(Cross posted from blog: Feminists in Student Affairs.)

A rallying cry of the women’s liberation and second-wave feminist movement is “The Personal Is Political.” The phrase charged legions of women who for too long had kept to themselves, thinking their private matters were just that… private. Therefore, highly personal topics like childbirth, sexual assault and harassment, and domestic violence were frequently hidden and consequently shameful. The feminists of the early 70s wanted these private matters to instead become matters of public concern. They established consciousness-raising groups with the hopeful outcome of increasing awareness of common experiences as a necessary precursor to broader social change.

The phrase, ‘The Personal Is Political,’ is also the title of a well-known essay by Carol Hanisch and was originally published in Notes from the Second Year: Women’s Liberation in 1970. The full text of the document, with a new introduction by the author written in 2006 is available here. more

Purpose Statement

I began “Beyond WCenter” as a personal project to provide a reflective space to process my experiences as the director of a university women’s center. Working in a women’s center is a unique and rich opportunity that fundamentally changed me as a student affairs professional, as an educator, as a feminist, and as a person. And, when I left my position and moved across the country in the summer of 2013 to join my partner in Michigan and start a PhD program, I was left needing a space to deconstruct, share, and collectively analyze the vast personal transformation that had taken place within my life as a result of working in a job that was so enriching. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t all “feminist fantasy land”… I faced challenges, too (some more successfully than others). My hope is that this blog will help me articulate (for myself and perhaps for others) how challenges within a feminist space may look different than those in other administrative or student affairs offices. Opinions and recollections of the events that transpired within the women’s center are my own.