On April 21, the Feminist Panel was held in Laughlin Auditorium in order for the very new feminist group on campus to start promoting themselves and clear up confusion about feminism.
The group started out by reflecting on a feminist survey that was given earlier this school year to the Mount community. There were 304 surveys completed, some with extremely rude and derogatory comments about feminism and others with very positive comments towards it. The feminist club shared these results to show the audience the confusion surrounding the term “feminism.”
The panel covered the importance of understanding three term:; feminism, misogyny and misandry. Feminism is the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes. Misogyny and misandry are the hatred of women and the hatred of men, respectively.
“True feminists are neither of these things, nor do they support either of the two,” said Elizabeth Lowenthal, president of the club, regarding misogyny and misandry.
In continuing conversation, the panel mentioned a recurring ‘joke’ at the Mount regarding a place that has been casually given the name, “Rape Alley.” The term is used to describe a small alley between Bradley and Terrace, and according to the panel, the joke shows us that there is clearly an issue. Although this term is used in a joking manner, it represents a problem of sexual assault that needs to be taken seriously.
One member of the audience asked, why the term feminism is still used and not another term that might draw in more supporters. The first answer given, by a male panelist, made a room-quieting point. He mentioned how Christians were persecuted in the time of Jesus, Jews in the time of Hitler, and some other examples of the like. He said that just like how the persecuted and oppressed did not try to cater to anyone by changing their names, feminists are unlikely to do that as well. They don’t want to “change their name and ignore what has become a part of the identity” just so others feel better.
The panel went on to discuss the fact the feminists do not ignore men or hate them. As we could see clearly from the meeting, male feminists exist. It is just that women happen to be the humans that are seen as less than men; not the other way around. The audience was shown facts backed up by statistics that prove this to be true, at least in our country.
The Feminist Club assured the audience that there will be more meetings and activities done by the club in the near future. They even have some ideas such as food drives and more specific panel discussions. They would like the Mount community to know that anyone is welcome to join and that they meet on the third floor of the AC at 9 p.m. on Thursdays.