Posts Tagged ‘Sisterhood’

Friends may come and go, but my sisters are forever.

“Live it. Talk it. Dream it. Work for it.”


The purpose of Alpha Sigma Alpha is to foster close friendships between members and develop women of poise and purpose. Our mission is that we promote high ideals and standards for our members throughout their lives by emphasizing intellectual, physical, social, and spiritual development.

 

 

This weekend, I had a big conference to attend for my sorority, Alpha Sigma Alpha. I am always super excited to be apart of anything that involves my sisters, but these things mean even more to me than they did a year or two ago, and I always learn something from them. My sisters have always been a huge part of my life, since my very first weeks of college. I never thought about joining a sorority, not because of all the negative stereotyping gossip I’d heard, but mostly because I was always too busy with other organizations and didn’t have a clue about what a sorority did or meant.

Nothing but happiness 🙂

In one of my freshman introduction classes, there was a senior who was basically a student assistant for our class. She was so friendly and always made me feel like we should be friends, even though I knew nothing about her. She invited me to hang out with her and some friends one night to watch Grey’s Anatomy. I didn’t know her, I didn’t know her friends, and I had never watched Grey’s. I went with a friend, and of course we had a great time! We had so much in common with these girls already, and they didn’t make us feel like we were any different than them. A week or two later I started going to the recruitment events around campus, and the rest is history 🙂 She graduated the following semester but we’ve still kept in touch. I owe so much of happiness and wisdom to the one woman who took it to the extra degree to extend her friendship and sisterhood with me. She will always be important to me, no matter where we live, or what changes we experience throughout our lives.

The point is that you never know what little things can change your life. How do you know what you’re capable of unless you try? My sisters have shown me so much about friendship, love, uncertainty, and life in general. Sometimes we lose ourselves in the routine of every day life; deadlines, work, family, other commitments, and we forget the larger scale, we forget what’s really important to us.

I was lucky enough to be completely surrounded by my sisters for two years. After I transferred schools, it didn’t hit me until I started my new life, that I would never get those moments back. I would never be able to stay up late and make pizza while we studied all through the night, I wouldn’t get as many chances to laugh until I cried, or go on last minute road trips, or even just come home to friends everyday. I would never be able to surround myself with that many people who really understood me and helped make me who I am today. I still get those chances every now and then, but it’ll never be the same as having them there every day.

It’s been a while since I transferred, girls have graduated and new girls have joined, and I too have made friends with other sisters who came before me. What is amazing is that no matter what, we always seem to pick up exactly where we left off. Whether I saw them 3 months ago, or 2 years ago, we still talk the same and still have a really strong bond. I’m not sure about others, but I’ve never had that with another group of people, sometimes not even my family. We share a bond that we pledged to the group of women because each and every one of us took a leap to better ourselves, and to put effort into improving the lives of our friends too. Some may not know it now, but I believe this is something we could all agree to.

Branching out from my original chapter, I have built relationships with many alumnae who have all different backgrounds, it doesn’t matter where you came from, or where you’re going, even if there’s 20 or 30 years between us, we can still foster that bond, because we’re all sisters.

Spending the conference with the alumnae, we shared many experiences with each other that only close friends and family members could know or understand. Learning so much about the path of their lives, what they have accomplished, and what they still strive to accomplish, gave me a sense of great hope and faith. Learning that some of my sisters have gone through unimaginable struggles and have experienced true happiness, really helped me to put my own life in perspective. I have been going through many, many transitions in all parts of my life in the past few months, and I had an idea of direction, but I still hadn’t found that balance I was looking for. Talking with sisters who’ve been through life and through death, through losing close friends and close family members, marriage and divorce, careers and social movements; made me realize again who I am, where I have been, the experiences I’ve had that have changed my life, the accomplishments and the failures I’ve made, and gave me a glimpse of who I want to strive to be in the coming years.

I only hope that the new women from my original chapter got somewhat of the same happiness that I experienced this weekend. I know that no matter what happens, I have a sister who will be there for me. Some have already experienced so much in their lives, I only hope I can stand as they do in my future. I feel I can learn so much from them, the new members, and the alumnae members. My point is that, try every once in a while, to step back and evaluate what’s going. Step back, take a breath, and consider the larger picture and consider all the things you are grateful for, who or what you cannot live without.

My sisters show me what love and friendship means in all different ways and I am so thankful for every last one of them.

Friends may come and go, but my sisters are forever.

Alpha love.

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We Can Do It PosterIn World War II over six million women joined the home front war effort in America, filling jobs that had been exclusively male. Produced by the War Production Co-coordinating Committee, the “We Can Do It!” poster created in 1943 by J. Howard Miller inspired women entering the workforce. 1942’s popular song, “Rosie the Riveter” became a nickname for all women in the war workforce, as well as what this iconic poster became known as. As men returned from WWII, most women left the factories, but the confidence, competence and earning power they had experienced forever changed the American workplace. Over time Rosie has become an icon symbolizing women’s strength, determination and ability to do any job. The Rosie the Riveter advertisement is effective in that it encouraged women to go against their society’s gender norms and generate force behind their new role and service to their country.

            When first visually analyzing this advertisement, we can see that the main elements being projected are attitude and power. The text “We Can Do It!” is large and the only text present; it is significant because in this one short statement, these words of encouragement and confidence had enough power to convince women they could contribute and be just as strong as men. This poster is unique because it portrays feminine and masculine qualities. Rosie is showing feminine qualities by wearing makeup and lipstick, her eyes are large and dramatic, and her hair is curled and pinned up in a red and white polka dot bandana. Contrasting to what qualities women were expected to have in that time period, Rosie is also wearing a men’s work shirt, the symbol on her shirt is a woman instead of a man, her hair is covered, and most importantly she is holding a very strong and masculine stance. Her facial expression shows plenty of attitude, especially with her direct stare, showing no fear or doubt. The advertisement shows that although she might look feminine, her actions show hyper-masculinity. Rolling up her sleeve shows that she is ready to work hard and portrays that she has strength and power that no one knew she possessed.

            In observing the Rosie the Riveter poster, we can similarly compare it to the famous Uncle Sam Wants You poster. Although both were created to persuade men and women separately for different reasons, the confidence and power generated from each are similar. Rosie the Riveter is all confidence and encourages women to take on a new role and embrace their strength. In an androcentric society, this message exerts that women can step out of the homemaker role and can handle the responsibility of a man’s job as well. This debut of strong women everywhere stated that it was women’s time to step up and their opportunity to take on more power. Our government called upon the highly androcentric society of the 1940s and asked women everywhere to reverse their roles and fight the gender norms constructed for them in order to help keep the country running. Rosie the Riveter forced women to be more than what society told them they could be.

            Although modern America has largely evolved from the created roles and values that were enforced in the 1940s and 1950s, R.W. Connell, author of Gender: Short Introductions, makes an observation that can be liberally applied to women’s roles, regardless of the current decade. Connell explains that, “women do most of the housework, in most contemporary societies, and also most of the work of caring for young children. Women are much less likely to be present in the public realm than men, and when they are, they usually have less in the way of resources” (pg.2). This is, in short, what women were faced with when the men of the United States went to war. In this “post-feminist” world, there has been a huge increase in the number of women in the workforce and working the same jobs as men, at usually the same hours or more. However, Connell says that worldwide, women’s average incomes are fifty-six percent that of men’s average incomes. In perspective, our society is economically set up so that women must be dependent upon men.

            “People construct themselves as masculine or feminine. We claim a place in the gender order- or respond to the place we have been given- by the way we conduct ourselves in everyday life” (Connell, 28). The Rosie the Riveter advertisement was effective in that it sparked a revolution that allowed women to take power for themselves and generate a force that was bigger than them, to accomplish new roles and responsibility in order to serve their country. However, from the historical demands from reform of social movements regarding women in the workforce, reproductive rights, homosexual law and many more, we still see today that there is unequal respect amongst the relations between men and women in our society. Gender is completely socialized by the people we surround ourselves with and by our relations with the values and beliefs that our social structures provide. Cultural patterns differ, yet gender will always be taught. We must stray away from the thought that the human race is so black and white, and try to reform what has been instilled inside us by learning that gender is just another social structure in our society.