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Featured Feminist

The Featured Feminist column is a new initiative developed last year by the WC which aims to debunk the common stereotypes and stigma associated with the word "feminist." By highlighting the profiles and achievements of dedicated, passionate individuals in the Boston College community, the WC staff hopes not only to foster a greater sense of appreciation for people who bring the ideals of equality and social justice into their daily lives, but also raise awareness in the BC community towards a more positive and inclusive definition of the word feminism.

If you would like to nominate someone to become a Featured Feminist, please fill out our nomination form via this link (BC username and password required). An archive of our past Featured Feminists is available here.

Featured Feminist

Photo of Featured Feminist

Ryan MacDonald

School & Year: A&S/Lynch '17

Major: Applied Psychology

Minor: Women's and Gender Studies


1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I have lived in the Boston area my whole life. I attended St. Paul's School in Concord, NH prior to going to BC. It was at St. Paul's that I developed hobbies like singing (a capella and choir) and theatre. It was also there that I began cultivating an interest in gender, sexuality and a number of topics relating to modern social justice issues.


2. What are you most passionate about?

I find myself very passionate about compassionate work, as silly as that sounds. I have been really fortunate to have had thoughtful volunteering experiences, most recently at the Samaritans Suicide Prevention Hotline. The calls I take there teach me so much about the nature of struggle and the phenomenon of resilience. So, really my passion lies in learning about people and using my own relationships as texts from which I can better understand the particulars of the human experience.


3. How do you define "feminism"?

I see it as a process for understanding the workings of social oppression. Feminism uncovers the truth in how humans operate within an established order - one that is often not founded in logic. Some believe the term "feminism" suggests a fairly narrow array of issues, I find that it serves as a highly expansive forum for interdisciplinary thinking, combining theories of sociology, philosophy, history and language into one concept. 


4. Why do you identify yourself as a feminist?

I want to live in a world where everyone's personal dignity is respected, regardless of any competing creeds that may come with certain aspects of one's identity. I believe feminism recognizes certain occurrences of injustice of which the general population is not acutely informed. I do not, however, identify as a feminist to be a symbol of critique, rather I seek to synthesize the principles of feminism in order to better love the people who cross my path. 


5. Who or what inspires you?

I am constantly inspired by kindness. It's sort of a bland thing to get excited about, but I always find myself interested in people who choose to be friendly/warm/attentive, despite how difficult day-to-day life can be. I recognize it as sort of a magnanimous trait because one has to be vulnerable, yet confident at the same time to be truly kind.