Posted by: sallygrace1993 | September 20, 2012

CNU’s Feminist Alliance

Today in class (9/20) Dr. Stern mentioned The Feminist Alliance, an on campus organization, and their attempts to protest Paul Ryan’s visit.  She said The Daily Press covered it objectively.  The Captain’s Log listed the protest and The Feminist Alliance among the stories available for coverage.  Intrigued primarily due to our class and our various discussions, I requested to do the article.  So here it is (sneak peak!), It will be in The Captain’s Log this Wednesday. 

On The Feminist Alliance

By

Sally Grace Holtgrieve

 

            Several emails were sent out prier to Vice President Candidate Paul Ryan’s visit to CNU, informing students that protesting would not be tolerated.  The Feminist Alliance had originally planned to partake in a peaceful protest, wearing t-shirts, holding signs, and simply making their presence known.  They intended to work alongside the Gay-Straight Student Union, as well as Students For Obama.  Ebony Tyler, President of The Feminist Alliance, an affiliate of The Feminist Majority Foundation, repeatedly emphasized the fact it was to be a peaceful protest.  “We are not aggressive, angry women!”  Tyler laughed.  “We are simply passionate about equality for all.”  The Feminist Alliance is also adamant about not identifying with a particular political party.  “I don’t care if it’s labeled a Democratic or a Republican issue.”  Says Tyler.  “An issue regarding anyone’s equality, or lack of, is pertinent to us.” 

            This is Tyler’s first semester as President of The Feminist Alliance.  The group began as a literary journal in 2005, and became an organization in 2008.  Tyler joined the organization last year.  “I saw the Documentary Killing Me Softly, then listened to a moving presentation by former co-presidents Taylor Tuckerman and Katie McGeeber.”  She recalls.  “It resonated with me.  I realized all the issues presented were issues I was concerned with, but never understood there was a whole movement behind it all.”  The organization began with three members, and is now up to twelve.  Past projects include: “Reclaiming the F-word Discussion Panel,” A discussion forum pertaining to the definition of feminism and its role in society, a domestic violence awareness campaign, and the showing of the documentary film Missrepresentation about women in the media.  Future plans consist of a showing of the movie Iron Jawed Angels about women’s suffrage, and launching a “Love Your Body” campaign, which will include interesting, interactive demonstrations. 

            The Feminist Alliance also wants to create a political forum for the school’s Young Democrats and Young Republicans to come together and inform the CNU community on where their candidates stand on various issues.  When questioned about the possibility of Republican women being opposed to The Feminist Alliance, Tyler said, “We would love to be in dialogue with them!  We want equality for all, through education, conversation, and partnership with one another.”  She grinned. “Also, we are not male haters.  We want equality for women and men, boys and girls.  Everyone.” 

            Tyler’s overall demeanor resonated simultaneous calm and confidence.  “The University certainly had a right to say no to our protesting.”  She reasoned.  “After all, we are a campus organization.  However, we would like to get together and talk with those in charge about making exceptions for occasions such as this.”  CNU does not outright forbid protesting; the requirement for a non-violent protest is permission from The Office of Student Activities and a minimum ten-day notice.  The problem was Paul Ryan’s visit was not announced until less then ten days before the event.  Whether this was done purposefully or not is unknown.  Tyler shrugged the idea off, responding in a way apparently typical to this young woman and her organization:  She would simply like to have a civilized, progressive discussion about it all. 

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Responses

  1. I thought this was a great current connection and it is in our very own community. It is neat to see our general study of leadership combine through a gender-based lens on our own campus. I also enjoyed observing the CNU administration’s response to the events surrounding the Ryan rally. It has been interesting to see ethics and leadership in action at an institution where the study of leadership is so highly embraced and practiced- an instance where the things we learn in the classroom are applied to real-life scenarios. I would say this example has provided most everyone with a take-away, whether it be about personal sentiments surrounding women and public policy, or the practice of leadership.

  2. Sally Grace, well done on your writing of that article for the Captain’s Log. The incident has prompted attention to policy, and helped to enact change. This is a prime example of the interaction of so many topics we cover in the minor – and now we can add gender.


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