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Disrespectful Clothing at UNM [Tell Your Story]

7 May

I’d like to start this post by painting a picture for you:

 I work at one of the libraries at the University of New Mexico. Spring was finally in full swing and I wanted to celebrate with a black short sleeved crop top and one of those skirts that goes all the way to the floor. This particular morning I was running a little late to work, and so when I finally arrived I only had about two hours left in my shift. My job duties at the library consist of checking out reserve books, laptops, and study rooms to the patrons. While I was sitting at the desk for the first hour I had had a couple of women compliment me on my clothing. One woman even told me that I looked like a princess. However I did get a peculiar look from one woman. Five minutes after I had exchanged glances with this woman one of the full time employees (I’ll name her Jane) calls me over to speak with her. We went into a room that had two doors (the kind that are placed in the middle of a large space…it’s an awkward layout). When I came into the half room again I noticed that women who gave me the strange look was in the room.  Jane asked me to take a seat and then sat down next to me while the other women proceeded to stand.  Jane then whisper scolded me. The exchange went a little like this:

Jane: You look nice today, but that’s really inappropriate wear for the workplace. You’re showing disrespect to your coworkers and all of your patrons. Do you have something you can change into?

Me: Yes I brought an extra shirt just in case.               

Jane: Good. Let’s try not to let this happen again.

Picture Painted.

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Too friendly? [Tell Your Story]

21 Mar

I’d like to bring up the subject of male professors.

Not because they are misogynistic, or biased, or sexist, or just hit on their female students all the time — although ALL of this can be true.

I’d like to focus on the respectful ones. The ones who are intelligent, thoughtful, good listeners, and are willing to engage their students in discourse regardless of that student’s gender.

My issue is this: as a student who also happens to be a hetero woman, I am hesitant to get “too friendly” with a professor who happens to be a hetero man, because I am afraid of what would be implied.

I don’t worry about this with my female professors. As a result, I feel like I am really missing out on some great mentorship opportunities. Any suggestions/insights?


Do you want to tell your story? You can do so here. You will be kept anonymous (leaving an email address is optional) unless you ask not to be.

These Women

19 Mar

A poem by WITA Secretary Jennifer Gammage.

These women that dare believe in me,

They build me with hands worn from work,

And veins that make maps to hearts stronger than mine.


They raise me up from self-imposed swamps when I lapse into self-pity,

And they breathe into my mouth the breath of history’s sacrifice.

These women, my friends and ancestors,

They make me, and re-make me.

Against all odds, they remind me to keep walking uphill.

They have woven the threads of nations with revolution,

And they believe me into being. Continue reading

If I had not met this amazing woman, I would have been lost [Tell Your Story]

7 Mar

Being a first-generation college student, and being a young woman of color, the university can be very isolating and feelings of alienation overwhelm me.  I started at the university very young, I had no idea of what to expect when I got here because no one in my family went to college.  I felt completely alone and helpless.  I was forced to cope and learn by default from being away from my family and having no understanding of university life.  It wasn’t until someone I first met at the university who had to physically walk me over to meet another woman of color that has been at the university already and thought that I should meet her.  I met this other woman of color and we connected right away.  I call her my sister, my mentor, my family away from home.  This woman was so supportive, gave me advice, took me to meet her family, and made me feel like I had someone that I can depend on if anything were to happen to me.  My point is, that if I had not met this amazing woman, I would have been lost, and I would have dropped out of academia.   Continue reading

How it’s going in law school [Tell Your Story]

4 Mar

Here’s our first Tell Your Story submission, a poem from a law student. Thank you for sharing this.

For now comments will be permitted, but moderated.

– Kris

* * *

How it’s going in law school


Please forgive me for speaking
for talking out of turn.
I’m having some problems at law school
and I have to try to tell you
what they are.

Today in our Con Rights class,
which i am taking with Professor X for good or for ill,
we covered Roe.

I am crying
as I write these words
because it felt like a gut punch.
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