I first met Adora through the JMU policy debate team and initially thought she was pretty cool, however, when we became debate partners, I realized I’d been wrong. She wasn’t cool. She was awesome. You see, Adora was one of the first people I was ever able to have a real, critical discussion of feminism with. I was still starry-eyed over my recently discovered feminist literature and community. When we met,she was still feeling somewhat unsure of where exactly she stood on the whole “Feminism thing”. Throughout that year of debate that we shared, Adora taught me a lot about debate, but more about how I was identifying as a feminist and representing feminism to others. She also taught me that it’s okay to be critical of feminism, that critique and questioning are critical aspects of a healthy movement and person. You’re most likely to see her strolling around campus in a brightly colored outfit wearing a friendly but “i-have-so-much-work-yikes!” look in her eyes. So without further adieu, let’s find out how she views feminism and being a feminist….
How did you become a feminist? Was there an “aha” moment?
– There was no “oh shit” moment when I miraculously joined the feminist movement. Actually, it was quite the opposite. I was exposed to the idea of feminism when I entered high school, through policy debate. Though, for a long time I had a negative view of what society portrays as the stereotypical feminist. Throughout most of high school, I identified myself as a pro-choice, liberal, women’s right activist, yet, not a feminist. I, among the rest of my friends, saw feminism as this overly angry, aggressive, movement that I did not want to identify myself with. As I entered college, I looked around at the JMU feminist community and realized that I had completely misjudged this movement, as it was the most welcoming and warming community I’ve ever been apart of. From there, I slowly realized that I was entirely a feminist, and have just merely rejected a false label and stereotype. This differentiation is crucial for young women to be informed about.
How does feminism impact your life? Any lifestyle changes or changes in opinions?
– Feminism impacts my life as a safe community I am always welcome into, which gives me a great sense of comfort. As a Biotechnology major I get very little interaction with students concerned with politics and rights activism, so feminism and the Shout Out community offers a fantastic outlet for me. My ideals and philosophies often change, I believe feminism is a piece of who you are, rather than something external that should dictate your actions and words.
What do you wish other JMU students knew about feminism?
– I would like JMU students to know that feminism is not scary, it’s not mean, it’s not angry. I want JMU students to know that feminism is dynamic, and beautiful, and can garner a compassionate community who’s not afraid to stand up and say, “No.”
Any feminist heroes??
Judith Butler, a post-structuralist feminist and queer theorist. I wouldn’t use the word hero, but definitely was one of the first pieces of feminist literature I felt entirely passionate about. I hold a special place in my heart for dear ol’ Judy.
As do I… thanks Adora!!!