What Does Feminism Mean to You in 2018?


StFX students discuss feminism in a post-Weinstein, #MeToo and #TimesUp world.

Feminism to me is that my future daughter(s) know their worth, and that they have the ability to be respected and achieve anything they want. Feminism to me is that my future son(s) know what respect is, and that they look up to women as leaders, heroes, great philosophers and thinkers. Feminism to me is finding a girlfriend or wife that independently achieves her aspirations. Feminism to me is taking paternity leave so that my wife can enjoy her career. It’s being able to go out and see women comfortable to dress how they choose and walk home alone without fear that they will be attacked because the outfit they wore. – Liam Hyland

Feminism in 2018 means inclusivity, intersectionality, and empathy. We need to be fierce and forceful in supporting all marginalized people. It is a must to listen and uplift voices of dissent, educate ourselves on how to be the best activists and allies we can and leave room for others to grow and learn through their own activist journey. - Jasmine Cormier

Feminism in 2018 is intersectional and inclusive. It means having difficult conversations, working in solidarity (while also understanding and validating diverse experiences/histories!), and working towards gender equality from a place of compassion and love. - Sydney Van De Wiel

Feminism to me is more than equality of the genders. Yes, it primarily encompasses the dismantling of the patriarchy and eradicating sexism. Yet further, it includes ridding the world of all forms of oppression. Feminism should be thinking about race, sexuality, ethnicity, gender, ability, age, religion, class and how individuals can be oppressed on these fronts. Feminists need to ensure that they are not just advancing gender equality but looking out for those who have historically been marginalized, at risk and kept down. - Hannah Moore 

In the past when someone has asked me, “What does feminism mean to you?” I often times have taken much longer to answer them than any other question I’ve been asked before. This isn’t because I am unsure of my answer, but rather I take a few seconds to ponder why the answer to this question has become so complex. I am now wondering exactly what the term feminism means to them and whether or not they are looking for me to tell them exactly what they want to hear, or if they’ll look at me funny when I tell them, “Feminism is advocating for women and their rights and ensuring that they are equal among all sexes.” To further elaborate on this brief and very concise definition of feminism, I want to explain to you what I believe feminism is not. Let’s think back to our times in middle school when it was ‘Track & Field Day’ and we were all getting ready for our races. Feminism is not women wishing to cut everyone out of the race just so they can come in first. It is simply women stating, that if you truly want to be considered the best at something, you’re going to have to compete against everyone, including women. Feminism is not women asking for a head start in the race, but rather for all of us to have our feet begin behind the same white line. Feminism is not asking for anybody to slow down, or wait for women to catch up. Although we do believe it's unfair when everyone is running the normal 100 metre relay, and women are running the 100 metre relay with the addition of hurdles. Lastly, feminism is not asking for anybody to pity women and give them something they don't deserve. Rather it is letting women know where they placed in the race instead of just handing them a participation ribbon. You see women are capable of doing everything that a man can do but those unnecessary hurdles that women face are a problem. No woman is incapable. Unfortunately, most women are deprived of the opportunity to prove this statement. Feminism to me isn’t hard to understand. It's looking at the world as if we were all in middle school and we are all running the same exact race. No funny business. That's it. – Rebecca Charnock

To me feminism is a mindset. Feminism is the idea of lifting the female gender up in order to enable and empower them to be able to do anything. It is helping to lift the restrictions society places on females, in all aspects of society. It is confronting the stereotypes of women in the media and changing them. It is enabling females in the workplace to be paid the same as their male counterparts and treated equally. It is about challenging sexual harassment in workplace and the culture that allows these transgressions to thrive. It is advocating for women’s rights in all aspects of life: from education and employment to sexual health and medical care. It is about teaching girls from day one that they deserve respect no matter what, and they should fight for it. It is about fighting for those who suffered before us to get women’s rights to where they are today and continuing their fight. To me, feminism is more than a social movement, it is a mindset that females are equally as important as men and it is fighting for what women deserve. – Shannon Hundt