A number of events are scheduled for Women of Wesleyan Week, April 2-5 at Iowa Wesleyan College.
Students will participate in a self-defense class on Monday afternoon. On Tuesday, the Behavioral Science Club will sponsor a male beauty pageant in the Chapel Auditorium at 11 a.m.
Students and staff will offer a variety of readings in the presentation of The Vagina Monologues on Tuesday, April 3, at 7:30 p.m. in the Chapel Auditorium. The program is open to the public. The Vagina Monologues is an award-winning play based on interviews of more than 200 women concerning women’s sexuality and strength. The play gives voice to experiences and feelings not usually exposed in public. It has been performed in cities across the country, inspiring a grassroots effort to stop violence against women. The play is intended for mature audiences. Admission is two dollars for adults and one dollar for students; proceeds will go to the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
On Wednesday, April 4, there will be a poetry reading at 7:00 p.m. in the Social Hall, followed by a Take Back the Night Rally, beginning at S-T Hall on North Broadway, then proceeding to downtown Mount Pleasant.
Tilly Woodward, artist and activist, will speak on Image to Action: Art for Social and Personal Change on Thursday, April 5, at 11:00 a.m. in the Chapel Auditorium. Her program is free and open to the public.
Woodward is Curator of Academic and Community Outreach at Grinnell College’s Faulconer Gallery, and Founding Director of the Pella Community Art Center. She is an artist whose creations, inspired by global social problems, offer both dialogue and healing. In “Portraits of Dubuque,” a response to racism, she drew portraits of diverse individuals, nominated for having performed a good deed or act of kindness. Woodward hoped the project would “help people recognize each other as individuals and better recognize human kindness regardless of race, gender, age, faith, or economic background.” Her “AIDS Portrait Project,” combining portraits with words, gave a voice to Iowans living with AIDS.
An ongoing project from 2004 is the Ribbon Monument. In its initial installation, victims of rape and sexual abuse were invited to write their stories on ribbons that were posted on thin metal poles. As with Buddhist prayer flags and Tibetan Thankas, when the ribbons are moved by wind or a passerby, the story is sent out into the world. Now, the installation changes depending on the site where it is shown. With this project, Woodward hopes to end the silent suffering of these victims.
The Women of Wesleyan Week events are coordinated by students and faculty in the psychology department at Iowa Wesleyan College.