Students try to form Tech feminist organization - The Daily Toreador: Lavida

Students try to form Tech feminist organization

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Posted: Tuesday, April 12, 2011 9:38 pm

Frances Martin said some people are shocked to find not all feminists hate men.

“We’re debunking the idea of crazy women who don’t shave and live in trees,” said the sophomore history major from Bulverde.

Martin and sophomore Devin Saunders, an English literature major from San Antonio, are hoping to spread this idea with a new student organization for feminists.

The two came up with the idea after reading Jessica Valenti’s “The Purity Myth.”

“It spoke to both of us in that there’s still a problem with sexism,” Martin said. “So we asked, ‘What can we do?’”

They then looked into other organizations, but none were solely based on feminism. Martin said groups like The V-Day Coalition and Women in Engineering are great organizations, but Tech needs an overarching feminist body encompassing all colleges and feminists.

So far, the response has been great, Saunders said. She said they have contacted a few professors in the history department and a few in Women’s Studies, and have been contacted by various other groups as well as women in the Lubbock community.

“The number of resources we’ve been given is amazing,” Martin said.

However, students often shied away from invitations to join because of the stereotype of feminists, Martin said.

“There’s that stigma — that there’s something wrong with being a feminist,” Saunders said. “We want people to know there’s not, it’s actually advantageous.”

Within feminism, Martin said there were often various sub types, which didn’t often get along, or might form their own groups. She said she hoped this organization would bring them together, and maybe even bring a few feminist men in.

The organization invites everyone, from any side of feminism, and Martin said people who are anti-feminists are just as welcome as the “man haters.”

“We’re trying to set it up as an open forum,” Saunders said. “We realize there are people on all sides of the spectrum… We’re not going to keep anyone out for being too extreme.”

Once formed, the organization will be a chapter of the Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance, a local part of the Feminist Majority Foundation.  Martin said the group will promote feminist ideals, host speakers and volunteer at places like the Lubbock Rape Crisis Center and the women’s shelter.

One source of discussion topics might be Saunders’ and Martin’s blog, twogirlsidea.blogspot.com. The two write to compare and contrast their views and ideologies on various topics and how these ideas are affected by their backgrounds — Martin was raised Catholic, Saunders is an Atheist.

Saunders said by talking about the blog, in which the first posts are on feminism, they saw some of what they could bring to the organization.

“We just want to create an open environment,” Martin said,  “where the ‘f-word’ is on the table.”

The organizational meeting will be at 5:30 p.m.  April 27 in Holden Hall Room 38.

For more information, email Martin at frances.martin@ttu.edu.

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