Women in Politics: The “Who’s Who” for 2016

WPAC movie night-01The Women’s Programming Advisory Council (WPAC) is hosting a free screening MAKERS: Women in Politics this evening at 5 p.m. in 114 Classroom Building. The episode is part of a PBS series that seeks to highlight influential women in various areas.

In accordance with the theme of this week’s episode, WPAC would like to highlight a few up-and-coming and well-known names of women in the political world. 2016 could be the year we see the first woman elected as President of the United States.

hillary_clintonOf course we can start with the obvious, Hillary Clinton, who is the rumored front-runner for the Democratic nomination for president in 2016. Clinton is a jack’tress’ of all trades. An alumna of Yale Law School, First Lady to 42nd President William ‘Bill’ Clinton, former senator for the state of New York (2001-2009), and former Secretary of State (2009-2013) under President Barack Obama, Clinton brings a plethora of legitimate experience to the table if she pursues the presidential nomination next year. **On a side note, let’s not forget to mention Clinton’s protege and senate seat successor, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), who is fast making a name for herself in the Democratic party.

Elizabeth_Warren_CFPBRight on her heels, is Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), a former Harvard law professor and considered one of the foremost scholars on the issues of the U.S. economy and personal finance. Although, Warren has stated she is not interested in running for the Democratic presidential nomination, many see her as a legitimate contender, especially after her speech about Wall Street and government bailouts on Dec. 12, 2014. Warren is seen as a woman who works for the working class and was instrumental in the formation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. If a presidential run isn’t in her future, we can still expect to hear more from her over the next election season.

220px-Kelly_Ayotte,_Official_Portrait,_112th_Congress_2Not to leave the Republican party out, Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H) has been generating buzz about her involvement on a presidential ticket since she was considered as a potential vice-presidential candidate on the 2012 Romney presidential campaign. Ayote has established a strong and firm opinion on core conservative issues that have been key talking points in the Republican party as of late. With prior experience in public and private law and as attorney general of New Hampshire (2004-2009), the junior senator is now making a name for herself in Congress.

Susana-MartinezAnother frontrunner in the Republican party is New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez. With the GOP’s efforts to sway the Latino vote, Martinez’s experience as a Latina politician who has been on both sides of the Congressional aisle, could pose a threat to the Latino population’s traditional support for Democrats. Since making the switch to the Republican party, Martinez has been firm with her stances on abortion and same-sex marriage. Many love her firecracker personality, which she attributes to her humble and strict upbringing by her three-time boxing champion father.

<> on February 16, 2011 in Washington, DC.More of a moderate candidate, Alaska’s Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) has proven she what it takes to stay in the game. In 2010, after losing a controversial primary for reelection, Murkowski launched a write-in campaign and became the first senator in more than 50 years to be elected through write-in votes. While the Republican party usually appreciates a tenacious attitude, they may not, however, appreciate her moderate stances on abortion (she is pro-choice), stem-cell research, and the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy of which she voted to repeal. But who knows, maybe a little bit of moderation could do this country good.

Governor Mary FallinAnd let’s not forget Oklahoma’s very own, Gov. Mary Fallin, who has also been making a name for herself over the past few years for her rigid stances on many key conservative issues. 2012 Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin has said she views Fallin as a fellow “liberty loving Mama Grizzly“. Since becoming Oklahoma’s first female governor in 2011, Fallin has been a poster-child for enforcing key conservative values. Time will only tell if a future congressional or presidential ticket will have her name on it.


WPAC hosts arts festival for LGQBTI+ and Women artists

It’s no surprise that as with most areas of life, the art world is still considered a ‘man’s world’. In this world, women and LGBTQI+ artists struggle to get the recognition they deserve.

Although women account for half of the MFA degrees received in the US, only a quarter of solo exhibitions in New York galleries feature women. For artists of the LGBTQI+ community, the numbers are even worse.

Call for Artists-01The Women’s Programming Advisory Council (WPAC) at Oklahoma State University seeks to turn the easels on the art world by co-hosting PRISM Fest, an on-campus arts event, with Oklahoma State Queers & Allies (OSQ&A) and ARC. PRISM Fest seeks to give LGBTQI+ and women artists, musicians, designers, etc., a chance to shine in a community setting. The deadline for LGBTQI+ and women artists to register to participate is March 31.

Email WPAC.okstate@gmail.com with any questions or register at the following link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/10u7Z-hgn-9_zdD0FOgaYVfh562fGpzU65h9UrjhpODI/viewform?edit_requested=true

PRISM Fest will be held next Thursday, April 2, from 6:30-9 p.m. in the Helmerich Browsing Room (2nd floor) of the OSU library. Featured at the festival will be LGBTQI+ and women painters, sculptors, poets, musicians, apparel designers, and more.

The festival is free to attend and there will be food and drinks. Any of the art is available for sale (dependent on the artist).

Although the struggle for equality for the LGBTQI+ community (marriage equality) and for women (gender wage gap) exists in the national spotlight on many levels, PRISM Fest seeks to level the playing field on a local level.

Dr. Amy Foster visits OSU, MAKERS: Women in Space


Hey, did you know that March is Women’s History Month and this past Sunday was International Women’s Day? The Women’s Programming Advisory Council (WPAC) has planned a variety of events to coincide with this month.

Although with any __________ History Month, we feel we should all be honoring the

accomplishments of all individuals, regardless of gender or race throughout the entire year : )

In preparation for WPAC’s free screening of the PBS documentary, MAKERS: Women Who Make America, this Thursday, March 12, at 5 p.m. in CLB 114, WPAC would also like to recognize another event coming to OSU that is being planned by the OSU Gender & Women Studies and American Studies programs and the OSU history department.

Foster Poster, Final VersionDr. Amy Foster, a notable space historian, particularly on the history of women and gender in space, will be at OSU today and tomorrow to talk to the OSU community about the impact of women on the U.S. and international space programs. Today, Foster will be giving a lecture at 3:30 p.m. in Room 416 of the OSU Student Union titled, How Lt. Uhura changed the world: The history of NASA’s women astronauts.

Tomorrow, March 11, Foster will host a reception and book signing at 5 p.m. in the Noble Research Center (NRC) atrium. Foster will be featuring her book, Integrating Women into the Astronaut Corps: Politics and Logistics at NASA, 1972-2004. Following the reception, MAKERS: Women in Space, in which Foster is featured, will be screened for free in Room 207, NRC.

The Foster and WPAC events are free to all students, faculty, and staff at OSU, so I encourage you PLEASE take advantage of these educational and cultural opportunities while you’re here in Stillwater. There are free events like this going on all the time around campus. An easy way to find them is to go to OSU’s calendar on the OSU homepage! We hope to see you at either or both of these MAKERS screenings!

OSU Women’s Expo: Women Helping Women

We’ve all heard the stereotype that most (if not all) women secretly hate each other. They’re jealous of each other. Women view other women as competition.

Women's ExpoIn the spirit of showing the opposite is true and that women can actually empower one another, the Women’s Programming Advisory Council (WPAC) is hosting OSU’s first ‘Women’s Expo’ event. Several women’s organizations will be sitting side-by-side as they work to spread awareness of the organizations at OSU that seek to empower women.

Clearly, women can get along, so what is with this longstanding myth about ‘catfights’ and ‘girl fights’ being the norm?

To reference the theory of Occam’s razor, the simplest explanation is often the best. What then, is the simple explanation for this woman vs. woman phenomena?

Society’s desire to label.

We are exposed to it from a very young age. Boys wear blue. Girls wear pink. Boys are supposed to be adventurous and play with cars and toy guns. Girls are supposed to be pretty or cute and play with Barbies and dream houses. In the case of girls, we are told from a very young age that much of our self-worth is tied directly to our looks and whether we are considered more or less attractive than the girl down the street (the one who used to be your best friend growing up, but now you don’t speak to because you fought over the same boy in high school).

Mean Girls, 2004, Paramount Pictures
Mean Girls, 2004, Paramount Pictures

We see this stereotype of women as competition perpetuated throughout history, with TV shows and movies doing most of the work in the past century. Films like Mean GirlsBring it OnBridesmaids, and the ’80s cult classic Heathers, are prime examples. I can hear the argument that these films end with a life lesson about how women should not hate on other women. I will counter that argument with the fact that those films spent 90 percent of the film focused on “girl drama.” So sure, the last five minutes offer some kind of moral lesson, but movie audiences generally don’t pay to see the last five minutes of a film.

TV shows like the Real Housewives series, Bad Girls Club and Desperate Housewives, which last way longer than a two-hour film, are as popular as ever. “Reality TV” feeds on over-exaggerated drama, and many of the most popular shows center on “girl drama.”

It’s time for women to say enough is enough. We do not have to settle for society telling women that it’s normal for us to be jealous of one another right off the bat. I’ll admit, I’ve been guilty of it in the past, but in the last few years, I’ve embraced my fellow females and have made some great friends in the process. In the words of Ms. Norbury, “you all have got to stop calling each other sluts and whores.”