The University of Venus Holiday Wish List

Happy holidays.

December 17, 2013

Well, folks, it’s that time of year. Here at University of Venus, I decided to poll our contributors about their holiday wish lists. The answers I received ranged from the fun and frivolous to the heart-felt and aspirational.

Post your own wishes in comments. And feel free to share on Facebook, in Departmental meetings, and with whomever you think might benefit from tips on gift giving for the Gen X academic woman in their lives.

Let’s start with the fun and frivolous, shall we?

Everyone knows that lady academics love their caffeine: help support her (your) habit in style with a Feministory Groundbreaker mug set. Choose from Ella Baker, Francis Perkins, Jackie Ormes, and the first woman in space, Valentina Tereshkova!

Need to toughen up your image on campus … or around those guys who keep hogging the weights at the university gym? Look no further than this “Training to Smash the Patriarchy” tee.






Is your Political Science chair always trying to one-up you in Departmental meetings? Carry this handy pocket-sized copy of the Constitution with you at all times - you’ll never lose an argument on constitutional grounds again. (Makes a great stocking-stuffer!)




We’re academics; it’s our duty to keep print publications in circulation -- especially if they’re written by women. If you love books by women and want to see them around a little longer,  why not buy a gift certificate for the Feminist Press or South End Books, or a subscription to the Women’s Review of Books (celebrating its 30th Anniversary this year!)?



Another great way to show your love for books during the holiday season is by supporting your local women’s or feminist bookstore. Below are a few choice stores - if there’s not a store close to you, most websites give you the option to order books or donate online.


In the mood to give to others this holiday season? In addition to your go-to causes (and women’s bookstores!), there are a lot of great projects to fund on Indiegogo and Kickstarter. Here are a couple I’ll be giving to this year:

  • Justice for Marissa - proceeds go to the defense fund for Marissa Alexander, a Florida woman who was recently sentenced to 20 years for defending herself from her abuser.

  • Feministing Times Ten - this blog has been a feminist news & commentary staple for almost ten years. Your gift will help it become sustainable.*


Looking for more suggestions? Below are some lists that may inspire:

And now for the heartfelt/aspirational suggestions. The first is from Elizabeth, whose holiday wish was for Paid research and writing time for undergraduate teaching faculty (this seemed as difficult to come by when I was tenure line at a regional - as opposed to R1 - university).

Janni had two wish lists; one for students and one for instructors:


Wish List for My Students:

1.      Go to Class

2.      Go to office hours

3.      Enjoy the clubs/opportunities on campus

4.      Eat right

5.      Exercise and get sleep

6.      Own your education—be responsible

7.      Have fun


Wish List for Instructors:

1.      Learn how to say no

2.      A savvy yes is a good thing

3.      Confer with trusted peers/mentors often

4.      Relax

5.      Set boundaries

6.      Set goals

7.      Have a life


As a junior academic, I sent a heartfelt thanks to Elizabeth & Janni for their truly inspirational, and visionary, wish lists.

Happy holidays to all of our readers, from University of Venus!

* Full disclosure: I also write the column The Academic Feminist, for Feministing.


Gwendolyn Beetham (@gwendolynb) lives in Brooklyn, where she teaches, writes, and is training to smash the patriarchy. She hopes that all of your holiday wishes come true.  


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