Society Spotlight on FemSoc: “It’s about being part of a movement which is there to help all women everywhere.”
Last week we caught up with the lovely President of the Feminist Society, Emily.
According to Emily, the Feminist movement strives for equality and justice for people of all genders. It explores and questions gender inequality, but, as Emily commented, it’s important to be mindful that people are affected by inequality differently. By this, she means that the level of discrimination someone faces is often influenced by factors beyond their gender too, for example their race, sexuality, class and where in the world they live.
During the interview, Emily touched upon the positive impact that female celebrities such as Beyoncé and Emma Watson are having upon the movement, as a result of their confidence to openly discuss the inequalities faced by women. Emily said that an important part of being a feminist to her is to not be afraid to speak up and call people out on their sexist behaviour. This is something which she acknowledges can be daunting at first, but believes that it’s vital if we are to do all we can in the fight against gender inequality. She also said that there are lots of little things you do can to help support the movement, for example helping to keep your friends safe on a night out by making sure you all travel together and are all comfortable in your surroundings.
We asked Emily whether people had to have a good knowledge of feminism before joining the society. She said that the main quality they needed was to be open-minded and prepared to discuss topics of a sensitive and controversial nature, for example abortion, sexual assault and transphobia. She said that it can sometimes be hard for people to find the balance between having freedom of speech and remaining empathetic towards others opinions, but FemSoc aim to ensure that their meetings provide a safe space for members to openly talk about what matters to them. She also said that men are welcome to join too, and they already have several male members.
As well as their weekly meetings, FemSoc also organise various other exciting charitable events. We were very impressed to hear that the society managed to attract a huge crowd at the Reclaim the Night March which took place in November last year. This march shed light on the issues surrounding gender-based violence and street harassment. As well as this, FemSoc also staged a Sleep Out in aid of Southampton Rape Crisis which raised an incredible £1,500 and just goes to show how many people are on board with the movement. Emily also told us that FemSoc “supports our sisters overseas” and the society has reached out to feminist student groups at universities in the US, following Donald Trump’s Presidency, to offer their friendship and support.
To conclude the interview, we asked Emily for some quick fire facts. Here are two which we found most interesting (and shocking):
- Women outnumber men in the nursing profession by more than 10 to 1, but men still earn more
- If men fight for custody over their children they get it the majority of the time (according to statistics in Los Angeles)
We really enjoyed meeting Emily and learning about FemSoc. To find out more and to register your interest, check out their social media: