Why does everyone hate Liverpool FemSoc?

We aren’t just angry man haters

Everybody hates FemSoc. But do you actually know what they do?

FemSoc. The Feminist Society. Campaigning for women’s rights and equality at the university and in Liverpool and yet somewhere, somehow this message gets mistranslated and everyone thinks they’re angry females who don’t understand the concept of a razor.

Some of us don’t shave, some of us do. Some of us are feminine, some of us aren’t. The point is, FemSoc, is just a group of self-defining women (and other genders, because all are welcome) fighting for a better university life. There’s no stereotype: we’re all different. We don’t stereotype you, so why should you stereotype us?

Liverpool’s FemSoc campaigns for women’s rights and equality, with protests, marches and other events. Promoting awareness like this is vital,  because issues such as sexual harassment and rape are prominent at university, especially due to ‘lad culture’. It might not have happened to you, and you might not have heard about it, but often people don’t want to talk about abuse they have faced.

There are many shocking statistics about male depression, suicide and rape and that reflect men face gendered problems too. And believe it or not, feminist movements fight for men’s rights too, stamping out gender roles and expectations on men deriving from toxic forms of masculinity.

But FemSoc does focus largely on women, and why the hell not? Female liberation doesn’t mean male oppression. Males lead in so many areas, such as politics and science, feminism simply argues that women should be able to reach the top too and that no one should have to submit to their gendered role.

One ridiculous misconception about FemSoc is that they an all silencing gang, abusing people’s freedom of speech and refusing to include half the population into their secretive female world.

UoL FemSoc describes themselves as “A society at the University of Liverpool, open to all genders, dedicated to fighting sexism on and off campus. Whether you consider yourself a feminist, or are just interested in finding out more, all are welcome!”

Pretty obvious then that FemSoc is open to all. Their weekly meetings are open to opinions and debate. True, if your comment is abusive or sexist then of course it will be challenged, but that isn’t an attack on your freedom of speech. It’s a challenge to what you’re saying.

FemSoc recently held an event called “Ask a Feminist” where anyone could attend and question the panel of women, some from FemSoc and some from Liverpool with jobs in female-focused areas such as women’s health and Liverpool’s Rape Crisis centre. Many feminist issues were covered in this event such as the question of whether men can be feminists and whether you can be a feminist if you shave – which, of course, they answered yes to both.

Some of Fem Soc’s committee members at fresher’s fair

There’s definitely an unfair misconception of FemSoc at our uni. Case in point: look at the Spend It scheme at the guild. In a democratic process where members from societies vote for which societies should be able to receive money from the guild, FemSoc have continuously been denied money by the electors. We can’t complain about democracy, but we can complain about people’s misinformed bias against FemSoc. No one wants to fund man-haters right?

Two feminists, who knew they could look so friendly

Feminism has a bad reputation, and that’s reflected in people’s attitude towards FemSoc. But the prevailing view is based on misconceptions: have you every thought *why* you think feminists annoy you? Or who told you that? It probably came from the capitalist, commericalised, patriarchal society we live in.

So you think members of FemSoc are all fat, hairy, angry, man-hating, lesbians?

Newsflash: that’s not always the case. Fem Soc members are all very different women, so they all look, act, and believe different things. Anyway, being fat or hairy isn’t a problem: if they want to be, they can be, as long as they’re in control of their bodies, a woman’s appearence isn’t there to appeal to others. A feminist being a lesbian should be fine too, because women aren’t all here to satisfy to men. Plus, it’s often hard not to look angry and ‘outspoken’ when you’re a woman and supposed to be passive, so feminists either don’t bother trying not to, or due to intimidation just keep their mouth shut completely.

A feminist looking pleased to be surrounded by so many men! How can this be?

The fact is, no matter what the topic, whether it be a serious issue such as female genital mutilation or one more commonly trivialised such as cat calling, people don’t want to listen to someone from FemSoc talking about feminism.

Instead people would rather just side with the patriarchy, who have single handedly caused race, gender, sexual orientation and class issues with their elitist ideals and by prioritising the protection of the perfect nuclear family.

A typical feminist on her way out to upset and silence the white man

FemSoc isn’t just there to help women but includes all marginalised in society, like people of colour, disabled and LGBT+ people. Fem Soc aren’t hurting you and aren’t going to stop in their quest for equality and women’s liberation, so your mindless hate towards them will not gain you anything. Open your mind and start listening.