Clubs and Groups day is fast approaching. It provides students with an opportunity to learn more about the assortment of clubs and groups offered at Trent; from sports and athletics, to writing and social activism. One club that will be on display in particular, the Trent Campus Conservatives, tends to get bad press (“fake news”) from this very paper.
An example of this Fake News is when the Trent Arthur reported at length on a so-called Hate Crime last year which never occurred, and insinuated it was members of the Trent Conservatives whom had perpetrated the non-existent act. In fact, one story published last year by co-editors Yumna Sawnya and Zara Syed regarding a sexual attack against members of the Trent Campus Conservatives – which was proven in court – also included, without any apparent reason, a description of the false details of the “Hate Crime” which never occurred, thus implicitly linking the Trent Conservatives with the heinous details of the Hate Crime Hoax.
With this said, despite the Fake News directed at conservative students at Trent University, there has been a small rise in female conservatives on campus – I am one of them. I joined the Trent Conservatives because of my interest in right-wing politics. I have many friends who are liberal, but very few who are conservative. Because of this, I sought out the Trent Conservatives in hopes of building new friendships based in politics. I’ve been asked in the past if I’ve ever felt uncomfortable or awkward being the only current female member of the Trent Conservatives executive. Sure, there may be some slight awkwardness at times, but at the end of the day I enjoy hanging out with the guys and being able to have open discussions about politics – something I find much more difficult to engage in with my liberal friends.
The takeaway of my experience is that it’s okay to step outside of your comfort zone even if you don’t see yourself represented. After joining, I was encouraged to learn that one of the co-founders of the Trent Conservatives was in-fact a female, Trent Alumni Rebecca Hubble. Additionally, I was also happy to learn that the only female Prime Ministers’ in both Canadian and British history have all been from conservative parties. Who knew!
Sure, it would be nice if there were more female voices in contemporary politics, but my advice is to ignore the perceived barriers and pursue what you’re interested in. You know what they say: be the change you want to see in this world. For example, say you’re interested in dance, but you notice everyone is a lot more in-shape compared to you. You may initially feel awkward or uncomfortable, but you shouldn’t let that stop you from doing what you love. Who knows?
Maybe by joining the dance team, you can encourage someone else to join who may not have otherwise. And who knows? Maybe by joining the Trent Conservatives you will inspire another woman – or yourself – to become the next Conservative Prime Minister of Canada!