Feminist Action Movement

The Feminist Action Movement (FAM) Club meets for an open debate at their weekly meeting. Tuesday, October 5, 2022

The Feminist Action Movement (FAM) returns with the same values it once held in addition to a new name and more determination than ever.  

Formerly known as the Women’s Action Collective that went out of commission in 2019, FAM provides a comfortable, safe environment for students to discuss issues surrounding feminism and gender equity.

In their first meeting, 16 students discussed the rebranding of the organization, hoping to become more representative of every member. This includes having an equally structured leadership team. 

Facilitators Halen McGregor and Julia Stranahan collaborate on coordinating events, guiding conversations and are generally the “outward voice of FAM.” Stranahan described her role as making sure the club has everything it needs that allows them to adequately accomplish the goals they set. 

        “One of the things I really love about FAM is how collaborative it is,” McGregor said. “Even though I am one of the facilitators for FAM, I feel as if I am on the same level as everyone else in the club.”  

The director of Women and Gender Equity (WAGE), Sara Peters, provided them with the resources used in the former club. In the first meeting she reviewed the previous Constitution with them and taught them about the history of the previous feminism clubs on campus. 

As their advisor, she is there when guidance or support is needed. Peters said ensuring that women, femmes, and allies have a place to build community and organize is important for her. 

“These are voices that are historically underrepresented and not only should be heard, but must be heard to create a more equitable community,” she said.  

As a new club they are still working on creating a strong member base. As of now they have 22 members and are actively looking for more through promotion and future outreach events. 

Daniel Mann, treasurer of FAM, believed that joining the club was a great way of furthering his understanding on feminism.  

“We are just beginning our discussions surrounding feminism, but so far, I have learned that feminism is not just about women,” Mann said. “It is a movement for equality among all of the sexes.”

So far, he is the only man in a room full of women discussing feminism and hopes others will join what he describes as “the big group of people helping fight for equality between the sexes and exploring the history behind it all.” 

“I grew up at the hands of three women that shared the trials they have had to face going through life, giving me the knowledge to know that not everyone is seen equally in this world, and most importantly some are put at a disadvantage,” he said. “To join this group to me is like joining something I have been doing all my life, but with new faces and perspectives.” 

Feminism, or being a feminist, has a long history reaching back to the 19th century and throughout the years, disagreement and promotion of inequality is unwillingly attached to the term. Both men and women believe it promotes women rights over men or that equality among genders has already been reached.  

Although the term feminism is seen as a negative ideal by some, the group hopes to break the bad connotations surrounding the word by giving students the opportunity to learn more about gender-based oppression issues and how they can act against them. 

“Pushing past those stereotypes is something we hope to do in FAM,” Stranahan said. “Through a collaborative dialogue about what feminism is and how it works, we hope to show people what true feminism looks like.”

McGregor — who works at WAGE as the gender-based violence chair of the CASE board — has seen how feminism has been attacked in events UTC’s WAGE has put on. She said people who say negative things about it are “improperly educated” on the topic.  

On the other hand, there are also many people at UTC who hold feminist values but have not identified with the term, according to Stranahan. She hopes they can see it as something that is not daunting to embrace.

Mann believes a lot of the negative connotations against feminism come from radical viewpoints.  

“...It was started as a movement to end sexism, mainly amongst men and women but as the country and society grow, we learn that this now needs a more broad, inclusive understanding of the movement supporting equality among all sexes,” he said. 

For updates on FAM, visit WAGE’s Instagram @utcwage.

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