Everyone deserves to have his or her opinion heard on campus, especially feminists

ASU clubs spark crucial debate on political and social issues

Everyone needs a place to go on campus where his or her voice can be heard.

It’s necessary to be able to talk freely about controversial topics such as feminism, especially now. Spending a lot of time on a college campus has opened my eyes to just how important this is.

Clubs on campus are the perfect way for students to find a comfortable environment to discuss politics and debate on certain topics.

Today, there are many groups that feel attacked or generalized. Because of this, it is especially important to have a place for these groups to express themselves without judgment.

Feminists have been attacked for decades and receive continuous backlash for defending not only women's rights, but human rights.

Most attacks toward feminism come from those who are uninformed on what being a feminist really means. Being a feminist means that you believe in equal rights for both men and women.

Most people confuse feminism with misandry. It's important to be educated on what these words mean and to help educate others.

Once I got to ASU, I realized that not everyone has the same opinions as my small hometown and I.

The first lesson I learned was that it’s okay to disagree with someone and have a healthy debate about important topics such as who should win the election, healthcare plans or feminism. 

“Just because things are the way they have always been, doesn’t mean that they are right,” said Micah Bledsoe, a junior studying journalism at ASU.

Bledsoe is trying to start a club on campus for students to discuss issues in society that make them upset, mad or confused.

“I want all viewpoints, those who agree and those who don’t,” Bledsoe said.

Bledsoe's goal is to include everyone — she said she wants every student to feel welcome to join the club to discuss or debate political and social issues.

At first, Bledsoe was thinking of naming the club “Feminists at ASU,” but after thinking it over, she realized this would not work. Why? Mostly because people tend to be thrown off by the word “feminist.”

Some people stereotype feminists, arguing that the feminist movement is uncalled for.

This is why it is important for there to be safe spaces on campus where those who want to discuss such matters openly can.

Bledsoe said she has now decided on possibly naming the club “Mainstreamers as ASU,” at the suggestion of Alexa Guy, a design studies major at ASU, who is working on the project with her.

Other clubs such as Women As Hero and Collegetown at ASU offer an open environment to talk about similar issues.

People can be so stuck in their ways that the only possibility of broadening their perspectives is through debating with someone else.

Implementing clubs at ASU where students can branch out and discover new viewpoints and opinions is vital to solving the problems that arise from these controversial topics, especially for people associated with groups that are singled out and stigmatized.

Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that the name of the source was Alise. It has been changed to Bledsoe in response to an error in the interview.

Reach the columnist at skmart13@asu.edu or follow @serena_mart on Twitter.

Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.

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