Speaker 1: Because if there’s no yes, then there’s no consent.
Speaker 2: Those things don’t just disappear. Everything’s not out there that’s perfect.
Speaker 3: I feel like everybody should consider themselves a feminist when you’re doing something right then that person notices and you feel just like you’re glowing.
Adamo: Thank you so much for sitting down and chatting with us.
Wafa: Oh, no problem.
Adamo: Do you guys consider yourself feminist and why?
May: Yeah. I consider myself a feminist because feminism is basically the understanding of it is that it’s like the theory or the movement of finding equality for anyone regardless of gender. I’m an Egyptian, I’m a brown girl, and I feel like as a feminist I feel like a white guy who’s right beside me should also agree to the same ideals as I do for equality for me and for equality for him.
Wafa: I don’t think there’s any specific type of criteria in order to be a feminist. You don’t have to look a certain way or act a certain way to be a feminist. You don’t even have to express the fact that you’re a feminist. You can just believe what you believe and then you could be considered a feminist.
Anvita: You sometimes even have people who identify as feminism and they misconstrued the idea of what it means to be a feminist and they come off as like man haters and it’s really angry and aggressive but really at it’s core that’s not what it’s supposed to be. It’s supposed to be May and Wafa were saying, equal treatment of men and women in all regards.
Fahed: I recognize my privilege as a male so I obviously do not go through the same things that women do but I consider myself a feminist and I feel like a lot of guys don’t consider themselves feminists at all because they think it’s inherently feminine to be one. I feel like a lot of them don’t understand what the concept of feminism is and they feel attacked because some parts of it is about dismantling the patriarchy that men have set up for women and for men not being able to show their emotions as well. That’s why feminism is good for everyone in the sense that it gives a light onto the issues in society, especially when it comes to women.
Adamo: There are stereotypes men feel around feminism that I think makes it hard to join men and women in this movement.
Anvita: You were talking about how it’s a big thing with men not being able to show emotion and all that. For sure that’s a huge problem and it’s something that isn’t addressed enough. Feminism it’s all encompassing. It’s about treating women equally but it’s also about treating men equally.
May: Any superior structure feels threatened and attacked whenever an inferior entity wants a place or a share of what’s going on. I don’t think I can count how many times I would talk about how important it is for my rights to be equal to someone else’s and they would roll their eyes and they would be like, “Oh, there she goes again.” If a man is as bossy as a woman, he’s sophisticated and he’s a leader but if a women is as bossy as a man, she’s annoying and she’s badly tempered.
Wafa: I feel like the word feminism is so powerful because as soon as you start to label it, it becomes that more of a movement. You don’t have to go to rallies, you don’t have to go around, telling people your views on feminism but if you just sit there and say, “Yeah, I’m a feminist,” and you’re proud of it, and you’re willing to explain that to a person, then that itself is a movement.
Anvita: Plus it’s kind of a similar thing where it’s like, “Oh, it’s not black lives matter, it’s all lives matter.”
Anvita: No, but it’s like, acknowledge the minority. Acknowledge the people that are facing the prejudice more than the other people. Of course we understand all lives matter but not all lives are being threatened by law enforcement and things like that, these things that have been happening to black people and similarly, the same kind of thing applies to feminism. Acknowledge that women are the minority in this situation.
Adamo: I have the same thing about the idea of LGBT and Q and sometimes I don’t think this is an accurate definition but sometimes everything gets umbrellaed under the definition of queer. That concerns me a little bit because I do think that a trans experience is very different than a gay man’s experience and a lesbian women’s experience. There are so many ideas of gender at play here that we can’t just put it all under queer. We have to acknowledge everybody’s individual experience.
Fahed: Personally our school is a very unique situation. We’re an arts high school. A lot of us are more accepting. We have more open minds. I feel like that’s just the general feel of our school and I’m really thankful for that. Teachers do talk about it. We do have discussions about it in class which is important. I know other schools don’t. A lot of other schools still have negative connotations with the word. If someone here, I think we can all agree on this, if someone here said something bad about feminism or said something bad about any minority group, there would be a storm coming for them. You know that people would call them out.
May: Ignorance is easy to cure. There can’t be a barrier. Sometimes there’s a barrier when you’re talking to someone and they are not willing to listen. They believe that your views are just nonsensical, they don’t make any sense. You’ve never faced this. You don’t understand my emotions. You’ll never understand the suffering of a minority group that you’re not a part of.
Wafa: When somebody’s willing to listen, I think that’s a really nice thing to here.
May: It feels good.
Wafa: Yeah, it’s like, “Wow, you actually care to understand more about the world and my point of view on the world,” which is really great to here.
May: People who just scratch feminism at the surface think about it as something like male versus female. It actually goes way beyond that, especially with racial disparity and where do trans women lie on that hierarchy. White women are up there. They’re the ones who are competing with the equal pay and stuff like that. Where are black women? Where are Latina women? Where are trans women on that hierarchy? Let’s talk about how race falls into this, how being part of the LGBT community falls into this. I feel like that’s an important conversation that we need to have after the feminism conversation, the one that only compares two very large groups together.
Adamo: It has been such a pleasure coming back to my old high school and chatting with everybody. Yes, the years have changed but I feel like the passion in this school has stayed the exact same and I am so happy to hear that after all of these years you said if somebody identifies as anti-feminist or somebody goes against somebody we love we’re going to go after them. I love that. I love that.
Wafa: You should’ve seen it happen.
Adamo: That passion is still there.
Multiple Speak: Thank you so much.
Adamo: Thank you.
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