By Corinne Castaldo
Feminism — a pressing issue in today’s society that affects all people, young and old, student and faculty, male and female.
Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Inc. hosted Feminism 101 on Oct. 18, in the Library Auditorium to discuss the important matter of feminism with students at the College. Chi Upsilon Sigma National Latin Sorority and Women In Learning Leadership also co-sponsored the event.
A panel with one person from each organization was set on stage. The speakers opened the event by asking members in the audience to take out their cell phones and participate in a Kahoot!
Kahoot! is an online quiz creator that allows users to answer questions and submit their answers anonymously.
Some of the questions included, “what is feminism?”
After each question, the panel discussed their own opinions on why feminism is an important issue to them.
“Feminism has always been important to me,” said Christiana Buz, a sophomore communication studies major. “I think that it’s crazy that it hasn’t been a topic of discussion until recently.”
The Kahoot! activity was a successful way to shed light on the topics of feminism, and engaged the audience with an interactive experience.
One of the main discussions of the event focused on the misconceptions of feminism itself. The panel was quick to dispel certain misunderstandings of the feminist movement, such as the exclusion and hatred of men.
“It isn’t about excluding men from the conversation of feminist topics,” said Luisanna Lugo, a member of Chi Upsilon Sigma. “But women are the focus of discussions like these because when we (women) leave, men become the focus.”
The panel continued to highlight the fundamental need for discussions where women are the sole focus, because in most spaces — such as classrooms and in the workplace — the focus is primarily on men.
These misconceptions are a crucial part of why feminism is a topic that is often shied away from.
“I think that it’s crazy for (feminism) to not be important in everyone’s life,” Buz said.
The discussion led to many different topics of feminism — such as social media, racial perspective and how discussions about feminism often become unfocused.
Members of the panel touched upon the issues that social media brings into the feminist movement, such as the effects of radical feminists.
“There is not just one social media,” said Cidney Robinson, member of Chi Upsilon Sigma. “Consumers of media should not take every piece of information from radicals and attribute that to the feminist movement as a whole.”
The panel was quick to point out that the majority of social media users are radicals, and that students should use caution when deciding who and what to follow so that the goals of the movement do not become lost in the mix.
Radical feminism is often the cause of common misconceptions regarding men, making them believe that they have no place in the feminist movement.
Men can get involved by stepping into spaces such as these and actively thinking about the perspective of women and their roles in society today.
The racial perspective of feminism was also a topic that was heavily discussed at the event.
With the members of the panel from diverse backgrounds, they were able to share their opinions on how race has impacted their experience with feminism.
The overwhelming majority of both the panel and the students agreed that the opinions of colored women did not matter as much as the opinions of white women in classroom environments.
Also featured in the discussion was the unfocused nature of many feminist conversations that exist today.
Conversations that are solely focused on women and women’s issues can often lead to the assumption that feminism excludes men, or that men do not have a place among feminists.
Discussions such as the ones that took place at the event are aimed to target issues that oppress women in society such as misogyny, rape and wage gaps, according to the panel.
The discussion brought to the surface many important issues regarding the representation of women in society, while also engaging the audience with an interactive platform.
While we still have great strides to make in the journey of equality, discussing the issues is an important first step.