The University of Southampton Feminist Society is about to enter its sixth year. “Femsoc” as it is known on campus is a vibrant and active community. We hold weekly discussion meetings as well as film nights, fundraising events and fun feminist socials!
Our society is open to everyone, regardless of gender. We are an inclusive and intersectional community, and strive to be a safe space against hate speech and discrimination, including transphobia.
Our weekly meetings cover lots of issues in feminism. The type of meetings vary and include presentations, discussions, debates, film viewings and talks from local and national speakers, with the opportunity to ask questions, discuss and develop your knowledge on feminism and gender issues.
Previous topics have included Women in Print Media, Women in Hip Hop, Men in Feminism and Feminist Parenting to name just a few. We have also hosted FORWARD UK, a charity focussed on tackling FGM and child marriage.
We were so excited this year when we received a highly commended award in the category of “Engagement” in our student union’s Excellence in Volunteering Awards. We work closely with a local women’s charity, Southampton Women’s Aid and regularly fundraise for them. They offer support to women and children experiencing domestic abuse. This year we raised over £1000 for them and we could not be more proud!
Empower Each Other: A discussion panel and night of musical entertainment fundraising for Southampton Women’s Aid during International Women’s Week
On May 2nd 10 brave Femsoc members braved the cold for 12 hours, overnight, with no sleep for our “Sleep Out” in aid of Southampton Women’s Aid.
A lot of discussion also takes place on our facebook page. (facebook.com/groups/sufemsoc)
Over 850 members contribute posts that keep us up to date on emerging feminist news and sparks interesting debates. Debate is encouraged and differing opinions often emerge. However we do run this group as a safe space. Trigger warnings are requested and we do not tolerate destructive or impolite behaviour.
This year we also attended the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict at the ExCel in London. This was an amazaing fringe summit, held alongside the summit for global leaders. This was the largest gathering ever brought together on the subject, with 1,700 delegates and 129 country delegations. We met many amazing charities working to end sexual violence in conflict and got to listen to survivors’ stories and their views on what needs to be done to tackle sexual violence in conflict.
Femsoc are busy preparing for another busy year in which we will be doing more fundraising and more awareness raising across campus including the introduction of our “#AskAFeministFriday” where we will be on campus once a month to chat to people about feminism. We are looking forward to meeting all our prospective new members in September and to continue to smash the patriarchy!