Living Feminism with Feminist Camp
Feminism is not the belief that one gender is better than the other. Its goal is simply to equalize men and women in a male-dominated world. Gender equality has been a battle for centuries with constant resistance, and naturally frustration turns into anger for women worldwide. The key to change is turning these frustrated emotions into action. Feminist Camp was established to help people implement feminism into their lives in a healthy and practical way.
Amy Richards, the founder of Feminist Camp, will be bringing the organization’s mission to Global Goals World Cup, playing for GOAL #5: Gender Equality.
“I felt that how people thought and talked about feminism didn’t match with how I saw them living feminism.
“Feminist Camp is about challenging you to figure out what your own values and opinions are. I think a lot of people say they’re feminist but haven’t paused to find a way to make it more specific to their lives.” Richards explains
Giving Young Women the Tools for Feminist Action
Feminist camp operates primarily in New York City, Seattle, San Francisco and Zambia and targets mostly college-aged students; women in their early twenties embarking their professional lives. Feminist Camp hosts about four sessions a year that bring the topic of active feminism to life, helping members become leaders in their communities by offering scholarships to other conferences, organizing opportunities, job search assistance, and more. Their goal is to create a foundation for members to share their work and lead feminist initiatives.
Entering Global Goals World Cup
GOAL #5 was a surprisingly difficult goal for Richards to choose.
She explains: “We approach many of the global goals at Feminist Camp. We try to take less obvious issues like the environment or religion and look at it through the angle of feminism,”
When they finally did choose to play for gender Equality, it is because their program in Zambia specifically targets this goal in developing countries. When they take their work out of the United States, which is what Global Goals essentially does, GOAL #5 best aligns with their international work.
In the past, women have been told that their bodies are weaker and can’t endure the same level of stress as men. Richards therefore believes soccer is an opportunity for women to challenge themselves physically. Knowing what your body is capable is a part of feeling empowered. Global Goals World Cup brings together these women to build mental and physical strength and endure resistance as they fight to reach their goals.
“I think that we have to stop being dependent on an assumption of male superiority,” Richards said. “Besides showing that women are stronger than we’ve ever believed, we also have to show that men aren’t as strong as they are believed to be.”