Feminists speak out for equality


Sabrina Bohn

Students hold up feminist posters that say ‘#GIRLPOWER’ and ‘#FEMINISM’.

Sabrina Bohn, Features Editor

The word ‘feminism’ can often elicit negative responses due to the skewed views people have of it. However, feminists on campus are working to represent feminism positively.

“I define feminism as the equality of the sexes and not discriminating based on anything. It’s not just having girls reach that equality because men are discriminated against too,” senior and co-president of Feminist Club Ann Truka said.

Some people can be driven away from feminism because of the false assumption that feminists hate men.

“I vividly remember asking my dad, ‘are you a feminist?’ He said, ‘no I’m not a feminist, but I support feminists and people who are feminists,’ and I said ‘then that makes you a feminist,’” junior and co-president of Feminist Club Allani Gordon said. “I think he was almost afraid of calling himself a feminist because it’s had these bad connotations. We really just want to have the same opportunities as men.”

The definition of feminism is advocating for the rights of women based on equality between men and women.

“I feel like anybody that simply believes in equality can be a feminist,” junior Matthew Dyck said.  “As long as they have the mindset that everybody should be treated the same, no matter who you are or what you look like, I think anyone can be a feminist.”

If you don’t advocate for equality, then what are you doing?”

— Ann Truka

Dyck states that learning about feminism is important because it helps people recognize inequality and advocate against it.  

“I’ve definitely become a lot more passionate about social justice in general. Teaching myself about issues that affect women and learning about the equality of the sexes makes me want to create more change,” Dyck said.

Feminism can also help women become more comfortable with themselves in their environment.

“I think a lot of people assume that because I am a more feminine person, I’m not good at sports or I’m not very smart,” Gordon said. “[Feminism] makes me feel empowered as a person. Even though I haven’t had as many burdens as other women around the world, it still feels good to know that there’s a community that believes in the same things as me.”

Women in other countries face difficulties that Americans do not have to experience, and feminism offers a way for Americans to learn about those issues.

“From a global perspective, feminism covers things like how women can’t even ride bikes in certain countries,” Gordon said. “When it comes down to it, your gender shouldn’t determine you being able to ride a bike or go to school or who you’re going to marry.”

In the end, feminists at West agree that the movement is grounded in equality, despite misconstrued views or negative connotations.

“I think everyone should be a feminist,” Truka said. “It’s just common sense because no one person is better than anybody else. If you don’t advocate for equality, then what are you doing?”