What is FemSoc?
I never realised how extensive feminism is until I joined the Feminist Society. Of course, I was already well on board with questioning the status quo and complaining about our patriarchal society (at which most people yawn….). But feminism entails so much more than being a ‘strong, independent woman‘. Feminism stands for equality, and FemSoc made sure I delved into understanding how feminism concerns everyone, everywhere. We’re a society that’s passionate about raising awareness of intersectional feminism and talking about the important social issues that seem to get brushed aside. We ask questions and interrogate what’s going on around us: at uni, in our communities and across the world.
What are our aims?
Each week sees us engage with a new subject which we research and discuss at our Thursday night meetings. We’ve talked about a whole range of pertinent topics, from AIDS and Hispanic Heritage, to mental health and, most recently, Black Queer history. We also did a really fun collab with Amnesty Society last semester where we jointly hosted a Clothes Swap. Coming up, we have a Fat Activism meeting and an exciting panel event at the Art House, focusing on performative allyship specifically towards trans and non-binary people.
Some of our best meetings have involved collective mind-mapping, where we debate how best to tackle the ever-present issues that exist at the university. It makes me hopeful that we can action change and create a better and safer environment for everyone. If we’re not talking about it, who will?
More than anything, though, I am grateful to be able to listen to and learn from the people around me. Our book club has been a great way to lead discussions and learn more about marginal groups. We started the book club last year (2019) and so far we’ve had some brilliant conversations (with many more surely to come…). All of the books we’ve looked at have importantly placed women of colour, queer women and prejudice-facing minority groups at the forefront of our discourse – where they should be.
Why should you get involved?
I think the real question is why not? All of us on the committee are passionate about having our voices heard, and uplifting the voices of those who are silenced. We want to learn and spread knowledge, and we’re interested to hear what you have to say.
Upcoming events include the Catwalk4Consent, our annual unconventional fashion show, where we disprove the myth that clothing = consent. While this should be a given, people are harassed and blamed for their clothing choices regularly. This event promises to be powerful, moving and certainly a step in the right direction for fighting against this unfounded stigma! Come along if you can – Friday 21st Feb at 7.30pm in The Cube. We’re really proud to be supporting the charity Yellow Door, who help victims of sexual abuse in Southampton, so feel free to bring some spare change!
We’re also planning a ‘sleep out’ in the coming months, so stay tuned on our social media! And keep your eyes peeled for more info on our Art House panel in March! You can find us on Instagram and Twitter at sufemsoc and on Facebook at Southampton University Feminist Society. Don’t hesitate to message us about anything!
I am humbled to belong to a committee dedicated to educating others and ourselves on a whole host of contemporary issues. Everyone’s invited to come along to one of our meetings – let’s start a conversation! We have such a beautiful community of people each week and everybody is welcome.