Wonder Woman Challenge issued

October 25, 2018 | UToday, Arts and Letters
By Staff

Break out the metal cuffs and red, white and blue attire: The Wonder Woman Challenge will take place Wednesday, Oct. 31.

Ms. Magazine’s 45th anniversary cover inspired the idea. It features an illustration of the compassionate warrior with god-like strength with the words “Resisting Persisting.”

Linda Curtis, secretary 2 in the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, was showing a poster of that special issue cover to her friend, Jeannie Stambaugh, secretary 2 in the Department of Economics.

“We decided that saying, ‘Resisting Persisting,’ really represented us well, and we came up with the idea of dressing up as Wonder Woman on Halloween,” Curtis said.

“We were being silly, having some fun, and focusing on the positive while doing our jobs,” Stambaugh said.

The two shared the concept with other secretaries in the College of Arts and Letters, and they accepted the challenge.

“Jeannie and I felt that the Wonder Woman Challenge would be a lighthearted way to showcase how much uncompensated work women still do — both at work and at home,” Curtis said. “It is unfortunate that we still need to be ‘wonder women,’ but we do, and we are.

“And despite the sexist costuming, Wonder Woman is a strong and powerful figure. We thought we’d take the opportunity to remind women and the community that we recognize, value and celebrate each other and the work we do.”

“This whole thing was about having a little fun and reminding ourselves that we do a lot, and we should recognize our strength and support each other as the ‘wonder women’ we are,” Stambaugh added.

When Dr. Sharon Barnes, professor and chair of women’s and gender studies, heard about the challenge, she suggested including faculty and students, too.

“The wonder women on the staff in our offices had this idea, and they ran with it,” Barnes said. “Personally, I’m not a fan of the sexually objectifying costume, but I like that she’s a strong, powerful woman doing good in the world.

“I’ve been seeing a lot of students who are survivors, men and women, who are feeling the hurt of the public backlash against Dr. [Christine Blasey] Ford in the wake of the confirmation of Judge [Brett] Kavanaugh. I thought the lighthearted nature of the challenge might remind us to have some fun while doing our work,” Barnes said. “As Alice Walker teaches, ‘Resistance is the secret of joy!’”

Those who accept the challenge are invited to stop by the Women’s and Gender Studies Office in University Hall Room 4260 on Halloween and have their photo taken by the poster.

For more information, contact Curtis at linda.curtis@utoledo.edu or 419.530.2233.

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