9 Photos That Will Challenge Everything You Know About Feminism
Think you know what a feminist looks like? Think again.
Close your eyes and picture a feminist. Now open them and look at the nine images of feminists in this series by photographer Jules Davies for Portland clothier Wildfang. Feminists like Ace.
"When society hears 'feminist' they automatically see a woman, not a man," he explained in a brief interview with Wildfang. "What people fail to realize is feminism is a movement and a belief that supports the equality of women. I can only hope that when my three daughters are out in the real world on their own, they are judged based on experience, education, their morals and beliefs, and not on their gender."
And Elle and Kenna.
"People don't understand that sex work is a true model for how consent SHOULD work," said Elle. "I provide access to my time and body in exchange for money. I am a gatekeeper for this access, and my clients do not receive service if they do not respect me or my boundaries."
"I think some may be surprised to hear that I identify as feminist depending on how they define it and whether or not they see my hijab as a symbol for feminism or oppression," she said. "Feminism to me is being able to remove all the checked boxes that 'define' a person based on cultural expectations and societal norms, and being able to define yourself based on your own values and ideologies. We live in a time of injustice, inequitable access, and hatred towards different identities. As a country that constantly talks about equal rights and justice, we've failed, and we must change that."
Yes, beauty queens can be feminists, like Alicia, who is Miss Arizona.
"I probably get judged for being a beauty queen, but being a feminist isn't about what job you do or how you look, it's about treating each other with respect and allowing each person to make their own choices without being held back or restricted."
Feminists can be older and rooted in faith, like Michael.
"Sadly, the Christian church, for almost its entire history, has too often been used to justify and bolster patriarchy, racism, and inequality," he said. "Because of this, the church has become synonymous with all these evils for many people, and sometimes they are surprised to hear the true spiritual life of compassion and equality articulated by a Christian Minister. But my read of the scriptures leads me to believe that Jesus himself was a feminist, so how can I not do my best to follow this example?"
And feminists can start young, like 12-year-old aspiring biologist Leah.
"Some people think young girls can't have opinions or be activists," she said. "I am a feminist because I believe gender does not matter, we should all be equals. We are all humans; living, using, and relying on this earth."
Maybe the most surprising feminist on the list? Republican farmer father Eric.
"I am a Republican man so some (false) stereotypes might suggest that I cannot also be a feminist, but I thoroughly support the idea of equal opportunity for all women," he said. "The term feminist has picked up 'radical' connotations in the past, but to me equality isn't radical."
Wildfang founder Emma McIlroy told BuzzFeed she conceived of the shoot because "there is so much work left to be done around gender equality."
"The leading Republican candidate has disparaged women for breast feeding and menstruating; in 2015 alone, 17 states passed more than 50 abortion restrictions and 11 states slashed funding to Planned Parenthood; and women are underrepresented at an executive level in almost every Fortune 500 company," she said. "Gender equality is not a women's problem alone, it's all of our problem.