It’s a Women’s World: Female Empowerment at Boston University

Coming to college, I had a lot of expectations. So far, Boston University has exceeded all of them. Here, I have not only found quality teaching, a wonderful community, and a beautiful city, but also incredible women to look up to.

In my first two months in college, I have been taught by impressive professors, most of them women. I fell in love with Journalism in my Intro to Communication class. Professor Graves gave me chills when talking about how important reporters are in a time where democracy and free speech are threatened. I realized just how much strength of character she had when she told us about 9/11. Even though she had just lost a family member, she kept working for the people. At the end of her first lecture, we all applauded her and I was already looking at journalism courses for the next semester. But, she’s not the only professor who I admire: my intro to International Relations and Writing courses are also taught by women and touch on issues that relate to women. For instance, my WR120 professor, who had me saying “wow” five times when reading a little bit about her online, teaches us about “Black Female Lives Matter.”

I am part of clubs and organizations run by women, for women.

As a writer for Her Campus at BU, the campus chapter of an online magazine dedicated to college women, I get to work with impressive women who are passionate about their craft, and about helping others. From fun playlists and fashion advice to important political topics, HCBU’s writers touch on every topic that is important to their readers. And when it comes to events, the ones HCBU puts together are pretty freaking cool. A few weeks ago, I got to attend College Fashion Week and see actual college models of all colors, shapes, and sizes walking on the “Real Runway.” Talk about an empowering organization!

I am also part of a wonderful club called Students for Reproductive Freedom (SRF). SRF recently received a grant from Planned Parenthood to come up with a plan to install Plan B vending machines on campus. SRF is located in the CGSA (Center for Gender, Sexuality, and Activism), which has provided free menstrual hygiene products in the GSU’s bathrooms for the past few weeks while waiting for the school to give them out to students for free. SRF is run by strong, kind women who are open about their hopes and struggles and dedicated to guaranteeing a safe environment for everyone to feel comfortable in. One of my favorite moments with the club so far was watching a film about Women on Waves, a Dutch pro-choice non-governmental organization that brings reproductive health services, particularly non-surgical abortion services and education, to women in countries with restrictive abortion laws. This reminded me that we still have a long way to go and many rights to defend.

I live in a residence on campus, on a non-co-ed floor, which means there are only women on my floor. Although I mostly see my floormates in-between classes and when using the communal bathroom, I get glimpses of their lives every day. And let me tell you: these girls kick ass. When they’re not studying in their rooms, they give each other great pep talks in the communal bathroom.

Whether I’m walking on campus or scrolling through social media, I see women standing up for one another and bringing power to the polls. BU women are no strangers to activism. In the weeks preceding the midterms, many women were tabling at the GSU to register people to vote and to spread awareness about crucial, local issues that impact fellow women. For instance, many people promoted Yes on 3, the campaign to vote YES on Question 3 on November 6th, to uphold dignity and respect for transgender people and fight against discrimination in public spaces in Massachusetts.

BU female graduates are also making a crazy impact on their surroundings. By now, you have probably heard about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a CAS graduate who is now United States Representative-elect for New York's 14th congressional district, having won the district's general election in November 2018. A few weeks ago, she came back to her alma mater to talk about her experience at BU, how she became interested in running for Congress, and her campaign story. As a Political Science major, Cortez is very much an inspiration to me.

Here at BU, women are everywhere, changing the world one step at a time through sisterhood and hard work, laying the foundation for a greater, brighter future. It is a privilege to learn alongside them for the next four years.

 

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