feminist of the week: emma wright
Name: Emma Wright
Occupation: Disney Intern and VCU Student
Hometown: Chesapeake, Virginia, USA
Describe yourself in one word: Ambitious
What is your feminist philosophy?
I believe that if you put positivity into the world, it will come right back. Feminism isn’t any different; if you talk about feminism and actually do something about the inequalities we still face, you will see positive changes come right back. It is jarring to see inequality still existing across all aspects our society. This is not limited to gender, race, sexuality, or the workplace. Everyone experiences inequality; they just don’t always notice it. One, we need to make them aware of it. And two, we shouldn’t let people live with the assumption that it will get better by itself. Feminism needs to be talked about and heard, thus giving people the knowledge and ability to act on it in a way that can positively change the world.
What films have represented women in a light you want to see more of?
Sucker Punch is a fantastic example of feminism and not many recognise that because it is an underrated film. The lead characters are women who give off an empowering message to the viewers. This film showed that girls are fully capable of taking care of themselves without men to “aid” them. They are quite frankly, kick ass.
Why is feminism important in today’s world?
Most people think that the time for feminists are over and that we have finally gained what we were fighting for. Unfortunately, we have a lot more ahead of us and pretending like feminism is not relevant because the “times have changed” is only harming our future and the futures of the generations to follow. We have the power to make some changes; we just haven’t used it yet.
What books/novels have you read that have influenced the way you think today?
In my early formative years, I read a lot of fantasy/medieval books. I was that kid who read during class all day instead of listening to my teacher. Honestly, I learnt more from my readings than anything my teachers taught me at that age. Most people saw those books as “boy books;” assigning unnecessary gender roles to texts. Many argue that those books were too patriarchal and only supplied female characters with submissive, helpless personalities. While I do concede to the fact that many books of that genre contain those female archetypes, I also firmly believe that these books were a source of many underrated female characters. For example, Game of Thrones has underlying feminism in it. On face value, you think that the men run the kingdoms and have absolute control. However, the most influential and powerful characters turn out to be the females that dictate the pace of the series.
What problems do you see in those who participate in feminism regarding race?
I find it a problem that people don’t acknowledge the fact that feminism affects all cultures, classes, and races. Oftentimes, feminism is viewed as a “white middle class” woman’s agenda which is an incredibly huge problem because it is much bigger than that. Day-to-day women of all colours, races, and classes are oppressed and stereotyping feminism to only one type of woman is downright wrong and quite frankly negligent to women everywhere. I believe that women as a whole need to recognise that we all come different backgrounds and have faced different levels and quantities of oppression and the only way to combat these things is to deconstruct the preconceived idea of what feminism is. When you look at feminism you need to see it through a lens that can recognise the problem within its very structure and understand that it needs to change in order to be beneficial to all people instead of a certain group.
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