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“Do we own sexuality or does sexuality own us?”

Photo Courtesy of RollingStone.com

…asked Rebecca Gehman, the secretary of ISIS, to a group of students gathered today in the student lounge of Lowenstein for a forum titled “Women in the Media”.  The panel of Fordham professors, Amy Aronson, Monique Fortune, and Margaret Schwartz, critically analyzed the impact of magazine covers (including a nude Christina Aguilera straddling a guitar and a “nameless, faceless” young woman with her legs provocatively spread in an American Apparel ad). The group, composed of mostly female students, expressed negative sentiments about these images, explaining their desire to see women that look like them, neither airbrushed nor overtly sexualized.

The conversation then turned to the post-feminist woman, someone who has rejected feminist ideas and supports the sexualization of women for the power and freedom that comes with it.

Aronson urged the modern woman not to disregard the effort of the feminist movement and explained that, “women have to fight for connection to the tradition, pull on what’s still relevant, and evolve that idea” in today’s world.

The panel stressed the necessity for women to find a connection to any and all women of the world, regardless of race.

The meeting came to a close as Kaisas Peguero, the president of ISIS, discussed the origin of the groups’ name, which was originally an abbreviation for “In Strength I Stand”. The group not only abandoned the extended name but also changed their objective from “feminist egalitarian” to “gender egalitarian” because the term “feminist” held certain connotations that apparently weren’t too popular with Fordham students.

The change was significant: it not only notes the shift from a politically centered objective to a more social objective within the organization, but remarks on the fact that many people are still uncomfortable with the idea of feminism. The group members are considering restoring the group’s original title, which seems like a great idea to me.

-Alanna Cruz

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