My biggest pet peeve about International Women’s Day is the social media “thank you” posts. The “Thank you to all the amazing and strong women in my life” posts that almost always include a picture of your mother, sister, best friend and grandma but leave out so many other important people. It especially bothers me when someone who is particularly anti-feminist or spends time working against women has the audacity to do the same thing.
Women and gender-marginalized people have been the center of The Lily’s mission and I have enjoyed a safe space to read stories about reproductive rights in the United States, trans rights in sports and resources for survivors.
I know this is a week early, but considering that my column is titled Womansplaining, there is no way that I’d pass up on a chance to write a column about International Women’s Day ––and more broadly, Women’s History Month. This year’s United Nations’ theme for International Women’s Day is “Women in Leadership: Achieving an Equal Future in a COVID-19 World.” That is a long (and very important!) title, emphasizing the importance of elevating women into leadership positions amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. There is obviously no perfect feminist (contrary to my Instagram bio where I self proclaim myself the “professional feminist”) and no right way to advocate for women or gender justice. However, if you’re thinking about ways to be a gender advocate on campus this month, here are eight ways to be a “better” Cornell feminist.
Take a class in feminist, gender and sexuality studies.
If you’ve met me at any point in the last three years, you probably know my mantra: “Every person should have to take a feminist, gender and sexuality studies course on campus before they graduate.” Throughout my FGSS career, I have studied Beyonce’s impact on feminism, marital rape laws, the Disney princesses, Nigerian feminist poets, Greek life on college campuses and influencer culture. Every aspect of your life, past or present, has to do with gender.