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She’s The Bomb

Say what you wanna say. And let the words fall out. Honestly, I wanna see you be brave.
– Brave, Sara Bareilles

With all this talk over the past few days of feminism, what with the speech heard around the world by Emma Watson at The United Nations, I thought today was a good time to share this.

There is a website I like to read, which posts interesting articles by young women with unique points-of-view.

I would call myself a feminist, but I too have had a hard time defining what that meant. Here is someone who knows a little something about it.

She is the creator of

TheFBomb.org.

She is a feminist, a blogger, and an author.

I contacted her a while back about doing an interview with me, to find out what feminism means to her and what she aims to do with the website.

Welcome Julie.

***

K: What is the FBomb.org?

J: The FBomb is a feminist blog written by and for young women and men who believe in equality. While I founded and edit the FBomb, the blog is really an open platform and community based on submissions and exists as a space for a younger generation to define what feminism means to us.

The blog is called (the FBomb) to poke fun at the way the term “feminist” is often vilified, in the hope that socially aware and passionate readers and contributors could reclaim this negative stereotype and show the world that feminism is really a beautiful, positive movement that, at the end of the day, is about the pursuit of equality.

K: How did you decide to start this site?

J: I first became interested in feminism in 8th grade when I started to research the movement and specific feminist issues for a required speech. With the guidance of some great teachers my freshman year of high school, I discovered the world of feminist blogging. I was so inspired and excited by bloggers who took feminist issues seriously while maintaining a sense of humour. the only issue I had with such blogs was that the teenage perspective on most issues – even issues that directly impacted us, like sex education, for example — was missing.

Additionally, I really wanted to create a community where young feminist-minded women and men could come together, share our ideas and offer each other support and advice. It was important to me that an adult or a corporation create this community, but that it was authentically peer-driven.

K: What are your hopes for this site, its future, and what it can do for women and men alike?

J: The FBomb just partnered with the Women’s Media Center, the non-profit organization founded by Gloria Steinem, Jane Fonda and Robin Morgan, which aims to make more women visible and powerful in the media. I think this partnership will help this goal by allowing young women and feminist-minded men to develop and use their voices and giving them a platform from which they can add diverse and vital perspectives to the blogosphere and media at large.

On a more personal level though, I think the FBomb has and continues to allow young feminists to find a community and develop a stronger sense of identity as well.

K: What does feminism mean in your eyes?

J: Feminism is, on the most basic level, the pursuit of equality. Feminism as a worldview is about recognizing that people face a variety of different kinds of oppression due to their personal standing in the world (based on socioeconomic factors like race, class, religion, ability, etc.) that intersect to create unique experiences, but that any type of oppression is unjust and must be critically analyzed and pushed back against.

K: What do you think are still some of the biggest battles or issues women face in our world today?

J: I think it’s difficult to isolate certain issues because every woman, based on her perspective and place in the world — faces a unique intersection of challenges and this is why the feminist movement looks, feels, and serves a different purpose for everybody depending on where they’re coming from and who they are.

However, sexual assault and gender-based violence generally is an incredibly pervasive issue that impacts women young and old. For example, as many as 1 out of every 4 college women will experience attempted or completed rape during their time at school. Issues related to body image (including eating disorders, unrealistic standards of beauty in the media, etc.) are also incredibly pervasive amongst young women and an issue many teen feminists focus on.

K: Do you have any idols or role models in particular for yourself or for feminism as a whole? Do you see any women who are making positive changes and providing examples for young women to look up to?

J: Like most feminists, I always have and always will admire Gloria Steinem. She’s such an incredible icon for this movement. She’s an incredibly intelligent and charismatic leader and it’s undeniable that she completely changed and continues to change the way our society views women.

Female politicians – like Hillary Clinton, Kirsten Gillibrand and Elizabeth Warren – are also doing fantastic work to advocate for women. and there are also plenty of women doing incredible things around the world – Leymah Gbowee’s work with Liberian women is astonishing, Zainab Salbi’s work with women for Women International is vital, and there are so many more.

the bottom line is there are plenty of people doing incredible feminist work and making positive change in the world: they just don’t always get the widespread recognition and media attention they deserve.

K: What do you think are the misconceptions people have about all things feminism?

J: In my experience, I’ve found that the biggest reason young women shy away from identifying as feminist is because they don’t feel that they really understand what the movement is or what that word means. Plenty of people still associate feminism with negative stereotypes, but I think more than anything else misconceptions about the movement stem from a lack of education about and exposure to it.

I find that my generation is more willing to identify with and support feminist issues than any other generation in the past (and the statistics back me up on that – according to advocates for youth, 74% of millennials support gay marriage, 68% support access to abortion and 88% support to comprehensive sex education) but more often than not, unfortunately, they don’t realize that that’s what the feminist movement is all about.

K: What’s your best advice for a woman with a disability like myself, or women with other additional challenges in general?

J: My best advice for women facing any challenge is to speak up about it. I started the FBomb so that young adults could find a place to feel that their stories and perspectives are valuable and that speaking out about our individual challenges will help us feel less alone and hopefully work to demystify and eventually eradicate prejudice based on ignorance. I truly believe in that mission: every voice deserves to be heard and the most radical thing one can do is to use theirs to advocate for change.

***

Thank you so much Julie for answering my questions and for everything you do to speak up for women’s rights and equality for all.

To find out more about Julie you can check her out

HEre,

or at her website:

http://juliezeilinger.com

and you can read more on The FBomb, on

Facebook,

or On

Twitter.

and I will be submitting something to the FBomb to speak up, just like Julie suggested because I too feel like I am tired of remaining so shy and staying so quiet.

BRAVE

What are your thoughts on feminism and what it means to be called a feminist in our world today?

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17 thoughts on “She’s The Bomb

  1. Very interesting interview. I applaud her work in helping women to achieve equality and fairness. I do believe we’ve come a long way and certainly enjoy more of this than many other countries where women don’t get any respect.

  2. For me Feminism is a struggle against every oppression. All human beings are created equal and must be treated as. If I see according to my belief , Women is most fragile and protected and she needs the respect that she deserve.
    This was such a nice interview and I think Julie is a brave women whose work is helping many to achieve their goals. I believe that western women is enjoying more privileges; freedom of speech, respect etc. than many oppressed women of east.

  3. This is a great interview. I’m older and I didn’t realize what feminism means now. We all are equal, well should be. Everyone should speak up and be known what they’re going through. That is such a worry, about sending my daughter to college.

  4. Good interview and interesting post. I am always astounded when I see the statistics about the number of women who experience sexual assault in college. It was a long time that ago that I went to college and it makes me wonder if I was just oblivious to it or if it is something that has gotten worse over time.

  5. The statistics are ridiculous. Here in the Boston area, where college-life bleeds into everything, there isn’t a week that goes by where a story on how little reporting on sexual assaults is done by campus security and administration isn’t run. Keep up the good fight.

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  7. Fabulous interview! Isn’t it incredible, in this day and age, that we still have to explain what a feminist is? We take so much for granted. One of my role models is Barbra Streisand, who once delivered a great speech about the different perceptions of men and women, ie “men are aggressive, women are bossy.” Everyone – including men – ought to be a feminist – we all win, don’t we?!

    • You are 100% correct. We’ve come so far, but we have so much further to go. Everybody should be working together for equality. Thank you so much for visiting my blog and for reading. Thanks for your comment.

  8. My notions of feminism are outdated, too. Until I read your interview — even though I believe in and live my life around equality and social justice, and have previously received funding from one of the Gloria Steinem foundations — I wouldn’t have considered myself a feminist. Thanks for raising the issue (again) to its proper place.

    • I just felt it was an issue I needed to explore. I was lucky to get the interview. Thank you for reading and offering your opinion and your thoughts on a complex issue of our times.

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