Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

‘Her’ Campus: Values and Limitations of Women-Only Spaces

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at SPU chapter.

Every Monday night, Weter classroom 202 becomes an unofficial women-only space. 

As members of Seattle Pacific University’s Her Campus chapter trickle in, the room fills with excited chatter — they debate Taylor Swift easter eggs, play rounds of “We’re Not Really Strangers” and plan out articles for the week.

The women of Her Campus SPU are, well, women. As of October 2023, SPU’s chapter is entirely made up of students who identify as women, which to the untrained observer may elicit a “Yeah, that makes sense” or an “It is ‘Her’ Campus, after all.” 

Though Her Campus Media was originally started as a magazine “founded by and for college women,” SPU’s chapter does not require students to identify as women in order to become a member.

“I feel like the name ‘Her Campus’ deters people whose gender identities don’t align with that pronoun,” chapter Vice President Maya Nasralla explained, “And so it frustrates me, because we don’t get to see those perspectives.”

Treasurer Chloe White agrees with Nasralla that the name of the group can be misleading.

“I think it also makes it seem like men can’t join, or maybe if they hear the name that maybe they wouldn’t want to look into it or see what it even is,” White said.

Yet, chapter President Haley Blain can understand why Her Campus originated as a women-only organization.

“I think it was just meant to truly be like a fun, safe space,” Blain said. “Not that men or other groups are unsafe, but I think [on] college campuses, sometimes it can feel, I don’t know, there can be weird guy, girl dynamics.”

Nasralla, too, sees the value in having a publication targeted towards college women, particularly as a space that allows for conversations on more taboo subjects.

“You have articles about things like sex and vibrators and UTIs, and stuff like that, which is great if you’re a woman who wants to read about those things,” she said. 

Senior Editor Emma Grande is tired of reading content written by men, and enjoys that Her Campus is an easy go-to spot for information by women, for women.

“[It’s great] if you’re trying to look for a topic that is mainly experienced by women and you don’t want an article that’s written by a man. Sometimes it’s just nice to have a change of perspective,” Grande said.

Though all the officers of Her Campus SPU identify as women, they agree that their “womanhood” is not defined by biology. 

Instead, SPU’s officers believe womanhood is defined by interactions.

Nasralla explained,“I feel like there’s a unique set of experiences that people who are women, or female presenting, kind of share in terms of the way they’re treated by the world around them.”

White has been the most aware of her gender when she was the only woman in a computer science class: “I was just noticeably, and I felt, completely different from everyone else in the room.”

Along with the negatives of womanhood come just as many positives. For Blain, she feels the most like a woman when she is able to make connections with women.

“Being friends with other women is really unique,” Blain explained. “I think there’s something about my friends that are girls, the way that we connect. I don’t think I’ll ever have that with anyone else.”

SPU’s officers have found Her Campus to be a place they can embrace their gender, but they do not believe that should prevent people with different identities from joining. 

“I think if people are comfortable being in a space that’s almost exclusively women and comfortable, like reading about the things that they write about and stuff like that, then they should totally be welcomed into that space,” Nasralla said, “and I would be happy to welcome them.”

Hi! I'm a senior at Seattle Pacific University, majoring in journalism and minoring in women's studies. I love Taylor Swift, cats (not the movie), Radioactive by Imagine Dragons and impulsively cutting my hair every finals week.