The Leicester University Feminist Society is a group of like-minded people, working to change attitudes to feminism, debate issues, inform others and enjoy the company of those with similar interests. We welcome those of all gender identities and aim to ensure that women (including non cis people) are given a voice in the university as well as a safe space for discussion.
During the uni holidays much of our activism and discussion takes place on the society Facebook group, where we share relevant articles and events, as well as encouraging debate about our shared, but still potentially differing ideology! It’s a carefully monitored group, with strict rules on warning about triggers, as well as destructive or impolite behaviour. This year however, we’re going to be way more than just an online space for conversation and education; we will be a real presence within the university. Currently we’re working on getting the misogynistic hit that is ‘Blurred Lines’ banned from the university campus, inspired by other universities that have done the same. This links in with one of our main aims for the year, which is to ensure that strict policies on harassment at the student’s union and on campus are enforced and well publicised, potentially also in Leicester as a whole.
Another of our focuses is Fresher’s Week. Motivated by The Guardian’s article on sexism during Fresher’s Week, we want to do everything we can to combat ‘lad culture’ at its worst. Last year we campaigned against a Fresher’s Week event that was held off campus, but patronised by the university and marketed as an official University of Leicester event, called “Don’t Tell Daddy”. We felt that this was frankly a bit creepy, and only served to make an uncomfortable and predatory atmosphere for female students. The university has since renamed and relocated the event.
The society wants to show that feminism is a real and important concern for all students, and is not a word to be afraid of. We want to educate those that are perhaps prejudiced against our society because of misconceptions, and we to make certain that our university is as free from sexism and sexist or misogynistic behaviour as is humanly possible.
We’re hoping to reach out to more people outside of the university by running a blog, where we’ll be documenting our activities over the year, as well as other relevant bits and pieces.