Who Needs Feminism?

Posted: November 20, 2012

On Friday, November 16, students from the Scripps chapter of the national organization Choice USA manned tables in Seal Court with markers and cardstock and encouraged their peers to answer the question: who needs feminism?

Started by students at Duke University, the Who Needs Feminism? campaign seeks to redefine the term “feminism” and fight back against the word’s negative connotations. “We aim to challenge existing stereotypes surrounding feminists and assert the importance of feminism today,” the organization states. Participants wrote down why they need feminism and took a photo with their answer; the picture are then shared on Facebook and Tumblr.

“I thought this was a great opportunity to involve Scripps and the 5C community in the conversation of why feminism is important,” says Allie Jones ’13, a member of Choice USA who stumbled across the campaign and immediately recognized its relevance to the larger Scripps community. “Everybody needs feminism. All genders, all sexes, all people. We are a diverse community [at Scripps] with many talents. As we leave the Scripps community to contribute society, it is important that our leadership, service, and creativity are met on an even-playing field.”

Over sixty students from The Claremont Colleges participated Friday, providing a variety of thoughtful perspectives. Example of responses include: “I need feminism because wearing pink does not make me less of a woman!”; “I need feminism because I am tired of people being surprised that I am a physics major”; and “I need feminism because I shouldn’t need to justify why I’m a feminist, why I go to a women’s college, or why I study gender.”

Choice USA hopes to display everyone’s responses in the student union to encourage ongoing discussion on feminism in the 21st century. For more information or to see photos the campaign has collected so far, visit the Who Needs Feminism? website.

The Teach In at the Motley will discuss Feminism at Scripps on November 30; professor Kimberly Drake and President Lori Bettison-Varga will be introduce a panel of speakers which includes professors Chris Guzaitis, Andrew Jacobs, and Seo Young Park and students Emily Areta and Olivia Buntaine.

— Ann Mayhew ’13

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