Snaps of agreement resounded through the theater in collective understanding as those who identified with the female experience shared their stories. On Friday, April 21, Urban’s Students for Women’s Equality and Rights (SWEAR) club and Lick Wilmerding’s Organization of Women (LWOW) club hosted the fourth annual Girl Talk. Girl Talk is a night dedicated to providing a safe space for people to share their experiences navigating life as women and as those who can identify with the female experience.
Similar to the Affinity Show hosted by MultiCulti, Girl Talk is a space for students to perform written pieces that abide by basic guidelines provided by the Urban counseling office. While Urban students composed their own pieces, Lick students performed pieces written anonymously.
The show began at 7:10pm with an introduction from SWEAR leaders Leah Baron (‘18) and Kaylah Breiz (‘17), and LWOW leaders Bonnie Castleman (‘17), Meredith Fry (‘17), Nora Stacy (‘17), and Olympia Francis Taylor(‘18).
All donations went to Casa de las Madres, a nonprofit organization that provides “shelter, advocacy and support services to women, teens, and children exposed to and at risk of abuse and domestic violence,” according to their website. This year, LWOW leaders reported that the event raised 603 dollars.
At the beginning of the show, audience members were asked to step outside at any time due to the challenging topics covered in performances. During the two hour and a half hour event, student monologues exhibited vulnerability, covering body image, intersectionality, sexual assault, sexuality, and eating disorders.
“It has been a much heavier year this year and I think that’s because it has been a tough year to be a woman. There were actually very few monologues specifically about Trump and I think that’s because people are getting a little bit of exhaustion. When I was writing I didn’t want to talk about politics because I’ve been thinking about it enough,” LWOW co-leader Bonnie Castleman (‘17) said.
Despite heavy topics, the support was palpable from the audience, as friends, classmates and families from both the Lick and Urban communities attended. “I first saw Girl Talk when I was in my freshman year and I was blown away by how mature the participants were and how strong they were and how strong the community seemed. It means a lot to me to be a part of that group of people because we’re all really close and I love it,” Margot Bickler, (‘18) said.
“The importance of Girl Talk is being candid and real about true experiences of womanhood and femme-hood. I think it’s important to assert your feelings, take claim over your identity and express that to an audience,” SWEAR co-leader Leah Baron (‘18) said.