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Girlzone is WEEKLY now

21 Aug

In addition to out big semester focus (Semester 1: Rad Sex & Consent/Semester 2: Bluestockings Week) the Wom*n’s department does stuff all over the place (WAC, stitch n bitch, FFFFilms & Girlzone) every week to create community and a space for students to learn and grow as feminists and people and friggin’ make friends and all that stuff you’re meant to do at uni.

So here’s the thing, due to popular demand: Girlzone is WEEKLY now.

At 1pm on Thursdays in the Wom*n’s Room.

There’s free tea and cake and donuts and other grrls who are queer or questioning. Lemme make this clear: that can mean bi, pan, trans, poly, celibate, lesbian, and not-quite-sure. Like seriously, you are welcome.

It’s now necessarily a queery-style brain-breaking ideological conversation (not that it’s off-limits), it’s just a chill time to chat with others socially. And eat cake.

The Facebook event is here. You don’t have to press attending if you don’t feel comfortable with people on your Facebook seeing, but know you’re welcome 🙂

– Amy xx

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Stress Less Week

13 Aug
First off I want to say thank you so much to everyone who supported Bluestockings Week. From baking cupcakes, womanning the stalls, postering, petitioning and playing snakes and ladders, it was so great to have so many wonderful students get so into it! We had so much interest and involvement (and fun) from wom*n students from all across the uni, it was heartening to see so much support for the cause(s). Everyone should be really proud. If you haven’t signed the petition yet, it’s right here. SPREAD IT ROUND!

No rest for your student union though, right after working with the Wom*n’s department on Bluestockings Week the UMSU Education department is now running Stress Less Week, with workshops on mental health and self-care and THEN A JUMPING CASTLE. Srsly, get on it.

Meanwhile, in the Wom*n’s department, we’re back to our weekly fun:
  • Monday 1pm in the Wom*n’s Room: Women’s Action Collective (WAC)
  • Wednesday morning in the Wom*n’s Room: Stitch n Bitch
  • Thursday 1pm in the Wom*n’s Room: Girlzone (Tea, cake and conversation for queer and questioning wom*n)
  • Thursday 4.30pm in the Students’ Lounge, Ground Floor, Union House: FFFFILMS (open to all genders)

In sisterhood,

Amy x

Rad Sex & Consent update

2 May

Well we are about to start day 3 of Rad Sex & Consent and it’s been awesome so far! Today Nina Funnell – a special guest of the Wom*n’s Dept – will speak on consent.

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*trigger warning for mention of sexual assault*
Nina is a courageous woman who turned a horrific experience into a platform to campaign for the rights of all Australians to live free from physical and sexual violence. In 2007, Nina experienced an awful attack by an unknown man before she managed to escape. She reported the incident to the police and then broke her story to the media in an attempt to reclaim control of the situation.

Since then she has written numerous articles for the media about violence against women and has become a public spokesperson for survivors of assault. She volunteers with The Step to the Future Foundation and last year she travelled across Australia speaking to over 15,000 high school students and students at six universities. She is a member of the management committee of the NSW Rape Crisis Centre and takes every opportunity to raise the community’s awareness and understanding of this important issue. She has also worked with national football clubs and organisations on issues of gender awareness & assault reduction.

You can read some of her articles here.

Hope to see you today at 1:30pm at Joe Nap A (near Rowden White library – level 2 union house), or if you can make today, there will be 2nd wom*n-only consent workshop tomorrow in the wom*n’s room at 11:30am!

Free rad pad workshop – Tues 20 March 1pm

14 Mar

a rad pad

Many people don’t know that there are alternative menstruation products that are better for your health and the environment and also end up saving you money!

a moon cup with its cute bag

To spread the word, on Tuesday March 20 (week 4) at 1pm the Wom*n’s and Environment Departments are running a free workshop to teach everyone how to make their very own rad-pads (cloth pads that can be washed and re-used)! The workshop will take place in the Wom*n’s room and materials, instruction, tools, and fun will be provided free of charge. There will even be a prize for one lucky participant!

Email womyns@union.unimelb.edu.au or environment@union.unimelb.edu.au so we can save you a place!

SOME INFO ON SUSTAINABLE MENSTRUATION…

WHAT?!

RAD PADS:

Rad Pads are an alternative to disposable pads which are made of cloth so that they can be washed and reused rather than used once then thrown out.

MENSTRUAL CUPS:

Menstrual cups are reusable alternatives to tampons which are made of silicone and shaped like a cup, collecting menstrual fluid instead of absorbing it.

WHY?!

ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS:

  • One women uses over 11,000 disposable menstruation products in a lifetime
  • Well over 700 million tampons and 1 billion pads are disposed of every year in Australia and New Zealand, contributing a massive volume to the demand for landfill sites. Many components of these products are non-biodegradable.

HEALTH BENEFITS:

  • Unlike disposable menstruation products, reusable products such as rad-pads and menstrual cups do not contain potentially harmful pesticides and chemical residues. Unlike tampons, neither are known to cause toxin shock syndrome.
  • Because menstrual cups are non-absorbent, they do not cause dryness or disrupt your body’s natural pH levels (35% of the fluid tampons absorb is natural moisture!)

CONVENIENCE:

  • Menstrual cups can be left in for up to 12 hours (compared to tampons which can be left in for 8 hours at the very maximum)
  • Because there is no string, menstrual cups are completely discreet and you only need one so there’s no need to carry bulky spares or worry about disposal of used products or packaging.

COST:

  • Most women spend a minimum of $8- to $20- per month on disposable pads, panty liners and tampons, totalling a possible minimum $80-$240 annually.
  • For the same cost a woman spends on average for a few months of disposable menstruation products, you can purchase enough rad pads to last for years and/or or a menstrual cup which will last for up to ten years.
  • Over the average time that a woman may have her period throughout her life, using reusable menstruation products instead of disposable can potentially save over $2,400 – $6,500.
To read more visit http://www.rad-pads.com

What’s happening in 2012

29 Feb

We have big ideas and a big year planned in 2012. All of our events will be free or subsidised for students at the University of Melbourne.

Continue reading

Mural in the Wom*n’s Room

2 Feb

In case you haven’t heard, we have an fantastic project happening right now in the Wom*n’s Room. Amy’s brilliant efforts ensured we had a freshly painted and steam cleaned room all ready for 2012. And so on that seemingly new slate we were very lucky to be able to commission an amazing local street artist to paint a mural for us and bring some colour back to the room. Below I’ll intersperse pictures of the mural coming to life with our reasons for wanting to do this.

The clean (but still messy!) women's room

They even painted the bookshelves!

      •  It is part of our aim to attract many more students to the room.

Preparations

      • We want to appeal to all students, and so are aiming to create a room with a wide mix of visual influences – we want an interesting and professional looking room.

Beginning the mural

      • The repainting that was just done has unfortunately resulted in lots of the artwork/writing created on the walls by previous users of the room being covered over, and we don’t want to ‘whitewash’ the room.

Undercoat complete!

      • Our department aims to utilise our budget both efficiently and, as much as possible, by supporting independently working women. In this case, we are choosing to support a female graffiti/street artist who works in an ‘industry’ that is heavily male dominated, and also lacks any formal efforts at working towards, or monitoring of, diversity. Where we do contract women, we aim to pay them in accordance with their skill level and time, as too much work by women is underpaid, or not paid at all.

Yay colours!

  •  Due to art generally and street art specifically being male dominated, we believe it is important to support and display women’s art. Providing a wall for a female artist is an incredible way to achieve this. We are also more generally supporting Melbourne’s street art scene through this project.

More colours and line work added

Up close

When we get the rest of the room tidied up, the new couches installed, and a few more bit and pieces sorted out the room is sure to look amazing. Hope you come by and check it out!

View from the doorway

– Bel

Working bee in the womn’s room!

23 Jan

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As Amy mentioned on Facebook, we are having a working bee on Wednesday from 10am. A few lovely people put in a big effort today so there’s already a head start on the work. If you haven’t seen the room yet this year I think you’ll be surprised, it’s already looking totally different!

Something we started today was reorganising the small but awesome library in the room. All the books have been sorted chronologically, and we are working on creating a database of all the items we have so it will be possible to see the list online. Don’t forget to let us know if there’s anything you’d like that we don’t have – doesn’t matter if you haven’t read it yet – thats the point! 🙂

Hopefully see you Wednesday.

Bel

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