Who Run the World? Feminists
A Beyoncé-inspired conference happening tomorrow morning aims to break down the criteria of what it means to be feminist.
The Modern Day Feminism in a Beyoncé World Conference, held tomorrow morning in the MB Building, is a workshop-based event featuring seven speakers who will discuss what feminism, as it’s widely interpreted, leaves out.
“Modern day feminism, to us, is equal relationships,” says one of the organizers, Aminka Belvitt.
“Modern day feminism is sex-positive, it’s queer, it’s the Global South; modern day feminism is really about doing what you’re doing and loving it.”
“It’s about being a bad bitch,” she adds over the phone with The Link.
The conference, organized by the School of Community and Public Affairs, will discuss current events in pop culture and how they have been interpreted by the public.
It’s inspired by Beyoncé because of her brand of feminism that has brought the movement to a wider public. For example, by naming her tour after her husband’s last name, she has shown her fans that it’s OK to be a married woman and to fight for equality, that feminism transcends labels, Belvitt says.
The workshops are meant to be engaging, Belvitt says, especially with groups that aren’t typically included in feminist discussions, like men.
Feminist conferences don’t always go to the root of the problems with inequality, often denouncing them without exploring the social implications. They also often leave out queer and transgender groups, she says.
But men need to be part of the discussion because “the expectations society places on men, the pressures, lead to the oppression of women.”
Those pressures have led both men and women to be disenfranchised, Belvitt says.
The conference aims to create partnerships between different groups and will act as a networking event.
The workshops include discussions on how to succeed as a feminist in the corporate world, what it means to be feminist, the hardships for women in the science research field and the politics of feminists.
The “young academic and professional speakers” are Chair of the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund Ottawa Branch Amy Kishek, self-identified African feminist Dorothy ‘Dee’ Attakora-Gyan, University of Guelph PhD student Yuriko Cowper-Smith, Consultant at Summa Strategies Canada Katlyn Harrison, University of Toronto Biology PhD student Junior West, University of Victoria masters candidate Sara Bourquin, and deputy leader of the provincial Green Party Catherine Lovatt-Smith.
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