#WomynConvoWendesdays start off the year with conversations about intersectionality

Forget #WomenCrushWednesday, there's a new hastag in town

The ASU Womyn’s Coalition hosted its first #Womyn’sConvoWednesday of the year Wednesday afternoon to discuss the importance of intersectional feminism in the face of modern immigration issues.

The Womyn’s Coalition partnered with El Concilio to start off #Womyn’sConvoWednesdays this year. The Womyn's Coalition started the series last semester and chose to continue the series throughout the next year. 

The discussion’s focus was intersectionality, which Sujey Vega, an assistant professor of women and gender studies, defined in a way that centers on “one’s self is not defined by one thing.”

"One of my students from my Latina/Chicana Issues class, where we talk about all these topics every week, asked me to speak and I was happy to," Vega said. 

Vega spoke on the stereotypes immigrants face at the beginning of her lecture. 

"Picture immigrants like me, not what Donald Trump wants you to picture them as," Vega said. "Donald Trump called them 'Mexican rapists' in a controversial statement last summer."

During her presentation, Vega spoke about the experiences of female immigrants, as a whole and also took the crowd through specific examples. She said how even in her Chicano classes, the women in that history were not mentioned either. It was when she saw photos of women being arrested at the Zoot Suit Riots that she realized it was “yet another story that’s not told.”

"I think that combining Hispanic History Month with women’s issues is wonderful and I would love to see it happen in other communities as well," Vega said.  

“They’re just to bring awareness to different women's issues, to bring awareness that there are gender disparities in migration experiences across the Mexican border and the specific violence that women migrants face because they are women. So that was kind of the purpose in general for this series, to bring light to different issues in an intersectional manner,” Erin Rugland, co-facilitator of the Womyn's Coalition, said about the thought process behind the series. 

Vega told the group, of mostly females, about the cases of women “prettying up” because if they looked too “butch” they would not be allowed to enter the country. Another fact is that the Latina population in the Mormon Church is growing incredibly fast, Vega, whose new research is on this topic, said. 

The first Spanish Mormon chapel was created in Mesa she said. The Spanish women in the church have what they call comadrazgo, which is a sense of unity between them, that they cannot find elsewhere.

Vega, who has also done a talk called “How to Survive Thanksgiving with Social Justice in Mind”, said that we can help the situation by going to talks such as today’s and continuing the conversation.

In the question portion of the conversation,  Vega also mentioned how a white woman makes, on average, more than a Latino man.

“As a white person, I always grew up sort of thinking ‘oh this doesn’t affect me personally,’ and so now I’m just trying to debunk that. … I’ve been interested in feminism for a while and I’m becoming more aware of how the feminism that I learned about was white people’s feminism and so I’m trying to just get more educated,” dance senior Allyson Yoder said.

Related Links:

How do You Define Feminism?

Stock photos expand views of women in media

Reach the reporter at avcabral@asu.edu or follow @angeligagaa on Twitter.

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