Women’s Center combines Halloween and Feminist Fridays

Shane Beneke

The Kent State Women’s Center hosted a Feminist Fridays monthly meeting Friday from noon to 1 p.m., which had a Halloween twist. The discussion topic, “Witches, B*tches & Hags”, looked at stereotypes associated with being a feminist.  

Erika Gallion, a graduate student studying higher education and student personnel and intern for the Women’s Center, led the discussion.

The group of attendees were encouraged to name words that people negatively associated with feminism, and answers included: “man-hating,” “feminazi,” “easily-offended” and “victim.” Afterward, the attendees discussed what they can do to combat these stereotypes.

Numerous other topics were discussed in the meeting, from trying to define feminism within a single word, to social media’s impact in the feminism debate and focusing on current women’s issues — such as the wage gap and the controversy surrounding Planned Parenthood.

Gallion said Feminist Friday started as a response from the Women’s Center’s screening of the film, “The Mask You Live In,” which started their Masculinity Mondays. Because of that, the Women’s Center decided to offer a program that focuses on femininity.

As for feminism’s return back into popular culture, Gallion says she sees a number of factors that contribute to the movement’s popularity.

“I think a lot of it has to with the movement opening up more to different populations,” Gallion said.

She adds that in the past, the movement tended to target white, middle-class Americans, but it is now incorporating new voices such as women of color and even ideas such as ecofeminism.

Gallion hopes that discussions like this help open people’s minds to what feminism is truly about and not just stereotypes.

“I think programs like this help us become aware of stereotypes and figure out ways to demolish those stereotypes. We want to give feminism a new definition and encourage people who do see it as a stereotype to look at it differently,” Gallion said.

The next Feminist Friday meeting will be Nov. 20. The topic will be “Feminisms, Food and Finances” and will look at women, children and poverty in the United States and around the globe. 

Shane Beneke is the health reporter for The Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].