smilingrid: Kicker salon

March 28, 2014

Kicker salon

I am so thankful to be part of Kicker's campus ambassador program.  Everyone has been wonderful and I've gotten to know some really wonderful individuals! 
Plus, the program involves monthly challenges, and March's were super fun!

The one that I just completed was to host a "salon," or a gathering of friends designed to promote discussion and exchange ideas (a les Francais).

Oh, and there were ice cream sundaes! Who doesn't want to do real talk over ice cream?

The topic I chose was originally education and opportunities for girls, but ended up broadening into gender dynamics and the dual meaning of the word "feminist." Gender dynamics are especially interesting  (and evident) in the media, as well as in subtle moments throughout any woman's life. Being a feminist should mean that you want equal rights for men and women. Period. Unfortunately, it has gained some negative connotations that make people leery of associating themselves with feminism or the feminist movement. 

 We talked about gender expectations- in the classroom, in relationships, hell, even at the gym! 

In the classroom- Since leaving my (very vocal) all-female high school to come to BC, it has come to my attention that male students tend to take charge and control the conversations in classrooms. Women make up more than half of most collegiate student bodies, so why aren't our voices accurately represented? Daniella and Ylan are currently taking courses relating to our broad topic, which added particularly interesting case studies and nuance to our discussions.

In relationships- who asks the other on a date? Who pays? Should doors be held? All answers to these questions have social norms that have been gendered and stereotyped- so what are the "right" answers? We talked about the stereotype of the man asking the woman out on a date and that this preconceived ideal is slowly changing. When it does, we agreed that whoever does the asking should pay for the date. Thoughts?

In the gym- women don't venture "under the overhang." One of my roommates even jokingly referred to it as "the forbidden forrest." What is the overhang, you ask? Where all of the lifting equipment lies. 

As many of the participants were from my appalachia service group, we talked about differences in subtle sexism in the South versus in the North. When does helping a woman lift something, smash something with a sledgehammer, or clean a room, (or any other thing) reach the point of making her feel like her ability has been compromised? Or, at least, like the male opinion of her capability has been? 

Some smaller groups broke off from time to time, so I hope they'll fill me in on any awesome conversations that got started!

We also managed to talk about my initial topic, all wrapped in and around the broad topic of women's rights. This was accomplished through mentioning many of the different groups we are all involved in at BC- for example, I volunteer through Strong Women Strong Girls by mentoring 3rd-5th grade girls and teaching them about positive role models. Another example, both Laura and I are involved with BC's chapter of Amnesty International (Laura more so than me, she's on the E-board!). One of the facets they take action against are women's rights, safety, and education around the world. Yet another, my friend Hannah is part of Women in Business in CSOM, our business school, which gives her a unique perspective on this male dominated career path. 

I want to send a massive thank you out to my wonderful friends and participants in last night's salon! I had a lot of fun (and a LOT of ice cream) and really enjoyed learning about everyone's different perspectives. Of course, I'd also like to thank Kicker for the wonderful opportunity to host such an event and generate such conversations.

 Please keep the conversations going, guys! I'd love to hear your thoughts, comments, concerns, personal experiences... whatever you want to share, leave it in the comments!


  1. This looks like it was a lovely opportunity! x

  2. The salon and the Kicker campus ambassador are both super fun! I am so thankful to have done both :)