Hundreds of students, faculty and parents gathered last Friday to view the production “Amplify: UT Women’s Voices,” at an event that demonstrated the uniqueness of being a woman.
The production, held in the theatre of Texas Union Building, was composed of 19 performances by women in the UT community, either about their experiences or the experiences of others. Hosted by the UT Women’s Resource Agency of Student Government, Amplify served as a platform for those who identify as women to discuss shared experiences as well as educate the audience on obstacles women encounter.
“Personally, I tend to look at my own story and the struggles that I’ve been through, but it’s also important to look at different perspectives,” said public relations junior Rola Elkhatib, who attended the event. “For example, when they discussed transgender issues, (which is) something I really haven’t had the chance to educate myself about, I saw the importance of paying attention to people that are different than you to widen your perspective.”
Performances were organized to take the form of a story that encompassed elements of struggle, resistance, joy and empowerment.
“As inclusive that we wish UT is, we must realize that it’s actually not,” said Tasnim Islam, a public health and plan II freshman, in her performance called “The Beauty of the Blur.” “We see this exclusivity especially when transgender and intersex folks are deterred from applying to the University, because they know they will not be able to live comfortably and safely within their own home here.”
Brett Dolotina, a public health and biochemistry sophomore who attended the event, said he saw value in exposing new perspectives to the different audience members.
“I think that the primary benefit of men attending events like these is to better understand the perspective of women,” Dolotina said. “Men do not usually think about the discrimination that women face. In better understanding this, men play an impactful role in terms of being able to empower women and raise them to the status of equals.”
The Women’s Resource Agency started Amplify three years ago as an effort to highlight the voices of women throughout the University, according to the event’s organizers. All proceeds from each year’s show go to Voices Against Violence, an organization aimed at supporting survivors of interpersonal violence and attempting to put an end to sexual violence.