THE BLOG
15/11/2013 07:54 GMT | Updated 23/01/2014 18:58 GMT

University of Liverpool's FemSoc: Has It Gone Too Far?

The Feminist Society's Facebook page has become more of a battleground than a place for rational discussion.

The University of Liverpool Feminist Society was established in 2013, and holds weekly meetings to discuss issues faced by students on campus and issues in wider society. The Facebook discussion page is a place for members to post and incite discussions: this page is a closed group but open to all members to discuss their views.

The Feminist Society at the University carries out some great work, organising events to raise awareness of gender inequality on campus and debating key topics at their meetings.

However, the Facebook page is a constant battle, in which participating members appear to enjoy attacking one another's views as opposed to actually coming to an educated conclusion and concentrating on the key issues facing women at the University.

When you first join, it feels empowering - you're getting involved with like minded individuals who will understand the issues that you're facing.

But it soon becomes apparent, after getting involved in one of the page's 'debates', that this is not always the case. After participating in a debate surrounding weight, body image and feminism, I was shocked by the level of abuse that was passed around.

After being labelled a 'fat shamer', I was extremely disillusioned with the conversation. My comments were not respected but rejected harshly because they didn't fit in with the hivemind's opinion. A drunken member felt it necessary to put forward her highly personal opinion of my view, twisting it to suit her own ends, which is not just disrespectful but highly inappropriate in a debate between educated adults at a Red Brick University.

After many continuing debates, I just stopped getting involved - it became clearer and clearer that if you do not have some sort of qualification in Gender Studies your viewpoint is somehow lacking, and therefore wrong.

Not having an in-depth knowledge of intersectionality does not automatically mean that a woman's viewpoint is invalid in relation to racial issues, nor does my job as a writer mean that I simply target and associate with 'white middle class women', insinuating further that my opinion isn't 'relevant'.

My purpose for joining the group was because I felt alienated as a woman in society, with my viewpoint being shot down and laughed at by the LADs that pervade University: it felt ridiculous to feel even more alienated within a group that was supposed to empower me as a woman.

One can only hope for the group to become calmer and more simplistic: the basis of feminism is gender equality within society, so why do we not concentrate on this as opposed to shaming each other's views and fighting between ourselves over who is the biggest and most well informed feminist?