Students and staff at Eastern leave with a better understanding of feminism after the What is Feminism? panel discussion hosted by the women and gender studies department Tuesday, Oct. 25. The discussion consisted of four faculty panelists and a student moderator. Moderator Jessica Vaught, junior English and Spanish education major, led the discussion and the four panelists had an opportunity to answer every question. Each panelist gave the audience a new perspective on equality, harassment and safety. What is Feminism? focused on what feminism is and how to spread it to others. The panelists explained feminism is not hating men, but rather wanting equality for everyone. Assistant English professor and panelist, Brent Shannon said there are so many different perspectives and once a person can recognize and respect it, they have an obligation to help others do the same. “We are cowardly about our own responsibility,” Shannon said. Much of the discussion was based on what feminism is and what it is not. What is Feminism? spread awareness of danger and educated students on the equality issues within society. “People think negative thoughts without thinking of the positive things it supports,” said panelist Socorro Zaragoza, associate professor of Spanish. Director of women and gender studies, Lisa Day explained steps to take to prevent being a victim of rape culture and what to do when being assaulted or harassed on campus. Day said it’s important to protect oneself, take a picture of the harasser or the vehicle, be harsh and end the conversation with the person immediately and leave the scene. She also explained she is a certified investigator for the reported assaults on campus. Day made the comment that many predators will start a conversation by complimenting a girl or guy in order to trick them into thinking that they are nice people. “It’s not a compliment,” Day said. The discussion focused on positive ideas which feminism stands for instead of the negative. On social media and in the current society, feminism has been seen as hating others, women wanting all the power and people getting offended too easily, Day said. “Feminism is working together and being equal with everyone,” said panelist Molly McKinney, assistant professor of public health. Day said EKU meets the national average rate of assaults on college campuses according to Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN). This includes one in four women and one in 22 men. Many support groups and student organizations are available for students such as Feminism for Change and the Alphabet Center. Feminism for Change is a student organization that supports active feminists and promotes overall equality across campus. The Alphabet Center is a support group for LGBTQ students who feel unsafe on campus. Both Feminism for Change and the Alphabet Center sponsored What is Feminism?. Appalachian Legal Defense Fund provides free legal representation and advice for those who have been victims of violence or assault. Bluegrass Rape Crisis Center provides help and safety to any student on campus who has been the victim of violence, assault, or oppression. The video for the What is Feminism? panel discussion can be found on Day’s Facebook page and will soon be on the WGS Facebook page. For more information on this event, other WGS events or safety tips, contact Lisa Day at lisa.day@eku.edu.