Series: Feminism

Equality of the sexes has been an ongoing topic since the 19th and late 20th century when women were fighting for the right to vote. Here, you’ll meet the diverse, inspirational women at UF and discover what feminism means to them in this day and age.

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“I consider myself a feminist, everyone should be a feminist. Feminism should not be a dirty word; it just means fighting for the equality of all genders. Feminism has helped men alongside us be more free to express themselves. Feminism is at its core about choice, to live without being caged in by the hackneyed gender binary.”

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“To me, feminism is synonymous with compassion. To love one another through mutual understanding, to uplift your friends, family, and foes . . .  to act as an advocate for women across borders and biases! These are all forms of feminism! The other day one of my friends told me that, ‘I don’t need feminism,’ and proceeded to list a series of items explaining how modern feminists were overrated! Instead of lashing out, or correcting her, I used this chance to share with her that many of the girls around the world have little to no access to feminine hygiene products. As a consequence, these girls miss one-fourth of their school year putting them at a large disadvantage for secondary school education, simply because they are girls. To this she responded, ‘Oh, I didn’t think of that.’ Informing her of this disparity through compassion was a form of feminism.”

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“I generally do not consider myself a feminist because I’m not outspoken or an advocate for gender inequality and the issues women face today. However, my personal beliefs do side with the mild view of feminism. I believe individuals who produce the same output in the work environment should be compensated equally regardless of their gender identity. Additionally, there is a lack of female representation in executive positions in corporations and in the federal government and there needs to be a change. Individuals should be selected for positions based on their qualifications and ability to execute their assigned tasks. Women are portrayed as overly emotional and thus incompetent of being a leader and when they have a chance to do so if they are stern to their co-workers they are called out for it when a man wouldn’t be.”

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“I think that one of the most important weapons to defeat women inequality is education. Two kinds of education are required to have a significant effect on ending inequality. First, the general education of the public on the importance of women in society and their vital role in the economy is required to end preconceived notions that women are only good for being housewives and baby-makers. Secondly, educating women is vital to help end ignorance and inequality. Women need to be in school for just as long and learn the same things as men and not be treated as less educated or less competent just because they are women. With education, we help to end ignorance and old antiquated notions of what a woman is good for and we give women the tools to blaze a new trail that shows the world we are just as good as men.”

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“Feminism for me is defined on a more personal level due to growing up under the influence of my mother. Inspired by her life story built on independence and courage growing up in a time frame where women just began to plant their creations. Feminism is the future and key towards finding solutions to both common and complex dilemmas. On a more literate term, feminism is the awakening of a revelation on the strength the female role plays in society and life alone.”

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“I love that our generation is starting to take a stand and not accept the things that we don’t agree with. I think what we’re currently doing is a start, but we can only do so much. Women need to keep their rights in health. It sucks that our rights are ever up for question when men’s rights never are. We need to raise our boys into better men and teach them not to fear a woman in power, not think of her as a bitch or negatively. Not to view a woman who is sexually free as a slut. Knowing that no means no. Respecting women as people, not as the weaker sex.”

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“I think the first step [in defeating women inequality] would be to acknowledge that the inequality is still very much present in society. This is important because the issues need to be brought to light, like the wage gap, to better the solutions. I also think it is imperative that everyone be involved in the fight for women inequality, not just women. We need everyone working together and supporting each other to overcome this.”

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“I think that education is the key. More education about the realities of the current inequalities between men and women. I think the main reason why some people don’t think feminism is necessary is because they don’t realize the inequalities there actually are.”

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“I think we should help other countries to ensure that women internationally are granted all of the rights American women have, such as the right to vote, to education and free speech to name a few.”

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“One of the things that can help to defeat inequality for women is the way we use language. Saying things like ‘you run like a girl’ is very defeating for women and young girls.”

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