‘F Word’ series comes to campus


Karla Guzman and Casie Arechiga start out the conversation by explaining the “textbook” definition of Feminism. Photo credit: Hannah Yeager

Student-run and advertised, the feminism talk given on March 28 brought more than 20 people into the Cross-Cultural Learning Center for a workshop turned open forum on the word feminism.

“This what it is meant to be, the Exposed series…because there is more conversation on topics like this, even more of it. We have topics like this prepared for all of you talk…these are meant for all of you to talk in a safe space,” said Karla Guzman, one of the paraprofessionals who put this on.

Karla Guzman and Casie Arechiga both work for the CCLC and have been preparing the talks for the Exposed series that will be taking place throughout the rest of the semester.

“As the conversation happens, you let it happen. As it picks up we just let it naturally flow…At the end of the day when the program is put into place and it comes to life, it could go a completely different route, and people will take it differently,” Guzman said.

Because of the great turn out and the conversations on change, men and feminism, and what feminism should look like in the next few years, Guzman and Arechiga are thinking about putting on a follow-up workshop to the F-Word.

“I would love to have a part two. I feel like it would make sense to have two parts of the conversation. Everyone has their own opinion so getting more people to talk, that would be cool,” said Melissa Jerez, a current psychology student at Butte College.

Currently sitting in wave four of the feminist movement, the focus is primarily on intersectionality, violence against women, misogyny and cross-cultural aspects of the movement. The audience began discussing the role of men in the world of feminism as well and focusing on intersectionality and racism and how they fit in the feminist agenda.

“The conversation took a drastic turn to one like ‘F*** feminism’ and ‘I don’t agree with that.’ There were so many different views,” said Tom Lacalle, a Chico State junior.

Many students like Jerez are looking for inclusion in the feminist movement and believe that feminism has become mainstream and “for white women” and women “is the new inclusive” movement that not only protects sex rights but also racial rights that affect intersectional women who identify as many things.

“This went better than expected. Womenism is still so new to me and many other people so the conversation on that was really good. Those who know a lot about it were able to educate us about it, lead that part of the conversation,” Guzman said.

To continue this discussion in another workshop or forum was what seemed to be the consensus as everyone filed out of the CCLC. To move people into a respectfully passionate discussion is Guzman’s job and, as she put it, “to lead them to a conversation and then let the conversations happen in a safe space.”

“At open spaces like this it is for everyone’s voices,” Jerez said. “For me, I feel like we should keep the word, feminist. I think everyone should be feminist.”

This was one of the first sections of this series. The next section will be held on Thursday.

Hannah Yeager can be reached at [email protected] or @Hannah_K_Yeager on Twitter.