In this post, I want to speak about 3 struggles being a feminist can bring about in our everyday lives. Aside from female feminists, there are a lot of supporters within the spectrum of sexualities. These supporters are just as involved, understanding, and can even relate to the complications feminists may experience. In spite of typical, unacceptable instances of unjust treatment of pretty much anything that doesn’t resemble “masculine” prescriptive or descriptive beliefs, feminism on college campuses is very much existent. Basically, not only does a female have to remain mature and respectable in unjustly dominated situations with adversaries – where our reasoning may be questioned because of our sex; we have to also overcome those situations accordingly, though it has been unfairly imposed upon us. Being a young feminist college student, facing impeding concepts every day, I not only need to overcome these situations, but I need to help educate others, regardless of their rank. I need to help transform the ideas and systems that nurture bias, silence innovation, and hinder female progression in order to promote equality and unity.
Struggle 1: Finding Opportunity
It took me a while to even realize that the opportunity to express my inner feminist happens to be really scarce. Our campus does provide support on the bigger problems that are of concern to feminists such as: rape, sexual harassment, gender inclusions etc; however, the smaller problems that are not as grim, go completely unnoticed. There are no support groups solely for the female student grappling with problems that cannot be addressed with the “whole”. Well, it may be a stretch to say that there are “no” groups. It is very difficult to find and access organizations that will allow females a safe space to discuss the microaggressions they face. If I search on My Involvement, using the word “feminist,” I get one result: an honor’s society. If I search using the word woman or women, I get a host of sororities, athletic teams and club sports, as well as a host of clubs addressing other subjects. I did not find out about Building Ladies Up (BLU) until my advisor mentioned it to me this semester. I am a Junior.
It seems complicated since, requests of assembly that will categorize and exclude those that are not in favor of feminism (or do not know exactly what it is) does not help the goal of unity. The twist on the situation is we can not alter what are solid facts, in the sense that our anatomies vary amongst the sexes: female bodies do things that male bodies absolutely can not and vice versa. Still, just because I, as a female, experience menstruation does not mean I cannot fulfill a presidency… Yet I do need a group in which I can healthily, release the anxiety, stress, or agitation I am experiencing since my cycle is not something I can change.
Struggle 2: Not Knowing Where to Start.
Secondly, as if it hasn’t been hard enough to find the opportunity, next its “Where would I even start?”. It took 18 years to wholly realize that my strong standpoints and ultimate equality between all genders is termed “feminism”. Add another two years for me to actually be properly educated on feminism, once I enrolled in feminism 101 my junior semester of college here at the university. Finally add another 8 months before being given the opportunity to spread awareness and about issues that fuel the need for feminism (appreciation to Project MyStory). Luckily, I found a way to express my ideas on the topic, but for a lot of feminists that not the case. My best advice is to begin with your friends, that is if you share a similar point of view. Your friends will talk to their friends, their friends will talk to their friends, so on and so on… boom! You have just built a foundation. From there you can form groups within each other, then bring it to higher authority with respectable objectives and under the permit of free speech (as long as it isn’t causing harm to anyone) a community of feminism can begin and spread vigorously.
Struggle 3: Being Taken Seriously
Lastly, once you overcome finding the opportunity to express your feminist views, and you successfully start, I find that we can still be stuck with being taken seriously. I have received laughs at my belief that a woman’s income in a household can be equal or even be more than their respectable spouses’. I always stare blankly at the person in opposition… “why can’t that be the case?” is usually my next question. Believe it or not I always leave the discussion with my opponent more open minded on my perspective. I can attribute my success in being taken seriously to my ability and to propose respectable explanations and remaining true to my ideals and, simultaneously, open-minded to their attitudes.
Taking all 3 struggles I have endured on my feminist journey, thus far, they are strategies in solidifying the importance of the meaning on the topic for yourself and the public. It all depends on how much you as the individual are willing to put forth in sharing the distinction of the subject in hopes of retrieving support, appreciation, and building consciousness on how feminism does indeed serve as a branch of unity specifically on our campus and in the community!
About the Author:
Asha P. Class of 2016 | Transfer Major: Communication Minor: Psychology Blog Theme: Woman A Loud
Please Note: The views of our student bloggers do not necessarily reflect the views of the UAlbany Advisement Services Center. These are their stories and their voices.