Since the college welcomed women into the classrooms in 1970, Lafayette had yet to throw a major women’s party — until now. On Tuesday, the Office of Intercultural Development hosted “Feminist Fest,” a fun and educational event dedicated to celebrating Women’s History Month.
Women’s History Month, which takes place every March, has only been around since 1987, when it was designated a national observance by Congress according to History.com. Its purpose is to inspire people to reflect on the various ways in which women and their contributions have historically been overlooked..
The event, which took place in Farinon, provided a wealth of resources related to feminism and gender equity, as well as tons of prizes and giveaways, which came from women-owned businesses. Other notable elements of the event included curating feminist literature curated by Skillman staff members, as well as opportunities for artistic activism through the creation of posters.
Thomas Lee, the assistant director of gender and sexuality programs within the Lafayette Office of Cross-Cultural Development, explained that the event was intended to educate all members of the campus community about ways to uplift and all types of women, including including transgender women, in their daily lives. He stressed the importance of going beyond performative activism.
“Not just tweeting about it or posting a picture on Instagram, but thinking more about how we can be people who support women all year round, not just March,” Lee said.
Although the event focused on teaching ways to support women on campus, the event was not created just for women.
“Anyone can be a feminist,” Lee said. “What a feminist really is is someone who believes in the social and political equality of everyone, regardless of gender or sex.”
Other events that took place this week in honor of Women’s History Month included a keynote speaker and a film screening, both sponsored by the Office of Intercultural Development.
Many events related to gender equity and feminism that take place on campus are from other departments and are not solely handled by the gender and sexuality programming department, according to Lee. He said it demonstrates how feminist efforts have become more intersectional and interdisciplinary on campus over the past 50 years, preparing Lafayette for a more diverse and equitable future.