FMU presents G-Week

Rachel Droze, Assistant Editor

FMU will host its first Gender Week (G-Week) to raise awareness about gender issues March 9-13.

“The purpose of G-Week is to draw attention to gender related issues such as domestic violence against women, civil rights issues relating to gender and others,” Catherine England, professor of English and member of the Gender Week Committee, said.

G-Week will consist of various returning activities as well as a few new ones including: The Clothesline Project, The Foreplays, a performance by Alan Bounville and the Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon.

The Clothesline Project allows students that have been a victims of abuse to make a t-shirt telling their story or the story of a loved one and hang it on a clothesline outside. England said the clothesline is meant to be symbolic of the students letting go of the problems they have faced in the past and moving forward with their lives. The goal of the Clothesline Project is to raise awareness and end violence against women and girls.

The Foreplays is a reoccurring theatrical event on campus, but the plays included in the program will be new to the viewers. It will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 10, in the Fine Arts Center’s Kassab Theater. There will be four student-written and performed plays about gender issues.

Alan Bounville walked 6,000 miles across the U.S. to raise awareness for gender and sexual orientation equality. He will share stories from LGBTQ and Allied people that he met during his one-man performance “Can We Come to the Table?” at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 12, in the McNair Science Building’s Chapman Auditorium. The performance will be followed by a reception sponsored by the FMU Gender Studies Program.

G-Week will include several other activities, many of which are student led and require a large number of student participants.

Students are also encouraged to post the statement “I need feminism because…” on social media and take the “It’s On Us” pledge.

“[Our goal is] to raise awareness, and I think it’s a time set aside for faculty and students to think about gender and the issues that plague our national, local and university communities,” England said.

FMU hosted V-Week in previous years, which is similar to G-Week but run by the V-Week Association. England said the committee decided to do G-Week instead so the school could have more influence on the activities if they aren’t tied to the V-Week Association.

All events are free and open to the public.