This has been a big year for gender equality movements around the country and locally at our own school, so it seems fitting that this week’s campus celebrity is Sophomore Tabitha Petrini, co-founder of the new gender equality group, I Am That Girl. Tabitha, along with co-founders Mary Gallant ‘15 and Monica de Lazzari ‘15, has worked hard with IATG to make big impacts on campus this year.
IATG is a national organization with chapters all over the country. They preach their motto, “turning self-doubt into self-love” in the medium of weekly meetings at schools across the nation. The Santa Clara chapter was started just this year after a chain of events on campus that called attention to gender issues.
“A lot of it had to do with what happened with the bad bitches cage,” explains Tabitha, “once that happened it felt like a lot of people started talking about issues and being vocal about things they hadn’t talked about before. It seemed like we needed a place to come together. It’s hard to stop and talk about these kinds of issues when you’re just trying to live your life day-to-day.”
The goal of the organization is to create awareness on campus for feminist issues and it is equally open for men and women. These issues revolve around rape-culture and the objectification of women. If you’re still self-consciousness about supporting something with the word “feminist” in it, get with it. This is 2014.
The group is driven by discussion. If you’re talking about it, you’re already making a difference. “Discussion is empowering because even if you’re not right, it’s nice to talk and bounce ideas off people. A lot of things are derived from ignorance, not maliciousness, when it comes to harmful interactions. Conversation is a way to see a different side of things and understand different opinions.”
Tabitha’s actions are of the trailblazing nature: You see a problem. You talk about it. You take action. Boom. Fixed. Well, it may not be that simple, but that’s how it starts. Creating an open forum for weekly discussions is the first step to reaching feminist goals and thankfully there are leaders on campus like Tabitha to get the ball rolling. Thank you for your dedication, Tabitha!
Weekly meetings for I Am That Girl take place on Wednesdays at 8pm. Location is decided weekly. For more information, check out the Facebook page.