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Who (could) run da world? Girls.

by Cristina Sanza March 3, 2015
Who (could) run da world? Girls.

Workshop will discuss the role of feminism in pop culture

In today’s modern age, celebrities have the power to make their fans think critically about their views and beliefs. In the past few years alone, pop culture queens such as Emma Watson and Beyoncé have expressed their views as feminists and have inspired people to fight for gender equality.

UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson and UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. Photo from Flickr by UN Women.

UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson and UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. Photo from Flickr by UN Women.

On March 7, The School of Community & Public Affairs, with the support of the Political Science Student Association (SCPASA), will be hosting a full-day event at Concordia: “Modern Feminism in a Beyonce World.” The day will be filled with interactive workshops discussing several topics under the umbrella of feminism, particularly the influence that pop culture has on women’s empowerment.

Seven presenters of different educational and cultural backgrounds will speak at the event, but they all have one thing in common: students can relate to them. “We wanted to find speakers who reflect ourselves and who were like our peers,” said Aminka Belvitt, the event coordinator. “They all identify as feminists and they all have a goal to seek out more feminist leaders.” They are also all under 28 years old.

Speakers include Amy Kishek, who will discuss the politics of feminism, Katlyn Harrison, who will explain how to become a corporate feminist, and Junior West, who will link science and feminism, to name a few.

Discussion will also surround Beyoncé ’s documentary Yours and Mine, in which she proclaims her views on gender equality and how the focus should be not only on women, but on male vulnerability. “We’re going to discuss the place of men within feminism and how we can work with men to understand gender equality,” Belvitt said. “Gender equality considers both men and women and we need to start having that full conversation.” With that said, Belvitt explained that it is just as important for men to attend the event as it is for women. “Both genders need to be involved.”

Participants will learn about societal roles that people fall into and how they translate into oppression. Why do women allow men or children to hold them back? How can women find equal partners and healthy partnerships?

Participants are encouraged to discuss, debate and really think beyond what they have been taught about feminism. “We want participants to leave with the understanding that coloured women, queer women, transgender women and men deserve a place,” Belvitt said. “We want everyone to have a voice and be included. There’s no longer this mainstream western perspective that feminism is just for the elite, academic white woman. It’s for everyone.”

The event will take place at JMSB in room 2.210 on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is free but registration is mandatory with aminka.belvitt@gmail.com. Lunch will be served for $5.

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