Thứ Sáu, 26 tháng 7, 2013

Voices of Courage: Broken Windows Theory

The other week I was disturbed after a party. Two people were physically forced into situations they did not want to be in and neither were prepared for. The reasoning for one was "she didn't know what fun she was missing out on, and she really liked the attention anyway." The reasoning for the other was "he deserved it and was asking for it."

Yes... I witnessed two people (who were not wearing swimsuits) being thrown into a swimming pool. No, I thankfully did not see a rape, but in reading the descriptions and justifications above, I'm sure you noted the similarities between rape and throwing someone in a pool.

You may be thinking "Throwing someone in a pool is not rape, and time shouldn't be wasted making a big deal out of such a little issue." And that thought is something I'd like to address.

Malcolm Gladwell wrote a book called The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference. Gladwell's book help explain sociological phenomenon that affect the way we act. One of the reasons for sociological phenomenon is context. He elaborates on what has been called "The Broken Windows Theory."

Simply put, this theory says that a few broken windows will invite more window breaking and vandalism; letting little things slide, invites larger problems. The original creators of this theory wrote about crime, that "...vandalism can occur anywhere once communal barriers -- the sense of mutual regard and the obligations of civility -- are lowered by actions that seem to signal that 'no one cares.' "

So let's talk about the context of relationships in our society and how certain actions signal that 'no one cares.' Someone being thrown into a swimming pool when they don't want to swim is like a little broken window. It reflects a lack of respect for a person's decision to decide for himself or herself. Ignoring when someone says "no" completely lowers "the sense of mutual regard and the obligations of civility."

The fact that 1 out of 6 women in America are victims of sexual assault is evidence that abuse is a sociological phenomenon rampant in our society. So what are the little things we can do to make a big difference?

  • Stand up for the little things. Whether or it be stopping someone from being thrown in a pool, stopping verbal abuse (name calling, cat-calling, etc.) or standing up against NCMOs.
  • Never objectify another person. Speak out against ads that objectify men or women.
  • Respect and acknowledge the feelings, emotions and desires of others.
  • Educate yourself on the issues. A good place to start is here, (become a Voice of Courage!)
It's time to fix the broken windows. The little things do matter because they create a context where the big things are acceptable or not.


We want YOU (Fall internship)

imageYou know, for an internship. Because we’ve already gotten a taste of how fan-tabulous you all are at writing, and we love hearing your perspectives on women’s issues.

Plus a new semester is here and we’re ready to get right to it! We’re once again seeking 3-4 creative, enthusiastic and change-minded people with a flair for writing to contribute content to our blog and other publications along with promoting our campaigns through social media and other means.

Your glory-filled semester-long internship will include the following:
1. A weekly post on the Women’s Services blog.

2. Promoting Women’s Services as well as Women’s Services’ events and campaigns through social media and other outlets.

3. Consulting with WSR about projects, programming, and ideas. (This means you’d be our go-to people when we need an outside opinion about…well, pretty much anything.)

4. And more! We’re bringing you along for the ride this semester, and we hope you’ll be open to additional (small) projects as part of your internship—the best part about this? It’s based on your personal passions. Since we’re open to suggestions, if you want to paint the sky purple to raise awareness for Voices of Courage, we just might let you. (Er…yeah.) The sky’s the limit here and we’re stoked to hear your ideas. This could be a particular issue you’d love to address in a blog series, a booth you’d like to create, etc. We’ll chat more about it when your wonderfulness is selected.

6. About a 1-1.5 hour time commitment per week—enough to write your blog post and do a little extra, but nothing major.

If you’re interested, please submit the following to or to our office in 3326 WSC:
1. A resume
2. A brief cover letter answering this question: which women’s issues are you most passionate about and why? (Along with whether you’re interested in being a virtual intern or a drop-in)
3. A writing sample 300—600 words on a topic relevant to Women’s Services
We’re especially interested in furthering our campaigns, Voices of Courage and Recapturing Beauty, so you might want to write on a topic to fit within one of those categories (sexual assault/rape, bystander intervention, body image, eating issues, etc.)

Please submit your materials no later than August 16th, by 5 pm.
We’re so excited!

Herstory: Female Innovators

Amelia Earhart
Amelia earhart.jpeg
Amelia Mary Earhart was born in Kansas on July 24, 1897 to Samuel "Edwin" and Amelia "Amy" Earhart.  During her childhood, Amelia, nicknamed "Millie," and her younger sister, Grace, nicknamed "Pidge," grew up very different than other young girls of their time.  Amy didn't believe in raising her girls to be "nice little girls," so she allowed them to run around in bloomers, set off on adventures around the neighborhood, and to engage in rough-and-tumble play usually reserved for boys.  Amelia was home-schooled and became an avid reader.  Always eager to have a career, Amelia kept a scrapbook of newspaper clippings about women in male-dominated fields.  After high school, she enrolled in Junior College, but never finished her program.  During World War I, she trained and served as a nurse's aid at Spadina Military Hospital.  She caught the Spanish Flu during the pandemic in 1918 and suffered from painful sinus issues and headaches for the rest of her life.  

In 1920, she visited an airfield with her father and a pilot took her up for her first flight.  She later reported, "By the time I had got two or three hundred feet off the ground, I knew I had to fly."  Working a variety of jobs to save money, she eventually saved the $1,000 it would cost her to take flying lessons.  In order to get to the airfield where she learned to fly, she had to take a bus and then walk 4 miles.  Her teacher was Neta Snook, a pioneer for women in aviation.  In 1928, she accompanied Wilmer Stultz and Louis Gordon on a flight across the Atlantic, becoming the first woman to make the trip in an airplane.  She wasn't trained to fly the plane they took, so she went with them as a passenger, humbly and sarcastically remarking that she might as well have been a "sack of potatoes" for all the work she did.  But she did express interest in one day making the trip herself alone.  After this highly publicized flight, she became a popular public figure and used these endorsements to fund her flying.  On her return, she became the first woman to fly across North America and back.

She then developed an interest in competitive flying, entering the Women's Air Derby 1929.  During the last leg of the race, Amelia was tied for first place with her friend Ruth Nichols.  Ruth was set to take off before Amelia on the last day of the race, but Ruth crashed her plane into a tractor at the end of the runway and flipped over.  Rather than take off, Amelia immediately raced over to Ruth's plane and pulled her friend out.  Not until she was sure that Ruth was going to be okay did she take off and fly to the end of the race, finishing third because of her selfless sacrifice.  Always humble, she rarely spoke of the incident in later years.  On the personal front, Amelia married George Putnam in 1931 (although he had to propose to her 6 times before she accepted) and she insisted on having an egalitarian relationship, keeping her own last name and supporting equal breadwinning.

In 1932, Amelia finally achieved her goal to become the first woman to make a solo flight across the Atlantic.  She later became the first person to fly solo from Hawaii to California and set seven women's speed and distance records between 1930 and 1935.  Her next project was her biggest, and most dangerous, venture yet; she decided to circumnavigate the globe.  The first attempt she made ended in mechanical failure, so she began a second attempt starting from Oakland, California heading east.  Amelia and her navigator, Fred Noonan, successfully completed about 22,000 miles of the trip when they took off from Lae, New Guinea on July 2, 1937 to complete the remaining 7,000 miles.  As they approached Howland Island, a small island in the Pacific, Amelia sent out several radio signals that were received but she was unable to hear the radio signals sent back to her from the island.  Amelia reported that she and Fred thought they were "right on top" of Howland Island, but they couldn't see it and they were running low on gas.  Their last confirmed radio signal was received at 8:43 a.m.  They never landed on Howland and they were never heard from or seen again.  The USCGC Itasca launched an immediate search from Howland Island, where it was stationed, but the search was unsuccessful.  The U.S. Navy and Coast Guard conducted a $4 million air and sea search and rescue mission and Amelia's husband, George, funded a private search of the surrounding islands.  While several theories exist as to what happened to Amelia and Frank, the most widely accepted theory is that the plane crashed and sank into the Pacific and both Amelia and Frank were killed.  However, with both the plane and the bodies undiscovered to this day, the mystery of Amelia Earhart lives on. 

Marie Curie
Marie Curie c1920.png
Maria Sklodowska was born in Warsaw, Poland in 1867.  She was educated at a boarding school during her younger years, but was unable to enroll in higher education because she was a woman.  So, she and her sister, Bronislawa, enrolled at The Flying University, a clandestine educational facility that admitted women and taught a Polish curriculum against Russian rule.  In order to help fund her sister's medical studies, she took a job as a governess.  Although she had to wait a year and a half to earn enough to put herself through school further, she continued to educate herself through reading, correspondence, and tutoring.  She also started working with her cousin, Josef, at a chemical laboratory.  She moved to Paris and lived with her sister temporarily while she began her studies at the Sorbonne (the University of Paris) in chemistry, physics, and mathematics, where she eventually earned two degrees.  She met Pierre Curie as they worked together in the sciences and developed a mutual attraction for one another.  Pierre proposed to Marie, but she hesitated, intending to return to work in her native Poland.  She moved back to Warsaw, but was denied a position at Krakow University because she was a woman.  Pierre then wrote to her, encouraging her to return to Paris to get a PhD, which she did.  They were married in 1895 and enjoyed bicycling and traveling together.  Their daughter, Irene, was born two years later and a second daughter, Eve, was born seven years after that.

During their examination of scientific elements, Marie created a hypothesis regarding the nature of radiation being due to the interaction of the atom itself, which was an important step in the discovery that atoms were not indivisible.  She spent countless hours distinguishing which elements were radioactive.  Pierre became so intrigued by her work, that he abandoned his own and began to work with her.  Marie was emphatic that she receive credit for the work as her own original thought, not just as her husband's companion because she knew the world would be disbelieving that a woman could come up with these ideas on her own.  The Curies discovered polonium and radium and coined the term "radioactivity."  Marie published her work quickly because the scientific world was quick to credit discoveries to whomever published first, even if they were not the first to truly discover something.  In a 4 year span, Marie and Pierre published, conjointly and separately, 32 scientific papers including one that revealed that tumor-growing cells were killed faster than healthy cells when exposed to radium.  

In 1903, Marie and Pierre were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics.  Marie was the first woman ever to be nominated for a Nobel Prize.  In 1906, Pierre was killed when he was struck by a horse-drawn vehicle during a rainstorm and he fell beneath the wheels and was run over.  The Sorbonne, where he was teaching at the time of his death, had offered him a professorship and the physics chair.  After his death, they decided to offer the position to Marie instead.  Devastated by Pierre's death, she accepted and planned to create a library in honor of Pierre.  Marie became the first female professor to teach at the Sorbonne.  In 1911 she was awarded a second Nobel Prize, this time in chemistry, becoming the first person to be awarded two Nobel prizes.  She also lived to see both her daughter, Irene, and her son-in-law win Nobel prizes for their work with the Radium Institute Marie had established.  She died in 1934 from aplastic anemia, a result of years of working with radioactive material without protection.  Her original papers, and even her cookbook, are kept in lead-lined boxes due to their level of radiation exposure.

Gertrude Elion
Nci-vol-8236-300 Gertrude Elion.jpg
Gertrude Belle Elion was born in New York in 1918 to Robert and Bertha Elion.  When she was 15 years old, her grandfathered died of cancer, instilling in her a vigorous desire to find a cure for the disease.  She received a Bachelor's degree in 1937 and a Master's degree in 1941.  She worked as a lab assistant with George Hitchings at Burroughs-Wellcome pharmaceutical company (now GlaxoSmithKline) and rather than using the typical trial-and-error approach at developing drugs, together they studied the differences in biochemistry between normal human cells and disease-causing agents (pathogens).  They attempted to design drugs that would kill the pathogen without harming the host cells.  Elion invented 7 major pharmaceutical drugs: Purinethol (the first treatment for leukemia), Imuran (the first immuno-suppressive agent, used for organ transplantation), Zyloprim (for gout), Daraprim (for malaria), Septra (for meningitis and other bacterial infections of the urinary and respiratory tracts), Zovirax (for viral herpes), and Nelarabine (for cancer treatment).

In 1988, she received a Nobel Prize in Medicine and in 1991, she became the first woman inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.  She served for a time as a research professor at Duke University and worked for the National Cancer Institute, American Association for Cancer Research, and the World Health Organization.  She never married and never had children.  She died in 1999.  

Thứ Tư, 24 tháng 7, 2013

Make. It. Happen.

There are two ways we can live this life ACTING, or being acted upon. 

President Harold B. Lee said, “Next to life itself, free agency is God’s greatest gift to mankind.”


President Brigham Young once expressed this truth by relating it to himself. He Said: “If Brother Brigham shall take a wrong track, and be shut out of the Kingdom of heaven, no person will be to blame but Brother Brigham. I am the only being in heaven, earth, or hell, that can be blamed.” He continued: “This will equally apply to every Latter-day Saint. Salvation is an individual operation.

No one can be blamed for your choices. You cannot control how other people act, or what they say and do but you can control YOU. You are responsible for yourself. 

President Monson tells us "within the confines of whatever circumstances we find ourselves, we will always have the right to choose" 

2 Nephi 2:27 says “Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.”

Don't be a victim to Life. You are not being controlled by Life, YOU HAVE CHOICES. You are in charge of your happiness. Remember God's commandments are the road map to happiness. Satan wants us to be miserable, it is God that wants us to be happy, Follow him. 

Elder Perry tells us "Men and Women receive their agency as a gift from God, but their liberty and, in turn, their eternal happiness come from obedience to his laws."

You are capable of making good choices. Respect yourself. Use your agency to work in your favor. Believe in yourself. Make things happen. 

President Monson says “If you want a virtue, act as if you already have it. If you want to be brave, act as if you are brave. If you want to be happy, act happy...Choose Happiness, but happniess will mean little unless you can face yourself and know that you have held true to your integrity"

Thứ Ba, 23 tháng 7, 2013

Sheroes Essay Contest Reminder

Hey all!  Just a quick reminder that you only have 8 days left to submit your Sheroes Essay for the Contest.  Just in case you need a refresher on the details, here they are again!

Sheroes Essay Contest

Do you know an amazing, talented, intelligent, unique, all around wonderful woman; someone who inspires you and touches the lives of everyone she meets?  We want to hear about her!  The Sheroes Essay Contest is a chance for you to write a short essay about an amazing woman you know personally.  Detail what makes her your hero, how she touches the lives of others, and what you (and others) can learn from her about being an inspirational woman.

Official Rules 
·         Essay should be no more than 1,000 words (not including the title of the essay).
·         Essays will be judged based on both style and content.
·         Essays should be clear, articulate, and logically organized.
·         Proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation will contribute to the selection of the winner.
·         Essays will be judged in such a way that each author is anonymous to the judges (the Staff members of BYU Women’s Services and Resources).
·         Essays must be written in Microsoft Word, using Times New Roman or Calibri, 11-12 point font, and be double spaced.
·         Each essay must include a cover page with the following information
o   The title of the essay
o   Your full name (this is the only place your name should appear—do not put your name on subsequent pages)
o   Your email address
o   Your phone number
·         Include a running head with the title of your essay on all pages.
·         All students, faculty, staff, and members of the community are eligible to submit an essay.
·         Entrants may submit multiple entries (each written about a different woman) but will only be eligible for one prize.
·         Submissions will be accepted beginning July 10, 2013 and will no longer be accepted after August 1, 2013.
·         Submissions should be emailed to   Include the following in the email submission as attachments:
o   The essay, including cover page.
o   An appropriate .jpg photo of the woman written about in your essay.
§  When you submit a photo, you certify that you have the rights to that photo or have received permission from the owner to submit it and agree to allow Women’s Services and Resources to publish that photo to our website or other publications.
·         Winners will be selected and contacted on or before August 15, 2013.
·         Winners will be contacted using the email address and phone number provided on their cover page.  If we are unable to contact a winner after one week of attempts, their prize will be forfeited and passed on to the next eligible entrant.
·         Winners will be responsible for claiming their prize in person at Women’s Services and Resources, 3326 Wilkinson Student Center, Brigham Young University.
o   Any prizes not claimed within 10 business days of notification will be forfeited.
·         Winning entries and notable runners-up will be posted on Women’s Services social media websites (including, but not limited to, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest) and may be published in other forms of media (including, but not limited to, the Real Woman magazine).

1st Place: $25 gift card to BYU Bookstore, Women’s Services tote, and a Beautiful t-shirt (your choice of color)
2nd Place: $15 gift card to BYU Bookstore, Women’s Services tote, and a Beautiful t-shirt (your choice of color)
3rd Place: $10 gift card to BYU Bookstore, Women’s Services tote, and a Beautiful t-shirt (your choice of color)

Each winner will also receive a “Beautiful” t-shirt to give to the woman who inspired her essay.

Thứ Tư, 17 tháng 7, 2013

Dear Body

Dear body of mine,

I did not realize what a gift you are, I took you for granted. Once upon a time I was so excited to meet you and get to live in you. You would allow me to do everything I could not do without you. You would help me grow and learn and experience in ways that I couldn't without you. You would help me come alive! I'm sorry, I didn't realize how special, vital, & unique you are.

Please forgive me for all the times I hated you and wanted to get rid of you, and for all the times I mistreated you and abused you. I feel so horrible for all the times you were telling me I'm hungry and I ignored you thinking I was doing you a favor. And for all the times I put you through so much stress with my head in the toilet. I thought you did, but you didn't deserve that, no body does. I didn't know then, but I know now. We are doing so good, its been over two years since I treated you that badly! I promise I will treat you with the love and respect you merit.

I did not realize that you are MINE. That I did not have to listen to all those people telling me there was something wrong with you, that I needed to "fix" you, or that you were not good enough. I realize now that you don't want to be the center of attention that your purpose is to help me, who I am, quirks and all, shine through. I thought you wanted to be admired and give the illusion of perfection. I thought that's how I would be acceptable and worthy of love. I did not know you just wanted me to let go and be myself. That I already have something worthwhile and lovable about me and that I am worthy of being loved and my Love is worth having. I know now, and I promise that I will do my best to love and be loved without being perfect or expecting perfection from others. I promise that I will allow myself to be human. 

I wish I would have protected you from those who just wanted to harm you. And then I blamed you for it and continued treating you that way because I felt you deserved it. How unfair of me, but I didn't know better; Never again. I know now that you were on my side all along. I will forever be on your team. I will be your ally and advocate, not your enemy. I will not believe bad things others may say about you and I will certainly not let others treat you badly. I will stick up for you. 

I will accept you "flaws" and all, because you are mine. I will take care of you, you can count on me. I will choose to love you for what you are. I will treat you with respect. I will not deprive you of food when you ask for it and I will stop eating when you have had enough. I will be active and strong. Not helpless and weak. I will use you to let my deep beauty, qualities, talents, and attributes shine through instead of using you to hide them.

I refuse to believe the lies that you are merely something to be looked at, that you will function better at a smaller size, or that you are me. We are healthy, that is all that matters. I can't believe I have never realized that before. All this time I have believed I am not healthy because I don't measure up (or I guess down) to pictures I see on TV or even comparing myself to people around me. But I am so healthy, by the real definition of the word. There is nothing wrong with you. I will not compare you anymore, because you are mine and as long as I treat you with love and respect and properly take care of you I don't have to worry about my relationship with gravity. I will not let the amount of space you take up steal anymore of my time, talents or happiness. I will let myself be happy! 

Lastly I want to thank you for my beautiful daughter. She is absolutely perfect and beautiful. She is strong, healthy, vibrant and happy! I can see her little personality shining through already. I can't quite get over how much I love her. I love my little post pregnancy pooch it reminds me of the miracle that took place right inside of me. It reminds me that I am capable of miracles. Thank you for helping me create her, you truly are an amazing gift. I will spend the rest of my life treating you as the God given gift that you are!

Sincerely your friend,


Thứ Sáu, 12 tháng 7, 2013

Herstory: Malala Yousafzai

The story of this young girl inspires me so much that she deserves her own Herstory blog.

Malala was born in Pakistan in 1997.  In the Swat Valley, where Malala lived, the Taliban banned girls from going to school and Malala became an education and women's rights activist.  When she was 11 years old, she anonymously wrote a blog for the BBC detailing what her life was like under Taliban rule.  The next year, a documentary was filmed about her life and she rose in popularity, giving interviews and becoming the youngest person to ever be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

On October 9, 2012, Taliban gunmen boarded the bus that Malala was riding home from school and demanded to know which girl was her, threatening to shoot everyone if she didn't identify herself.  When she did, they shot her in the head.  The bullet went through her head and neck and lodged in her shoulder.  She was taken to a military hospital and remained unconscious and in critical condition until she was well enough to be flown to a hospital in the United Kingdom.  Miraculously, Malala survived and has completely recovered with little to no brain damage.

Following the assassination attempt, a United Nations petition was launched in her name, demanding that all children worldwide have access to education as a basic human right.  She also was named one of Time Magazines 100 Most Influential People in the World.  After repeated threats from the Taliban to continue to seek her life, Malala and her family have had to stay in the United Kingdom; it is too dangerous for them to ever return to Pakistan.  She spoke to the United Nations earlier today for the first time since the Taliban tried to kill her.  Her message continues to be compulsory education for all children across the globe, regardless of gender.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, left, applauds as Malala Yousafzai, right, addresses the ‘Malala Day’ Youth Assembly, Friday, July 12, 2013 at United Nations headquarters. Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager shot by the Taliban for promoting education for girls, celebrated her 16th birthday on Friday addressing the United Nations. The U.N. has declared July 12 "Malala Day," to honor the teen who returned to school in March after medical treatment in Britain for injuries suffered in the October attack. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
"Let us pick up our books and pens. They are our most powerful weapons. One child, one teacher, one pen and one book can change the world. Education is the only solution."--Malala Yousafzai

Today is Malala's 16th birthday.  Happy birthday, Malala.  Your bravery inspires us.