Celebrating Women in Our Society

By Katie O’Neil
Staff Writer

As some people may know, there has always been a Women’s Study program here at Marywood University. This may seem obvious to most because Marywood is a school created by women for women; however, the Women’s Studies program only recently experienced a revival.

In 2006, there was a “Dressy Affair,” which gave many facts about how women are treated in today’s society. Also, the Women’s Study minor returned. This is an interdisciplinary minor that can be filled with core credits that focus on women’s history and gender roles in contemporary society.

During the fall 2008 semester, there were many programs that focused on women in art and literature. Included in this program was a discussion on women in murder/mystery books. This series of events will end with Dr. Agnes Cardoni’s discussion called “Listening to Emily’s Silence: The Work of Tillie Olsen” on November 17 from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Liguori Center Conference Room.

There are also many plans for spring activities. The theme this spring 2009 semester will celebrate mothers. It is the hope of the Women’s Studies Department that these activities, discussions, and book readings will help people understand a mother’s struggle in our society. Hopefully, people can understand that discrimination is not limited to mothers; rather, it also affects men in many respects. In a way, it will help people rethink the business environment and make it more family friendly. For instance, some companies are creating paternal leaves-of-absence at the time of a child’s birth; these businesses now find it acceptable for fathers to remain at home with their children, as well as mothers.

There will be many programs to help understand these ideas. Most of these activities will be planned in March, including a discussions such as: “Blessed Virgin Mary: Images and Issues,” led by Sr. Mary Ann Zimmer of the Religious Studies Department; “Gender at Work: Corporate Wives, Men’s Careers, and Gender Roles; A Discussion of Rosabeth Moss Kanter,” led by Dr. Sue Perlis of the Education Department; and “Blackmail, Romance, & Politics-Renaissance Style,” led by Dr. Erin Sadlack of the English Department. Also, there will be book readings, artwork, and other activities during the Spring 2009 semester.

After these information sessions, the department has planned activism events to help mothers gain rights. It is important for women to have their voices heard so that all people are treated equally. There will be opportunities to help during activities; create artwork; help with community outreach; and generally join in the celebration of mothers.

If you would like to volunteer to help, or if you would like information about the Women’s Study minor, please contact Dr. Erin Sadlack, [email protected], 570-348-6211, x2344.