Founded in the fall of 2015, the Girls’ Group is a club of students that seek to educate both women and men on campus by discussing issues related to feminism, including but not limited to sexism, social inequalities, domestic violence, and rape culture. While it is called “The Girls’ Group,” it is open to people anywhere on the gender spectrum: ladies, gentlemen, and anyone in the middle or on the side. In fact, the group has quite a few young men who show up to the meetings. Girls’ Group member and RMC sophomore Hannah Hansen said that, “When you start looking at feminism, you see it’s a large topic with lots to learn.” Feminist issues, because they affect women as a whole, affect society at large.
With political leaders and public figure-heads showing an indifference toward political correctness, a lack of represent-ation of strong female characters in blockbuster films, and objectifying language in advertisements, feminism has increasingly become a big part in American social and political rhetoric. Many people have strong opinions on feminism, several have conflicting ideas of what is best for feminism, and some still have misconcep-tions of what feminism as a movement and philosophy stands for. Feminism, much like Rocky Mountain College’s Girls’ Group, is for everyone.
Something as all-inclusive as feminism is also important to Julie Beicken, RMC’s new Sociology professor and faculty advisor for the Girls’ Group. For Beicken, the Girls’ Group “[provides] students with a safe space to talk about issues related to gender that may arise in their daily lives. With a social category like gender, things that may seem like personal experiences turn out to be familiar to others who share an identity, and having a place to work through experiences and ideas is important.” The group serves as a way for RMC students to get together to not only talk about how feminism can affect society at large, but also the individual lives of members who attend.
Although the Girls’ Group is still in its infancy stage, membership is growing. The group’s President, senior Kaity McAdams, said that the group has some exciting future goals. “We would really like to bring in speakers to talk, not only to Girls’ Group, but also to the student body as a whole,” McAdams said. We also have the potential to launch a social campaign, showing RMC the issues surrounding rape for both males and females, and taking women’s rights seriously.” The ultimate goal, she said, is education.
The Girls’ Group meets every Monday night at 8 pm in Fraley Lounge. More information can be found at http://girlsgroupmontana.weebly.com or in “The Girls Group” on Facebook.