Symposium Gives Voice to Gender and Sexuality Issues

By Sarah Binning

For 35 years, the Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW) has worked to promote female leadership and to achieve female economic and educational equality. On Saturday, WCW gave voice to the road blocks we face in our struggle for diversity and equality at their Reflections, Conversations, New Directions Symposium.

Teen Voices’ Executive Director Jenny Amory attended the Gender and Sexuality panel, which featured panelists  Deborah Tolman (author of Dilemmas of Desire: Teenage Girls Talk about Sexuality), Linda Williams (UMass Lowell professor of Criminal Justice and Criminology), and Jean Kilbourne (co-author of So Sexy So Soon: The New Sexualized Childhood and What Parents Can Do to Protect Their Kids). Wellesley College Director of Studies of Gender Policy in U.S. Jurisprudence, Monica Driggers, moderated the discussion.

Amory says that the compelling presentations and discussions ranged on topics from the commoditization of sexual agency in girls to mainstreaming of pornography to the ways that violence is intertwined with sexuality and power.

Following the session, she said, “The research on these topics so clearly points to the need for organizations like Teen Voices that promote girl-generated media and support girls’ voices  in the mainstream media.”

For more information on the Wellesley Centers for Women and the symposium, please visit their website.

Photo of Jean Kilbourne courtesy of Wellesley Centers for Women

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