Female students strive to redefine feminism

By Alexa Rozzi

Correspondent

Students from the Women in Learning and Leadership (WILL) capstone class engaged audience members with a multimedia presentation titled ‘Reclaiming the F-Word.’ (Brian Carrigan).

The members of the Women in Learning and Leadership (WILL) capstone class watched months of hard work come alive in the Library Auditorium on April 20 as they presented “Reclaiming the F-word,” where the “F” stands for feminism. The program was one of transformation — aiming to remove the hairy-legged, man-hating stigma so often attached to the word, while informing the audience that the feminist movement is, in fact, beautiful, empowering and far from over.

“Reclaiming the F-word” presented the engaging and provocative realities of feminism through a documentary-styled video, interactive discussions with the audience as well as through the experiences of WILL members.

The packed audience made up of friends, family, alumni, professors and supporters, as well as those who were just plain curious about the F-word watched in awe as they heard first hand accounts of how students at the College view feminism through the documentary-style video.

The misunderstanding surrounding the F-word manifested itself into the responses of students who participated in the video. For instance, when asked questions such as “What is feminism?” responses varied from describing strong willed, independent females to man-hating, society-hating women. The video shed light on the fact that there is still work to be done, and that the goal for gender equality has not yet been reached.

Ryan Pilarski, freshman open options Culture and Society major, spoke at the program and stated, “Education is the panacea for misunderstanding.” Pilarski’s statement rang loud and true as an audience member raised her hand and said that she would not have called herself a feminist prior to the program.

WILL capstone class member Lauren Crespo, senior biopsychology major, felt that the program offered students the opportunity to think about gender issues and how they affect their own lives.

“After taking classes, I’ve had the resources, guidelines and professors to look outside the box,” she said.

Through programs like “Reclaiming the F-word,” Crespo and the other WILL members aim to inspire that same way of thinking in others.

WILL members placed a strong emphasis on the idea of unity as a tool to advance the feminist movement and to take the negative connotation out of the word. Senior communication studies major Lauren Lorenzo believes that due to feminism’s relevance in today’s world, a call to action is required.

“A lot more education needs to be done. There are too many wrong ideas about feminism today,” she said.

The WILL capstone class of 2010 has answered that call to action. They are determined to continue enlightening others about feminism and aim to get more and more people to “reclaim the F-word.”