Calu Malta - “The Feminist Society”

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Calu Malta

Despite the relentless efforts of the British weather, my mood is only sometimes dampened by the cold. I am a 20-year-old Brazilian student, fascinated by books and films; hence the pursuit for a Film and English degree.

I was continuously told that coming to University would be an amazing experience, but there was one particular aspect of it that took me by surprise: how important the University of Bristol’s Feminist Society proved to be to me, both in the sense that I strengthened existing friendships, and in the sense that it became a process of personal growth and development.

Before arriving at Bristol, I had always been, to some extent, aware of the ways in which sexism permeated my home country. This was manifested both in small ways within my group of friends and in bigger ways, which affected how safe I felt walking the streets alone. It was always on the back of my mind, but only came to the foreground when I moved away from Brazil.

I was lucky enough to be living with three people in my first year that introduced me to feminism. In little day-to-day interactions, they would continually bring to my and our other flatmates attention the seemingly innocent comments that were actually harmful and sexist.

Despite this, I didn’t go to many events hosted by the Feminist Society in my first year. This was due to the fact that my knowledge of feminism was still budding, and I was too caught up in socializing with the people that I lived with to seek friends elsewhere. Things really kicked off in my second year, when my friends and I became part of the society’s Facebook group.

CALUMALTA 2 THISYEARSRECLAIMTHENIGHTMARCH

Soon after, they posted on the group asking students who were interested in performing their spoken word poetry in an event called Reclaim the Night, a march that takes place all over the nation.That night, I performed a piece of mine; it was an incredible experience, simply because I felt connected to a large group of people without knowing them individually. Whilst I felt very nervous performing my poem at the Student Union in front of so many people, I also felt very comfortable, not only because I had my friends supporting me but also because the atmosphere was filled with care and understanding.

That night, I performed a piece of mine; it was an incredible experience, simply because I felt connected to a large group of people without knowing them individually. Whilst I felt very nervous performing my poem at the Student Union in front of so many people, I also felt very comfortable, not only because I had my friends supporting me but also because the atmosphere was filled with care and understanding.

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