BHSU Geek Speak to open discussion about the rise of Raunch Culture

Author: BHSU Communications/Tuesday, January 19, 2016/Categories: 2016

Dr. Laura Colmenero-Chilberg
Dr. Courtney Huse Wika
Dr. Rickie Legleitner
Dr. Trenton Ellis

The objectification of women is grounded in American patriarchy and the American culture tends to support its reign. A panel of Black Hills State University professors will discuss the issue of objectifying women in the next Geek Speak lecture.

Respective panelists, with experience in gender theory, hope to foster a multi-perspective discussion that will give both panelists and audience members something to think about.

BHSU professors Dr. Trenton Ellis, assistant professor of human services, Dr. Laura Colmenero-Chilberg, professor of sociology, Dr. Rickie Legleitner, English instructor and director of the Writing Center, and Dr. Courtney Huse Wika, director of the University Honors Program and assistant professor of English, will lead an engaging, open discussion, debating the "Rise of Raunch Culture." The discussion is Thursday, January 21 at 4 p.m. in Jonas Hall, room 110. The event is free and open to the public.

Huse Wika explains raunch culture as a new stage of female objectification, one where women objectify themselves and other women, and meditates on what this movement means for the way women are viewed by others and the way sexuality is commodified in contemporary society.

Legleitner believes there is an incredibly long history of the objectification of women.  The recent cultural phenomenon has developed, in part, as a response to feminism and empowered female sexuality, she said.

"The real blurred line for me is when is an act empowering and when is it exploitation, or when is it forwarding the fight for equality and when is it harming that fight. It's an incredibly complex issue," Legleitner added.

When looking at factors that enabled the expansion of this facet of American culture, according to Dr. Trenton, the most important ones are consumer capitalism and advertising, within the context of an already patriarchal society.

"American society is the Cult of Consumption: of entertainment, of the image, of identity," explained Huse Wika. "Beauty and sexiness are packaged and sold to us through repeated images (movies, TV, advertisements, music videos), and then we are graciously supplied with a plethora of products we can purchase to meet those standards."

"Sex wouldn't "sell" without consumer demand," added Ellis.

Huse Wika adds that female bodies are used to sell anything from cars to cheeseburgers to web domains.

Panelists expect to raise some questions and field the audience's responses.

The Geek Speak lecture series is sponsored by the University Honors Program and is held every Thursday at 4 p.m. in Jonas Hall room 110 on the BHSU campus.

Future Geek Speak topics include:
  • Jan. 28, "Public Speaking: Raising Hell," Dr. Adam Gaffey
  • Feb. 4, " 'I was Real Once,' sighed Mr. Holmes: #BelieveinSherlock #FightJohnWatsonsWar," Dr. Nikki Dragone
  • Feb. 11, "The Narcissistic Doctor? Leadership, Ethics, and Dr. Who," Dr. Jeffrey Wehrung
  • Feb. 18, " 'Preaching to the Nerves Instead of the Judgment': The Victorian Sensation Novel,'" Dr. Martin Fashbaugh
  • Feb. 25, "Biblically Speaking: Sin and the Role of Women in the Christian New Testament," Dr. Amy Fuqua
  • March 3, "Draw Something!" Desy Shoenewies
  • March 17, "Not Just a Cheesy Monster Movie: the Multiple Meanings of Godzilla," Dr. Tom Arnold
  • March 31, "On Hip Hop and Religion," Dr. Dan May
  • April 7, "Can Religion and Science Get Along? Sure, but should they?" Dr. Nate Deichert
  • April 14, "A Tour of Voting Systems: How Do We Choose a Winner?" Dr. Dan Swenson
  • April 21, "The Social Life of Meat," Dr. Trenton Ellis
  • April 28, The University Honors Program Capstone Defense
For more information, contact Dr. Courtney Huse-Wika, director of the University Honors Program and assistant professor of English at 605-642-6918 or email

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