Friday, May 4, 2012


I am amazed by Tavi Gevinson. She is a feminist, activist and magazine editor....and a sophomore in high school, NBD. In a TED talk, she speaks to how women are given messages that certain characteristics are exclusive; you can't be both a feminist and into fashion, for example (note: I get that one a lot).


The truth is, we are all a "bundle of contradictions" as she puts it. I know I certainly am. I remember having a discussion earlier this year at a conference presentation that I gave on Muslim students. The topic that came up was feminism; is feminism about making women feel bad if they cover up (i.e. head scarf) or is it giving people the space to do as they please, i.e. having a choice. I described this little gem of a cartoon to the folks in my presentation:

Unfortunately, I feel that we may have shifted from one type of oppression to another. Forcing our beliefs or ideals about something, whether it be oppression or freedom, is oppressive. In other words, ideas like feminism and freedom are subjective, multi-faceted and constantly in flux. Let's step away from the 'shaming' mindset and focus on what we can do to foster an environment of support for however we each choose to exercise our freedom.

- A

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