Warwick’s Apathetic Sexism Society

The Tab takes a look at what Warwick’s Anti Sexism Society has actually done to promote awareness of feminist issues.

anti-sexism feminism women's week

The feminist movement remains ever more important given the widespread sexism that still exists towards women in the media and society. Just to clarify, the definition of feminism is SIMPLE- gender equality. It doesn’t encompass the misconceived stereotype of being a lesbian/misandrist.

Given there is still a double standard in national and international societal attitudes towards women, how has Warwick Anti-Sexism Society (WASS) tried to raise awareness of feminism? Has WASS done anything to change attitudes?

The answer to these questions is…very little.

WASS did lead an important campaign in tackling a facet of rape culture, by giving out postcards that said, “Yes! Yes! Oh Yes! (Always get enthusiastic consent!)”. However, this campaign didn’t reach the masses of the University and it was lacking and disengaging.

Perhaps I missed the point of WASS: it’s a group where feminists discuss important issues. That may be true, but what is the point without sufficient follow-up action?

WASS is like the shriveling wallflower of activist societies; its presence throughout the year goes unnoticed. Whereas other societies like Warwick Amnesty, ensure their causes have sufficient publicity and continually find new ways to engage the student body. WASS does not do this; showing the Vagina Monologues (which is a fabulous production) and restricting their main work to Women’s week in March, is not enough.

You probably haven’t heard of the 1 billion rising Women’s movement because WASS failed to deliver on that, too. Instead WASS had a spat with Zephyr Lounge over sexist imagery in posters, the exec were too busy to re-organise and so Warwick did not join the 1 billion rising. Although it’s delusional to think this event would be a catalyst in spreading awareness of feminist issues throughout the whole student body; it would have been a step forward.

If an anti-sexism society hopes to make a change, they need to appeal to students who will be in positions of power and become the future CEO’s, managers and top dawgs. Given the reputation of Warwick these will be the men and women of our University. This puts WASS in an even more important position to engage Warwick’s student body and raise their awareness of crucial issues.

WASS needs to use its role as a feminist society to deliver a stronger message of gender equality and engage the wider Warwick student body within its discussion of the nature and relevance of feminism. WASS has the power through its label, image and what it stands for to spread this message.