Recently, a few of the Feminist Collective group members on-campus were able to attend the Women’s Rights Rally in Concord, New Hampshire on January 21. The members rallied for their own rights and those of others after Trump’s inauguration.
Senior Vice President of the group Emma Cole said, “Feminist Collective [FemCo] has been part of KSC for years and came about due to a need for advocacy for women’s rights (including LGBTQ+). We serve to educate the KSC community on feminist issues, as well as create a community for feminists and allies on campus.”
The group is a safe and all-inclusive space for anyone who may be interested in feminism and gender equality, according to Cole.
“We pride ourselves in being a group-based, member-driven community of solidarity, education and outreach. We, as a collective, have weekly meetings to discuss prominent women’s issues and plan events such as our annual March to End Rape Culture and Love Your Body Week,” Cole said.
After attending the rally in Concord, the group wanted to continue to advocate. Currently, they are working on the sub-movement of the Boston Women’s March, which is called 10 actions in 100 days. One of their, “first actions,” will be writing letters to senators about what they are fighting for.
Cole said, “We advocate for women’s rights and try to be as active in our community as possible. We have a solid relationship with Planned Parenthood. Throughout the year, we have turned our focus to more activism-based involvement to try to make a difference in our communities and in our country.”
Senior general club member Sarah Lennon said she got involved with the group her first year at KSC through the Student Involvement Fair. “I love having a community of like-minded women around me to support one another and make a change in the world; I was looking to learn more about feminism and make a difference,” Lennon said.
The group fights for more than just the rights of women. Lennon said, “We are also an intersectional group and believe in fighting for related issues like climate change, human rights, trans rights [and] black lives matter. We are considering taking a trip to D.C. in April for a march to bring awareness about climate change.”
Lennon believes it is important to have a Feminist Collective on campus because it gives young people who identify as or support women a voice on campus, especially during a time where a lot of our rights are being threatened.
Vice president senior Katrina Feraco got involved with FemCo her sophomore year through a friend who had graduated. “Mostly, I wanted to make a difference on-campus and find a way to help achieve gender equality, and I didn’t know where to start on my own, so I thought that the group would help. I went to a meeting early in the year and I instantly felt so welcomed because it was a group of people of various genders and orientations who were there to listen not only to me, but to each other and support one another,” Feraco said.
Over the past couple of years, Feraco has been able to see the group’s progress.
“We never really had a direction or structure; sometimes it would be talks or “lessons” about a relevant women’s issue. Sometimes, it was just hanging out talking about the sexism we saw in the media, on campus or in our personal lives. Now, we are more activism-based and I am over the moon about that,” Feraco said.
Feraco said her and Cole both agree on social justice organizations for the group to work with that relate to FemCo.
Feraco said, “Many students, I’ve noticed, feel as though feminism is over because our mothers and grandmothers revolutionized it, but there are still so many issues related to women’s rights and gender equality that haven’t been solved.”
She continued, “We have made such great strides towards equality but the fight isn’t over, especially not for women of color who regularly deal with racism, impoverished women who regularly deal with classism and financial struggle, transgender women who regularly have to deal with transphobia, gay and same-gender-attracted women who deal with homophobia and anyone who was born with a uterus and vagina who (especially currently) face a lot of judgement and legal restrictions on their own body.”
Feraco said FemCo is a group of great individuals.
“I like that each of our members has a lot to say and that our discussions are productive. I like that we’re making an effort to be as inclusive as possible. I’m proud that we’re making connections in the state of New Hampshire and learning the best way to be advocates for positive change,” Feraco said.
Emma Hamilton can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org