FMU held its annual Gender Awareness Week (G-Week) during March 25-28 to bring awareness to domestic and sexual abuse and gender issues on campus.
Pamela Rooks, professor of English and coordinator of the gender studies program at FMU, said one of the purposes of G-Week was to promote the importance of visibility.
“I think it is very important,” Rooks said. “It’s an issue that affects every single person on this campus and G-Week is just a way of foregrounding that.”
G-Week followed after Pride week on campus to bring a consistent conversation of awareness about these topics. G-Week had numerous events throughout the week, including the clothesline project, a series of shirts made by students and faculty to showcase issues related to gender. The project was intended to be a visible conversation starter for students interested in learning more about G-Week.
Students and faculty made the shirts, which addressed issues such as sexual assault, domestic violence and homophobia.
“It’s not just about not being a perpetrator but actively combating,” Rooks said.
Lindsey Banister, assistant professor of English, was also active in the preparation and set up of G-Week. Banister encouraged her students to attend events throughout the week to create conversations about these topics.
“I think the biggest importance is communication and the public’s experience with gender and gender violence,” Banister said. “I think visibility and conversation must go hand-in-hand and so much of G-Week is giving voice to domestic violence victims.”
The clothesline project was just one of the many events during G-Week. Another event was “The Foreplays,” a theater performance led by Jon Tuttle, professor of English and director of the Honors program, in which various students performed pieces revolving around gender issues and violence.
Another G-Week event was a self-defense workshop led by Sarah Sweeney, the director of communications for the Pee Dee Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Assault, and McKenzie Clementson. The event welcomed men and women to attend and learn how to defend themselves against violence and sexual assault.
On March 27, the “Men and Women in Media” panel discussion tackled the issues of unhealthy expectations that media place on men and women by the media. G-Week concluded with the play “Performance Anxiety: High School Expectations” on March 28.