Fish Out of Water: A Feminist Attends SAVVY

savvy_hannahcleaveland

When I hear “women’s empowerment,” I think feminism. That’s natural, right? However, I do not consider myself a feminist. I mean, I think women are awesome (because, duh, I am one), but I’ve never been interested in the whole “feminism” movement. However, despite my somewhat indifferent views on feminism, I agreed to go to a “Sex Sells” meeting for SAVVY, a group for minority women working to improve their place at USC. 

As I sat in the meeting room in Russell House and watched a bunch of strangers flow into the room, I started to get nervous. Let’s be honest: I had no idea what I was getting myself into. What do you do at a feminist meeting? Bash men? Tell war stories? Protest the plight of women?

 Nope. 

I learned that the SAVVY group was there to discuss problems for women and present possible solutions. And how did they do this? By a lecture? A PowerPoint? By pounding the pulpit? 

Nope. 

We just talked.

Actually, the talk was about things I’ve already discussed with friends, with adults and in classes. Mostly, we talked about how media is selling sex to the public and how the public has become increasingly blasé about sex—especially in younger generations. We discussed cell phones, Instagram, television, clothing and how to talk to friends. I found I was able to relate to the group because I understood what they were talking about. Actually, it was a normal, intelligent conversation.

And it was fun. These girls (and, surprisingly, a couple of guys) were funny and real. While they made their points, they kept the conversation entertaining. I found myself laughing a lot—something I wasn’t expecting. 

I was also amazed at how the meeting was well-organized and thoughtful—not that I expected it to be chaotic and thrown together or anything. But, these girls really cared about what they were talking about. The leaders had researched the topics, prepared discussion questions and were willing to hear everybody’s opinion.

The only thing that I regret about the meeting is that I didn’t speak up. I was so interested in what everybody else had to say (and, honestly, kind of nervous about talking to a new group), that I just kind of sat there and soaked everything in. 

I’m not claiming to be a feminist or anything after just the one meeting, and I’m not even really sure “feminist” is the right word for this group. Really, it was just women (and some guys) who were talking about issues everybody deals with. And maybe that’s partly what feminism is really about after all. It was relatable, current, entertaining and a great experience for this “non-feminist” (if that’s even the right word). It was SAVVY.




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