Radical Self Love was an event hosted by the Bairnwick Women’s Center, following up a previous event of the same purpose during Wellness Week last semester. The first event gave life to The Sewanee Collective, a women’s discussion and empowerment group on campus. Last semester’s event focused on the concept of radical self love and improving love between women across campus. This semester’s discussion centered on the times and places in which our campus is seriously lacking love, and what students can change about these attitudes. Despite the difficult nature of this conversation, the productivity and positivity of this group of women is the spirit that The Sewanee Collective is based upon. Most likely the Women’s Center will continue to host these events.
Kathleen Kelso (C’17), a recently chosen Executive Board Member of the Women’s Center for 2014-2015, said, “There were girls of every year in every organization you could think of and they all had beautiful things to say,” expressing the necessity and constructiveness of a heterogeneous group. Women at the event were able to discuss things that they loved about our campus, and things they were not as happy with. women in competition, slut-shaming and the virgin/whore dichotomy.
“By talking about it I learned a lot about my peers and where Sewanee needs to grow and change to be an even better place,” Kelso said after the event, reiterating this theme of building Sewanee stronger. Although difficult conversations took place within this space, Kelso’s sentiments seem to reflect what many others were thinking and feeling; specifically, a reinvigoration of strength, purpose, and direction for taking action to combat the issues facing this campus at large.