This past weekend was a weekend of commemoration and appreciation. Specifically, this was a weekend of women empowerment. I attended three separate events that celebrated and/or commemorated the female body, mind, soul, and courage, which made me feel am immense sense of pride and empowerment.
The first event was Sing Our Rivers Red exhibit in Frost Library. This exhibit was presented this weekend Saturday and Sunday. The exhibit displayed single earrings that belonged to indigenous women who have gone missing or have been murdered all across the United States. Women of color become the symbol of forgotten oppression; but this exhibit commemorates the suffering of these indigenous women, proving to the world that none of them are forgotten.
The second event was the Women of Color Forum hosted by students and Parents and Alumni Program. The women of color forum allowed current female of color students to seek guidance, advice, and life stories from women of color alumni who have experienced various forms of oppression, discrimination, and scarring from the Amherst College institution. This form of women solidarity was important and crucial for women of color on campus who didn’t feel like their oppression can be validated, or that the injustices on campus are injustices at all.
To conclude my weekend, I watched Chi-Raq for class this Sunday. The film embodied the empowerment of women from a domestic sphere of sexual objectification to a powerful gender domination that eventually led to the end of gun and gang violence in South Chicago. Even if critics saw this as a moment of using the female objectification, especially in the way Spike Lee exploits the female body to gain power, this meant the beginning (be it satirical or not) and moment in which women had the agency to determine their own actions using their own bodies. This to me, was one of the ultimate forms of empowerment.
I did not anticipate this weekend to have such an effect on me and my female identity. Yet, the consecutive events made me realize the various movements of women empowerment at Amherst College and beyond– I, therefore, feel empowered.