Women of the Week
Each week we will feature a new DePauw student and faculty/staff member to highlight their accomplishments and contributions.
Name: Liz Bjordal
Major: Spanish & Philosophy
Class Standing (students): Senior
Hometown: Southern Indiana (Sorry, I don’t have areal hometown)
- Who is/was an important woman in your life? My best friend, best friend’s mother, but mostly my fairy godmother, Dixie Nowels.
- What class (taught or taken) was most transformative for you? Psychoanalyitcal Approach to Religion with Professor Jason Fuller
- What issues affecting women are most important to you? Equal and easy access to contraception methods! Also, healthy and respectful ways of overcoming sexual assault (aka therapy and respectful, honest friends)
- If you could invite one woman to speak on campus, who would it be and why?
Bring back Leymah Gbowee! I remember her lecture as the most transformative and raw presentation in my undergraduate career, and her book --Mighty Be Our Powers-- inspired my faith in cultural movements.
- What message would you most like to get out to young girls? Self-compassion is the foundation of personhood, love should never be conditional, & life is not actually a popularity contest…
- Favorite superheroine- Wonder Woman, Buffy, Storm, Arwen, Elektra, Xena, or other?
Freya, the Norse Goddess of Love and Affection
- What is one of your earliest memories of being a feminist? Loving Britney Spears’s music, but hating what she was saying…
- Where did you grow up or go to school and how did/does that affect you?
By all standards, I had an ugly childhood. But, in high school, I met my chosen family, the individuals that fostered the goodness and potential in me. I can recall two distinct impressions of myself as a youth: that of my family of origin and that of my chosen family. I give myself credit for choosing to be a part of the family that practices compassion, respect, and love. I give myself even more credit for choosing to be the individual who believes herself worthy of receiving care. Growing up as I did, I discovered the awesomeness of being human, an awesomeness that extends to every single human being no matter what. Understanding that my chosen family truly loves me for who I am, no matter the lack of blood or obligation, proved to me that I can feel compassion for another in a way that can change how she perceives herself.
- Who is your favorite author/musician/artist, and why do you enjoy his/her work so much?
Shakira! I adore that she produces bilingual music! Plus, her positive body image often speaks more than her words. Belly dance is a rare art form that rejects the modern image of women—to dance like that, you must have a fleshy body. Shakira exemplifies the woman her loves her body for its own sake and honors it for twisting as it does.
- When did you first realize that you have the power to make a positive change in society?
To be honest, it required a lot of time and effort to realize what it meant to be a part of a community. Recognizing my ability to make a change therein was a natural consequent of that first simple but complex realization. I was a junior when I realized that I had a voice; I was a senior twice before I realized that I had a story worthy of listening to.
Name: Rebecca Bordt
Position on campus: Professor, Department of Sociology & Anthropology
Where did you grow up: Des Moines, Iowa
- What class (taught or taken) was most transformative for you? Intimate Violence
- What issues affecting women are most important to you? Sexualized violence, incarceration, single motherhood.
- What is one of your earliest memories of being a feminist? Going to a Holly Near concert in Washington, D.C. when I was in college in the 1980s. I can still remember the strong and beautiful feminists I went with.
- When did you first realize that you have the power to make a positive change in society? Senior year of college when I was involved in the Washington Justice Semester at American University in Washington, D.C. I was exposed to people concerned with issues of social justice and participated in number of protests/rallies for the first time.