Gloria Steinem asks the Veteran Feminists of America in the audience to stand up and take a bow!
During the week we led workshops in combining activism and art and ended it all with a performance of “Feminists Are Funny” in Tiedtke Hall on October 29th. All of our activities coincide with the celebration of the 45th anniversary of the modern feminist movement and there are many important feminists here including Gloria Steinem, NOW President Terry O’Neill, Eleanor Pam and congresswoman Patricia Schroeder.
It was wonderful to feel like you were in the thick of feminism, going from feminist workshop to feminist group dinners to speeches, panels and informal chats. There are old and young feminists here, new and seasoned feminists; angry and happy feminists all sharing, questioning and hugging each other.
Some of my memories of the week include a young theatre student asking us: “You are an activist theatre company? Isn’t that, like, old?”
Poster workshop themesDuring the panel discussion we found that some professors do not want to identify as feminists. That some students fit into clear gender stereotypes while most do not. That the mandatory freshman orientation play that trains students on how to address date rape and sexual violence on campus was not booked this year. That the hot line number for anyone who has been sexually assaulted on campus is incorrect on the flyers. That those flyers can’t be put up because there are no flyers allowed on campus. That a film crew wanted to shoot here but said it didn’t look like a college campus because there were no flyers anywhere. That some students put up flyers anyway. That some feminists are comfortable jumping down anyone’s throat who attempts to disempower them. That this readiness to stand up for the feminist cause is a good thing but can also be a bad thing because it can keep us from engaging in productive dialogue. That this lack of dialogue makes feminism feel stagnant. That wearing our gorilla masks around Halloween makes people think we are just adult trick or treaters. More about our performance of “Feminists Are Funny” in part 2.