One of the reasons I chose the HoyasForShe program was because of the HeForShe motto of including men in the fight for gender equality. While some mistake feminism for misandry, that is far from the truth. It is important to acknowledge that men are equally hurt when women suffer. Thus, the more solidarity women gain from men, the more everyone of any gender thrives.
This semester I was paired with the Georgetown Women’s Alliance (GWA), where I learned that as part of the mentorship program, they sometimes pair mentees with male mentors. Moreover, part of my role was to send out the biweekly email on events happening on campus, and my goal was to make sure that I used inclusive vocabulary to make sure people of all gender identities were welcomed to the conversation. Furthermore, my position at the GWA required me to learn about how to be inclusive of not just men, but of people of all levels of abilities, as part of my position required learning about alternative text for text-to-speech computer tools.
Lastly, as part of my position at the GWA, I was privileged to see all the work behind the events that my fellow students at GWA and HoyasForShe hosted. Many GWA events were co-sponsored by other campus organizations that my HoyasForShe fellows were working with like the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security; the Gender+ Justice Initiative; the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity & Affirmative Action; and the Women's and Gender Studies Program.
Reflecting at the end of this year, I come back to this question of why are we so quick to admonish colleges for not being like the “real world.” I wish that we had more cooperation between companies and organizations on healing the wage gap. It should not just be academic institutions that host events that engage with issues of gender inequality. It is not without hope though. Fellowship programs like Georgetown’s HoyasForShe program inspire both undergraduate and graduate students to carry these conversations beyond Georgetown’s campus to their future plans. I trust that my fellow HoyasForShe will help make the “real world” more like Georgetown.
This post was prepared by Katie O'Hara (G'19) as part of the HoyasForShe Student Fellowship.