Donovan Cleckley

Literature old and new for women’s liberation

Women around the world have contributed immensely to culture in terms of art, literature and music. Yet, in spite of their creative labor, women often remain overlooked as artists, authors and composers in their own right. As such, in honor of Women’s History Month, I’ve gathered pieces of women’s literature to share with our readers a cross-cultural selection of women writers whose work advances us in the global movement for women’s liberation.  “Woman at Point Zero” [1975 (Arabic); 1983 (English)]  By Nawal El Saadawi  “Now there was no room for illusions,” Firdaus thinks to herself. “A successful prostitute was better than a misled...

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Black Art Expo showcases student art

This piece by Gunnerson was titled, “Adorn.” Photo by Janavian Young “To me, sharing Black art means shining a light on how dope our Blackness really is: how misunderstood, how beautiful, how strong and courageous, and how neglected it can be,” Anderica Gunnerson reflected after presenting at the recent Black Art Expo.  In Anna Irvin, on Feb. 27, UM’s NPHC hosted a Black Art Expo in honor of Black History Month. The event allowed for Black students to showcase and sell their artwork, and a fair number of students participated.   One such participant was Zoey Edison, a junior art major with a concentration in photography, who presented her...

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URGE leads abortion positive tour

Student representatives and regional coordinators pose with pro-choice props outside Farmer Hall. Photo by Donovan Cleckley On Sept. 20, the University of Montevallo Unite for Reproductive and Gender Equity (URGE) chapter hosted an Abortion Positive Tour to raise awareness about reproductive justice and to help promote community dialogue regarding abortion.  When asked about the aims of URGE, Co-President Madison Hollon stated: “Our goal is basically just to spread a positive attitude about embracing sexuality and normalizing sex education. In this regard, we held the Abortion Positive Tour to educate and normalize simple medical procedures that are necessary and to which we lack access as a basic human right.”  According to...

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Coming Out: From Closet to Closure

As expected, college students experience struggles, whether small or large, in terms of academics and extracurricular activities. For closeted LGBT college students, these everyday struggles stack upon one paralyzing and terrifying challenge: coming out of the closet. Telling the truth of one’s body is mountainous because the individual learns to speak the previously unspoken.   In “The Leaning Tower,” Virginia Woolf writes, “If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people.” While Woolf’s quote addresses how 19th century writing, such as the writing of Dickens and Thackeray, involves diversions from unpleasant truths regarding reality, the statement also applies to the way in which individuals live straight lies.   To be thoroughly honest, one must tell the truth of one’s body and soul, yet, as expected, this feat is easier in word than it is in deed. For the family desiring a perfectly heterosexual child, deviance from heteronormativity or cisnormativity is an unpleasant truth, but, for the sake of the child’s happiness, such a truth must be understood. Closeted, LGBT people hide their innermost selves in fear of how other people will perceive and treat them.   For students, moving away to universities often provides the much needed opportunity through which to explore their sexual desires and experiment with the presentations of their gendered selves. Many students find that liberation begins when one...

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Opinion: Equality threatens oppression

In high school, I remember losing the will to continue living, wishing for death, not because I knew that I liked men, but because I knew how I would be treated for liking them. Every day in the closet felt void of color. I make these personal statements about my sexuality to demonstrate, perhaps vividly, a situation that either strengthens or kills LGBT people. Montevallo’s recent panel on the “threat” posed by the Non-Discrimination Ordinance remains on my mind mostly because it seemed as if the speakers could not see from the perspectives of LGBT people, especially from the perspectives of LGBT children contemplating suicide around the country and around the world. While the panelists seemed to view LGBT people as sex acts, not as human beings, I assert that society must recognize the humanity of LGBT people. Regardless of religious, sexual or gender identity, every human being deserves to be treated as a human being. Practicing equality means that an individual or entity provides services equally to all other individuals with no arbitrary exceptions. The panelists’ remarks implied that the only acceptable and permissible sexuality is heterosexuality, meaning that one must be heterosexual or one must not be. As humans, however, we use sexuality to communicate and to bond with one another, expressing sexuality differently — not always in adherence to male-female relationships. Sexuality can be beautiful, free...

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