Duke wants to train a cadre of feminist bloggers, and is offering a training course through the Women’s Center.

If Duke trains enough students, maybe they can form a Group of 88 feminist bloggers.

Marianna Jordan of The Duke Chronicle reports.

Write(H)ers aims to train Duke feminist bloggers

A new media activism program at Duke aims to help young women excel in writing about gender issues.

This Spring, senior Samantha Lachman, media activism intern at the Duke Women’s Center, worked with Women’s Center Director Ada Gregory to launch Write(H)ers, an initiative to create a community of feminist-oriented writers. The 23 members of the program will participate in personal blogging and workshops with professional journalists to discuss gender issues in society and on campus. Senior Sarah Van Name, a member of Write(H)ers and a contributor to Duke’s feminist blog Develle Dish, said the program serves to train young women and better equip them to be activists when they need to be.

“This program was a dream come true for me because I read a lot of feminist blogs and several of the women who write these blogs now have the opportunity to come to Duke and explain to this new community how to follow in their footsteps,” Van Name said.

Each participant in the Write(H)ers program must attend workshop dinners with four visiting journalists and feminist bloggers including Jill Filipovic, Irin Carmon, Heather Havrilesky and Rebecca Traister. Lachman said Traister was the most famous of the four visiting journalists. In 2011, she wrote “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” which discusses gender politics in the 2008 U.S. election.

Each student must also contribute three blog posts over the course of the semester to either the Women’s Center blog or Develle Dish.

“[The Women’s Center] wanted to create a space for students to write about their personal relationships with gender issues to dispel stereotypes and help diffuse the tension around gender on campus,” said Lachman, who also writes a column for The Chronicle.