We interviewed 3rd year Rachel Hoskins, Communications Manager for UoN’s Feminist Society:
Who are UoN Feminists?
We’re a group campainging for feminism on campus and locally.
What’s your aim?
To promote feminism as a good thing.
What does feminism mean to you personally?
It’s about fighting oppression in whatever form it comes in.
What have you done so far?
We’ve increased members to around 1100 members which is fantastic and really pushed feminism’s presence on campus. We create a space that’s open for everyone who’s interested in feminism to come and interact and join campaigns for what they believe in.
What are your plans for this year?
We’ve got some big campaigns lined up this year including pushing intersectionality on campus. We’re currently creating an Intersectionality book which includes people’s stories on how different aspects of their identity inform and change their feminist ways. The aim is to have it published so it becomes our main document for the society.
Okay great, what else have you got going on?
We’re running Lad Culture workshops- beginning with our Sports groups before spreading to the rest of the university. We believe that Lad Culture is a kind of pack culture which exists in a lot of group societies at the moment. People in groups will tend to act a lot differently than they would by themselves. So Lad Culture specifically promotes a kind of racist, sexist, misogynistic, xenophobic, transphobic, ableist and ageist range of ideals which we want to disperse through education. Because really, telling a racist joke is not at all ‘a joke.’ So we’re tackling this kind of restrictive behaviour and mentality from the root, instead of just directly hating on Lad Culture which is not at all useful. We’re starting this week with Archery, and then working ourselves up to bigger teams that have more of a reputation. We believe that education is vital for action upon discrimination.
And are the sports teams willing to take part in this?
Oh yeah, we’re beginning there as a means to publicise this particular campaign. We’ve had help from the SU Sports Officer and so far everyone has been willing for us to go down and implement our aims.
What other campaigns can we look forward to?
We’re implementing Tampon Tubs in the university buildings so that we can supply tampons to those in need and also to homeless shelters in Nottingham. We’re focusing on the Living Wage campaign on Campus too, working to ensure that all of our staff receive at least minimum wage.
So are you involved with HeForShe too? Do UoN Feminists have their own slogan/motto?
We weren’t initially, but we were once it was open to overall involvement. We don’t have our own motto at the moment. We are a huge group so I make sure that everyone is on the same page. My role is to ensure everyone from the SU to the Media to our students know what UoN Feminists stand for; we’re an umbrella in a sense. People automatically assume feminism is wholly to do with women, but it’s not. Futhermore, feminism is nothing to do with hating men: it’s lazy and outdated to think along those lines. Feminism applies to men as much as it does to women and we have many males actively involved.
Do you think every woman is automatically a feminist?
At first I did, but if you simply act as one, that’s good enough for me. Everyone wants equality when it boils down to it.
So anyone is welcome?
Yes absolutely, come along to our meetings every Wednesday at 5pm in C27 Portland. We’ll welcome you all!
Thank you for your time Rachel!
Edited by Naomi Upton