.

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Iris celebrates women in STEM!

Celebrate Women in STEM

Left to right: Our moderator – Lisa Messeri; our speakers – Amy LaViers, Kim Wilkens and Pam Norris.

Story by: Alaina Segura
Photos by: Michelle Cho
Video by: Chuck Moran

In the United States today, women make up an estimated 47 percent of the workforce.  In the science and engineering field, however, women are far less represented than men.  According to the National Girls Collaborative Project, women hold only 25 percent of occupations in computer and mathematical sciences, and only 13 percent of occupations in engineering.

With such an underrepresentation of women in these fields, Iris Magazine and the Maxine Platzer Lynn Women’s Center find it imperative to celebrate the accomplishments of women who are triumphing in overcoming gender biases and bridging the gender gap in the STEM fields.

In honor of these women, Iris, supported by the U.Va. Parent’s Committee and the Women’s Center, hosted the Celebration for Women in STEM on Wed., April 1, 2015.  The event, which took place in the early evening at Newcomb Commonwealth Room, brought together students from organizations such as the Society of Women Engineers and Alpha Omega Epsilon for a dialogue and networking opportunity with women working in STEM.  Three women from the Charlottesville and U.Va. community, Pam Norris, Kim Wilkens, and Amy LaViers, shared with us their life experiences and achievements in the field of STEM.

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Acknowledge the diva within you

Story and photo by: Kimia Nikseresht


Kimia as a first year

Kimia in a first year at U.Va. last year.

All guys know that they are never allowed to talk about a girl’s weight. Absolutely never. But why?

It is a fact that everyone has flaws. Even a 4-year-old will be able to share the insightful wisdom: “Nobody is perfect.” Yet, we have high expectations of men in relationships with us: They should notice absolutely everything about us, (um, how dare you not comment on my new nail polish?!) but at the same time they are only supposed to see the good stuff.

I want you to look at me, think about me, even talk about me, but only if you perceive me as perfect. If you mention the slightest flaw, no matter how obvious, I am justified to break down emotionally for the next eternity. Rational, right?

The issue here is not that women are irrational. We are not. The issue is how we view ourselves: Why do we feel like our flaws define us?

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Carrie Presentation

Photo by Leigh Ann Carver
Left to right: Jaronda Miller (director of Global Outreach, Engaged Scholarship and YWLP Outreach and Operations at the Women’s Center), Sharon Davie (director of the Women’s Center), Winx Lawrence (director of the Young Women Leaders Program), Carrie Daniel (YWLP facilitator and intern for YWLP Cameroon), Caroline Berinyuy (founder of YWLP Cameroon)

Please note the following content is re-printed from a blog post on April 7, 2015 on the Women’s Center website.

The interns and staff of the Women, Girls and Global Justice program at the Maxine Platzer Lynn Women’s Center sponsored a series of events on the Grounds of the University of Virginia throughout the month of March in honor of International Women’s Month (IWM).

The month of events was inspired by International Women’s Day on March 8. The Center intends for this month of themed events to be an annual tradition. The following are recaps of each event.

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