By Allie Fry, SASS Co-President
First thing’s first, what is SASS? Short answer: We’re Students Against Sexism in Society. We meet every Thursday at 9 p.m. in the Human Rights Center on Academy Street. We’re a consciousness-raising, action-oriented, lovable group of feminists.
Spring term was one of mixed emotions for SASS. The SASS board was vandalized, and the Knox College Confessions Facebook page became a hotbed of antifeminism and misinformation. However, that didn’t keep SASS down; we had a hugely successful Take Back the Night march and performance by poet and activist Sonya Renee. In addition, many members of SASS were taking direct action to improve sexual assault prevention, response, and policy on campus, and SASS held a Title IX awareness campaign called Know Your IX.
Looking ahead to the new academic year, let’s clarify something about SASS: There are many variations of feminism, but SASS adheres to the standards of intersectional feminism. Patriarchy consists of interworking factions meant to sustain oppression. These include—but are not limited to—sexism, racism, classism, heterosexism/homophobia, cissism/transphobia¹, ableism², and sizeism³. So while we are a club that opposes sexism, sexism is rarely unaccompanied. For example, one statistic about gender inequality in the U.S. is that women make 77 cents per every $1 a man makes. Well, that’s not the full picture. White women make 77 cents per dollar, while black women earn 68 cents and Hispanic or Latina women earn 59 cents per every dollar a white man makes. This is an example of how feminism can sometimes whitewash the issues, prioritizing sexism over racism and classism. Intersectional feminism aims to recognize and celebrate our complexities. In SASS, we aim to examine issues from multiple perspectives in order to avoid this kind of exclusion.
Needless to say, we have a lot of momentum from last year, and we’re psyched to continue our activism with our traditional events, like Love Your Body Week and Take Back the Night, as well as with new events, including a punk concert.
This blog will be one way you can keep up with feminist happenings on campus and in the news. Be sure to check the SASS board in Seymour, right next to the Oak Room, for more info about upcoming events and current campaigns. All are welcome to SASS meetings! You don’t even have to identify as a feminist to check us out! Thursdays at 9 p.m. in the HRC. If you have any questions or concerns about SASS, feel free to shoot me or Hadley Gephart (SASS Co-President) an email.
Want more feminist resources? Check out these awesome online resources:
Black Girl Dangerous
“Black Girl Dangerous seeks to, in as many ways possible, amplify the voices, experiences and expressions of queer and trans* people of color.” Black Girl Dangerous provides some of the best in-depth, intersectional analyses on feminist issues.
Colorlines reports on racial justice issues. Their analyses emphasize “finding solutions as well as naming problems.” Colorlines also highlights ways you can get involved in the issues, from live online chats to petitions to protests.
The Crunk Feminist Collective
“The Crunk Feminist Collective (CFC) will create a space of support and camaraderie for hip hop generation feminists of color, queer and straight, in the academy and without, by building a rhetorical community, in which we can discuss our ideas, express our crunk feminist selves, fellowship with one another, debate and challenge one another, and support each other, as we struggle together to articulate our feminist goals, ideas, visions, and dreams in ways that are both personally and professionally beneficial.” Enough said. Go read everything they publish.
Their tagline reads, “Young Feminists Blogging, Organizing, Kicking Ass.” Feministing offers young feminists a place to discuss politics and pop culture through an intersectional lens. Their daily Feminist Cheat Sheet delivers feminist news in a succinct, useful way. Founder, Jessica Valenti, came to Knox College in 2012 for Take Back the Night (and definitely kicked ass).
“Your One-Stop-Shop for Feminist News and Activism,” says their page. Follow on Facebook for news, analyses, and delightful feminist pictures and comics.
Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch investigates and reports on human rights issues. While all of these issues are feminist in that they concern human rights, specific reports about violence against women and violence against trans persons are particularly relevant for those interested in gendered violence and the role gender plays in conflict.
Shakesville is a feminist blog that works towards inclusivity, awareness and intersectionality. Their Feminism 101 and Rape Culture 101 sections are particularly useful for anyone unfamiliar with feminism.
Women’s Rights News
Their Facebook profile features feminist news, history, critiques and pictures that emphasize women’s rights, as well as LGBTQ rights and racial justice.
1 Cissexism is discrimination of transgender people by privileging cisgender people. Assuming that being cisgender (identifying as the gender the doctor assigned you at birth) is natural and that being transgender is abnormal is cissexism. Transphobia is the irrational fear or hatred of transgender people.
2 Ableism is privileging able-bodied people over people with disabilities. Ableism is discrimination of, prejudice against, or erasure of people with disabilities.
3 Sizeism is discrimination and prejudice based on a person’s physical size (be that height, weight, or a combination of the two). Usually sizeism manifests itself in the United States as privileging thinness.