There is a lot of value in the old adage, ‘start as you mean to go on’. That is why, at the beginning of this new year of articles, news and events, Her Campus Durham has decided to release a statement clarifying our position on what it means to be a gendered publication. Durham is a place that, especially last term, has shown itself to not always be an accepting community. Violence against women has become way too normalised, and the language at you-know-what Christmas formal shows that prejudice against the queer community is still very much alive. Exclusionary behaviour has come bubbling onto the face of our student body in what can only be described as the most bubonic, bulbous, blistering, purple boil. As with most pustulating things, it is best eliminated by direct, un-squeamish treatment. We must, collectively, pop the spots that are homophobia, transphobia, sexism, and misogyny. And that is why, at Her Campus, we have decided to confront our own image, and clear up any misgivings regarding our treatment of gender: the ‘her’ in Her Campus Durham. We want to state, unequivocally, for the record, leaving no gap for doubt, that gender is a mighty and multifarious spectrum, and our ‘her’ aims to encompass all wonderful shades upon it. We want to provoke conversation about gender, not cram it into a single amebic box.
Now. We must hold our hands up and admit that, officially, Her Campus as an overarching network seems quite unappetizingly traditional. It proclaims itself to be a 100% women-owned-and-operated online publication. Since Her Campus was founded in 2009, however, a lot has changed, and (most of) the world has come to recognize that maybe, just maybe, gender is a bit more complex than the categories ‘man’ and ‘woman’ suggest. Where the use of the term ‘women’ began with all good intentions, as a way to bring people together through the publication, today it seems to exclude those who don’t identify with traditional gender categories. At Her Campus Durham we want to state a slight variation from the wider attitude of Her Campus, to be more openly inclusive to the queer community. To all our queer, questioning, trans, non-binary, male, and womxn readers, we accept you.
Her Campus’s writers can be of any gender identity, as long as the topic of the article is relevant to Durham, womxn, and Gen Z/student culture. We are always open to questions about our values as a team, and want to encourage diversity in our writers going into 2022. If you have a perspective that you think our publication could benefit from, we want to hear it! Do get in touch by joining our Facebook group or messaging one of our exec members. With regard to editorial and executive positions, these are open to all womxn. While we understand this might be frustrating, we do have to cohere to Her Campus’ decision to make this website a space led by womxn.
Going forward, our most important aim is that Her Campus Durham is inclusive, a safe space to anyone who finds it missing at the University. We want to empower, encourage, and embolden everyone who stumbles across our page, and lift up the womxn in our community who are aiming to gain experience in managing and running a publication. Here’s to making 2022 our most inclusive year yet!