By Fabiola Buchele
Kingston’s first Feminist Society has vowed to “reclaim the F-word” by educating students about women’s issues and campaigning for gender equality on campus.
The society was launched halfway through the year after missing the member recruitment period during freshers’ week, but it has attracted interest quickly. Nearly 100 people have signed up to their Facebook group since its creation two weeks ago.
“Feminist is still perceived as a dirty word, but we want to reclaim the F-word,” the society’s president, Megan Denise Smith said. “We want to make feminism a part of the Kingston discourse and make students comfortable identifying themselves as feminist.”
The group is open to people from all walks of feminism and their weekly meetings are attended by up to 30 people.
Film student Edward Hyatt, 23, was “upset” by the lack of a society with feminist issues on their banners and no activist group on campus specifically campaigned in the name of gender equality. Hyatt helped set up the group and now acts as its vice president.
Around 20 per cent of the group supporters and Facebook members are men. Hyatt said: “Feminism is something that concerns us all and my life as a man can only get better if there is true equality.”
Kingston University’s women’s officer, Claire Keogh, said that sexism is present in university campuses, merely one of the reasons why the Feminist Society is necessary.
She highlighted her point by mentioning the controversial online magazine ‘UniLad’, which has been accused of trivialising rape.
The Feminist Society is currently planning their programme ‘ME’ for International Women’s day on March 8 and will be hosting a range of events throughout this month from debates about body confidence and a talk from feminist author Judith Orr to various topical film screenings.
If you are interested in joining the Feminist Society, meetings every Tuesday at 5pm in room MB70, Penrhyn Road.