One Dress, One Month

Did you know that there are an estimated 3,000 girls trafficked as sex slaves in Ohio? And that the FBI cited Toledo, Ohio as 3rd on its watch list for human sex trafficking recruitment? Did you know that if any of the girls escape slavery, they will more than likely end up homeless, prostituting themselves to make money; then get arrested for prostitution, only to be punished for falling back on the only thing they know? So that they're basically being punished for having been trafficked as a sex slave?

Angry yet?

Then why don't you do something about it? I asked myself the same question, and came up with an answer when a friend approached me with an idea.

It's called One Dress, One Month. The basic idea is that I will wear the same dress every day for a month to raise awareness of sex trafficking, especially in Ohio. I can switch up the look, wearing different leggings, pants, accessories, etc, as long as I have the dress on.

I'm writing this 13 days into the project- only 18 more to go. So far, I have had 40-50 people ask me about the dress and I have been able to engage them in a meaningful discussion. Through my personal blog, I am able to share my daily experiences and thoughts. You too can follow me at hannah-dunn.blogspot.com.

All I ask is for an open mind. To let a seed of discontent plant within you, spurring you into action. For me, it was the dress. In the future, it may be more.

So, I ask again, what can you do to end this unacceptable cycle of slavery?

~Hannah <3


Feminine Agency...Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Game of Thrones

Hello my name is Anna and I love Sci-Fi and Fantasy. Also there will be some spoilers for the first season of Game of Thrones.

If you are surprised at all by the first part because of my gender my reply is, really? Have you been on the internet? Have you heard of fan-fiction?

The stereotypical sci-fi Fantasy aficionado is often portrayed as too thin/too fat, usually white and straight but always male. That, my dear readers, is a load of bull because anything more than a cursory glance at the nerd community will reveal that there are a few very nice looking men, that it is made up of people of many races and sexual preferences and, as I pointed out above, it contains a sizable female population.

So why then are most characters (I’m not even talking about protagonists, just sheer characters) in science fiction and fantasy stories straight, white and male?

Science Fiction is usually better than fantasy in terms of representation, but its not great. I may go more into the good (ex: Battlestar Galactica) and the not-as-good (ex: Star Wars) examples of this in a later post. One of the arguments that has been made for this, is that Science Fiction takes place in the future, where things can be more progressive, while fantasy is usually tied into a romanticized version of the western middle ages, and is therefore less flexible in terms of gender roles and races represented. I consider this a load of baloney because if you can make up new creatures, countries and religions, you can include different races and women outside of the often passive gender roles assigned to women by classical stories from early western civilization.

For this post I’m focusing specifically on fantasy and gender on the issue of feminine representation and agency. A character with agency is someone who takes action to produce a desired result. It seems a simple enough characteristic but only about one out of three (and there are seldom more than three female characters, if that, in a fantasy novel) possess this basic attribute which renders them passive characters while their male counterparts are active.

Think of any fantasy novel or series. Name three male characters with agency. Now do the same for women. I would argue Eowyn from Lord of the Rings was the only female character (I case could be made for Arwen but I see her as more passive) in the series with agency and thus my favorite to the point where I dressed like her for the LOTR marathon at my cinema leading up to ROTK’s premier, but I digress.

Active characters are more fun to follow on their journey, they are the ones driving the story. The passive characters, on the other hand, are objects, they may serve as a tool to impart wisdom or to provide motivation for another character, but they have no storyline of their own, serving no purpose when they are not related to others.

Game of Thrones, and I’m talking about the HBO series not the books which I have just started and am not yet qualified to review, has its issues with the objectification of women, particularly when one looks at the way in which marriage is conducted in this world. However the series is exemplarly in portraying women who take action in the hopes of achieving a desired result, and the sheer number which do so. Here’s a list of examples (horribly simplified only given one singular action for the sake of time):

Cersei Lannister: Arranges the death of her husband and works politically to secure power for herself and her son.

Daenerys Targaryen: Becomes more sexually assertive and challenges her husband and her people through her words and actions to earn respect in her new land so that they will help her reclaim her throne.

Arya Stark: Seeks a teacher to become a warrior. (worst simplification this girl is a BAMF).

Catelyn Stark: Goes to plead assistance from a friend of her fathers for aid in a war against the Lannisters.

Sansa Stark: Annoying as this girl is, and while she does allow herself to be a tool for the Lannisters, this is a choice she makes in remaining in their court so that she can achieve her messed up goal of becoming Geoffrey's Queen.

Lysa Tully: Imprisoned Tyrion Lannister as revenge.

Ros: Moved to the south to seek a better life as a prostitute (she does serve as a fairly objectified character in the beginning and later in the season, but we see the mechanics briefly behind why she does it making her an active character: I would argue her scene with Little Finger’s speech (if you’ve seen the show you know which one I’m talking about) could be described as an explanation of Little Finger’s personal motivation, but also as that for all of the characters in the field of manipulation. She does this so she can get ahead, make her money, and get her power in the world. It may be messed up but that’s what she does.)

That’s SEVEN female characters. As an added bonus we see a noticeable journey from changes in character based from their actions from Daenerys and Arya (rumor has it Sansa stops being annoying and also has a change based on her actions later in the book series), and we see more of the complexities behind the actions of Cersei, Catelyn and Ros as the story develops. True, their relationships to husbands/husbands-to-be provide the backbone for 5/7 of these examples and their power is limited in the world in which they live. However they fight, they take power, they are so much more than mere objects that provide motivation or wisdom for the men in the series.

I would argue that giving women characters agency is not a sign of feminist writing, because Game of Thrones is not feminist by a long shot. I would argue, however that it is a sign of good writing. As a writer you want as many active characters as possible because it makes them better, and more fun to read. Women active characters show that you know that they are people to, and from a marketing perspective, we are a sizable group and I personally love to read about the menfolk, but I like it more when there are some women mixed up with them and I feel represented in the story.

P.S. This post will also be eventually appearing on my blog "The Cookie is Obliterated," a blog in the making talking about theater as well as science fiction and fantasy (yes this is self-promotion), but I wanted to share it on here first to get some feedback, as this is the first blog I've done since high school economics. Also its a topic that I think applies to F-Word and I'd love to hear others' thought on the topic.

- Anna Grossman



Congratulations to a certain Mr. Jon Tracey for exploring a topic that rarely gets talked about in the public sphere! Currently, Jonathon Daniel Tracey is a freshman studying BFA Theater Performance at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He once hit a grand slam.

And we extend a gracious thank you to Jon for mentioning a certain theater performance group in Athens, Ohio.


-The F-Word Ladies


Who the F Am I?

The videos for the Who the F Am I? show are in the process of being converted into digital form. They will be available for your viewing pleasure within the next academic quarter (that being spring). Do not fret! We will inform you all when they are on our Youtube channel. In the mean time, check out our other videos, post a comment, or tweet us something nice.

Have a fun and SAFE Spring break ladies & gents.

-The F-Word Ladies



Hey there Ladies and Gents--

Sonja here.

I'm usually the one that does most of the posting/editing on this blog. I rarely write posts for this blog though. I usually try and write in my personal one titled F-Word (ME). Shameless plug. I feel bad though, because I would like to see more posting on this blog. Everyone is busy, believe me! Posts not just from me, but from the other members of The F-Word. So com'on!

I write a post now, because I just finished writing my first bio for the first, I guess you could call it, School of Theater production that I am in. I wanted to give mention/make known that besides this little girl role, that I am heavily (or try to be!) involved with a certain theater. . .company. . .group-troupe here at Ohio University. That company-group-troupe being The F-Word Ladies.

Do you see where I am getting at here?

I didn't know how to phrase or name the group that I participate in. I didn't know if we were a company. . .a troupe. . .a group. A community (yes!) or just a group of humans-who-talk-about-issues-and-then-put-on-a-performance. It was hard to fit all of that into a bio that couldn't exceed a 100 words. I decided on the phrase, "Later in the quarter Sonja will appear. . .and perform with the theater group The F-Word Ladies."

But is that right? Is that right to call it "a group." Is it also right to continue using "ladies?" I say ladies. And I know I do it with conscience intention-- knowing that we do have males that come to the meetings and have performed with us in the past. Yet, I still refer to the company, group-troupe as The F-Word Ladies. And frankly, I don't want to change it-- even if we do have males coming to the meetings and performing with us.

But does that send out a confusing message to the audience that doesn't know who we are?

I'm fairly sure that this issue or concern or whatever has been brought up before. And I don't think anything much has been decided other than fuck what people think! I mean that in the best way possible. In that, for the members of this place it doesn't matter if we call ourselves F-Word or The F-Word or The F-Word Ladies. Or Fuck-it-why-do-we-hi-fin-the-f-in-front-of-the-Word?! F-WORD!

Maybe I'm reading way too much into this.

Maybe this was just a thought.

We'll see at the next meeting though, maybe. Which by the way, is every Sunday from 7-9pm in Kanter 306!