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The Excellence of the Women of Denison University, Featuring Shanti Basu

Womanhood

noun | wom・an・hood | \ˈwu̇-mən- ˌhu̇d, especially Southern ˈwō- or ˈwə-\

a : the state of being a woman

b : the distinguishing character or qualities of a woman or of womankind

(Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

Ah, yes. The debate of womanhood; a debate that has taken the hot seat within our world view as of late. What defines being “a woman?” And, more locally, what does being a woman mean on Denison University’s campus? I have been fascinated by the *suddenly* mysterious question of what a woman “should” be, what they “should” embrace, and so forth, all brought to light by the current social and political climate of our world. So, I couldn’t help but ask a group of Denison women their perspective on the matter. As a result, presented here is the first of many spotlight pieces of Denison’s women and their thoughts concerning the topic of womanhood.

Though these women do not represent every woman’s experience as a whole on our campus, I found the answers from just some of Denison’s best and brightest women both insightful and important. I found that by just speaking to fellow women around me about their individual experiences can reveal so much about how different the human experience is from person to person. And, to be quite honest, the answers I got from my female peers made me even more honored and amazed to share The Hill with them throughout our college experience. Hopefully this series gives you a taste of how amazing these ladies are.

Being a Woman on Denison’s Campus is…

Shanti Basu (‘20)

“A blessing and a responsibility”- Shanti Basu

Shanti recently came to Denison this past school year as a First Year from Salem, Oregon. Though she is relatively new to campus, she has recognized that being a woman on Denison’s campus means something very special to her.

Shanti explained that being a woman on Denison’s campus presents “a chance to express solidarity and unite in instances of injustice.” Not only that, but Shanti also observed that it is a valuable opportunity to “recognize privilege” and “to personally reflect.”

Shanti touches on the fact that there is “little more fascinating than the diversity of human experience.” She is overall grateful for the fact that she is in a position that has altogether “challenged and validated” many aspects of her own identity.

Through Shanti’s own experience living with her own identity, outlooks, and aspirations, she also hopes to create connections with those around her and to learn from these relationships. As a writer for the The Denisonian and a member of the Denison International Student Association, Shanti truly has the opportunity to connect and express on campus in a meaningful way.

Shanti is a marvelous individual, through and through. She loves taking memorable photos, displays a killer fashion sense, and loves food and traveling; just some of the facets in her world that she holds dear.

***

There is no doubt that there are so many more stories of women to be told, especially in regard to culture, gender, and other prominent issues within women’s lives. Furthermore,  I genuinely believe that the women I interviewed have something valuable to present to all of our campus experiences. I believe that knowing people’s individual perspectives on the subject of womanhood gives us a better campus-wide insight into how powerful and influential the women of Denison University are. Denison women display the incomparable fact that each woman does not fit an ideal mold. They do not exhibit the same “distinguishing character or qualities” of what society has deemed an “ideal woman” should be. In fact, we should consider their testimonies quite the opposite. Denison women are everything a woman could be and more. Their distinct personalities, backgrounds, cultural upbringings, and interests showcase that each Denisonian woman is a star, a voice, and a pioneer of worthwhile change. Let us strive to seek the value of their stories, endlessly.

Hello all! My name is Francesca Mouery and I currently a Junior Theatre Major and Creative Writing Minor at Denison University. I believe that it's so important to represent all females, especially the wonderful women on "The Fair College on The Hill". My ultimate goal writing for HerCampus is to consistently highlight the lovely ladies of Denison through personal spotlights and interviews, as well as to share some of my own experiences pertaining to being a woman at Denison in my all my work. Please, please enjoy!
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