Comedian Amanda Seales Performs “Sideye Seminar”
BY MATT MCCORMACK
Amanda Seales executes speech that leaves audience with better understanding of sexism and catcalling.
In honor of Westminster College celebrating 35 years of “Women of Westminster,” school officials decided to bring comedian, Amanda Seales, to campus on Friday, March 13. In her lecture, “Sideye Seminar,” Seales spoke out against issues that women face in society, including catcalling. After an appearance on CNN to address the catcalling concept, Seales’ interview went viral. Both men and women of the campus community listened to the comedian’s seminar for an hour and a half in Coulter Science Center Lecture Hall.
Before diving into the perception of catcalling, Seales said she has faced discrimination in the comedic world. “As women, we are still marginalized as people who have to figure it out,” Seales said when discussing women’s roles in society. “Women get called crazy because our thoughts are coming from a different perspective.”
Women can be tough figures in society, according to Seales. “There are women right now pushing a watermelon outside a hole,” Seales said when discussing childbirth. The comedian said that society believes “you’re not legitimate as a woman unless you have a man.”
During the latter half of the lecture, Seales moved from sexism to catcalling. The audience laughed when the comedian said, “There’s this idea that says because women are walking down the street, we are open season.” Catcalling is harassment, she said.
The Columns spoke with students who said they enjoyed Seales’ discussion. Rupa Kumari, ’18, said: “She was very entertaining and explicit with her lecture. People talk about feminism and sexism as a serious conversation, but she was funny. It was not an attack on anyone but just her way of expressing thoughts. She expressed everything in her own way, and that was the beauty of her lecture.”
Binju Gaire, ’16, said: “I like how she addressed such an important topic in a joyous way and entertained the entire crowd. I enjoyed when she said, ‘You don’t have a right to anybody’s body.’”
When asked what was surprising about the lecture, Nicholas Baldoni, ’15, said: “I was surprised about how informal she was. She was open and friendly. I thought she came off as very personable.” Baldoni said he liked Seales’ comment that people should do what is right even when the decision is not popular.
“I never knew how much women in society are expected to be nice,” Baldoni added. “For men, it can be difficult sometimes to realize something from a woman’s perspective.”
After “Sideye Seminar” ended, select guests were invited to Mueller Leadership Hall for dinner with Seales.