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Daily acts of resistance University of Venus

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Now the world is feeling heavy. Even harder than it has felt in recent weeks and months. Our daily lives as women are filled with the burden of a society that values ​​us less. This has been clear and has been debated for a long time since March 2020, as the pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on women and regressive impact on gender equality. Feelings of anger, sadness and despair are heightened by the recent leak of the draft Supreme Court overturning Rowe v. Wade, but as educators we are agents of change in many ways. We can lift each other up with daily acts of approval and resistance.

The day the news of the draft opinion leaked, I scrolled through and absorbed the outrage and analysis. Honestly, I would have stayed under the cover if I hadn’t had a university event that day. I, of course, fulfilled my responsibility and headed to the event. Not surprisingly, the event lifted my spirits. Spending the day with a group of faculty members from community colleges dedicated to a socially just world where their students and their communities can thrive felt like an act of resistance.

We work in an industry that was created for white male landowners. We have made some progress, but not enough. As a white, cisgender woman with significant privileges, I work on developing habits and ways of life that are small acts of resistance. I was also wrong with the grace.

What about you? What can you do today that is a small act of resistance? How do you see colleagues helping to promote justice? When going to campus or to the computer, think about what abilities you have to carefully raise women in your institution. Resistance and help don’t have to be big gestures. Options may include actions such as:

  1. Get to know your strengths and report them – highlighting your strengths boosts your confidence. We need to take a seat.
  2. Tell the woman that you admire the strength you see in her.
  3. If you are asked to speak on the panel, ask if other women are involved, especially BIPOC women. All-male and all-white panels perpetuate the underrepresentation and misrepresentation of colored women as well as transgender and non-binary counterparts. If the panel does not include a diverse view, consider making it a condition of your participation. (Google “manels” and “wanels” to learn more.)
  4. Deliberately create a network of other women. Women need the support of other women to fight inequality. If you are a man, advocate for gender equality in your networks.
  5. Find a like-minded community or create one, such as a group of loved ones, a book club, women’s net or a community of practitioners.
  6. Learn about equality issues that interest you, and share what you’ve learned. Use an intersectoral approach and support the authors, faculty, and leaders of BIPOC and LGBTQ + as part of your learning strategy.
  7. Create boundaries around the uncompensated, invisible, and emotional work of your work, such as managing your own feelings to manage others, or advising BIPOC students on navigating a predominantly white campus.
  8. Create boundaries of your availability.
  9. Commit to getting the right sleep, food and rest.
  10. Deliberately promote meetings to make women heard.
  11. Expand the work of women in your institution through awards, recognitions, appointments or social media.
  12. Expect that white men in power will deliberately use their privileges to increase women’s contributions.
  13. Offer to mentor an employee or student.

What inspiring acts of resistance and relief do you see now? What can you do to resist or help, even if it’s small?


Kim Burns has held management and administrative positions at public colleges in Massachusetts for 26 years. She now provides experience and support to institutions and individuals as a certified trainer and consultant, drawing on rich experience. Find out more about her at drkimburns.com.

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