By Megan, SASC Volunteer
As a new outreach volunteer worker at SASC, I have already had the great opportunity of meeting and getting to know a new network of people, whom are full of diverse experiences and opinions. We started off this year with a training weekend which ran from September 21st to the 23rd. It was a great experience. We were introduced to various topics that needed to be discussed, we played games, did activities, and socialized with one another. Right off the bat I was impressed with how open and expressive everybody was. We created a place of comfort where nobody could or would be judged. The training involved discussing many topics which included the organization’s goals, anti-oppression, feminism, sexual assault, consent, drug facilitated assault, supporting a survivor, supporting people with disabilities and much more. As a first year volunteer this training weekend started my experience off with a bang, and getting to know my fellow volunteers created determination, motivation and the hope that we can all make a difference whether small or big. Every little bit helps!
The goals of SASC are to have a place where people are free to go to if they need help, where they will receive immediate respect and not be judged. On the website, SASC expresses that they work through a feminist and anti-oppressive framework to end violence. “Feminist” and “Anti-oppressive” are two rather big words that could easily be misunderstood or quite intimidating to the general eye, but pack quite a meaning. For me, these two words are what attracted me to the organization. I had already learned a lot about the meanings of these words the year before through Women’s Studies and Anthropology classes.
After the group talked about these concepts, I could easily understand why people would be intimated, and a lot of it is to do with this preconceived notion of feminism. The word holds a lot of history, and some of it could be considered not good. A couple notions of feminism is that it’s just a bunch of radical women who hate men or they want women to rule the world. It is simply not so. There is a lot of stigma and negative energy that surround this word and it really is hard to dictate one definition to it.
At a recent meeting we had somebody explain“feminisms” rather than just “feminism”. I liked that a lot and had never thought of this concept in the plural. “Feminisms” works because everybody has their own opinion and entitled to how they portray this word. For me, feminism is about fighting for equality, respecting others, and providing opportunities for anybody, no matter how you identify. It was a great topic to discuss at the training and hear everyone’s perception on the word. It’s also completely okay if you don’t identify as a feminist and identify with the anti-oppression as a way to stop violence.
Here’s a link I found, that shares people’s comments on their perceptions of feminism.
Reflections from a SASC Volunteer “The Preconceptions and Discussions”