‘Feminist Fest’ celebrates Women’s History Month


provided many of resources related to feminism and gender equity. (Photo by Caroline Burns ’22 for The Lafayette)

By Emma Sylvester, Contributing Writer

Since the college welcomed women into classrooms in 1970, Lafayette had yet to throw a major celebration of women–until now. On Tuesday, the Office of Intercultural Development hosted “Feminist Fest,” a fun and educational event dedicated to the celebration of Women’s History Month. 

Women’s History Month, which occurs every March, has only been in existence since 1987, when it was designated a national celebration by Congress according to History.com. Its purpose is to prompt people to think about the various ways in which women and their contributions have been historically overlooked.

The event, which took place in Farinon, provided a multitude of resources related to feminism and gender equity, coupled with tons of prizes and giveaways, which were sourced from women-owned businesses. Other notable elements of the event included curation of feminist literature organized by Skillman staff members, as well as opportunities for artistic activism through poster-making.

Thomas Lee, the assistant director for Gender and Sexuality Programs within Lafayette’s Office of Intercultural Development, explained that the event aimed to educate all members of the campus community about ways to uplift and all types of women, including transgender women, within their everyday lives. He stated the importance of moving beyond performative activism.

“Not just tweeting about it or posting a picture on Instagram, but really thinking more about how we can be people who support women all year round, not just in March,” Lee said. 

Although the event focused on teaching ways to support women on campus, the event was not created just for women.  

“Anyone can be a feminist,” Lee said. “What a feminist really is is someone who believes in the social and political equality of everybody, regardless of their gender or sex.”

Other events that took place this week in honor of Women’s History Month included a Keynote speaker and a film screening, both sponsored by the Office of Intercultural Development.

Many events related to gender equity and feminism that are taking place on campus are coming from other departments and are not solely run by the Gender and Sexuality programming department, according to Lee. He said that this demonstrates how feminist efforts have become more intersectional and interdisciplinary on campus over the course of the past 50 years, setting Lafayette up for a more diverse and equitable future.