The Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance (FMLA) at Brandeis was created as a subdivision of the Feminist Majority Foundation. The main goal of the Feminist Majority Foundation is to “empower intersectional communities economically, socially, and politically.” FMLA was created more than 20 years ago because Brandeis needed a community where feminists could engage in discussions about how to empower individuals and how to create changes in society.
FMLA explains that their goal is to “promote discussion and learning about feminism through an intersectional lens. ‘Feminism’ covers a plethora of topics and we really enjoy hearing which topics are most important to our members and having them decide what we talk about each week. To that point, we really hope our members find a space where they feel comfortable sharing their experiences and their own knowledge, while also benefiting from hearing others’ perspectives.”
Weekly FMLA meetings are held on Tuesdays at 7 p.m., and the group is hosting open Zoom events for the Brandeis community. On Oct. 2, the team will be hosting a movie night through Netflix party and Zoom, where they will be watching “The Ugly Truth” and “roasting it for being problematic and perpetrating sexist tropes.” In addition, they are planning to have a smaller version of their event Love Your Body Day which occurs annually. Lastly, they are planning a self-care night on election night, which will be on Nov. 3.
The FMLA team added that they’re attempting to transition their club from community and conversation-based to more action-oriented. “We are an intersectional, all-inclusive, club, and are therefore discussing ways to make the club increasingly accessible to a more diverse population of Brandeis students and make our club a safer and more progressive space on campus for all.”
Even with the difficulties of being virtual, FMLA plans to collaborate with other clubs and discuss intersectional topics while also getting involved with community-based organizations. The team is excited to create positive changes in order to revolutionize their club.
During the pandemic, the team has been using social media in order to publicize their weekly meetings. In addition, their meetings are more action-oriented. The group is also working towards hosting speakers.
This semester, members of FMLA have engaged in discourse and discussed recent Title IX changes and what these changes mean for Brandeis students. They have also discussed online sex work, including examples such as Only Fans, and body commodification. In the future, FMLA will be collaborating with the Brandeis Democrats to discuss the hundredth anniversary of the 19th amendment being ratified.
Hallie Kamosky ’23 explains that her favorite part of being a member of FMLA is having a space where she can discuss feminism that isn’t an academic classroom. She added that “the way we talk about these topics is much more accessible than the ways in which these questions are talked about in university classes. Many WGS [women’s and gender studies] classes use a lot of feminist theory as base text, and while I think this is important, these types are usually very dense and complicated, making them inaccessible for many people. Our conversations are casual and we build a very friendly and non-intimidating atmosphere in the hopes of making these conversations accessible to anyone who wants to join.”
Being a part of FMLA allows an individual to engage in conversation and express themselves in a space where they feel safe—a practice certainly vital for the human soul and allows for growth and development.