Friday, March 28, 1997

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

The Daily Gazette

Swarthmore College
Friday, March 28, 1997
Volume 1, Number 40


1)  The Genevieve Ching-wen Lee ’96 Second Annual Memorial Lecture

2)  Bisexual activist Robyn Ochs gives talk


1)  Yesterday’s results:  baseball, women’s tennis, men’s volleyball

2)  Tonight’s and tomorrow’s contests


1) The Genevieve Ching-wen Lee ’96 Second Annual Memorial Lecture

Yesterday Swarthmore alumna Sucheng Chan, professor and director of Asian
American Studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara, gave a
speech and conducted two workshops as the second installment of the
Genevieve Ching-wen Lee ’96 Memorial Lecture.  The first workshop discussed
the challenges that universities and colleges face when trying to institute
an Asian American Studies program.  Later that afternoon she gave her
lecture entitled “Researching Asian American Women’s History: Pitfalls and
Challenges.”  Then, Chan wrapped up the evening with a second workshop on
ways students can study Asian American subjects without formal faculty

Professor Lillian Li introduced Chan as a “pioneer and leader in the field
of Asian American studies.”  Chan opened her speech by explaining that if
she had not been a Swarthmore student she never would have gone into Asian
American studies, but Swarthmore taught her that “someone who is female and
Asian American could have her say and be listened to.”

Chan then went on to explain that there are very few written sources
written by and about Asian American women, which makes studying the history
of Asian American women very difficult.  Rather, scholars and students are
forced to use fragments and small excerpts to establish the genre.  As a
result, Chan says a tension exists between the needs of the students to
have a body of work that empowers them and the academic needs of the
scholars to interpret and analyze.

Chan ended the lecture by asking students to be attentive and refrain from
making sweeping generalizations about the history and role of Asian
American women.  She stressed that students must remember the various
social and economic factors that faced Asian American women in society.
She also emphasized that Asian Americans cannot rely on history alone and
that students need to continue the struggle and desire for social change
and justice.

This was the first time in five years that Chan has traveled to conduct a
lecture.  Since she is planning on retiring at the end of this year, this
one of her last public appearances.

The Genevieve Ching-wen Lee ’96 Memorial Lecture series was established by
Lee’s parents after her death in August 1994. The memorial fund was
designed to help current students explore Asian and Asian American studies.
Lee’s parents, sister, uncle, aunt, and cousin attended the lecture and
both workshops.


2) Bisexual activist Robyn Ochs lecture

Robyn Ochs, bisexual activist and writer, spoke Wednesday night about her
discovery of feminism through her relationships with other women.  In her
talk,”Bisexuality, Feminism, Men and Me, “she described how her discovery
that “women are beautiful and I’m really attracted to [them]” was a “moment
of clarity” which led her to challenge sexist and heterosexist myths.  She
was hopeful about progress in the gay and lesbian movement, especially
among the youth on college campuses.

Ochs listed the sexist ideas that influenced her self-image during
childhood and adolescence.  First, she learned that her “value as a woman
was located in her body and what it looks like.”  She learned that women
“can’t live without men…and there are not enough men to go around.”  She
also discovered that “men lead and are supposed to be in charge” and men
don’t like “women who are more educated, louder, or more assertive than

She began to unlearn these myths when she “got involved with a woman for
the first time.”  Her body image started to change as she realized that “a
multi-billion dollar industry is based on making women feel bad about their
bodies.”  She began to be aware of heterosexual privilege when she
encountered discrimination against gays and lesbians.  As an act of
resistance, she made a resolution to “not do anything in public with men
that she couldn’t do with women.”  She also resolved to be “out” to the
greatest extent possible.

One of her most important realizations was that “men are optional and not
required.”  She resolved to hold men and women to the same standard in
relationships because, too often, men are seen as “amazing” or “gods” when
they are only doing their fair share.  In relationships, Ochs said that she
will “not put up with anything less than I deserve.”

Ochs is a co-founder of the Boston Bisexual Women’s Network (1983-) and the
East Coast Bisexual Network (1985-).  She has taught, at MIT and Tufts
University, four of the five courses ever offered on bisexual identity.
She is the editor of the Bisexual Resource Guide and the International
Directory of Bisexual Groups.  Her writings have been published in several

On Friday, March 28 from 12pm-2pm in the IC, Ochs will lead an all-queer
workshop entitled “Lesbians, Gay Men and Bisexuals: A Dialogue Across
Difference.”  The lecture and the workshop are sponsored by the
Intercultural Center, SQU, and Sager.



1)  Yesterday’s results

Yesterday’s home baseball game against Stockton State was postponed.

Western Maryland 7, Swarthmore 2
The Garnet took on the Green Terror without their #1 singles player
Michelle Martinez ’97, who will be out a minimum of two weeks with a turned
ankle, and their #2 player Neena Shenai ’99, who had a seminar yesterday.
Swarthmore’s only wins came at the #3 spot from Elena Rosenbaum ’98 (7-5,
5-7, tiebreaker 7-1) and at #4 from Wendy Kemp ’99 (6-1, 6-0).

Swarthmore d. Washington 15-4, 15-7, 15-10


2)  Tonight’s and the weekend’s contests

Women’s tennis travels to Washington for a 4:00 p.m. match.

SATURDAY (29 Mar.)
Men’s tennis hosts a grudge match against Amherst, the team that kept them
from the national tourney last year, at 11 a.m.
Women’s lacrosse goes to Wellesley for the first day of the Seven Sisters
Men’s rugby travels to Villanova for a 1 p.m. game.
Women’s ultimate plays Haverford on Cunningham Fields at 1 p.m.
Baseball hosts a double header against Dickinson at 1 p.m.
Softball goes to Gettysburg for a double header beginning at 1 p.m.
Track and field travels to Haverford for a five-way meet with Delaware
Valley, Ursinus, and Widener.  Events start at 12 p.m.

SUNDAY (30 Mar.)
Women’s lacrosse competes in the second day of the Seven Sisters Tournament
at Wellesley.


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The Daily Gazette
Board of Editors
Fred Bush
Kate Doty
Jennifer Klein
David Lischer
Eric Pakurar
Sam Schulhofer-Wohl
Sylvia Weedman

Contributing Writer
Toki Rehder

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This concludes today’s report.

Copyright 1997 by The Daily Gazette.  All rights reserved.

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