Spotlight on The Women’s Center

Bekah and Darrius spotlight the Women’s Center (and interviewed Alex Hollidfild):

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The Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center is a campus resource centered that deals with issues related to gender, health relationships, pregnancies, body image, eating disorders, disorder eating, women leadership, sexual help. The picture below shows the outside of the house.

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When I stepped into the building I examined many beautiful paintings on the wall. As I interviewed Alex I asked her what some of these paintings meant and she said it is whatever you interpret it as. So my question to you all is what do these pictures resemble to you?

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The Womens Center goals: They are actually redefining their goals at the point Alex Hollidfild said but overall they are trying to get gender equality.

The women’s center does activities to involves vanderbilt students on campus by having programs: Vandy Sex Ed, Let’s Talk about Sex Vandy Peers, Education Program, Kitchen Table Series, VanDIY: (monthly workshop how to empower women: (Salary, Gardening, Yoga, Mentorship))

On October 14th: VanDIY(do-it-yourself) : Meditation and Self-care with Sara Green: in SLC lower Meeting Rooms 1&2.

As we attended this event I looked around and saw there was a crowd of about 25 women and a couple men out of the whole group. It was a group of women and elders who some identified themselves as lesbians, queers, or even gay. People came to this event to get answers how to meditate, self-care, how to understand their body more and how to accept themselves.

Sarah was the guest speaker and she first introduced herself, she works at the LGBTQI center and Divinity school and she loves her job. Sarah has been a dancer for many years now and it helps her learn more about herself and the world. Sarah dances on average two to three times a week and meditates almost every day in the middle of the day to help her get through the times of life and whatever is she struggling through mentally or physically.


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For about half the event we discussed what self-care is. Self-care includes any actions you take to care for your physical, mental, and emotional health. It is a challenge for people in our society to have a strong self-care due to the challenges they might have faced with violence and abuse. Self- care can also be important for the healing process. Some ways that people said they perform self-care is to eat correctly, focus on your health, exercise, sleep, drink red win, walk their dog, surround them with close friends, do relaxation or meditation exercises, keeping a balance of activities throughout your day, and overall fixing yourself so you can feel the way you want to. Than we looked and discussed what are some ways to avoid self-care and those would include: being selfish, having negative thoughts, zoning out, and over-exercising.

Sarah wanted to think about our bodies from a mental point of view and accept how people’s body are made to be whether that is fat, skinny, toned, etc. Learn to accept our body and ourselves.

We than discussed and moved onto a mediation exercise. The goal for our meditation activity was to pay attention to the outside of your body and paint a sculpture of yourself and body. Also to focus and quiet your mind to release the stress, anxiety, tension, or whatever else has been bothering you. Meditation lasted for about ten minutes and Sarah talked to all of us in a soothing voice when we sat in silence. She made us first start relaxing our toes and than moving up our spine and than all the way to our head. After the mediation exercise, Sarah gave us all a handout asking how the exercise we just encountered, what where some of the reactions to our mind, body, and spirit.


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From my point of view it made my body feel: excepted, relaxed, excited, open, grounded. My mind was feeling: curious, open, calm, and peaceful. Finally my spirits felt: brave and free. The goal was for us to have our mind, body, and spirits feel more like these characteristics more throughout our day to day. How often if at all do you meditated? I think we got a lot out of this event, including relaxation, meeting some great people and getting to know Sarah also!


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This event relates to the chapter Theoretical perspective, by Steven Seidman, in our class book, Introducing the New Sexuality Studies. In the section “Freud: between biology and sociology” it says, “Alongside sexology, the discipline of psychology has been the source of many of our ideas about sex. He believed in the biological basis of sexuality and insisted that sexuality is at the root of many of our feelings and actions” (Page 4). This goes back to how we control are feelings and actions are releasing stress by meditation, self-care, or other actions throughout the body, mind, and spirit, which is relating to the handout that Sarah gave us. What would be some other activities be to release stress or dealing with some hard times that is occurring in your life?


Reference: Seidman, Steven, Nancy Fischer, and Chet Meeks. Introducing the New Sexuality Studies. In the section Freud: between biology and sociology, 2011. Print.

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