NUIM Fem Soc – 2012

NUIM FemSoc is reaching out to all members, supporters and potential supporters in 2013 to say a big end of year hello and to help spread the word about the work we are doing at NUI Maynooth.

Firstly, thanks to everyone for making our first ever end of year Femsoc party such fun and for getting into the spirit of solidarity and silliness with us last Thursday.  Greetings to those members and supporters who couldn’t be there to celebrate with us in person – we missed you! Congratulations to all of our prize winners and members for demonstrating their feminist talents on the night and special congrats to our excellent committee for their commitment, passion and hard work to bring us together every week.

We have had a truly productive and active year as a college society at NUI Maynooth. Since our foundation last February, we have hosted weekly meetings and events and had the opportunity to learn, read and discuss feminism and women’s equality together. We started this academic year off with our first book club thanks to longstanding member Shauna Kelly for organising.
We’ve watched some provocative and brave pieces of film like
‘Tough Guise’ on the construction of masculinity (watch here: http://www.veoh.com/watch/v16112782JcF62GeH) ~ thanks to Fergus Haverty-Stacke for organising.
‘X is for Anonymous’ on the current state of access to abortion for women in Ireland (watch here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uUDnNpjbmqA). We were delighted that we got to meet and debate some of the issues in the film with two of the wonderful film-makers Rosi Leonard & Kerry Guinan (Heather Browning was UK bound unfortunately) and establish personal links with the Feminist Society members who came out all the way from NCAD.

We have had great discussions and debates on everything from the roots of feminism to the schackles of patriarchy. For example, we facilitated a group discussion on body image following a short animation on labiaplasty and explored feminist perspectives on the notions of beauty (see http://www.thecentrefoldproject.org/http://www.greatwallofvagina.co.uk/home and http://naomiwolf.org/the-beauty-myth-book/). Patriarchy, gendered and intersectional identities, norms and oppressions, femininity, masculinity, trans-women and men’s issues and 3rd wave feminisms, alongside discussions of reproductive rights and the pro-choice movement in Ireland ~ all of which and more, have taken place across various events so far this year.  Wow!

We took the opportunity to explore why all men benefit from feminism and equality at our stall on International Men’s Day (check out some of our photos here: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.259801494145783.62225.100003478026679&type=3) and recruited a few more to the cause! Next year on International Women’s Day we’ll host our second big celebration of women and their achievements around the world and closer to home at NUI Maynooth, so hope you’ll pop along in solidarity that week (last year’s library exhibition pics of both our Wonderful Wall of Women’s Achievements and the celebration of the contribution to academic knowledge by women here at NUI Maynooth is here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/22668824@N07/6820557996/)

Another major success of 2012 was the screening of Miss Representation and the ensuing provocative discussion that followed. The event was supported and attended by a number of distinguished feminists, civil rights campaigners, activists and academics.  The event was opened by FemSoc’s Honorary President, Anastasia Crickley (NUI Maynooth) with over 150 people in attendance. We are very appreciative and delighted that our speakers and panel members accepted our invitation and made the event such a great success.  Thanks again to our panel members Ailbhe Smyth (Feminist Open Forum), Sinead Kennedy (NUI Maynooth), Claire McGing (NUI Maynooth) and Emma Regan (Irish Feminist Network) for making the night so special and for helping us to get feminism into the student domain at NUI Maynooth.   We were delighted to have had the opportunity to host a feminist event of this scale and were equally thrilled by the response of students to participate in the open discussion.

And that’s just this been 2012 folks!

It has all been wonderfully inspiring, thought provoking, informative and fun. We are all looking forward to more collective greatness next year… roll on 2013! Suggestions for events always welcome.

Warm and Happy Yuletides to everyone from everyone here at FemSoc!

Fionn Fitzpatrick
FemSoc Chair aka Most Festive Feminist

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