Club Empowers Women through Discussion, Film

Sarah Mazer ’19, Staff Writer

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On March 5, approximately 25 students attended an I Am That Girl club sponsored screening of The Empowerment Project, a film documenting the journey of a female film crew who travel across the country to interview 17 powerful women in a variety of industries.

Emma Batchelder ’17, president of the I Am That Girl club, decided to present the documentary at Dickinson after viewing it at a Girls on the Run fundraiser last year. She felt that it “touched upon a lot of things that we kind of just expect and don’t really talk about,” and would facilitate meaningful conversation in the Dickinson community. Batchelder was very pleased with the turnout and the number of people who stayed for a discussion after the screening.

The aim of the film was to empower women through the presentation of these role models, who ranged from women working in male-dominated industries such as aviation, the military and brewing as well as to show the power of women in traditionally female dominated industries, such as ballet.

Jillian Clark ‘19 felt a major theme of the film was the presentation of typically under-represented women.

“I’m really happy that there are things like this [film] for young girls right now so they can see what it is to be a powerful woman,” said Clark.

Gillian Fennell ’19, an I Am That Girl club member, said the film emphasized the importance of the association between success and femininity.

Batchelder formed the chapter of I Am That Girl, an international organization, at Dickinson in November 2012. She had heard about the organization at Elon University, and thought that the Dickinson community would benefit from forming their own group.

“In high school I was involved in a program called Girls on the Run (the founder of the organization was one of the featured women in the film) and that was something that helped me get through a lot of hard times and helped me find myself,” said Batchelder.  “That was something we didn’t have here.”

According to Batchelder, I Am That Girl is a “discussion based club with the goal to raise self-worth through meaningful discussion.” Club meetings begin with members celebrating each other by sharing what made them “that girl” in the previous week, and then members discuss a specific issue. Previous topics have included beauty in the media, the “superwoman” complex, intimacy, bullying and self-care.

Fennell said that “aside from it being a really comfortable group of women that wouldn’t usually be interacting on a daily basis and having such deep conversations on a whim, it’s a lot more about what we expect from society as women and making the difference that needs to happen.”

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