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Duke Launches Program to Cultivate Feminist Activists

Universities are notorious training grounds for developing bright young women into angry, jilted and jaded feminists.

To that end, it was announced at Duke University this week that a program will launch this spring there to cultivate and train women to become feminist whiners – er, writers. Sorry.

The Duke Chronicle student newspaper reports on the program, Write(H)ers, the brainchild of the campus Women’s Center.

 A new media activism program at Duke aims to help young women excel in writing about gender issues. … Members of the program will participate in personal blogging and workshops with professional journalists to discuss gender issues in society and on campus. Senior Sarah Van Name, a member of Write(H)ers and a contributor to Duke’s feminist blog Develle Dish, said the program serves to train young women and better equip them to be activists when they need to be.

… “For a lot of women, becoming a feminist is about realizing that discrimination does exist and you can do something about it,” said senior Samantha Lachman, media activism intern at the Duke Women’s Center. “It doesn’t necessarily take much to make that leap, it just takes thinking about ways that you can overcome the patriarchy that exists in our society.”

… Although Write(H)ers is primarily for those who openly identify as feminist, another goal of the program includes reaching out to people who might be allies to the feminist movement but have never talked about gender issues openly, Van Name said.

She added that day-to-day activism is about trying to look at the world in a different perspective.

“There are a lot of people here who have never considered what it’s like to be a woman in that you’re constantly told that you have to be on the watch when you’re walking home by yourself, or watch what you’re drinking and wearing when you go out,” Van Name said.

It’s no stretch to guess that campus female perspectives that differ from mainstream feminism will not be sought or included in this program.

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About the Author
Fix Editor
Jennifer Kabbany is editor of The College Fix. She previously worked as a daily newspaper reporter and columnist for a decade in Southern California, and prior to that held editorial positions at The Weekly Standard, Washington Times and FrontPageMagazine. She is also a Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship recipient and has contributed to National Review.

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