Photo by Vivian Giang.
“Women shouldn’t have to take a breath before they say what they want.”
For Caitlin Corker, a junior political science major, feminism means “equality for all.” She believes that feminism is obviously women-centered, but also sees feminism as a way to help everyone in society.
“I kind of have this fight within myself of being both a realist and an idealist… My idealist notion is America being ‘freedom, liberty, justice for all.’” While she doesn’t believe that America was founded upon this ideal, Caitlin continues, “I think it’s worth fighting for. Not only for women, but for everybody.”
She started identifying as a feminist after becoming involved in student governance, where she noticed that women had to be much more thoughtful about their word choice and often spoke carefully to avoid being seen as “angry” or “crazy.”
“I’m not quite sure men have to do that,” she said.
As she became more interested in feminism, she also developed a more tense relationship with her family. She cites Thanksgiving as an example: while she enjoyed cooking dinner for her family, it was frustrating to see that her brother didn’t have any domestic responsibilities.
Still, Caitlin doesn’t see this tension as a bad thing. ”It’s pushing their boundaries in a good way. It’s good to be uncomfortable.”
Being uncomfortable, Caitlin explains, means you’re pushing yourself to better understand other people and where they’re coming from. From there, we can learn to empathize more with them, something that Caitlin believes is sorely lacking in modern American society.
Although empathy can be a difficult thing to learn, to Caitlin it’s absolutely necessary. “It pushes society in a better way, to not stay with the status quo. A stagnant society is not a better society.”