|Monday, April 11th|
10:45 AM - 11:00 AM
In 2011, women flooded the streets of Yemen’s capital, Sana’a, in a massive yet strategic movement to protest a corrupt government with systemically unequal policies in the treatment of women in Yemeni society. To simplify the role of women within this multifaceted series of demonstrations is dangerous and restrictive at best. Who were the subgroups of women that protested? What problems did they face? What successes did they achieve? What implications did their successes have on Yemeni people? Through research and conversations with bloggers and activists, I explore the both powerful and frustrating experience of women dissenters in the third of the revolutionary uprisings in the region.
11:00 AM - 11:15 AM
My presentation focuses on pregnancy in a Mayan-Kaqchikel community in Santa Cruz La Laguna, Guatemala. I explore the experience of pregnancy from the perspective of Mayan women, specifically their understanding of pain and how that relates to health and emotional well-being, an underlying relationship intrinsic to a woman’s understanding of health. I outline how pain is understood as a symbol of the baby’s discomfort or illness, or the presence of a potential threat to the unborn child, which creates an intense sense of fear for the mother. This fear is linked to the mother’s own sense of responsibility for the child and its health during pregnancy. I argue that health during pregnancy is understood via emotions, and that pain holds a specific symbolic meaning for these Mayan women.
11:15 AM - 11:30 AM
Over the past decade, the “sexy baby voice” has emerged as a prevalent dialect that serves to infantilize and hypersexualize adult women. My presentation identifies the cause of this phenomenon and investigates the systemic rhetorical infantilization of women as a symptom of larger gendered prejudices. I will analyze examples of the “sexy baby voice” through the pop culture artifact, 30 Rock’s episode, “TGS Hates Women,” in conversation with feminine rhetorical theories to expose inherent inconsistencies in the perception of women’s voices.
11:30 AM - 11:45 AM
In a world of ever-increasing access to and diversity of pornography, I analyze the specific moment of female orgasm in porn through comparative visual analysis of film clips representing both feminist and mainstream heterosexual pornography. My analysis is positioned within a framework of the privileging of heterosexuality, the imperative of orgasm, and the pressure that post- feminist discourse places on women to experience a certain form of sexual subjectivity. I am interested in theorizing possible ways in which individual viewers are impacted, especially in understanding their own gender identities, by the pornography that they consume, and how these impacts may be mediated by the creation of feminist pornography and other alternative pornographic narratives.