8 Influences That Made Me a Better Feminist

Attending the Price School of Public Policy, it is hard not to be inspired to be a better advocate for the causes you’re passionate about. In my case, that has meant better understanding what feminism means to me. After some reflection, I am sharing with you the most pop-culture-y things that have made me a better feminist.

 

  1. Matt McGorry – Did you just roll your eyes at me? I get it but it’s not what you think! Matt McGorry serves as a reminder to me that feminism is not just about women. What I see myself and many others forgetting is that men tend to be brought up learning that they ‘shouldn’t’ live an emotionally complete life or engage in things deemed ‘feminine’. Feminism means lifting everyone up and that includes men.
  1. The Black Lives Matter Movement – Feminism is not one size fits all. BLM has driven home to me an important and sad lesson. My experience as a white woman is not the same as a black woman’s (or any different race for that matter). It may be the most obvious thing in the world but recognizing and understanding the inequalities are very different things.
  1. Madeline Albright: A Memoir – I believe most women have a trailblazer that they admire. For me that person is Madeline Albright (not so shocking out of a public policy student). One of the most important pieces of inspiration that I took away from her story was that there is no “I can’t” when it comes to achieving any goals – personal, career or family oriented. I also thought about taking up wearing pins but that was the inspiration high talking.
  1. Eat Pray Love – One time in college I was home for the summer and I ran into a guy I went to high school with. I had class with him, he dated one of my friends and yet, when he greeted me he said, “Hey, Pat’s Girlfriend.” That is seriously how you remember me? Putting this book on the list may be cliché however, when you live in a society where frequently you are defined by a man/relationship status, it is important to have reminders that you are your own person and should discover what that means.
  1. Brock Turner’s Rape Victim’s Open Letter – I cried most of the time I read it. I cried for her, I cried for myself, and I cried for all women. This is the world we still live in. This is a fear I think about every day. This is a reality someone in my life has faced. Her letter was a reminder of why my fighting for gender equality is so important to me.
  1. Gilmore Girls – The TV show came out when I was in middle school and I LOVE the show. For me, it gave me feminist role models who were relatable. In a way, they gave me permission to be completely who I was at a crucial point in my life, even if it wasn’t “girly” or popular. Hoorah for strong female leads!
  1. Guys We Fucked Podcast – These ladies will change the way you think about female sexuality and sexuality in general. You may occasionally disagree or become offended with what they or their guests say but they are creating a space to have an open conversation and expand your worldview. This podcast has given me the confidence to actually call out the double standard between men and women when it comes to sexuality.
  1. The Forward in Gloria Steinem’s My Life on the Road – I read it and before I even finished the book, sent it to my best friend for her birthday gift. I will let you read it for yourself so not to ruin the point but I will say I hope you all find your purple motorcycles.

 

That is my eight! I am always looking for things to inspire me and force me to grow so if you have something you believe made you a better feminist please feel free to share in the comments.

Liz Prosch, Communications Chair PWA

 

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