Feminism has been a controversial topic discussed by many.
Lately, gender has become a topic widely talked about, and International Women’s Day was a perfect example. On Wednesday, March 8, which was International Women’s Day, Assistant Professor of English at Acadia University Dr. Erin Wunker spoke at the Alumni Center in Centennial Hall. She spoke about her recent book, “Notes From a Feminist Killjoy: Essays on Everyday Life.”
Wunker has been doing feminist research since she was an undergraduate at the University of North Carolina and became interested in intersectional feminist theory. The book talked about rape culture, feminist friendships, mothering and “resistance,” or working against female misogyny. During the presentation, Wunker discussed pop culture’s toxic narratives about female friendship and how it contributes to stereotypes. Wunker than highlighted the importance of feminist friendship and discussed intersectional feminism, as well as her book.
Assistant Professor of English, Dr. Emily Robins Sharpe proposed the idea and invited Wunker to speak. Robins-Sharpe said that some students were reading excerpts of Wunker’s book and felt that it would be a great idea for people to meet the author. “I know that Dr. Wunker is a phenomenal teacher and a phenomenal speaker, and so I knew that if she were to come to our campus, it would be a really exciting experience for the students and faculty and staff and community members who got to not only listen to her, but also talk with her,” said Robins Sharpe.
Wunker said she knew that students were reading excerpts of her book and said she did the presentation to get people talking and thinking about how toxic narratives of female friendships circulate in pop culture and over history and why those narratives are toxic. “I felt that after the year we had, in terms of the gender and equity issues, that I wanted to talk about something a little less complicated but a little more joyful, like friendship, and so that’s really what inspired me to talk about feminist friendship,” said Wunker.
KSC first-year student Garrett McMorrow said he came to the event for his class and he didn’t know much about feminism. He said that going to the event changed his perception of feminism. “I thought it was really insightful. It completely changed my understanding of the ideology of feminism,” said McMorrow. “Prior to this, I guess I thought of it more as women want the same pay or women want the same opportunities, but you never really think of it as they want their image to be changed.”
KSC first-year student Madison Olsen came to the presentation for both her class and her interest in the presentation’s topic. “I identify as a feminist….so it was a talk that I wanted to see,” said Olsen. “I thought it was awesome; I thought it was really informative and insightful. I didn’t realize the importance of feminist friendships… you should strive for these types of relationships.”
Katherine Glosser can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.