“I feel like anyone with common sense should be a feminist. I don’t think it’s right to put any human being down.”
Yewande Sanusi, a third-year Nursing major at UCLA, is a feminist. When asked if there was a defining moment in her life where she realized she was a feminist, she explains: “I’ve always believed it. Like I said, anyone with common sense should know it’s not right to treat people like objects and that’s been my view all my life. I’ve been recently named as feminist, but really it’s just how I believe humans should be treated.”
Sanusi continues to describe that much of society fears the word “feminist.” She explains that there is a misconception that feminism is “anti-men”, however that is not the case. Sanusi further elaborates:
“I feel like people are scared of the word feminist. Not just men, but women are scared of it too. They’re scared to be seen out of the box because they want to be viewed as dateable; they want to be viewed as submissive; they want to be viewed as subtle flowers. They try to stream away from feminism. There was a study of women in Harvard Business School and a lot of them said they don’t raise their hand in class or participate because they don’t want to be seen as the overachiever female and not be approached by men. And I just think things like that are sad in terms that we can’t even talk in classes.”
The New York Times reported on the study Sanusi is referring to.
In the article, the author Jodi Kantor writes, “One particular factor was torpedoing female class participation grades: women, especially single women, often felt they had to choose between academic and social success.”
Because our society values the subservient woman, it makes sense that this is also seen within the classroom. Later in the article, a male student is quoted saying, “She’s kind of hot, but she’s so assertive.”
We should not have to censor our own set of beliefs or opinions. Women can no longer fear to speak up and be heard.
Yewande is a feminist. Are you?