HALF THE SKY: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide
based on the best-selling book by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn

Monday, February 4, 2013
Bldg [6-120]

Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide was filmed in 10 countries and follows Kristof, WuDunn, and celebrity activists America Ferrera, Diane Lane, Eva Mendes, Meg Ryan, Gabrielle Union, and Olivia Wilde on a journey to tell the stories of inspiring, courageous individuals. Across the globe oppression is being confronted, and real meaningful solutions are being fashioned through health care, education, and economic empowerment for women and girls.

The linked problems of sex trafficking and forced prostitution, gender-based violence, and maternal mortality - which needlessly claim one woman every 90 seconds - present to us the single most vital opportunity of our time: the opportunity to make a change. All over the world women are seizing this opportunity.

Free & open to the public.

Discussion with WGS Professor A. Walsh to follow.

WGS commemorates the 40th Anniversary of Roe vs. Wade...

Artist talk & presentation about abortion rights and reproductive justice by Heather Ault

Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Bldg [6-120]

Heather Ault, MFA, is an award-winning artist, researcher, and activist for abortion rights and reproductive justice. As founder of 4000 Years for Choice, she created a dynamic visual art series devoted to re-visioning the historical and cultural narrative of abortion and contraception. Since the project's initial launch in 2009, Ms. Ault has presented her artwork and research at art galleries, national conferences, university campuses, and reproductive health clinics across the country.

Her work has been written about in the Huffington Post, New York Daily News, Bust Magazine, and many other blogs. Ms. Ault is a board member of the Abortion Conversation Project and also serves as Social Media Coordinator for the Abortion Care Network. She holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Graphic Design and Master of Fine Arts in New Media and is based in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois.

Heather Ault's comprehensive 1-hour artist talk reinvents our understanding of birth control, abortion and all thing reproductive.

Free and open to the public.
Light dinner provided.

Co-sponsored by MIT History, Student Activities Office, Dept. of Political Science, Anthropology Program and the Graduate Consortium in Women's Studies.

MIT Program in Women's and Gender Studies in collaboration with Black Women's Alliance celebrate Women's Herstory Month...

Strategic Networking: Keys to Securing Your Career
by Juliette C. Mayers
networking guru, award-winning executive and author of "A Black Woman's Guide to Networking"

Monday - March 4, 2013
BLDG [4-163]

Knowledge is powerful, but it is not just what you know, but "who you know" AND "who knows you" that makes the ultimate difference in career success. In this dynamic and interactive presentation, Juliette C. Mayers will share strategies to help you become an effective networker.

Topics include:

  • Building and strengthening your network before you need a job. How to create strategic and productive networks now!
  • Personal branding -- Why it is important for your career and how to build a strong brand now!
  • Winning with social media. Understand how to position yourself for career success.
  • It's not just about "the what," but "the how" of networking. Juliette will share her approach on how to network effectively.

Co-sponsored by The Office of Minority Education and Student Activities/Office of Multicultural Programs.

Light dinner included. Please rsvp to

MIT Program in Women's and Gender Studies and the Graduate Consortium in Women's Studies present...

Gender Identity in Children: Formulating a Dynamic, Developmental Model
A lecture by Anne Fausto-Sterling
Nancy Duke Lewis Professor of Biology and Gender Studies in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology and Biochemistry at Brown University

Thursday - April 4th, 2013
BLDG [6-120]

Professor Anne Fausto-Sterling will speak about her recent research on gender identity in children. A great divide exists between people who accept biological explanations of human difference and those who reject biology in favor of social explanations. This research project is part of her larger ambitious body of work that attempts to restructure dichotomous conversations--inside the academy, in public discourse, and ultimately in the framing of social policy--in order to enable an understanding of the inseparability of nature/nurture.

Dr. Anne Fausto-Sterling is a leading expert in biology and gender development and has achieved recognition for works that challenge entrenched scientific beliefs while engaging with the general public. Using a groundbreaking new approach to understanding gender differences, Dr. Anne Fausto-Sterling is shifting old assumptions about how humans develop particular traits. Dynamic systems theory permits one to understand how cultural difference becomes bodily difference. By applying a dynamic systems approach to the study of human development, Dr. Fausto-Sterling's work exposes the flawed premise of the nature versus nurture debate.

Free and open to the public.

Orchids: an intersex adventure

Director: Phoebe Hart
FRIDAY -- March 1, 2013
MIT, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, BLDG [6-120]

Gen X filmmaker Phoebe Hart always knew she was different growing up - but she didn't know why. This award-winning documentary traces Phoebe's voyage of self-discovery as an intersex person, a group of conditions formerly termed hermaphroditism. Learning only in her teens that she was born with 46XY (male) chromosomes, Hart now seeks to understand her own story and the stories of others affected by this complex and often shameful syndrome.

With help from sister Bonnie (born with the same condition) and support from partner James, Hart drives across Australia, interviewing individuals whose struggles and victories mirror and differ from her own. Some advocate systemic change ending shame and controversial genital surgeries, while others debate coming out or staying closeted with a stigmatized secret. Questioning rigidly defined constructs of gender, sexuality, and normality, often with lively good humor, ORCHIDS is the first film to look at intersex from a positive perspective. Its engaging portrait of survival, courage and reconciliation will speak to a variety of audiences and spark lively discussion about what it means to be perceived as "different."

Click here to view the trailer.

60 minutes.

Discussion with WGS Professor K. Surkan to follow.

*Wheelchair accessibility available through the Infinite Corridor in Building 8 or through the ramp at Building 14.*



Made in India

Directed by Rebecca Haimowitz & Vaishali Sinha
THURSDAY -- March 7, 2013
MIT, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, BLDG [4-163]

In San Antonio, Lisa and Brian Switzer risk their savings with a Medical Tourism company promising them an affordable solution after seven years of infertility. Halfway around the world in Mumbai, 27-year-old Aasia Khan, mother of three, contracts with a fertility clinic to be implanted with the Texas couple's embryos. MADE IN INDIA, about real people involved in international surrogacy, follows the Switzers and Aasia through every stage of the process.

With its dual focus, this emotionally charged, thoroughly absorbing film charts obstacles faced by the Switzers and presents intimate insights into Aasia's circumstances and motivation. As their stories become increasingly intertwined, the bigger picture behind offshore outsourcing of pregnancies--a booming, unregulated reproductive industry valued at $450 million in India alone--begins to emerge. So do revealing questions about international surrogacy's legal and ethical implications, global corporate practices, human and reproductive rights, and commodification of the body.

Click here to view the trailer.

97 Minutes. Hindi/English, Subtitled.

Discussion with Tufts WGS Professor Modhumita Roy to follow.

*Wheelchair accessibility available through the Infinite Corridor in Building 8 or through the ramp at Building 14.*

Love and Diane

Directed by Jennifer Dworkin

FRIDAY -- March 15, 2013
MIT, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, BLDG [32-141]

Jennifer Dworkin's groundbreaking documentary LOVE & DIANE presents a searingly honest and moving examination of poverty, welfare and drug rehabilitation in the United States today. Filmed in New York City over a five-year period, Dworkin documents the struggles of three generations of the Hazzard family as they face a myriad of emotional, financial and personal challenges.

LOVE & DIANE is at its heart a highly charged story about a mother and daughter searching for love, redemption and hope for a new future. While caught in a devastating cycle of teen pregnancy and the bureaucracy of an over burdened welfare system, they demonstrate an inspiring resiliency and ability to find strength during the most desperate times. Without falling into stereotypes of welfare and poverty, LOVE & DIANE casts a fair, non-judgmental eye on the Hazzard's and presents a forgotten, but very real, side of the American experience.

155 minutes.

Discussion with WGS Professor to follow.
*Classroom is wheelchair accessible.*

First Person Plural

Directed by Deann Borshay

THURSDAY -- March 21, 2013
MIT, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, BLDG [4-163]

In 1966, Deann Borshay Liem was adopted by an American family and was sent from Korea to her new home. Growing up in California, the memory of her birth family was nearly obliterated until recurring dreams lead Deann to discover the truth: her Korean mother was very much alive. Bravely uniting her biological and adoptive families, Deann's heartfelt journey makes First Person Plural a poignant essay on family, loss, and the reconciling of two identities.

First Person Plural is "eloquent and reserved, a study of courage tempered by love. Everything about this documentary feels breathtakingly real. But thanks to Deann Borshay Liem's balance of restraint and candor in telling her own story, her film never makes you feel like an intruder in her private realm. Instead, you know you are an honored guest." - The New York Times

Click here to view the trailer.

60 minutes.
Discussion with WGS Professor to follow.

WOMEN TAKE THE REEL is a FREE roaming film festival SPONSORED BY: MIT Program in Women's and Gender Studies; the Graduate Consortium in Women's Studies; Boston College Women's and Gender Studies Program; Boston University Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program; Brandeis University Women's and Gender Studies Program; Harvard University Committee for Degrees in Women, Gender and Sexuality; Northeastern University Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program; Simmons College Department of Women's and Gender Studies; Tufts University Women's Studies Program; UMass Boston Women's Studies Department; Lesley University; Emerson College Visual and Media Arts; Women, Action and the Media (WAM!); and Women Make Movies.