News and notes from the WGS program @ Fairfield

Archive for November, 2012

Holiday Shopping for Kids? New Gender-Neutral Marketing from Sweden

Here’s an interesting article from the WSJ about a “gender blind” catalog from a Swedish company – happy shopping!

In Sweden, Playtime Goes Gender-Neutral For Holidays


This holiday season, how about a toy gun for the girl on your shopping list, and a doll for the boy?

That vision of gender-neutrality in toy-buying is coming to life in Sweden, where Top-Toy Group, a licensee of the Toys “R” Us brand, has published a gender-blind catalog for the Christmas season.

On some pages, girls brandish toy guns and boys wield blow-dryers and cuddle dolls. Top-Toy, a privately-held company, published 12 million catalogs and owns the BR Toys chain, with 303 stores in Northern Europe.

Sweden’s top advertising watchdog—known as Reklamombudsmannen, or RO—has taken the retailer to task in recent years for catalogs and ads that showcase girls playing with dolls, scrapbooks, and kitchen and beauty toys and boys with guns, cars, trains and tech gadgets. RO also has criticized Hennes & Mauritz AB, owner of the H&M chain, for ads with bikini models who were too tan.



Top-Toy GroupIn a Top-Toy Group catalog in Sweden, left, a boy plays with ‘Fashion Girl’ beauty products.

A comparison of Top-Toy’s Swedish catalogs with their Danish counterparts shows girls have replaced boys in some photos featuring toy guns, and boys have swapped places with girls in photos featuring dolls and stuffed dogs. In one picture in the Swedish catalog, a boy is blow-drying a girl’s hair whereas in the Danish version, a somewhat older girl is blow-drying her own hair.



The Toy GroupIn a company catalog in Denmark, only girls are shown playing with these toys.

Top-Toy also is working on adjusting store displays and packaging to reflect the gender-neutral approach, said Jan Nyberg, Top-Toy’s sales director in Sweden. Boys and girls can now be seen playing together on boxes of “Happy House,” Top-Toy’s own kitchen set.

“We can’t decide what the big toy makers’ boxes should look like as their products are made for the global market, but we can make changes on our own boxes and in our stores,” Mr. Nyberg said.

The Swedish government has been on the front line of efforts to engineer equality between men and women, with generous paternity benefits and plans to spend the equivalent of some $340 million through 2014 on boosting gender equality in the workplace. Last year, the country famously mulled the use of a single-gender pronoun, “hen,” to replace “he” or “she” when a person’s gender is unknown or insignificant.



Anna Molin/The Wall Street JournalAt a Stockholm Top-Toy store, a boxed ‘Happy House’ play set features boys and girls.

In a country of 9 million people, gender equality is seen as a bedrock principle of a productive workforce and a healthy welfare state. Sweden needs women in the labor force to maintain output. State-funded child care structures put in place after World War II have enabled women to return to work after having children, and four different government entities are devoted to the issue.

Mr. Nyberg said the changes reflect cultural trends. “We want our catalog to reflect how kids are playing today,” he said. “It’s important for us to be modern.”

At a BR store in Stockholm Tuesday, images of boys dominated the toy guns and cars section, although images could be found of boys with fluffy pets or playing house.

 A saleswoman said she hasn’t seen much difference in store displays but noted employees now are trained to avoid stereotypes when talking to customers. “If someone asks for a present for a 5-year-old girl, we don’t automatically take them to the dolls section,” she said. “Instead, we ask them what her interests are.”

Malin Welin, an insurance saleswoman shopping for Christmas gifts with a 2-year-old son, said she was impressed. “I think it’s amazing that they’ve actually listened to the consumers,” she said. “I didn’t used to shop here as much before they changed, because I didn’t like the way they separated between girls and boys, pink and blue.”

Other retailers have grappled with this issue. Earlier this year, Harrods, the London department store, opened a shop categorizing toys according to theme, not gender.

The role of gender in childhood development has been a hot topic for decades, especially so in the U.S. after studies in the 1970s asked whether children were being biased toward specific behaviors. By the 1980s and 1990s, many parents took to the idea of buying traditionally-female toys for boys and vice versa.

Lisa Wade, a sociologist and professor at Occidental College in Los Angeles, said Top-Toy’s gender-neutral approach is significant because it challenges common ideas about masculinity by putting dolls and hair dryers into the hands of boys. “You may give tool toys to your daughter, [but] you don’t give the lipstick bag to your son,” she says.

In many cases, she says, she suspects the gender-neutral platform is a marketing ploy. “It’s a mistake to think that companies typically do this out of ethical belief,” Dr. Wade said. “Most of the time they are doing it strategically.”

Elisabeth Trotzig, who serves as the ombudsman for RO, applauds Top-Toy. “I’m convinced others will also follow this line,” Ms. Trotzig said. “It’s especially important when it comes to children and young people since they don’t have the same experience and opportunity to evaluate marketing communication.”

Mr. Nyberg says Top-Toy has received positive emails and in-store comments after the change to its catalogs, but not all customers are happy about it. “As always, there are two camps,” he says.

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Wednesday at 7:30pm Dr. Gudelunas will speak about communication taboos as part of “Talk about communication: Twenty-five years of Communication at Fairfield University”

Join Dr. David Gudelunas, chair of WGSS, on Wednesday night at “Talk about communication: 25 years of communication at Fairfield University”  The event will take place at the Dolan School of Business Dining Room at 7:30PM.

Dr. Gudelunas will discuss communication taboos, specifically the intersection of media, culture and sex.

Dr. Sallyanne Ryan will reflect on 25 years of communication at Fairfield.

Dr. Qin Zang will discuss psychological reactance and verbal defensiveness in the workplace: “the effects of perceived threat and interactional justice in supervisor requests.”

Dr. Michael Pagano will discuss a collaborative approach: “getting interpersonal with simulation pedagogy.”

This lecture is funded by a grant from the Humanities Institute of the College of Arts & Sciences Part 2 in the series in Spring 2013.

Come out and support WGSS!

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WGSS wishes you a very happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!  Here is a fun article about the origins of the Thanksgiving holiday and the food     that was on the first Thanksgiving table!

Outdoors: a mostly authentic Thanksgiving feast is planned by a columnist – The Worcester Telegram

Back in 1621, the Pilgrims’ first Thanksgiving in North America lasted for three consecutive days, most likely somewhere between Sept. 21 and Nov. 11. The exact dates are uncertain. But that otherwise-memorable feast 391 years ago certainly wasn’t the first Thanksgiving here.

Local native tribes, of course, had long before celebrated the bounty of the autumn harvest, as do most hunter-gatherer cultures, vulnerable to capricious natural cycles. They would have little to be thankful for in subsequent years as more displacing Europeans followed the Pilgrims.

Those Pilgrim farmers from Europe, rather inept at survival in wild New England, had difficulty settling on an infertile, forested sand plain. Many died in the process. From the beginning, they needed to scrounge and exploit a weakened population of resident Native Americans.

Journals reveal they resorted early to stealing the natives’ seed corn stashes even before meeting them. Thankfully for the Pilgrims, our region’s Indians, severely weakened by the 1617 typhus epidemic introduced by French explorers, were not only nonbelligerent, but critically helpful, generous and initially much more tolerant and forgiving than the Pilgrims would have been, had Indians tried to settle their land and steal their seed.

Many of the decimated natives’ untended fields were conveniently open for the lucky Pilgrims to plow. The Indians’ hospitality would prove a strategic blunder, accelerating their rapid elimination.

The epic feast in Plymouth involved just 53 Pilgrims and nearly twice as many Wampanoag tribesmen. Accompanied by their leaders, Puritan Gov. Bradford and Chief Massasoit, everyone behaved. The lack of alcohol no doubt contributed to the civility.

Hunters provided all the main courses. Bradford had sent his shooters out fowling for several days earlier. Passenger pigeons, now extinct, were abundant then, as were fishy-tasting sea ducks and herons. Canada geese, mallards, black ducks, grouse and wild turkeys were shot, too, but the latter weren’t the centerpiece of the table as most believe.

The Pilgrim’s feast was lacking until the Wampanoags arrived carrying five deer. Venison and assorted wild fowl — not turkey — were the main entrées of the first Thanksgiving. Considering that back in England all deer belonged to the king, feasting on venison was a novel privilege.

Large fowl like turkeys were typically boiled before roasting, rendering them more tender and creating a much-relished broth. Eels, clams, mussels, oysters, cod, flounder and lobsters were common, the latter surprisingly regarded as unappetizing “bugs.” Having depleted sugar supplies and possessing no oven, they baked no desserts. Breads were made from corn, not wheat. Stuffing consisted of onions, chestnuts and herbs.

The seriously religious Pilgrims didn’t condone wild partying, frivolity or excessive drinking of either beer, the most popular beverage of the time, or aqua vitae, a strong liquor made from distilling wine or beer. They’d have been surprised by our observance of football as part of the celebration. They certainly would have prayed.

We give the Pilgrims credit for establishing our most popular annual tradition, but they only initiated it. Surprisingly, they didn’t continue celebrating Thanksgiving in subsequent years. The permanent establishment of the holiday resulted from later historical events.

Deer hunting back then was exceptional, considering the natives’ excellent success with primitive means. Native Americans clearly had learned to manage the land, periodically burning areas to promote nourishing new growth, which would have attracted and sustained many more deer than shaded, mature forests with little undergrowth.

Indians didn’t need Scentlock clothing, scentless soaps, doe-in estrus urine lures, compound bows, laser range-finders, steel broadheads or any of the dozens of other products hunters depend on today. Nor did they use the 5-foot, 6-inch heavy matchlock muskets of the Pilgrims. They had to be skilled and resourceful, playing the wind, trapping and ambushing. Their lives depended on their hunting success, so kills were always reason to celebrate. There were no anti-hunting or animal-rights factions back then.

My family will try to celebrate Thanksgiving semi-authentically with venison, wild turkey, oysters, quahogs, smoked bluefish and striper, boletus and chicken-of-the-woods mushrooms, and cranberries — all foods we hunted, fished for, or gathered ourselves in the wilds of Massachusetts.

Unlike the Wampanoags who roasted their venison to charred black over a wood fire, we’ll be grilling kebabs of tenderloin and backstrap wrapped in maple-flavored bacon, very careful to cook them medium rare. And we’ll incorrectly enjoy homemade pecan and apple pies for dessert.

I’m thankful my son and I could hunt together and kill deer for our family and friends, and that we still have wild lands to hunt, fish and gather. These opportunities of freedom don’t exist in many other parts of the world.

Thanksgiving is a perfect time for successful hunters to share our bounty, and to thank the many people responsible for the continuance of our tradition — Mass. Fish and Wildlife, sportsmen’s clubs, gun rights supporters, the Nature Conservancy, Trustees of Reservations, the Massachusetts Association of Conservation Committees, our Land Trusts, all the private landowners who share their land with us, and especially our beloved mates who understand and encourage our wild passions.

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Spring 2013 Leadership Development on Campus

The leadership development program is a great way to combine the theories of WGS studies with leadership skills.  The leadership program will educate students in many areas related to WGS studies including ethics, social justice, and civic engagement.

Fairfield University is pleased to announce the spring 2013 Leadership Development Program offerings.

• First-year students will have the opportunity to enroll in LEAD 101: Redefining Leadership. Students in this program will be studying leadership from a theoretical point of view and applying leadership skills in ways that will support their future careers and as well as their civic identity.

• Sophomore, junior, and senior students will be able to apply for the Leadership Fellows Program. Students selected will be charged with planning and implementing leadership development focus groups, workshops, presentations, trainings, marketing, social media, and supporting LEAD 101. Fellows will be educated in many areas related to leadership development such as StrengthsQuest, MBTI, relational leadership, ethical leadership, group facilitation, social justice, and civic engagement.

More information regarding these programs and other leadership development opportunities at Fairfield can be found online.

Related web site:

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Wednesday, November 28: Fairfield University professor to discuss women and politics at the bookstore

Jocelyn Boryczka, Ph.D., associate professor of politics at Fairfield University, will discuss her new book, “Suspect Citizens: Women, Virtue, and Vice in Backlash Politics,” at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, November 28, at the Fairfield University Bookstore, 1499 Post Road, Fairfield. The talk is free and open to the public.

In her timely work, Dr. Boryczka considers the factors that drive the cycle of backlashes against women’s struggle for equality, freedom and inclusion in American politics. She presents a wide-ranging feminist conceptual history and delves into the ideas of virtue and vice from the Puritans through contemporary debates over sex education and reproductive rights.

“Suspect Citizens” challenges virtue and vice as a moral paradigm consistent with contemporary democratic citizenship and advances a politics of collective responsibility and belonging.

“Using examples from ancient, modern, and contemporary political and feminist theory and practice, Boryczka thoughtfully and critically examines the shifting moral boundaries between virtue and vice in order to understand and expose how gendered notions of morality have constructed women as suspect citizens: unequal, constrained, and excluded from full citizenship within American democracy,” wrote Jennifer Leigh Disney, Ph.D., associate professor of political science and director of the Women’s Studies Program at Winthrop University. “Her work constitutes essential reading for students of political theory, feminist theory, and anyone interested in advancing a democratic feminist ethics.”

Dr. Boryczka teaches several courses on political theory, feminist thought, race, class and gender. She holds a Ph.D. from The Graduate Center, City University of New York.

For more information, contact Elizabeth Hastings, or (203) 254-4000, ext. 2688. For more information on Fairfield’s MFA in Creative Writing Program, visit

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Celebrating Our Veterans – 92 year old Lucile Wise, WWII pilot

Lucile Wise, 92, awaits pilot Chad Graves as the two prepare to fly in a 1942 Boeing-Stearman biplane at Centennial Airport. Wise, with the Women Airforce Service Pilots of World War II, was among the first women to fly military aircraft. This year, they will be honored at the 10th annual gala of Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum on Dec. 21.

This Veteran’s Day, let’s celebrate the first military pilots in US history like Lucile Wise!

From the Denver Post

Arvada WASP pilot recaptures legacy of Fifinella with biplane flight

The first female military pilots in U.S. history — women including Lucile Wise of Arvada — signed up during World War II and trained to fly bombers and fighters such as the legendary P-51 Mustang.

The U.S. Army Air Forces didn’t have enough pilots, so women were recruited for military flying jobs stateside to free up men to fly combat missions overseas.

Seventy years after her pilot training, Wise strapped herself into the open cockpit of a 1942 Boeing-Stearman biplane, used as a military trainer during the war.

The 92-year-old wore goggles, a headset and a borrowed leather bomber jacket. Excited, she grinned as the pilot fired up the engine.

When the canary-yellow biplane roared down the runway, a former Air Force pilot watched in awe.

“Fifinella flies again,” said Greg Anderson, president and chief executive of Wings Over the Rockies, as the plane rose into the warm afternoon sky earlier this week. “The legacy lives on.”

Fifinella — a female gremlin designed by Walt Disney that appeared in many World War II cartoons — was the official mascot of the Women Airforce Service Pilots. Her image appeared on the noses of bombers and on the flight jackets of 1,074 women, including Wise.

“These ladies were way ahead of their time,” he said. “Individually, and as a group, they have a piece of history we will never be able to experience. They paved the way and proved it could be done.”

These women will be honored at the 10th annual gala of Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum on Dec. 21, which will feature many WASP pilots, including seven who live in Colorado. The traveling exhibit, “Fly Girls of WWII,” runs through March at the museum.

In an era when the dominant role for women was to stay at home serving as wives and mothers, the opportunity to train as military pilots opened a door to women like Wise, who had dropped out of Colorado Women’s College and was working in Wichita.

“We all wanted to do something to help the war effort. All my women friends were joining the military,” Wise said. “I did it for a lark, to add a little excitement to my life.”

She took her first flying lesson Dec. 6, 1941 — the day before the attack on Pearl Harbor — because someone had taken her up in a Piper Cub.

Once behind the controls, Wise was hooked.

By 1943, Jackie Cochran — a beautician who became America’s top female pilot — had established the WASPs at the request of President Franklin Roosevelt.

More than 25,000 women applied to the program, and fewer than 1,900 were accepted into the training program at Avenger Field in Sweetwater, Texas.

Wise’s classmates included Gertrude “Tommy” Tompkins, whose fighter went down along the California coast soon after takeoff Oct. 26, 1944, and has never been found.

“We never dwelled on it,” said Wise. “We were too busy.”

The pilots flew a total of 60 million miles in two years. Thirty-eight women died during their service, an accident rate comparable to male pilots doing the same job.

WASPs flew military planes from factories to bases, trained male pilots, towed targets for gunnery practices and tested planes.

Two WASPs were also used to convince male pilots it was safe to fly the B-29. Men resisted flying the new heavy bomber because it hadn’t received rigorous testing, and its engines tended to catch fire.

Col. Paul Tibbets recruited two WASPs to serve as demo pilots, and after three days of training, the women powered up the four-engine bomber and ferried around the men.

“They flew it, no problem,” said Brig. Gen. Wilma Vaught, one of the most decorated women in military history, now president of the board of the Women in Military Service for America Memorial Foundation. “They thought it was great. That ended the (men’s) fear of flying that plane.”

The WASPs were disbanded in late 1944, receiving a letter of thanks from Henry Arnold, commanding general of the Army Air Forces.

The war had reached a point “when your services are no longer needed,” he said. “The situation is that if you continue in service, you will be replacing instead of releasing our young men.”

Most WASPs returned to traditional roles.

“I didn’t know what I was going to do. I felt lost,” Wise said.

Although the women had been promised that they would be adopted into the military, that never happened. Bills in Congress to militarize the WASPs hit fierce opposition, so they were disbanded with no military benefits and “largely ignored by the U.S. government for more than 30 years,” according to the teacher guide of the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.

Wise, who married and raised two children with her husband in Washington, D.C., got fired up in the late 1970s when the Air Force announced that women would be allowed to become military pilots for the first time.

“We got very annoyed,” said Wise of the WASPs, who realized they had been totally forgotten by history. “We got organized.”

Wise fought for their rights by volunteering in a tiny office at the Army Navy Club in Washington, D.C.

Their demand to be recognized as military veterans faced a united front of tough opponents, including the Veterans Administration, President Jimmy Carter, the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

“Those groups had so much power, and they feared this would open the floodgates,” said Wise.

If the WASPs were granted military status, opponents feared, then the other civilian organizations that worked in the war effort would also demand military recognition.

But the WASPs refused to quit, calling their congresspersons and talking to supportive reporters. They gained some key advocates.

“The Pentagon testified in our favor,” said Wise. “It was pretty unusual for them to take a position opposite the White House.”

Col. Bruce Arnold, the son of commanding Gen. Henry Arnold, also fought for them, as did Sen. Barry Goldwater, himself a World War II pilot.

In 1977, the House and Senate passed a bill that gave WASPs military status and veterans benefits.

And in 2010, the WASPs received the Congressional Gold Medal from President Barack Obama.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to know a number of WASPs,” said Vaught. “They’re a breed among themselves. They have a spirit of adventure that just won’t quit.”

Colleen O’Connor: 303-954-1083, or


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An interesting read about the changing face of House Democrats

Women and Minorities to Dominate House Democratic Party

By Timothy R. Homan on November 08, 2012

Meet Donna Edwards of Maryland, a veteran congresswoman who represents the new face of Democrats in the U.S. House.

Come January, women and minorities for the first time in U.S. history will hold a majority of the party’s House seats, while Republicans will continue to be overwhelmingly white and male. The chamber, already politically polarized, more than ever is going to be demographically polarized, too.

“One thing that’s always been very startling to me is to see that on the floor of the House of Representatives when you look over on one side where the Democrats caucus and you look to the other side and it looks like two different visions of America,” Edwards, 54, a black woman who has served in Congress since 2008, said in a telephone interview.

The visuals will be striking when the House debates whether to overhaul the country’s tax code and considers ways to keep the costs of Social Security and Medicare under control. The white males of the Republican Party will be arguing to reduce benefits while the women and minorities of the Democratic Party will make a case for keeping the nation’s safety net where it is.

With eight races still to be settled, white men had secured about 90 percent of Republican seats and about 47 percent of Democratic seats, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Female Tally

There will be at least 57 female Democrats in the House, about 30 percent of the caucus. Republicans will have at least 20 women, less than 10 percent of their party’s House majority, according to the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University in New Jersey. The final tally in a few states could add to that count.

Democratic Hispanics are poised to outnumber their House Republican colleagues 23 to five, according to the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund.

“Latinos took advantage of the redistricting process,” said Arturo Vargas, the group’s executive director. “There will be more opportunities as the elections develop over the next decade.”

Black representatives should number 41 on the Democratic side of the aisle, the Congressional Black Caucus said. That compares with either one or two seats for black Republicans.

“When voters and citizens look at the Democratic Party, what they see is America,” said Edwards.

Republican Women

Republicans, who will continue to set the House agenda, could end up with just one woman heading a committee and a single woman in their top leadership ranks.

On the other side of the U.S. Capitol, women will hold a record 20 Senate seats next year. That includes both Democrats and Republicans.

“About a third of our caucus is going to be women,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told reporters in the Capitol.

“It’s clear we’re the party of diversity,” the Nevada Democrat said.

The Republicans who have majorities in legislatures controlled the redistricting process in enough states to lock Democrats of every color and gender out of contention in dozens of House seats for years to come, said David Wasserman, House analyst for the nonpartisan Cook Political Report.

“Republicans, in drawing safe districts for themselves, have also boxed themselves in somewhat in their long-term appeal,” he said. Packing minority voters into fewer districts “has reduced their own incentive to reach out to minorities in the electorate. That is not helpful for the party’s brand over the long term.”

Minority Growth

Minority babies outnumbered white newborns in 2011 for the first time in U.S. history, census figures show. The U.S. population is projected to become majority-minority by 2042, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

“Congress lags the general population in terms of how representative it is of the population,” said Kathryn Pearson, an associate professor specializing in American politics at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

“You rarely, if ever, see a press conference with Democratic leadership that doesn’t reflect the diversity of the House caucus, and that’s a pretty dramatic change just from Speaker Tom Foley in the early ’90s,” said Pearson, referring to the Democratic lawmaker from Washington State who served as speaker from 1989 to 1995.

Changing Times

Men have been so dominant in the House for so long that it wasn’t until 2011 that Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, ordered that a women’s bathroom be installed off the House floor. Female senators got theirs in 1993.

In the 1970s, when the Democratic leadership decided it was time to put a woman and a black congressman on the House Armed Services Committee, it wasn’t exactly a moment of celebration, said Loren Duggan, Bloomberg Government’s chief congressional analyst.

The disapproving chairman, fellow Democrat F. Edward Hébert of Louisiana, refused to add two chairs, so Democrats Patricia Schroeder of Colorado and Ron Dellums of California had to share a seat at the committee’s organizational meeting, said Duggan.

“The House has come a long way,” he said. “Dellums took over the committee in 1993. Schroeder stayed in the House until 1997 and even sought the presidential nomination. Today, House Democrats are led by a woman and the No. 3 Democrat is a black man.”

Top Democrats

Women and minorities are in line to become the top Democrats on almost half of the 22 committees, including powerful panels such as Judiciary, and Oversight and Government Reform.

Under the Democrats’ seniority system, Maxine Waters of California, a black woman, is in line for the party’s top slot on the Financial Services Committee.

Marcy Kaptur of Ohio, the longest-serving female in the House, is next in line for the top Democratic position on the Appropriations Committee. That would be a first for a woman.

Kaptur, first elected to Congress 30 years ago, recalled in a Nov. 5 interview how, no matter how comfortable former Speaker Tip O’Neill, a Massachusetts Democrat, tried to make her feel, she didn’t think she could pull up a chair when he and her other male colleagues were hanging out in the Cloakroom watching baseball on television.

“If you didn’t know what happened in the major and minor leagues for the last 50 years and quote every major player, you wondered if you could enter into the conversation,” she said. “I just remember how that felt. It’s changed a lot now.”

Female Republicans

Analysts at the Cook Political Report and other Washington organizations predict that only one Republican woman has a shot at being elected to a top party leadership position in the House: Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, who’s vying for the No. 4 job, conference chair.

Candice Miller of Michigan probably will become chairwoman of the Homeland Security Committee.

The House majority party’s smaller number of females can present challenges.

Sandy Adams of Florida, the only Republican woman on the Judiciary Committee, was front and center at all the press conferences when the House considered the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, H.R. 4970. She lost her primary, so party leaders have only men returning to that committee.

The Democratic Party’s more diverse caucus sometimes translates into a more disagreeable caucus.

“It can create some tensions within the Democratic caucus with the more moderate-to-conservative Blue Dog members, who are very focused on fiscal responsibility, and, say, the Black Caucus, which sees a generally larger role for government,” Pearson said.

Blue Dogs

The Blue Dog Coalition has shrunk with every recent election, and Nov. 6 was no different, with the defeat of Democrats Leonard Boswell of Iowa, Ben Chandler of Kentucky and Larry Kissell of North Carolina. The group will have at least 14 members next year, compared with 24 now.

“Their loss of Blue Dogs, who happen to be predominantly white men, means they’re likely to be in the minority for some time unless they benefit from some huge wave, and there’s simply no wave on the horizon,” Wasserman said.

“The redistricting map that has solidified Republicans’ position in the House this year is bad news for Democrats not only in 2012 but for the foreseeable future over the next decade that these maps will be in effect.”


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Attention all minors!

A message for our minors from Dr. Gudelunas:

Dear Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Minors-

I hope everyone is safe and warm after last week’s storm.  I wanted to write you all and remind you about all the great classes being offered that are cross listed as Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies courses in Spring 2013.

BI 71 Identity and the Human Genome, Professor O. Harriott

CO 236 Gender, Sexuality and the Media, Professor D. Gudelunas

EN 162 Irish Women Writers, Professor M. White

EN 171 Literature and the Visual Arts, Professor E. Orlando

EN 200A Special Topics: Edith Wharton and Her Circle, Professor E. Orlando

EN 353 Representations, Professor G. Rajan

EN 372 All About Eve, Professor R. Epstein

EN 374 The Woman Question, Professor E. Petrino

EN 377 Urban Texts and Contexts, NYC, Professor J. Garvey

HI 263 Inventing Themselves: African American Women in U.S History, Professor E. Hohl

HI 366 Women in China and Japan, Professor D. Li

NS 314 Nursing of Women and the Childbearing Family, Professor N. Manister

PO 136 Gender, War and Peace, Professor J. Leatherman

PO 153 Politics, Race, Class & Gender, Professor J. Bogyezka

PO 170 The Battle Over Family Values in America, Professor G. Alphonso

RS 215 Women in Judaism, Professor E. Umansky

SO 142 Sociology and the Family, Professor D. Hodgson

SO 162 Race, Gender and Ethnic Relations, Professor M. Ramlal-Nankoe

SO 169 Women: Work and Sport, Professor R. Rodrigues

WS 299 WGS Studies Internship, Professor D. Gudelunas

WS 301 WGS Studies Capstone Seminar, Professor D Gudelunas

WS 399 WGS Studies Independent Study, Professor TBA

Also, please remember that Seniors must enroll in the Capstone Course (WS301; Thursdays 5-7:30).  This class will not meet the entire semester, but will instead be run more like an independent study where students will work on their own project that most appeals to them. Details will be forthcoming, but expect a lot of fun.  Juniors can also be enrolled in this course.

As a reminder, all students need six WGS courses (including the Senior Capstone) to complete the minor.  Please feel free to come see me (check my faculty webpage at for office hours) if you need any help during the advising period.  Also, while I have your attention, let me encourage you to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and keep up to date with all the WGS happenings by visiting our blog!  While you’re doing that, please encourage your friends to consider a minor that makes a major difference!  Good luck with registration!

Visit our website

Check out our blog

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Remember to Vote – Tomorrow is Election Day!!!

Hurricane Sandy may have disrupted our lives but the Election is still tomorrow!!  Fairfield University has made it easy for students to vote.  A van, leaving from Barone Campus Center Circle will take students to vote every 30minutes from 10 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.   Make sure to do your part and vote!  For more election related events on campus, visit

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