University hiring students to promote abortion rights
The University of Maryland, Baltimore County Women’s Center is hiring students to develop educational programming on issues like “body image” and “reproductive justice,” a progressive euphemism for abortion rights.
The “Women’s Center Student Staff Position” will pay selected students at least $9.25 an hour to write blogs posts, serve as an ambassador of the Women’s Center at resource fairs, and conduct research that would help the Women’s Center better serve students.
Students’ primary task, however, would be to facilitate workshops on issues that impact “women and/or marginalized groups,” such as “reproductive health and justice; body image…[and] LGBTQ issues” according to the internship application.
Though hirees will also be involved in tasks such as greeting visitors, the job description ultimately frames the position as an excellent opportunity for those “interested in women’s, gender, and social justice issues” who want to “make campus-wide change.”
According to the Women’s Center website, students selected for the staff positions will be required to attend a two-hour training on May 12, followed by a full-day training in August.
As at other schools, the UMBC Women’s Center does offer a few tangible resources, but its mission statement notes that its work is ultimately in service of advancing “gender equity from an intersectional feminist perspective.”
“We prioritize critical social justice as our community value, with a deliberate focus on women, gender, anti-racism, and feminism,” the Women’s Center proclaims. “All are welcome as long as they respect women. Their experiences. Their stories. Their potential” (emphasis in original).
Encouraging students to blog is one way the center promotes feminism. UMBC students have previously written on issues such as “Fatness. Fitness. Feminism” and “Feminist Friendships,” though it's unclear whether the students were paid for those submissions.
The most recent student blog post, published March 27, was written by a student who argues that compliments from other women on her makeup are actually “makeup microaggressions” because women are socialized to perpetuate “internalized sexism.”
“These microaggressions between women were essentially internalized sexism caused by heterosexist patriarchy,” asserts Samiksha Manjani. “Under patriarchal norms, women’s value is dependent on their attractiveness to men.”
As Campus Reform has reported, other taxpayer funded universities—such as the University of Arizona, the University of California, Los Angeles, and Washington State University—all currently offer social justice-minded students similar employment opportunities.
Campus Reform reached out to UMBC to ask how this student employment position is funded, but the school declined to answer.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Toni_Airaksinen