On Wednesday, April 20, Western Oregon University welcomed Megan Falley and Olivia Gatwood, otherwise known as the feminist slam poetry duo: SPEAK LIKE A GIRL.
These women have been on a tour around the country, making stops at college campuses to share their fresh and inspiring spoken word on feminism and gender inequality. Issues like street harassment, sexual assault, body image, abusive relationships, victim shaming, and every day sexism were some of many topics addressed in the performance on Wednesday to WOU students and faculty.
Their fantastic dialogue performed on campus had many objectives. Their website describes their mission as “SPEAK LIKE A GIRL aims to make those who have been affected by gendered violence feel seen, heard, and validated, and for those who have not experienced sexism to feel enraged and hell-bent on reform.”
Besides the enthusiastic and enlightening performances, these women already have major accomplishments under their belt. Falley is an author of two full-length collections of poetry, a Women of the World and National Poetry Slam finalist, a winner of the 2015 Rustbelt Regional Poetry Slam, has been featured on TV, and is the creator of the online writing course: Poems That Don’t Suck. Gatwood is also a fiction writer, and sex & relationships columnist, a Women of the World, and National Poetry Slam finalist, winner of the 2015 Rustbelt Regional Poetry Slam, has also been featured on TV, and has taught workshops on feminism and sexual health across the country.
SPEAK LIKE A GIRL is gaining popularity and supporters nation-wide, and for good reason. Western Oregon University advises readers, students, staff and community members to consider looking into their videos, press, tour dates, or to find other ways to get involved in changing the negative and dangerous culture many women live in.
We hope to see Falley and Gatwood back on our campus very soon.