Feminist Club promotes equality

Haley Curl, Staff Reporter

Feminism, despite its evolution, has collected a negative connotation over the years. The goals of Central’s Feminist Club are to clarify its meaning and promote awareness.

“There are a lot of reasons why feminism seems to have a negative connotation,” said Ellisa Griffin, president of the Feminist Club, who is double majoring in French and communication. “One of them is because all of the really radical feminists are the loudest.”


According to the club’s Facebook page, “Feminism is not about the belief that women are superior to men in any way; it is, in fact, about the belief of equality…regardless of gender, race, religion, etc.”

Hating other groups is not supported in the general feminist community, said Sara Perdue, feminist club officer who is a senior majoring in primate behavior and ecology as well as anthropology.

“Feminism is much more inclusive [now], in comparison with the 1910 feminist movement for women’s suffrage,” said Josh Osborn, feminist club senator and senior double major in sociology and political science.

The club’s main concerns are inequalities such as workplace treatment, expectations at home and safety in public.

The Feminist Club hosts a less formal event weekly in the SURC called Coffee Chat. The date and time varies each week in order to accommodate student schedules.

“I really love the discussions we have there,” Griffin said. “It’s really interesting to talk with someone whose passion is different. The world is made a better place with more diverse interests.”

The most recent Coffee Chat focused on a recent video, which captured a woman’s 10-hour walk around New York and the street harassment she endured.

“I think a lot of women experience it,” Perdue said. “I don’t think I know anyone who hasn’t. If you ask your friends, I think they’ll have at least one experience.”

Osborn said the video has caused many women to rethink their responses to cat calling.

While studying abroad, “I actually had someone follow me home,” Griffin said. “I got on the tram, and they got on with me. I tried to get off really fast, but they got off really fast too, and followed me… It was horrible.”

In order to help stop sexual harassment, Perdue said people have to start living their beliefs out loud.

“All the conventional advice that can be offered… it’s a great way to stand up for yourself, but usually these are not situations where you have any power to make anything happen,” Osborn said. “It can even make it worse.”

Osborn said that the most effective way of deterring harassment is speaking up and defending someone when it happens.

“If somebody steps in and says ‘you need to leave her alone, that is not okay,’ it sends a message to the people around there,” Osborn said. “It can be very important to the person who is dealing with that situation because it can become very stressful.”

The club hopes to have a Slut Walk spring quarter to raise awareness that how people dress does not determine whether they consent to sexual activities or harassment.

“Just because you wear something doesn’t mean that someone has the right to assault you,” Griffin said. “Often times when you tell someone you were assaulted, they ask you what you were wearing, and that should have nothing to do with it.”