Western Regional Feminist Campus Leadership Conference 2011

This is my weekend. I’m pretty excited as this is my first conference. Ever.

I feel like an adult, which is bittersweet. I also feel like I’m taking more responsibility for the development of my interest in social justice/feminism.

The website states:

Activists and campus leaders from 10 Western States will converge to strategize, share ideas about feminist activism, and formulate a plan of action. We will be tackling issues that affect us on a local, national, and global level. From the upcoming elections, to reproductive health and rights, violence against women, anti-choice extremism, education access, and campus activism, this is weekend that is not to be missed!

Be prepared for a weekend of activist training, amazing workshops, strategy sessions, and inspirational speakers. One year out from the 2012 Election, the conference will feature “Get Out HER Vote” workshops where we will learn about the election’s impact on women’s lives and what you and your feminist group can do now and next Spring to gear up for 2012.

The Feminist Majority Foundation started this program to inform young feminists about various issues ranging from abortion access, affirmative action and LGBTQ rights. The program works with students on campus to create change at the grassroots, national and global levels. It also provides an opportunity for feminists to connect with other feminists and contribute to the larger feminist movement.

I’m hoping that this conference will be a good experience in the sense that I learn to expand my mind and not reiterate knowledge that I already have in a ‘preaching to the choir’ sense. Another thing that bothers me a little bit is the fact that the conference is obviously geared to women even though feminist issues and women’s rights also affect men. Even though the discussions and programs will be geared towards women, specifically reproductive issues, I believe that men should also understand the importance of the issues and contribute their perspectives. I think that would also encourage discourse about what men think about the issues and how to better inform/raise awareness people without alienating them. I guess I’m curious to see how many guys show up to the conference.

I looked at the RSVP list on facebook and noticed that there was an obvious majority of women, which was not surprising. The word ‘feminist’ and the stereotype of ‘feminism’ continues to alienate both males and females, which is an issue that I hope will be discussed. I often wonder how to express myself as a feminist without giving the impression that I am a “crazy radical bitch”.

I’ll update this post later to share my experience this weekend.

Take care!

– Sarah

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