Claiming Space for Bowdoin Women: A Discussion with a founding member of the Women’s Resource Center, Linda Nelson ‘83
As one of the founding members of the Women’s Resource Center and the Gay Straight Alliance, Linda Nelson helped claim new spaces for Bowdoin women in the early 1980s. To hear about how she entered Bowdoin as an out lesbian, experienced active support and real harassment, and persistently worked for social change at Bowdoin (and in the world), listen to the audio.
Audio: click below to begin listening
Quotation: “Somebody tried to burn it [the Women’s Resource Center] down at one point. Um, we did receive threatening phone calls kind of on a regular basis. Some of us were followed around campus.”
Quotation: “And I think what we realized was that especially with the fraternity structure in which you had this physical structure of houses, that women really needed a space here. So that’s where the idea for the Women’s Resource Center came from. Needed a space, needed a collection.”
Quotation: [Linda on the message of a lecture she attended by Audre Lord]“Stop feeling guilty about it [privilege]. You know, those of you who got a good education, who have the privilege of being white, who have the privilege of being educated get out there and do something and make a difference with that. And I firmly believe that and I think everybody that helped to found that Women’s Resource Center as a collective really, really believed that.”
Citation: I, Coral Sandler, interviewed Linda Nelson on Saturday, October 14, 2011, in the Nixon Lounge of Hawthorne Longfellow Library at Bowdoin College. We discussed Linda Nelson’s experience at Bowdoin as a student and founding members of the Women’s Resource Center.