Fearless Female Interview: Madalene W.
What is your dream career?
I’m currently pursuing my dream career which is becoming a teacher! Teaching, in my opinion, is such an important job to take on. Not only are you educating students academically, but you’re also providing information and knowledge about the social and political world that they live in. In the future, I want to avoid creating gender roles to the best of my ability. I want my future students to be interested in things because they find that they enjoy it or that they’re good at it rather than because that’s what society tells them they should do.
Why do you think it's important to see more women in positions of leadership?
Leadership roles have historically been dominated by men. I think it’s important for women to be able to share their opinions and perspectives from where they stand in the social realm. Without the inclusion of women in positions of power, the issues that women face would not be properly addressed due to the lack of diverse positionality in leadership. Furthermore, I think it’s important for girls to see that women can, and should, take on and excel in leadership roles.
What makes a feminist in your eyes?
A feminist is someone who believes in equal rights and opportunities for all people, across all genders. There’s a common misconception that feminists are ball-busting man-haters, but that’s not true. A feminist can be anyone, and is not limited by gender. A feminist is a person who is intersectional and views issues with a lens that allows women from all walks of life to be included in the narrative. It’s easy for someone to claim that they’re a feminist, but their actions are what really matters.
How do you work to make your feminism intersectional?
In my opinion, if it’s not intersectional, it’s not feminism. A person who calls themselves a feminist should be aware of the different intersections that affect women’s lives. This includes, but is not limited to, race, sexual orientation, ability, and age. Whenever a policy is passed that is meant to support women, I try to see if it’s inclusive or exclusive. Trans women and women who have low socioeconomic status are commonly left out of policies. Inclusivity is a big part of intersectional feminism. Inclusivity isn’t trying to just include as many people as possible, but actively trying to include those who have been systematically marginalized. This is an important practice that I think we should all apply to our lives.
How can women and girls support each other in today's world?
The media constantly pins women against each other. This ranges from “who wore it best?” to “who’s a bigger feminist icon?”. It’s ridiculous and frustrating that women can’t just be collectively celebrated, but rather one woman must be superior. What women and girls can do to support each other is to empower each other through helping raising each other up instead of celebrating one woman at the expense of another.
Being supportive of personal choices is also something that women can do to support each other. For example, women who choose not to be mothers are constantly criticized because motherhood is supposedly inherently tied to womanhood. Allowing women to live by their own agendas is so important.