TAYLOR HAWKINS, Staff Writer
How often have you heard the term “Feminazi” or “angry feminist” in reference to those speaking out for women’s rights? How many people know what feminism even is? UM-Deaborn’s Women In Learning and Leadership (WILL) sought to answer questions and break these stereotypes with Feminist Coming Out Day on March 8.
WILL gave students, faculty, and staff a chance to offer their own definitions of feminism on a bulletin board and to “come out” as a feminist for a photo collage. “This is what a feminist looks like!” stickers and signs were handed out and feminist films were screened in 1030 CASL.
“Some people were hesitant to identify with feminism because they ‘support equal rights but don’t hate men’ or ‘like to shave,’” said Sociology major and WILL member Sarah Bazzetta. “So it seems the event was extremely important because people still don’t understand what feminism is.”
Feminist Coming Out Day began as a 2010 project from Harvard University students. Tired of limited portrayals and wanting to raise awareness for equality issues, a queer student club and feminist organization teamed up to create the day. It was set on March 8, International Women’s Day.
“People need to be aware that there is more than one definition of feminism– it is what you, as an individual, choose to make it,” said Imani Byrd, the WILL student who directed the event. “Ultimately it means that you support equality between males and females… ANYONE can be a feminist.”