Stickers, buttons raise awareness for women

By Kelley Byrne

Students could grab stickers and buttons with the phrase “This is What a Feminist Looks Like” on Tuesday to help break stereotypes that limit people’s views of what a feminist looks like.

The event, sponsored by the Women’s Studies program, offered stickers for free and buttons for $1. The event focused on redefining feminism as something other than a stereotype of an angry, man-hating woman.

Students could stop by the Women’s Studies program office in Reavis Hall, Room 103, in order to pick up the stickers. The office offers these stickers and buttons year round, but more were printed for the event.

“Feminism is about gender equity, but in order to obtain that you have to be concerned about all of the issues that concern women and men who are concerned about gender equity,” said Rebekah Kohli, Women’s Studies program coordinator

The goal of Women’s Studies is to bring awareness and start a conversation about feminism.

“I’ve had students talk about how they’ve just been walking on the sidewalk and people have been like, ‘What is that sticker?’ and so it gets students talking to students — it gets people talking to their family,” Kohli said. “It’s really getting a conversation started about what feminism means to different people.”

Kohli said many people think of feminists in a stereotypical manner when feminists are part a diverse group.

“We are trying to get past some of the stereotypes about feminism,” Kohli said. “I would say that feminism isn’t these stereotypes, but that’s what people come to know it for.”

Exploring these stereotypes and recognizing they are not always true is something Kohli said is important.

“People think about feminism as something that belongs to middle-class white women. Quite often people think of them as radicals, and some of the stereotypes are that they don’t shave their armpits, they don’t shave their legs, they don’t like men,” Kohli said. “Some of them don’t shave their armpits, some of them don’t shave their legs, that’s fine, but it’s not like that’s what feminism is.”

Junior pre-nursing major Timothy Eichie said feminism may be too hard to define.

“The definition of things like this gets complicated because of a lot of things going on right now,” Eichie said. “I wouldn’t say it’s exactly like the dictionary definition says … because that definition doesn’t work.”

Sophomore nursing major Katlyn Luebke said feminism is more about the movement than a stereotypical image.

“I would define feminism as women’s powers and women’s rights and working to make sure that we are equal with men,” Luebke said.