As we create the education offer within the Archives, I’ve been primarily focused on the opportunities to use the NUWT collection to explore campaign strategies, while encouraging students to consider a cause or issue that is personally significant to them.
However, you can’t really disregard the topic of feminism that is at the heart of this collection.
This campaign has been garnering quite a bit of attention lately on campuses in both North America and the UK and has reached as far as Australia and Malawi:
The ‘Who Needs Feminism?‘ campaign was started by 16 women in Professor Rachel Seidman’s ‘Women in the Public Sphere’ course at Duke University. Taken from their website, the women explain why they began the project:
Identify yourself as a feminist today and many people will immediately assume you are man-hating, bra-burning, whiny liberal… [We] have decided to fight back against these popular misconceptions surrounding the feminist movement. Our class was disturbed by what we perceive to be an overwhelmingly widespread belief that today’s society no longer needs feminism.
The campaign decided not to release one definitive definition of feminism in an attempt to challenge stereotypes and decrease possible negative associations with the word.
Further proof that the feminist cause likely will not – and should not – be going anywhere anytime soon…
And this: When Jinan, a 17 year old at a Cheshire grammar school, wanted to start a Feminist society club at her school, it was a year long struggle to get the club ratified. When it did, members of the club – and Jinan, personally – were attacked over social media (the apparent bullying tactic of choice for the 21st century):
What I hadn’t anticipated on setting up the feminist society was a massive backlash from the boys in my wider peer circle. They took to Twitter and started a campaign of abuse against me.
Jinan and the club’s campaign of abusers launched a cyber attack with derogatory insults, foul language, and racist comments.
I’ve recently spoken with several teachers about going beyond the class timetable and using the NUWT collection in an extra-curricular capacity in schools, such as with Student Councils. Given the enthusiastic engagement with this campaign from female and male students around the globe, there is clearly a place in our schools to discuss feminist issues, concerns and priorities. Hopefully the NUWT collection can possibly be of meaningful use to projects like Jinan’s.
Above HuffPost Students photographs via this article.