Founded in 1974, the Women’s Center was established to:
Dismantle, from a feminist perspective, all forms of oppression, including but not limited to those based on ability, age, class, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Advocate for an equitable environment free from violence and harassment based on gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Create an anti-racist, non-sexist, queer-affirmative space where all people can feel valued and safe.
Facilitate and strengthen connections among people across lines of difference through programming and educational campaigns.
Integrate an appreciation of Women's Gender and Multicultural Studies across the disciplines.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

WHAT DOES A FEMINIST LOOK LIKE?

Feminism, a word that once meant empowering women, creating equal rights for all, pursuing strength in the community has been ignored and even disclaimed by the new generation. When a man believes women should have equal rights why are they bashed for being a feminist or even dehumanized as a man? Why is it when a woman expresses her desire for equal rights for woman she most often follows it up with “but I am not a feminist?” It has come to a point where women are judged and misrepresented by a title created to bring women and men together not single us out. The title has swayed so many people away from the idea of feminism, and created a stigmatized symbol of negativity in the feminist movement.

Misconceptions about feminism cause blurred ideals of what a feminist is and what their appearance may be. What does a feminist look like might you ask? According to the stereotypes we would believe in order to be deemed as a feminist you must be loud and abrasive, a man-hating lesbian, give up makeup and skirts, stop shaving everything, and abandon your religion. Now as it may be realistic that some feminists choose to behave and appear in this manner, but they should not box all feminists into this category of behavior. A woman or man should not be judged, discriminated against, or misrepresented because they believe in equal rights. Also, if feminists did all happen to look and behave in such manners, they have the right to be. If the characteristics I stated above were the actual representation of a feminist is that a legitimate reason to disclaim your beliefs? Has society become so dazed by image and so afraid to be different that we deny our true feelings and silence our opinions because we are seen as “weird.”

I believe feminists come in all shapes, sizes, colors, ethnicities, those who shave, and those who don’t: by all means are we really characterized by our arms and legs. It has been a fight for so long to provide equality, be respected as women, and be seen as a powerful force in the world, and to be along side men, maybe even ahead of them, but definitely not behind them. Stereotypes are negative and insulting to any group, feminists included. A core belief within the ideals of feminism lies in personal choices and individuality. No woman or feminist fits neatly into any mold; feminists celebrate the personal freedom to look, live, and just be the way that they are most comfortable. What does a feminist look like to you? It can be me, you, your brother, uncle, mother, grandfather, grandmother, no one is rejected from believing in rights to all.






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