Photo by Jessica Waite.
“The world doesn’t make sense if you presume some people to be less worthy than others. It doesn’t leave any room for intellectualism or progress or true love, and the world is a pretty devastating and dreary place without those things.”
Third year Sociology student Laura Savage has always identified as a feminist, but doesn’t think she “really understood the gravity of what that meant until [she] came to college and started having conversations with people, especially people who disagreed with [her].” She says, “I’m a feminist because nothing else makes sense.”
There are many different beliefs within the feminist movement, but feminists need to make sure that they’re not still perpetuating sexist beliefs. Laura explains, “A lot of feminists think that the way to create equality is to have women become CEOs, physicists, lawyers, etc. While it’s true that women should have the opportunity to take on these jobs if they want to, this attitude tends to foster the belief that women have to take on traditionally masculine roles in order to be powerful or self-righteous or feminist—and that’s the opposite of what we should be be preaching.”
Instead, she says that feminism means supporting other women and their choices. “Feminism is about women being human beings, and therefore making independent decisions about their lives. So if a woman wants to be a CEO, we need to support her in that effort. But if a woman wants to take time off work to raise her children, we need to support her, too—because by saying that a woman is giving up on her career or not living up to her full potential because she is taking on a traditionally feminine role, we’re abandoning the values of solidarity and female equality that we have fought so hard for others to recognize.”
However, Laura feels that feminism has made great progress by bring awareness of gender inequality to a lot of people. “Feminism has gotten to this really cool, totally unapologetic point, and there’s no going back from here.”