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Featured Feminist

The Featured Feminist column is an initiative 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

Featured Feminist

Juliana Hillis

School & Year: MCAS 2018

Major: Sociology

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m a cisgender female, and my preferred pronouns are she/her. I am from Stoneham, MA and am currently trying to get my life together before (*gasp*) graduation. I enjoy reading, writing, being creative, and laughing. My favorite holiday is Halloween, my favorite food is spaghetti, my favorite color is yellow, my favorite movie is She’s the Man, and my favorite musical artist is Coldplay. My best friend is my younger sister, Kiki, who also happens to be a cat. She will be 16 years old in November, and she might be on MTV’s “My Super Sweet 16,” who knows.

2. What are you most passionate about?

I am most passionate about learning, expanding my knowledge, and gaining experience. I enjoy learning about the world and the people in it. I think it is very important to make the world more inclusive and accepting of all people, living things, and nature. Outside of the classroom, I participate in Italian Club, Links, SocialEyes, and I volunteer at Gifford Cat Shelter. I think that these pursuits help me to explore my passions while also enjoying my time as an undergraduate student.

3. How do you define “feminism”?

Feminism is a social movement aimed at the creation of a more equal world through the elimination of barriers, restructuring of the hegemonic and patriarchal institutions in our society, and empowerment of all people. Feminism can also be a lens through which to view the world – using one’s perception to bust through the “glass ceiling,” give voice to the voiceless, recognize one’s own biases, and engage in discussion with different types of people, among other things. I believe feminism is the fundamental idea that within each of us, there lies a beating heart, a network of veins and arteries, a sense of soul and life, that connect us all and that reminds us we are more similar than we are different.

4. Why do you identify yourself as a feminist?

Being a feminist doesn’t mean I hate men, being a feminist doesn’t mean I am radical, being a feminist doesn’t mean I am a “snowflake” liberal. I identify as a feminist because I am continuing to learn about my own privilege while others remain powerless, because women, LGBTQ+ individuals, the disabled, the elderly, people of color, and other minority or “deviant” groups are still considered abnormal and lesser in many ways. I will identify as a feminist as long as derogatory, stigmatizing, stereotypical labels and ideas about certain individuals or groups in our society exist. There are so many ways to put people down, but I think until we can stop this hate and cruelty, labeling myself as a feminist is one way to rise up.

5. Who or what inspires you?

My mother is a major source of inspiration for me. She has had to endure many physical, mental, and emotional challenges in life, but she continues to persevere and remind me of how lucky I am to live in the world, even as messed up and horrible as it sometimes is. My sister is another inspiration for me – growing up, she was always one step (or at least one year) ahead of me, leading the way and showing me what it means to be a mature, confident individual in a world where people will tell you “no” or challenge your intelligence or integrity. And finally,  I think that it’s inspiring to see people who are vulnerable, who aren’t afraid to bare their souls to the world, who are willing to be hurt just to be healed.