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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Women’s History Month on campus concludes with symposium on women research

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Photo By Allison Bradshaw

Visualization professor and artist Felice House discusses the belief that in order to have a well-functioning society, equality must exist between the sexes. 

Starting last year, the College of Education and Human Development has hosted a symposium as a cap for Women’s History Month, one focused on women’s research on women.

 The symposium, composed of a panel discussion and a gallery tour of student and faculty research, explored notions of gender equality and representation.

 Felice House, assistant professor at the department of visualization, was among the panel speakers. A painter, House’s work seeks to understand women’s representation in media by taking classical male images and swapping them with female characters.

 House said the inspiration behind her work stems from her belief that equality is essential for living in an efficient society.

 “I think society is like a bird that has two wings,” House said. “One is men, one is women and if both of them are not equal, the bird does not fly.”

 House said a large part of the future of gender representation is in media.

 “I think the androgynous, asexual representations of both men and women is so interesting,” House said. “I feel like gender is some form of continuum, and we’re seeing a lot of grey at this point in media, which I think is absolutely fascinating.”

 Nancy Watson, assistant dean for Organization Development and Diversity, said the creation of the symposium was inspiring by an event held at a colleague’s previous institution.

 “When I thought about us doing it and hosting it out of the College of Education and Human Development, I thought it was brilliant,” Watson said. “It felt obvious.”

 Watson said the event has grown in the past year.

 “There’s a couple things that I’m particularly excited about,” Watson said. “We had increased interest in participation, and then also there was an increased representation of the department heads and deans of both the presenters and the folks that are represented in the poster sessions, so I think it’s really neat that the faculty members got to show off.”

 There is a possibility of more symposiums like these in the future, said Watson.

 “We’re going to keep doing it,” Watson said. “Also, there are a lot of other groups that deserve representation and focus, so if we could have additional symposiums, that’s certainly a goal down the road.”

 Ellen Hagen, psychology junior, said the panel highlighted women in a positive light, an aspect she appreciated.

 “The most interesting thing that I could relate to my life was the pictures of the women as heroes,” Hagen said. “I feel like in so many things we see, women are represented as sexual figures and not put in positions of power.”

 Hagen said she experiences gender bias personally, and there are many things men can do to help.

 “It’s just about becoming educated, listening, sitting there and engaging with women, asking ‘How can I get involved?’” Hagen said. “People are afraid to talk about these things. I was recently talking to someone here and we were discussing gender roles, and he told me ‘I would never be able to marry someone who made more money than I did.’ It’s crazy to me. Women are being put in these positions of power, in political offices, and they’re doing great.”

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