Center sponsors biweekly female event

Melissa Ruhlman/The News

Savannah Sawyer
Assistant Features Editor

The on campus Women’s Center held a session Tuesday night called “Hot Topics, Females Only” for women on campus looking for a way to relieve stress and gain control of their lives.
These sessions will be held every other Tuesday in the Women’s Center for the rest of the semester and are free to attend. The sessions work to improve mental, emotional and physical connections with ourselves.
“Connecting the body, mind and sprit, that’s the most important thing because until you can connect all three, your life really doesn’t make a lot of sense,” Angela Thomas, facilitator for the sessions, said.
“We hope to just bring women of all ages and all walks of life together to talk about any issue that is an area they have questions about, they have concerns about and they just want to talk with other women about it but talk about it in not a trivial way,” Jane Etheridge, director of the Women’s Center, said.
Thomas was inspired to start the sessions from her previous experiences with women empowerment groups.
Once a student at Murray State, Thomas attended meetings with the Consciousness Raising Group, who had a similar message and agenda as she now hopes to accomplish.
“It wasn’t just college students, different age groups, and different backgrounds,” Thomas said. “I owe my whole view of being a woman and feeling empowered to make good judgments in my life, I really owe a lot of that to that group.”
Thomas wants to give women a space to share what’s on their minds.
“It’s too bad there’s nothing for young women like that,” she said. “I think it’s more needed now than ever before. I just see a lot of young women floundering about who they are, what they want, where they’re headed and lacking a real sense of empowerment.”
Thomas turned to Etheridge knowing that she was the right person to help her get her project off the ground.
“She approached me about it and I thought ‘wow, I’ll try anything if somebody comes to me and they have a passion.’ It fits with the mission and goals of the center, to empower women, or to empower all of us but to explore the female experience,” Etheridge said. “Anybody that comes to me with an idea that I can make work, within reason, then I want to support them in doing that.”
This is the first semester the sessions are being held.
“We’ve had, in the past, support groups of some kind or a skill building group but we’ve never had anything like this before,” Etheridge said.
Women from all walks of life have different problems they have to overcome and these sessions are meant as a forum for women to talk about their problems and concerns in a comfortable setting, Etheridge said.
“I think so often, if you look at media, there is always this perfect ideal that women are supposed to reach, body wise, spirit wise, emotions, and socially and career that none of us can ever achieve so we all walk around feeling pretty dissatisfied with self and a lot of self denigration,” she said. “We think we’re the only one because everybody else looks like they’ve got it all together because nobody talks about it because then it points to them.”
The understood goal is for women to come to the sessions with things they want to share and not feel ashamed to be who they are.
“What topic would be most meaningful to delve into and whatever it is that’s where we’ll go,” Thomas said. “I have nothing that I want to teach, I just wanted to provide the space, the place for it to happen.”
The Women’s Center is located in Applied Science C-103.
Contact Sawyer