As they sat in a circle, they talked about ableism.
The Feminists United club gathered on a Tuesday night in a large meeting room where two officers shared their experiences with ableism in their daily lives. In the small groups, one person talked about the lack of accessibility for the impaired in Mexico; another discussed how their younger brother is treated regarding his autism diagnosis. Co-president Ely Doyle said that the small groups allow for members to have productive discussions.
“On one level, one of the main goals [of the club] is to create a safe space for those who are marginalized,” Doyle said.
On their Tumblr page, the group wrote that they also want to “provide a positive example and strong feminist presence at Texas State” and “enrich feminist conversation and develop networking skills through social justice, community service and political activism.” The club aims to be personal in its interaction with members; they sit in a circle in an attempt to lessen the divide often found between members and officers and they splinter off into small groups to answer questions about the topic of the day. Here, they hope that members will feel safe discussing their statuses as marginalized people.
“We like holding workshops because even though we go over a lot in our meetings and I feel that we do a good job of that, the topics are so in-depth that an hour and a half is not enough to delve into them, so we want to provide these workshops for people who are interested in learning more,” Doyle said.
The club also focuses on doing outreach and activism in the community. They participate in activities such as volunteering at Planned Parenthood, partnering with the National Coalition of Student Activists to spread awareness of police brutality and white supremacy, lobbying in Austin and partnering with the Texas Freedom Network to support the 1 in 3 Campaign.
“I really feel like from my experiences that activism makes a bigger impact when people are actually choosing to live their life in this way and it’s not just a hobby or an event they go to,” Doyle said.