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Women’s History Month

Women's History Month

2015 Events


Zerlina Maxwell lecture,
"From Catcalling to Sexual Assault: How We Can All Work to End Gender-Based Violence"

Monday, March 2, 2015
7 p.m.
Launer Auditorium, Launer Hall

Rape and sexual assault is a global issue that is perpetuated through rape culture, and it needs to end.  Zerlina talks about rape culture, blame and education. Along with her own experiences, she how focuses on how education may be the most effective way to end sexual violence, through teaching appropriate behaviors and teaching men not to rape.

Subjects, Objects, & Persons:

Thinking about Rape Culture

Thursday, March 5, 2015
Lee Room, Dulany Hall

What does it mean to view someone as an object, rather than a subject? How does our treatment of each other change when we see each other as things, rather than as persons? Do we allow ourselves to be treated differently when we lose sight of our own innate, individual value? How does objectification slip into our perceptions and interactions? What does any of this have to do with rape culture? Join students, faculty and staff as the Philosophy Club hosts a dialogue with free Chipotle lunch.

Film and Discussion:

Thursday, March 12, 2015
6 p.m.
Lee Room, Dulany Hall

The History, Philosophy & Political Science Department will host the screening of a film on the topic of rape culture. Join us for the film and a following discussion about your rights and responsibilities and community resources to help you understand and respond to this issue.

CC Safe Spaces:

Express Yourself

Tuesday, March 31, 2015
 3:30-5:30 p.m.
Dorsey Gym, Dorsey Hall

Join the Columbia College campus and Columbia community for our Women’s History Month finale. One characteristic of safe spaces is the ability to freely express yourself, and this is a chance to do so. There will be dancing, music, art stations and places for you to share your commitment to eradicating rape culture This resource fair will provide information and demonstrations from campus and community organizations that work with issues of sexual violence and community involvement. Free food, door prizes, and a dance-off with the First Lady make this an event you don’t want to miss.

#YesEvenHere: Challenging Rape Culture, One Person at a Time

Rape culture is “a complex of beliefs that encourages male sexual aggression and supports violence against women. It is a society where violence is seen as sexy and sexuality as violent. In a rape culture, women perceive a continuum of threatened violence that ranges from sexual remarks to sexual touching to rape itself. A rape culture condones physical and emotional terrorism against women and presents it as the norm.”[1] In 2015 it is impossible to avoid the issues of rape and rape culture in America. College campuses are especially open to these problems. Reports indicate that 20 to 25 percent of college women will be victims of sexual violence and that as few as 5 percent of all sexual assaults are ever reported to police.[2] In a world where names like Sasha Menu Corey, Daisy Coleman and Jada, alongside places like Steubenville, Ohio, Florida State University and Vanderbilt University are commonly known for incidents of sexual violence it is imperative that we as a community talk about this very difficult topic.

Our goal is to encourage the campus community to think about the theme #YesEvenHere in all of its contexts related to sexual violence—safe spaces exist, resources exist, the problem exists, the ability to challenge rape culture exists—on our campus and in our community. We have purposely titled this series of events with a hashtag to reflect the role that social media has come to play in rape culture. We encourage you to join the discussion, so that you too can endorse that in the midst of a rape culture change, healing, and safety are equally present.

The subject of sexual assault can be a difficult one and may trigger emotional distress for people who have experienced trauma in their lives.  For support and resources for healing, please call CC Counseling Services at 573-875-7423.

[1] Emilie Buchwald, Pamela R. Fletcher, and Martha Roth, eds., Transforming a Rape Culture, Revised Edition (Minneapolis, Minnesota: Mildweek Editions, 2005), xi.

[2] Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, (accessed January 29, 2015).

Zerlina Maxwell

Zerlina Maxwell

Zerlina Maxwell is a political analyst, speaker and contributing writer for, and

She writes about national politics, candidates, and specific policy and culture issues including domestic violence, sexual assault, victim blaming and gender inequality. She has consulted with the United States Department of State to promote the use of social media by students in the West Bank and is a frequent speaker at colleges, universities, and organizations about rape culture and feminism.  She was profiled in the New York Times as a top political twitter voice to follow during the 2012 election season and she was selected by TIME as one of the best Twitter feeds in 2014.  She was recently selected as one of the most influential Black Americans under the age of 45 by The Root.

Her writing has also appeared in The New York Daily News, The Washington Post, JET Magazine, Marie Claire Magazine, on,,, and in other mainstream media outlets.  She is also a weekly guest and fill in host for Make It Plain with Mark Thompson on Sirius XM Progress and democratic commentator on Fox News and MSNBC.  She has a law degree from Rutgers Law School - Newark and a B.A. in International Relations from Tufts University.  

Maxwell will present “From Catcalling to Sexual Assault: How We Can All Work to End Gender-Based Violence” on Monday, March 2, 2015 at 7 p.m. in Launer Auditorium on the Columbia College campus.

The History of Women's History Month

First begun as a local celebration of women's history in Santa Rosa, California in 1978, the movement for a national celebration of women's history gained momentum in 1979 at the Women's History Institute at Sarah Lawrence College. In February 1980 President Jimmy Carter issued a presidential proclamation recognizing the week of March 8, 1980 as National Women's History Week. Carter's proclamation coincided with resolutions in the House of Representatives and the Senate that declared support for National Women's History Week.

The movement continued to grow as individual states expanded these week-long celebrations to month-long recognition, so that by 1987 Congress issued a declaration of March as Women's History Month in perpetuity. The celebration continues to be marked by an annual presidential proclamation. For more on the history of women's history month, visit the National Women's History Project website.

Why March?

March was selected for the first women's history celebration in 1978 because of the celebration of March 8th as International Women's Day, which has been celebrated in various countries around the world since the early 1900s. By 1917 the date became firmly fixed on March 8 in recognition of a strike for "bread and peace" carried out by Russian women in the opening days of the Russian Revolution. For more information on International Women's Day visit

Columbia College and Women's History

Columbia College, founded in 1851 as Christian Female College, has a rich history of providing education for women and of producing women who become forces of change in the world. Christian College's origins lie in the desire on the part of its founders to provide a quality liberal arts education for their daughters, who were denied admission at the University of Missouri where many of the founders were teachers and administrators. The opening of the school in 1851 marked the first institution of higher education for women west of the Mississippi. Christian College continued to provide educational opportunities for young women, and in 1970 extended its mission and opened its doors to men for the first time. Now as Columbia College, the community marks the significance of its own history and the contributions of women around the world to making history happen by hosting a series of events to celebrate Women's History Month.

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