As a part of the Education Committee’s programme for 2017, the Women’s Caucus general meeting on Sept 18 featured a teach-in entitled “Feminism 101” presented by Beatrix Newsome and Kate Van Dermark with consultation from Jen Brock. The teach-in began with a summary of each of the three waves of feminism and a review of the thematic concepts in each wave. Several pertinent acts of legislation were pinpointed to demonstrate the elevation of the status of women over the last 300 years.
A presentation with common gender studies terms scrolled in the background (see below) to provide the group with a working knowledge of feminist jargon. This was interspersed with inspiring quotes from famous women and feminists from Sojourner Truth and Mae Jemison to Gloria Steinem and Gloria Anzaldúa. It also included word cloud brainstorming session of what being a feminist means to each of the women present, and a discussion of current feminist discourse seeking the group’s deliberation on issues being asked in the movement today, such as:
- Is a fourth wave emerging and what does that entail?
- Should the movement consider rebranding away from the “F” word, and what may be problematic about that?
- How can we include men in the movement while maintaining a safe space for women?
- How can we recognize and address both interpersonal and institutionalized forms of oppression to make our movement more intersectional?
Resources from the event included a timeline with each wave’s characteristics, some important figures, and 5 key acts of legislation, statistics on the status of women, and suggestions for further learning and involvement (top image). There’s something for every level of interest with short youtube clips about the three waves to seminal books, and ways to get involved to documentation programs like the Hollaback project. The resources presented are available for download here — please check them out and use!
- Definitions and Quote Slides (PDF): Feminism 101 Presentation
- Resources (film, TV, books, articles, etc. in PDF): Feminism 101 Handout
To learn more or to get involved you can email the education committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.