The Center for Women’s Studies at PLNU is currently working against societal norms; doing what they can to change the reputation of a single word: feminism.
A group of Women’s Studies minors and supporters put on a campaign in order to raise awareness and communicate their beliefs about what the word actually means.
“In general, I would define feminism as the equality of men and women; the eradication of one gender being thought of as better than the other,” Derek Kirk, a sophomore political science major with a minor in women’s studies said.
Through this event, many other students had the opportunity to weigh in on what the concept of feminism means to them and why they think it is important. The group set up several informational booths, near the entrance to The Caf. Each covered a different aspect of the movement.
The issues being discussed at the booths ranged including topics such as: “faith and feminism,” “feminism is not a cuss word,” “men can be feminists too” and “feminism in the beauty industry.”
Beyond sparking conversation through the various stations, the event also featured a social media aspect that utilized Instagram to get even more people talking. Visitors to the function were offered the opportunity to write why feminism is important to them on a white board, take a photo with their statement, and post it to Instagram.
The results of this activity were also quite varied. Senior Haley Courtney’s expression read “I need Feminism because…My Type A personality should not be a bad thing.”, while Junior Bree Burris proposed another problem saying “I need Feminism because…No one debates whether men can ‘have it all.’” After the informational exhibition, participants continued exploring the controversy at a dessert reception in Colt Forum.
“It was awesome to see people actually curious about my board and becoming informative about what is going on in the black community,” said Jordan Ligons, a class member of the Development of Feminist Thought Class who put the project together.
Many students found it useful to unpack such an intricate subject, and the hosts were encouraged by the results.
“We were very pleased with how everything went, said Kirk. “We got some important conversations started and we are already thinking of future events that will help to continue what we started. My hope is that those who participated walked away having seen that feminism is not some destructive force but rather something that can bring equality among everyone.”