From the daily archives: Wednesday, March 7, 2012
GROUP 3/WEEK 1: Zury, Molly, Nico & Mercedes

Like anything foreign to us, Feminism and Activism can be scary, overwhelming, even something entirely unheard of, but as with many new things come change, eye-opening experiences, and even lifelong journeys. This is why, although a bit scared and confused, we embark on this journey to learn and to share women’s history- our history- with those who are willing to listen (and maybe those who aren’t).

Yes, we are currently students and are learning about Feminism and the ERA, but aren’t we all students in one way or another? Aren’t we all constantly learning something new, whether at school, at home, or in life? And believe it when we tell you that there is still much to be learned. It’s much more than the fact that women are not considered equal under the constitution, or the realization that we too perpetuate sexism (the effects of our socialized culture), but most importantly it’s about learning how to move forward towards a more egalitarian society- because that, in a few words, is what feminism is about. It is not about women hating men or men hating women, it’s not about who’s a bitch and who’s angry, it’s about being equal to one another and our actions reflecting that.

Like most things, in order to move forward we must look at and analyze our past, which in the case of feminism can be rather difficult; whether it be lack of interest, knowledge, history, or a patriarchal society that purposely debunks the movement for its benefit. Lucky for us there are many women like Zoe Nicholson, who continue to enlighten, encourage and educate us on the movement and the many ways in which to be a part of it.

Before listening to Zoe, we (like many others) believed that being a feminist, activist, or both, was not only difficult but also out of reach. Listening to her and reading books like Manifesta has taught us that change and commitment can come about in small ways, but should never be seen as anything less than activism.

One of the most important aspects of modern activism is that one doesn’t have to go into it turning your life upside down. In Grassroots, Baumgardener and Richards address this issue that many young activists have today. In their prologue they say, “We are advocating, quite simply, that if you wait until you’re perfect and free of conflicts, you will never change anything in the world” and to quote Zoe Nicholson, “You have to start with what is right in front of you.” This rings incredibly true, for the majority of people don’t know where to start or even how, forgetting that we have the freedom to choose what being an activist and a feminist is to us and that part of our journey still is to figure that out.