“I rebelled in high school and became anti-religious. That’s why I’m a feminist.”
Culture and religion were essential to UCLA senior, Rimon Elkotbeid’s identification as a feminist.
“I was raised in a traditional household. My dad is a convert, he used to be Muslim and then converted to Christianity. He’s a part of a culture where women aren’t equal to men, like it is in the Western culture… He still kept a lot of that culture with him. He had all of the power in our house and I didn’t like it”.
Rimon knew at a young age that he could not agree with the idea that women were not considered equal to men. This led him to create his own values that differed greatly from the traditional norm within his family.
He also believes that an essential part of feminism is encouraging girls to challenge gender stereotypes- such as the common misconceptions that women cannot be scientists or mathematicians.
“Women aren’t represented well in science and technologies. We should encourage girls to pursue these things like ‘girls for math.’ I’m doing this for my little sister who is 10”.
Rimon strongly believes that a necessary way to break gender inequalities in society is for men and women to work together and find ways to challenge the standards.
He acknowledges, “In order to get rid of these stereotypes we need to fight them”.