How do You Define Feminism?

[caption id="attachment_127091" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Joaqin Lougona - Healthy Lifestyle - "Adds perspective"  Photo by Mackenzie McCreary Joaquin Lougona, who studies healthy lifestyle, says feminism "adds perspective."
Photo by Mackenzie McCreary[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_127095" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Global Health student Monet Niesluchowski says, "Feminism is needed for female empowerment, but believing feminism requires a desire for equality from all angles." Photo by Mackenzie McCreary Global Health student Monet Niesluchowski says, "Feminism is needed for female empowerment, but believing feminism requires a desire for equality from all angles."
Photo by Mackenzie McCreary[/caption]

“Well I picture a lot of different things,” says English literature senior Tom Kushibab.

Uncertain answers seemed to keep reappearing. Do people, especially college students, really have clear ideas on what feminism is?

“I really boil it down to two real forms in my head,” Kushibab says.

There are many sides and interpretations of the idea of a "feminist," and everyone has their own views. Some think the term and idea is not relevant in our progressive society today.

“One side is the very self-aware and self-educated individual who understands that her place in society is fluid. That there are no ceilings or basements,”  Kushibab says. “The other is someone who bases their ideas of womanhood and femininity on ignorance and what has been told.”

General studies senior Emilee Howard expresses that it makes her feel like she has an identity.

“I would define it as men and women being in the same realm,” Howard says. “And not seen as crazy and emotional women when they are just being a boss just like guys are.”

When asked to define a feminist, some picture the extremists seen on the news protesting shirtless and hating all things having to do with men. This is not reality in most cases.

Feminism comes from women who want the respect they deserve in a society where one in four college women will be sexually assaulted by the time they graduate, according to the U.S. Department of Justice report.

The concept may be outdated in some ways, but it is also more than feeling the need to fight for gender equality. Groups like FORCE: Upsetting the Culture of Rape aim to bring about discussion of rape culture and activism to end sexual violence.

Rape culture is defined as a culture where ideologies, media images and social practices trivialize male violence against women, according to the Huffington Post.

“I feel like there are misogynist men who try to manipulate things and give themselves an upper hand,” says education junior Breannah Worthy.

FORCE wants to “raise a critical, authentic and difficult conversation about sexual violence that will disrupt the silence and myths that perpetuate rape culture,” according to its website (upsettingrapeculture.com).

“Men and women should be equal, we shouldn’t have to even mention feminism,” says film senior Dallas Campbell.

Worthy sees another aspect of it.

“I guess I feel like people are too feminist. Sometimes women try to act like men so much that they forget to act like a woman,” Worthy says.

No matter what you think on the subject, there seems to be a general consensus that there is still some work to be done for equal treatment of men and women.

It seems feminism will be around for a while longer.

[caption id="attachment_127092" align="aligncenter" width="600"]"Feminism is empowerment for women," says Katie Glauner, criminal justice and psychology student. Photo by Mackenzie McCreary "Feminism is empowerment for women," says Katie Glauner, criminal justice and psychology student.
Photo by Mackenzie McCreary[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_127096" align="aligncenter" width="600"]"Feminism is hard to define," says Sean Sweeney, physics student. Photo by Mackenzie McCreary "Feminism is hard to define," says Sean Sweeney, physics student.
Photo by Mackenzie McCreary[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_127094" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Microbiology student Margot Thomas says, "Feminism means I get to decide what to do with my life and my body." Photo by Mackenzie McCreary Microbiology student Margot Thomas says, "Feminism means I get to decide what to do with my life and my body."
Photo by Mackenzie McCreary[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_127090" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Jess Simpson, who studies English literature, says she needs feminism "because all women deserve to feel strong [and] independent throughout their lives." Photo by Mackenzie McCreary Jess Simpson, who studies English literature, says she needs feminism "because all women deserve to feel strong [and] independent throughout their lives."
Photo by Mackenzie McCreary[/caption]

Studying communications at ASU, Terrance Martin says, "Feminism makes the world even!" Photo by Mackenzie McCreary Studying communications at ASU, Terrance Martin says, "Feminism makes the world even!"
Photo by Mackenzie McCreary

Maggie Dellow, who studies urban planning, says,"Feminism teaches girls and women to be strong, self-assured and comfortable in their own skin." Photo by Mackenzie McCreary Maggie Dellow, who studies urban planning, says,"Feminism teaches girls and women to be strong, self-assured and comfortable in their own skin."
Photo by Mackenzie McCreary

Reach the writer at marilyn.napier@asu.edu or on Twitter @napier_m 


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