I've recently come on board as a contributor. I help PARC advance it’s communications and technical goals by providing website support, social media content, and original pieces on the organization’s blog. I am particularly interested in bringing my knowledge of technology and the media to PARC in order to examine how mass communications serve to further the sexual objectification and the marginalization of women. I want to advocate for a media-literate population that understands how to critically consume these media and has the ability to use technology to promote gender equality and social good.
How did you come to PARC?
I was introduced to PARC through Blanca, our resident educator. She told me about a group of passionate women who were working to create an organization dedicated to changing the way our world thinks about sexuality, women’s bodies, victims, and the duty we all have to treat others (and their bodies) with compassion, fairness, and respect. I was immediately interested in PARC’s mission and was glad to hear that they were looking for more people to join their cause. I am still excited to be able to contribute to these important objectives!
What do you spend most of your time doing for PARC?
I am mostly involved with tweaking PARC’s website, working on grant applications, creating social media content, and designing and implementing organizational resources like forms and templates. Of course, I am always there to help out with any special project that might come along.
What do you enjoy doing most at/with PARC?
I really enjoy being able to have both a platform and forum to talk about the critical social issues our world faces today. I have always felt sort of powerless against a culture of sexism and misogyny, but this organization gives me and others a voice to counter the flood of harmful messages. I like that I can write and talk about my thoughts on PARC’s public channels.
What do you do outside of PARC? (In terms of employment, other interests/volunteerism, etc.)
I currently work as a public relations and communications professional at a technology startup in Alexandria VA. I also volunteer at my local library, teaching a computer literacy program mostly to the area’s seniors. I enjoy hiking, reading, comics and graphic novels, and I probably spend too much time re-watching TV shows that I love.
What or how would you like to see develop for PARC in the next year?
I would like to see PARC further develop its educational programs, bringing curriculum to schools and other community organizations. I would also love to see PARC expand its global footprint!
Biggest villain in rape culture these days?
To me, the biggest villain in rape culture today is the disparate community of misogynistic and vitriolic internet users that has emerged over the past 15 years. I am referring to anyone on forums, message boards, comment threads, Twitter, or other social media who feels free to threaten and intimidate others (mostly women) with threats of rape and assault. We have seen time and again female journalists and public figures torn to shreds online by these “keyboard warriors.” I often look at the case of Anita Sarkeesian, who dared to intrude upon the male-dominated world of video games with her “Tropes Vs. Women” series. She was the target of scores of rape threats, hateful comments, and even an online game all about beating up an image of her. The actions of these individuals serve to create a climate of intimidation online and harm the healthy discourse that should be occurring.
Conversely, biggest hero?
One of the best voices when it comes to understanding how our society values its women is Jean Kilbourne. She is associated with the Media Education Foundation and is a leading authority on women in the media, but especially the portrayal of women in advertising. Her decades-long video series, “Killing Us Softly,” closely examines the harmful and pervasive effects that messages we all receive about women have on our view of the world. Jean continues to be highly relevant and often contributes her insight into the latest developments in our media. Perspectives like her’s challenge the status quo and gets us all thinking about what we might want to do to create a world more equal and just.
You can have any 3 people sit on a PARC hosted panel on rape culture. Who are they?
- Laverne Cox - I think her perspective as a trans woman is very interesting and important because she has likely experienced the objectification that so many women face in a different way. She could speak to the unique discrimination that our community faces because of rape culture. I also think that she is just a great voice in the push for a culture of respect and mutual understanding.
- Tig Notaro - In addition to being a really funny comedian, Tig is a public figure who really rejects the limitations of gender roles. When she got into comedy, people told her that she would have a hard time because it is a male-dominated world. She ignored that warning and just did her work and was successful. She proves that women can be awesome entertainers not because of their gender, but because of their humanity and life experiences.
- Emily V. Gordon - A former family therapist, Emily has since become something of an expert on games / nerd culture. She is the cohost of the successful “Indoor Kids” podcast and frequently offers very thoughtful insight into how women figure into various narratives. Emily is very sensitive to problematic portrayals of women, without rejecting the mediums outright. She would be able to bring a media-centric expertise to the conversation.
Lately, I have been turning to Mic.com for their insightful articles that tend to key readers in on the latest developments in the conversation about rape culture. They also focus their attention on many aspects of the media’s portrayal of women in ads, fiction, and consumer publications such as tabloids.
Coffee or tea? Pulp or no pulp?
Pretty regularly start my day with a red-eye and juice with pulp does not jive with me.
Thing that everyone loves but you (hate/don’t love)?
I really can’t wrap my head around Game of Thrones. It’s like another language when people start talking about it around me. It doesn't make sense, cause I am a huge nerd for other fantastical stuff like Star Trek...
Favorite time of day and what are you doing then?
I very much in enjoy taking walks along the Mt. Vernon Trail in the afternoons. Usually take a breather around lunchtime to enjoy a little nature!
Do you have any Pets Against Rape Culture? Pics or it’s not true…
No pets! But I do have a potted plant - pretty sure they’re looking to create a world of respect and positive sexuality too.