We still can make progress

Doug Hite

Get involved. No, seriously, get involved. Get involved with everything. So what if your Halo II group meets the same time as “the random girls who draw Greek sidewalk propaganda” meeting, which starts half an hour before your “guys who fight each other with foam medieval weaponry” session begins. Go to them all. Spend thirty seconds in each and then run to the next wave of student group meetings. The next day, do it again.

Maybe this idea doesn’t sound too appealing to most Kent State students. I guess the keyword in that statement is “students.” After all, that’s what we’re here to be – not anime fanatics, not international film buffs and probably not socialists in training.

So, what happens when students try to be in every group that sounds mildly interesting? Ask the now-disbanded Feminist Union.

When students try to be members of several student groups, some of them must be neglected. And so begins the demise of the Feminist Union.

We cannot criticize the student group’s board, as they put forth an incredible amount of effort in keeping the organization alive. There is no individual person or group of people which I can vent at in regards to the disbanding of this group. That would be easy – but our problem is far more complex.

Yesterday, the Daily Kent Stater ran a front page piece on the Kent State Women’s Resource Center. Evidently, there is no one in charge of it as the university is searching for a new director of the center. Not mentioned in the story is the fact that the center is desperately understaffed and looking for volunteers.

See a trend?

There has been a recent shift of emphasis. Whether it is indicative of students’ opinions or merely coincidental, Kent State has lost sight of women’s issues.

This doesn’t mean that Kent students no longer believe in equality among genders. This just means that they don’t care to hike across campus to let their beliefs be known.

I don’t believe that this is quite as bad as it sounds. If there was a widespread neglect of feminist issues on this campus, I’d be worried. Hopefully, there isn’t. Instead, students are just spread too thinly. Our generation has been taught that we can do anything. We heard “you can do everything.”

The worst aspect of Kent’s current situation is that there may be less real action being taken on behalf of feminist rights. Less programs are being put on by the Women’s Resource Center due to their lack of workers. The Feminist Union, now defunct, is likely to not put on any programs at all. This is what’s bothering me.

While we have learned in class that – in the unlikely case you’ve learned anything about feminism – feminism has come in waves, the truth is that the struggle for gender equality is constant. Any time this struggle is not on-going, progress can not be made.

The good news is that a “union” or “center” is not needed to be a feminist. As with any ideology, feminism can be expressed on personal level.

In the micro or the macro, students can strive for gender equality. You don’t have to go to a meeting, you don’t have to sign up for a list-serv, you don’t even have to call yourself a feminist. You just have to realize that no gender is superior or inferior and should be treated as such.

In spite of the scarcity of unified feminist action on campus, there doesn’t have to be a rise in gender inequality. If we, as students, let our message be known, we can still make forward progress. While I would love to see the Feminist Union reform and for the Women’s Resource Center expand by leaps and bounds, we don’t necessarily need a feminist union. We need feminist unity.

Doug Hite is a junior English major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].