Since last fall, I have been trying to start a VOX on West Chester University’s campus. In order to start a club on campus, you have to embark on a long process of filling out many forms, obtaining a faculty advisor, creating by-laws, recruiting members, and setting up meetings with the Student Government Association (SGA). As of now, VOX is waiting to have their by-laws reviewed by SGA. After this step the members of VOX will then explain to SGA how VOX will be a beneficial club to have on West Chester’s campus.
VOX is a club that will be affiliated with Planned Parenthood. Vox is the Latin word for voice. So, we are going to act as Planned Parenthood’s “voice” on campus. We will do this by educating the campus community about reproductive health and rights. With this club, I hope to promote activism among fellow feminists on campus and educate the campus community about feminist issues.
Even though feminism has been getting a lot of publicity in the media, it is still a word that is often misunderstood. Most people believe that feminists are women who spend their lives fighting the patriarchy by burning their bras. Also, there are people who think that being a feminist is an undesirable label because they are under the impression that all feminists hate men. However, those are not accurate representations of what a feminist actually is. For starters, not all feminists are women. There are many men all over the world who are proud to call themselves feminists and help women with their fight for equality. Lastly, feminism does not preach that all men are inherently evil and that we should all hate them. There is a term for that belief; it is misandry.
In short, a feminist strives for equality amongst everyone regardless of race, class, sexual orientation, ethnicity, age, and gender. When I, personally, refer to gender, I don’t just mean strictly men and women. To me, “everyone” includes people who are also non-binary. Gender is a spectrum. At one end of the spectrum you have male, and on the other end female. A person who has a non-binary identity is someone who does not fit neatly into the proverbial labels of “female” and “male”. Their gender may lie somewhere in the middle of the gender spectrum, and may be any combination of what we typically consider as “masculine” or “feminine”.
Marie Shear once said, “Feminism is the radical notion that women are people.” Therefore, feminists do not preach hatred towards men, they are only striving to make the world a better and safer place for everyone. Feminists do this by educating their communities and speaking up whenever they see any discrimination or situations that are not safe for anyone.
I believe that feminism is important, especially on college campuses. When we live in a world where there is victim blaming, slut shaming, and catcalling as an acceptable form of compliment—no one is safe. I hope writing about these common issues on college campuses will allow people to hear a feminist’s perspective on the topics. By speaking about experiences on campus, I also hope that people will understand the importance of feminism. It is my hope that this column will stimulate thought and allow me to share my experiences with feminism and starting a club on campus.
Stephanie Frasca is a fourth-year student majoring in communication sciences and disorders with minors in psychology and linguistics. SF767711@wcupa.edu