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The “Eternal Feminine”

Defy Traditions to Create Social Change

Dominant culture plays a role in defining us, as do our chosen community and we ourselves. We produced a series of “Eternal Feminine” projects including roundtable discussions, concerts, a Grammy-nominated CD, and a nationally syndicated radio program.

The case study focuses on strategies to help students bring their authentic selves into the public space. It relates the story of a self-described Trans, gay doctoral student who struggled to find a place and voice in TV and film beyond the existing patriarchal structure and programs. Diverse students are encouraged not to “leave themselves at the door” but to engage their full identities with others.

Consider these questions as you explore the chapter...

  1. What aspects of your identity do you “leave at the door” at school, work, home, with friends, with colleagues, with family? How does that impact your effectiveness and comfort in various situations? What are the risks of being fully yourself?
  2. How can you and those around you – classmates, colleagues, others – create a safe environment that encourages sharing of one’s “whole self?” What outside resources, such as psychologists and diversity experts, might be able to help?
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Beauty Hurts

Identity was a focal issue at the Eternal Feminine concert we produced at the major international concert venue Ravinia Park. This was the first, and

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