By Karlee Lewis
If you tune into 88.7 FM between 7-8pm on Mondays, expect to hear junior political science pre-law student Delaney Keefe, super-senior graphic design major Wren Snyder, and their ever-changing cohort of co-hosts discussing feminism, politics and other social justice topics. The show itself, ‘Dame Theory’, is WXJM’s longest running talk show and has been passed down from year-to-year based on who the current Dames choose to carry on the legacy.
What is currently known as ‘Dame Theory’ got its start in fall 2006 as a feminist talk show under the name ‘Girl Talk.’ The name was changed in 2011 to be more inclusive of the LGBTQIA community, since women, transmen, non-binary and other identities are welcome and encouraged to be featured on the show.
The show is politically charged, however, does not always focus on political topics. Instead, the hosts’ discussion of current political events brings a feminist point-of-view to light. Guest hosts are encouraged to speak up on their perspectives, especially if they are a person of color or a member of the LGBTQIA community, because it adds perspectives to a campus that is predominantly white and cishet. The feminism displayed on the show is intersectional, meaning it includes all oppressed groups.
I met with current and past Dames to discuss the importance of Dame Theory and why it has been passed down for so many years. Many agreed that the reason it has withstood so many years and hosts is because it tackles more serious topics than other shows.
Current executive director Delaney Keefe said, “It’s been passed on because people are just passionate about the topics. I can't think of any [shows] that, besides Queerly Beloved now, are specifically for the focus of intersectional feminism.”
In response, co-director Wren Snyder added, “Once you get roped in, you’re in, you're there for life.”
After figuring out how the show has withstood the tests of time, I wondered how the hosts played a part in the success. Sid Thesq Uid, a JMU alum and past Dame and former WXJM General Manager, told me about the process of handing down the show. She said, “Whoever comes consistently, is very involved, and is clearly very passionate about the topics pretty much gets it [the show] handed down to them.”
If you're passionate about feminism, tune in and give the show a listen. If you're up for it, contact Delaney about guest starring on an episode, because it thrives on the diversity of its personnel. In the words of Wren, “If you're in town, come be on our show.”
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