Who’s who in feminism

By Shelby Tankersley

Young feminists are taking the world by storm; know who’s making an impact

To our generation, the idea of feminism is no stranger. In fact, our generation has a lot of young women who have become the voice for change and equality. And, many are doing it all before they turn 30 years old.

Emma Watson

Quote: “I have realized that fighting for women’s rights has too often become synonymous with man-hating. If there is one thing I know for certain, it is that this has to stop.”

The 24-year-old British actress has tackled the role of being the UN’s Goodwill Ambassador and being the voice of the HeForShe campaign. Watson describes HeForShe as something both men and women can benefit from.

“It’s an equality club for both genders,” Watson said in a recent interview. “It’s about men coming in support of women and women coming in support of men.”

She stands for gender equality and wants both men and women to treat one another with respect. In her opinion, chivalry can go both ways. She’s inspiring those around her to be the change they want to see.

Arlene Frank, the program coordinator for the Womencenter at Oakland Community College, thinks what Watson is doing is great.

“She stands for the importance in believing in yourself,” Frank said. She also went on to mention that Watson’s youth has gained her much respect. Her youth allows her to impact Generation Z in a way few others can.

Alexandra Brodsky

Quote: “We can do better. If we want to end campus gender-based violence, lawmakers need to listen to survivors.”

This 25-year-old Yale Law student gets around.

She’s a writer for feministing.com, a founding member of Know Your IX, is currently working on the Feminist Utopia Project, has been published in big newspapers like the New York Times and The Guardian and has appeared on news networks like CNN and FOX News.

As a writer for feministing.com, Brodsky tackles campus culture issues like rape, sexual harassment and violence.

Her latest post is about new legislation that, if passed, would require colleges to report all gender-related violence to the authorities.

“Consequently, if schools are required to pass along all reports to the cops, survivors may just report to no one at all, losing out on much-needed support services from their colleges,” Brodsky writes.

From reading her posts, one thing is clear: Brodsky has a passion, and she won’t be backing down anytime soon.

Frank said that Brodsky is an important player in the feminism game and that she will be heard due to her passion.

“Young girls like her bring renewed and vigorous action,” Frank said.

Malala Yousafzai

Quote: “Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child and one teacher can change the world.”

The youngest, and perhaps most well-known, activist on this list stands up for girls all over the world having the right to an education.

Yousafzai started her activism by anonymously blogging for the BBC about her life of being a woman living under the Taliban in 2009. When it was discovered that she was the blogger, the threats started rolling in.

In October of 2012, a man boarded a bus in which Yousafzai was travelling and shot her in the head. She survived and hasn’t given up on having her voice heard.

“I think Malala is a particularly brave girl,” Frank said.

In 2011, she was awarded Pakistan’s National Peace Prize and was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 – she was only 16 years old at the time.

Li Tingting, Wei Tingting, Wang Man, Zhang Churan and Wu Rongrong

Quote: “Chinese women, more than 600 million in number, make up about one tenth of humanity. This is a day marked by humiliation and sorrow for all of us,” Nancy Tang wrote on feministing.com.

On Mar 16, 10 young feminists were arrested in Beijing, China for planning a rally against sexual harassment. The five listed above are still being held by the authorities and have reportedly been denied access to their lawyers.

The sad thing about this story is that the girls were arrested for virtually no reason, since they never got the chance to go through with their plans.

“These young women have shown great courage,” Frank said.

Their lawyers fear that the women are enduring interrogations, which can be the stuff of nightmares. Unfortunately, free speech isn’t available to everyone.