The other day, the hashtag #myfeminismlookslike (originally begun by the Twitter user @prisonculture) was trending on Twitter, and I added my take on it: “#myfeminismlookslike my students.” They were asked, for the culmination of the Humanities 7 unit on “What makes girls and women feel more or less powerful?”, to write on their current definition of feminism. With their permission, here are extracts from what they came up with:

I feel that feminism is wanting women to have equal rights, opportunities and voices in this world as men do. I don’t necessarily feel that it is wanting to completely switch the roles that men and women have right now to put the women on top over men, but I think it is to want equality. I feel that women should have equal rights as men but not more rights than men. Women should be paid the same, get the same jobs, and just overall be given the same amount of power that men have.
– Bekah

Today women don’t have the same rights as men. They are the dominant gender and feminism is when we try to even out the balance. I believe that everyone male or female needs to have the same rights. We all deserve to be equal. This is my definition of feminism.
– Julia

[Feminism] is how we perceive ourselves as women in a world of men, where we are not always considered equal, and how we attempt to change that. (…) I have learned that each gender, race and sex, has an impact upon feminism. I am also reasonably sure that it is the title, not the ideals of the movement that receives the discrimination.
– Elizabeth

I would consider myself as a feminist because I believe that all humans are created equal. Women are always held lower than men and they can never rise higher than them. But I think one day we should try. Being a feminist means that you believe in women.
– Morgan

Feminism: The feeling that men and women are not equal. The idea that women should be just as powerful as men, even in some cases that women should be more powerful than men.
– Mia

I think a feminist is a whole different thing. A feminist is a person, girl or boy, that believes everyone should be equal. I would consider myself a feminist.
– Emily

I think the definition of feminism is the want of equal rights for all genders but it varies person to person. I think this because every person will interpret it different but all feminists at least want equal rights for all genders. I think that some people think feminism is wanting women to be in the dominant role but each person will think of it differently which is what makes feminism what it is today.
– Olivia

My definition of feminism is… complicated. I think that it’s one of those words that has been changed over time. (…) My definition of feminism isn’t based on whether you put on makeup or who you love. I believe that feminism is about being empowered and knowing who you are and that you deserve all the chances that anybody else has. I also think that feminism has many different definitions.
– Juliana

The 7th grade class at Stoneleigh likes to think of equalists as a better idea. Equalists would be women AND men who would fight for the world to be equal. (…) I wouldn’t say I am a complete feminist because I think the world should be equal. Men shouldn’t be above women but women shouldn’t be above men.
– Renée

My definition of feminism is when boys and girls believe in woman’s rights. When they believe that women should be able to choose their life and the way they think. In the old days when the women did the cooking, child care, cleaning, etc. they weren’t able to do things boys did like go to school, do the lifting and heavy work. they weren’t able to choose their own medicine. But now they have been fighting for their rights and it not all about putting down men its about standing up for what we believe and having equal rights.
– Siobhan

I’ve developed a strong opinion about feminism. Women and men do differ in some ways, but we shouldn’t be discriminated over that. It’s disgusted me that we women would have to make a rights movement in the first place, rather than being equal already. Many women have spoken up about unfair equality between men and women, and some ended up shot, murdered, and killed by others that don’t agree with being equal. My opinion, women should and always should have had equal rights, in opportunities through life, with pay, everything!
– Ella

I now believe that feminism isn’t the fight for women to have certain privileges; it is, or should be, the fight to live and let live. Men have good ideas too; we need to respect that just as much as they need to respect us and our ideas. It shouldn’t be hard, it shouldn’t have to be fought for, but it is a fight, as disagreeable as that may sound. But I am no longer sure if it is a fight of anger and unfairness. I am now beginning to see that it is, at its most basic level, a fight for greater understanding. It is a fight, in both parties, to respect.
– Erin

My opinion really of feminism is that women and men should have the same rights like exactly the same, but if we don’t work it out now, it will never be like this.
– Cynthia

Its an interesting when you compare the concept of feminism to Entwined. Something that’s talked about much in this book is “the warm flickering bit inside.” This sort of reminds me of feminism, a wish and a will that’s sort of like magic. Feminism is powerful like magic, a magic that rests within you, but that you beckon to come to life.
– Isabela


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Filed under Gender, In the Classroom, Stoneleigh-Burnham Middle School

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