#FeministResolutions: Joanne Wang of redefy

Wake up and make a difference. Wake up and change someone’s mind. Wake up and redefy.

 

It doesn’t have to change the world or knock everyone off their feet. It can be as small as telling someone off for saying “man up” or standing up for a girl being slut-shamed on social media. I found my own way to make a change by writing for Redefy. Now I can’t guarantee that every sexist being will read my pieces and suddenly have a life changing realization, but it’s my way to express my opinions regarding sexism in my own life and in current events.

 

Male, female, famous, undiscovered, colored, white, student, adult... There is no limit to the world’s team of feminists. The textbook definition of a feminist is someone who believes in the advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men. To me it’s not just believing in it. To me it’s doing something about it. Perhaps the most important part is understanding. When I first started writing, I researched what I could about rape culture, about the wage gap, about the gender difference in the career world, about girls in STEM. The Stanford scandal where a rapist left jail after just serving three months for humiliating and dehumanizing a woman. The fact that women earn 78 cents for every dollar men earn. The more research I did, the more repulsed and angered I became. After centuries of fighting for the right to vote, for education, for careers, we are still held back and we are still seen as the inferior gender.

 

Did you know less girls are entering the world of computer science? Unlike other mathematic or science careers that are experiencing an increase in girls, the choice of a computer science career for females is decreasing. As a girl who takes computer science in school, I can personally relate to this. Including me, there are seven girls in my class. This is seven compared to the 16 boys that are typing away at their computers. The females in my class are just as good as the boys, and some who have studied it previously are even better. But the statistics make me wonder if girls are just becoming less interested in computers, or if there is an alternative reason for the decline? My teacher, supporting both males and females entering the computer science field, always makes sure to bring up opportunities for girls to become more involved in programming. He was actually the first one to introduce to me the fact that less girls are choosing this career option. I’m curious. I’m angry. I’m disappointed. Redefy gives me a place to write about these sort of topics and express my feelings.

 

My advice for writing a piece is:

  • Believe in making a change

  • Research about a topic you can relate to or that makes you feel a strong emotion

  • Express those feelings in a way that feels right to you

  • Stand by those feelings, no matter who tries to knock you down

 

The first piece I wrote was regarding my experience with Asian stereotypes. I talked about three main stereotypes: all asians are geniuses, asians can’t play sports, and asians don’t have to study to get good grades. Redefy posted an announcement sharing my piece on Facebook and many of my friends read it. Honestly I was quite embarrassed at first that my personal opinions and experiences were being read by those I saw everyday in school. I was even more embarrassed about the topic. With all the other harmful stereotypes plaguing our world, that stereotype that all asians are all smart doesn’t seem as significant. But after more people read it, I felt proud and more comfortable that they were hearing what I had to say. What felt even better was that there were people who agreed with me. It’s one thing to think about ideas and your opinions, it’s another to express them, and yet another to receive positive feedback.

 

Maybe writing isn’t your thing. Maybe it’s advertising, or drawing, or debating, or posting on social media. Just getting involved is the best to make a difference and wear the title of “feminist” proudly. For me, I’ll write. Maybe they won’t read it, but it’ll be out there. For other feminists, it could be a variety of things. No matter what it is, make a mark. Whether it be a mark on one person, or a thousand, leave one behind. I fight for equality so that I can promise one day, maybe it'll be my daughter, or my granddaughter or maybe even my great-great-great-granddaughter, she will live in a world where men and women are equal. What do you fight for?





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