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.
School & Year: Arts & Sciences, 2017
Major: International Studies, Ethics and International Social Justice
Minors: Hispanic Studies and American Studies
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m originally from Miami, Florida, and moved to the San Francisco Bay Area when I was 13. I’m Cuban-American, and adore my family. I love to play piano, sing, read, and write, and I absolutely love finding new music. On campus, I’m involved with Bystander Intervention Education, 4Boston at the House of Corrections, and the Theater Department.
2. What are you most passionate about?
Any and all social justice issues. As I’ve gotten older I’ve realized more and more how the odds can be so completely stacked against certain members of society. As someone born to a lot of privilege (I’m white, cisgender, able-bodied, and was raised in a financially well-off family) I believe it is imperative for me to do all that I can to not perpetuate these structures of power. It is my belief that everyone (particularly privileged members of society) has a part to play in ending systems of inequality.
3. How do you define "feminism"?
I define feminism as the effort to dismantle patriarchy, recognizing that patriarchy does not exist in a bubble, and works alongside racism, heterosexism, ableism, and cissexism. I also want to emphasize that for me the patriarchy does not mean “men.” Patriarchy can be contributed to and fought against by all genders and gender identities.
4. Why do you identify yourself as a feminist?
Once everyday examples of sexism are pointed out to you, it’s hard to ignore. I don’t know how anyone could not be a feminist. As a woman, there is a strong likelihood that I will be raped/sexually assaulted, harassed in the street, paid less than male counterparts, taken less seriously when I express emotion, dismissed as “too sensitive” or “crazy” when I call out sexism, and that my worth will be measured by the way I look. And this is just what I fear I will experience as a white, cisgender woman – the effects of sexism are amplified when they combine with racism or transphobia.
5. Who or what inspires you?
My Abuela (grandmother), who kept her family from starving when my Abuelo was thrown in jail as a political prisoner in Cuba, and sacrificed her way of life to bring her family to the United States in hope of finding a better life. My mom is the toughest, most hardworking woman I know, and inspires me every day. My father has shown me more than anyone how important and valid emotion is, and has raised me to be as authentic as possible. I’m also always inspired by everyone who makes an earnest effort to leave the world a better place than they find it, and I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by so many of those people – my roommates, professors, friends, and family.