The F Word: Discussing and deliberating the meaning of "Feminist"

Lexi Valenzuela
CAMPUS LIFE EDITOR

You might find yourself wondering, what is a feminist? According to dictionary.com, a feminist is someone who advocates “social, political, legal, and economic rights for women equal to those of men.” For those interested in defending this cause or learning more about it, Feminist Coalition is a club on campus that works to discuss topics in an open and welcome environment. 

“Feminist Coalition is a safe space for people to discuss their experiences, while also getting the opportunity to learn and grow when it comes to hearing about different forms of oppression,” sophomore publicity manager Charlotte Quarrie said. “We try to practice intersectional feminism, where it represents all different genders and races. Basically, every form of oppression has a voice and they’re all interconnected with similar roots.”

 

Every week, at least one member of the group will suggest a topic and lead a discussion. The group leader can either suggest videos to watch or bring in articles, sometimes even using a PowerPoint Presentation.  

“The meetings are educational, inclusive, and fun,” sophomore Annie Hawkins said. 

 “It’s a great group of people helping each other be better feminists; something, I think, that gets ignored a lot.”

    Feminist Coalition is a fairly new organization on campus. It was established last year by senior Mimi Ruthstiver.

 “I saw the word feminist on a board during the club fair, and I basically ran across the court,” sophomore Maggie Harvey said.  “I want to be an intersectional feminist. It’s nice to hear from other perspectives on feminism, like trans women of color. Everyone has a voice here.”

Feminist Coalition hosts a “Who Needs Feminism?” event in front of the CI every year. Members of the club invite students to complete the phrase “I need feminism because…” on a board and post photos of their answers on their Facebook page. The event is to bring awareness to the value and importance of feminism and get the student body involved. 

“Feminism matters; feminism directly affects everyone,” sophomore Kevin Dunn said.  “It improves people’s lives because it reinforces the idea to level the playing field. Feminism naturally is the right choice.”

Last Spring; Feminist Coalition sold pins to support Planned Parenthood. These pins shrink when heated up and are portable for wearing wherever. This sale raised well over $200. 

“The word ‘feminist’ is often treated like a dirty word,” sophomore Grace Creelman said.  “We get to talk about things unashamedly. When you say something is misogynistic; there is a way to listen to it.  We talk about difficult things and build a dialogue around that. It’s a beautiful thing to have.”

You don’t need to identify as a feminist to join the club, if you are interested in voicing your opinion,  come check it out! Feminist Coalition meets every other Monday from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.