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feminist of the week: abigael collins


Image: Cat Do

Abigael Collins
Avon Lake, Ohio, USA

Describe yourself in one word.
I’d probably say green. There’s so much I haven’t experienced. I know so few people and I hardly know myself at all!

What is your feminist philosophy?
Equality; the dissection of social constructs; to only believe in ideas that harm no one.

When did you have your feminist awakening?
It’s ongoing, but the first time I was exposed to feminist ideas to any meaningful degree was my junior year of high school. It was through an acquaintance, and at first I thought, ‘Why is this person so angry?’ It was off-putting for me, but then I started listening to what she had to say and began reading and researching and noticing these aspects of my life I had been taught to ignore. It changed me fundamentally.

Why is feminism important in today’s world?
Equality is vital for everyone, always. Inequality prohibits people of every gender, race, ethnicity, sexual/romantic orientation from achieving success. It’s an act of violence, and we deserve to live free from that fear.

What books would you recommend that educates and enlightens those seeking to understand feminism?
Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex – the prose is really dense, but it’s worth wading through. Also the works of Gloria Steinem and Betty Friedan, Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Women, Cherrie Moraga and Gloria Anzaldua’s This Bridge Called My Back, and Angela Davis’ Women, Race, and Class.

Who are some of your inspirations?
My friends, who push me to better myself and to challenge what I’ve been taught, and some of the people who attend the women’s education programs at the public library where I work. I’ve never met anyone more brave or determined than those women.

What are you hoping to contribute to the universe with regard to feminism?
I’d like to change some opinions. It would be wonderful to be the catalyst for someone else’s personal growth!

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