ONONYE | Happy Early International Women’s Day. Here’s How to be a Better Cornell Feminist

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.

HICKMON | Place in the Movement

Black History Month was lit, like, it was a lituation. And I had a feeling that Women’s History Month was going to be too, especially when Melissa Harris-Perry started it off by leaving her post at MSNBC and spilling all the tea on Twitter. (What did we do before social media allowed us glimpses into the salacious lives of American celebrities?) But then, Kim Kardashian posted a nude selfie and the timeline went from discussing women’s empowerment to slut-shaming, spewing patriarchal nonsense and outright judging Kim for her behavior. Don’t get me wrong, I am not about to post nudes to my Instagram, but as a self-identified and proud feminist, I will march for Kim, or anyone else’s right to do so. It does not make her less of a mother, woman or human being worthy of respect (and if you think it does then your penchant for respectability politics is showing and you should do better).