The Scarlet & Black

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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Love your Body Week Comes to Grinnell

At this time of the year, with the holidays and finals looming, sometime we neglect the most important person in our lives: ourselves. Anticipation has been mounting in the student body for weeks only to climax with the arrival of Love Your Body Week(LYBW). Running from Nov. 15 to the 21, LYBWis hosted by Feminist Action Coalition (FAC).
Zoe Schein ’12 and Emma O’Polka ’12 organized this year’s LYBW. Participating as first years in FAC last year, both were inspired to lead the group this year and give back to FAC. “[LYBW]is pretty self explanatory,” Schein said. “We get a lot of messages about our bodies.”
[LYBW], which typically occurs in early to mid-November, is an effort to raise awareness about body image, as well as an opportunity to understand our body’s full sexual potential throughout the week. Workshops, film screenings and forums were organized to engage the community in discussions ranging from masturbation to common stereotypes pertaining to “fat people.”
“Your body is the only home that is consistent throughout your entire life,” Schein said. “[LYBW] is about exploring issues that make us fight with our bodies, that make us believe our bodies are our enemies.”
Five major events have been highlighted for the week: Naked Cooking at Eco House, a Fat Activism workshop, a film screening of “I Had An Abortion,” the popular masturbation workshops and a Queer People of Color (QPOC) Open Mic co-sponsored by Grinnell Monologues(GMONS).
This year’s LYB–events are particularly unique. Incorporating feedback from last year, FAC hoped to change the breadth and tone of discussion this year with the addition of a film screening on abortion. In the past, the organizers of LYBW believed that abortion was irrelevant to Grinnell students, however, O’ Polka discovered otherwise. “Looking at Secrets, people post about it on there. People have abortions here. There’s not a space to talk about it,” O’ Polka said referring to a section of the popular cyber forum, GrinnellPlans. “We had that event just to have conversation started but it is something we want to continue working on throughout the year and in the future.”
In addition to providing a forum that discussed abortion, LYBW also conducted a workshops designed around self-body issues. The Fat Activism workshop focused on stereotyping and media hypes instead of eating disorders and medical issues.
One of the most popular events of LYBW, the masturbation workshop, was also showcased this year. The workshops vary from year to year but still serve the same purpose: acting as an open forum for discussion of the often taboo subject. “People here talk about sex all the time. This is a very hookup culture,” O’Polka said. “But we don’t really talk about having sex with ourselves or touching ourselves. What we’re doing with our bodies affects the way that we view the world.”
LYBW is an ongoing project that changes each year. FAC appreciates any feedback they receive from participants in the events during the week so that they hopefully alter the events for next year into more effective mediums. They meet on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. in the SRC. Feel free to contact them at [src].

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