July 27, 2010

Zoe Nicholson's Interview with Feminists for Choice

Filed under: Featured Feminist — Tags: , , , , , — Melanie @ 10:58 am

Originally published at Feminists for Choice, July 26, 2010.

Feminist Veteran Zoe Nicholson Explains Why Feminism Is Still Relevant

When did you first call yourself a feminist, and what helped influence that decision?
I have always been a feminist.  The question is asked often these days, and I find it so peculiar.  Would you ask a person of color if they believed in equality?  Would you ask a trans person if they believe in LGBTQAI Civil Rights?  I would rather ask why one would not want to be a feminist.  I can think of only one legitimate reason, and it is because they are really stretching the boundaries of US thinking to drop all labels and make that their mission.  (gender fluid!)

Did I ever think women or men were innately unequal?  Never.  Nor people of different races, ages or classes.  Certainly my deeply devotional childhood influenced me.  I look at the books I read, the saints I admired, and they were all people who worked with making life better; Mother Seton, Vincent DePaul, Catherine Laboure, even St. Nicholas and St. Valentine worked with the oppressed, the poor.  It just seemed like the obvious choice.  When I got older and found out that the word and meaning of Christian had been entirely co-opted, I converted to Buddhism.  Funny thing is, it makes more sense to me to think of John XXIII, Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem as all practitioners of Buddhism.  They are all invested in Self-Discovery.  (I digress)

What does feminism mean to you?
To me a feminist is a person who believes and behaves as if men and women are equal; equal under the law, and with full equal opportunity.  What distinguishes my answer, I believe, is that it carries within it that the behavior is immediate; it does not wait for the laws to catch up.  So, even though there is no Fair Paycheck Act, I would pay my employees equal pay for equal work, offer equal benefits and operate with no discrimination due to sex.  In other words, as if there was an Equal Rights Amendment to the US Constitution.

You might find it interesting that about two years ago I changed my card from “Feminist” to “Equality Activist.”  Because, who ya gonna leave behind?  If I am going to be the change I see in the world, then I have to start with me.  Since I am bi – I really get to speak to so many facets of equality.  I was married to a man, had an abortion, fell in love with a woman, discovered I am bi.  I am horrified at the terrible river of transphobia that ran through the feminism of the Twentieth Century.  I am very motivated to expose it and get rid of it.  Recently I was asked if I am a trans woman, and it really roared through me that somehow my answer was going to grant or deny some privilege.  I refused to answer.

For the complete interview, click here (there’s a flattering shout-out to me at the end of the interview. Blush).


  1. I agree, that a feminist is someone who believes and fights for equal rights as men. Until now, I didn’t consider myself a feminist, due to the fact that I did not really know what it is, and the stereotypes that came with it. Nicholson is right, why wouldn’t someone not want to be a feminist? Everyone deserves equal rights and opportunities, and it is extremely unfair if someone gets promoted or gets a raise due to their sex rather than their work ethic and hard work.

    Comment by maxine — September 6, 2010 @ 12:45 pm

  2. I think it’s interesting how Nicholson brings the topic of religion into discussion. Converting from Christianity to Buddhism because she realized that the meaning of christian was co-opted. At the same time, I’m sure that there are many feminists out there who are Christian and feminist. Does that mean that all feminists who are Christians should convert to Buddhism? I don’t think she clearly explains herself there. And in continents such as Asia where Buddhism has maintained for centuries, we still see inequality especially between men and women in the workforce and household much more than the United States that is mostly consisted of Christians.

    Comment by Joanne — September 6, 2010 @ 7:20 pm

  3. I think that Zoe Nicholson makes very valid points. I never thought about feminism in the way that she looks at it. Having equal rights for men and women is the same as equal rights for different races, ages, and classes. If everyone looks at feminism in this manner, with this idea, then I think that everyone would be a feminist. It would by extremely hyporitically if someone that is black who fights for equal rights does not fight for the same equal rights for women. They would be fighting for the exact same thing. This being said, I AM A FEMINIST!

    Comment by Joshua. S — September 6, 2010 @ 7:44 pm

  4. I agree with the previous comment; feminism issues are very similar to as of homosexuals. If we were all created equally and should be treated equally, so there should not be any exception. I believe that the idea of feminism has a lot in common with humanism and/or sexism. Also, women who are already being privileged of equal rights are less likely to be willing to fight for feminism, which is not good, because they are being focused mostly by the mass media.

    Comment by Nima Ghalehsari — September 6, 2010 @ 8:22 pm

  5. @Joanne: No, in no way does Zoe imply that feminists should be or need to be Buddhists. She is simply referring to her personal recognition of the inherent patriarchy in Christianity, an issue that many feminist began to deconstruct in the 70s- an era when feminist spirituality emerged. But there are plenty of active Christian feminists who recognize the sexism in the religion but work to expose it within their religion. I hope that makes sense.

    Comment by Melanie — September 6, 2010 @ 8:42 pm

  6. I totally agree with Zoe Nicholson a feminist is a person who believes and behaves as if men and women are equal; equalunder the law, and with full equal opportunity. Who would want to live in a world where men and women are not equal? I know I wouldnt. I wouldnt have considered my self a feminist before learning more and more about it. I have opened my eyes to a new world of opportunites to learn and teach my peers about feminism.

    Comment by Delyla M. — September 7, 2010 @ 12:20 am

  7. I agree with Zoe Nicholson and her idea of feminism. Before taking this class I would not have considered myself a feminist because I was under the belief that feminists were looking for female rights ONLY. After taking Women Studies 10 with Professor Klein, I have learned the real meaning of feminism as Zoe states here. She talks about equality for both men and women no matter what race, age, gender, or your SES (social economic status). I really enjoyed reading this and hope many others understand the true meaning of feminism as well!

    Comment by Ariel Kasheri (wmst10scholars) — November 30, 2010 @ 10:14 am

  8. Although before I took Women Studies I did not think I associated with the Femenist movement, because I ignorantly did not know what it really stood for. But I agree with Zoe Nicholson and her idea of feminism. When Nicholson defines a feminist as a person who believes and behaves as if men and women are equal; equal under the law, and with full equal opportunity, this really caught my attention. The more I understand the true meaning of Feminism the more I believe I do fit into this category of a Femenist, because who would not live and fight for the rights of all women, lesbians, bisexuals, and men.

    Comment by Sumer Marquette — February 21, 2011 @ 6:55 pm

  9. After reading this article I can say that I do have a better understanding about what feminism is and what it stands for. I strongly agree with her definition of feminism because I think men and women should be treated equal under the law and in opportunities. I found it really interesting how she mentions that she changed her title to being a “Equality Activist”, she brings up a good point that we should leave no one behind in the movement!

    Comment by Amanda A. — September 3, 2011 @ 3:53 pm

  10. I completely agree with Zoe Nicholson. Her view on the way that people approach the idea of feminism is very similar to mine, in that, it’s more about equality for all types of people and situations, rather than just a generalization of women and men. The fact that she treats her employees with equality and such a neutral setting, as if it was a law to do so, really raises my respect for her to another level, showing her true and pure belief of equality. I appreciate that.

    Comment by Natalie Hoorfar — September 4, 2011 @ 11:14 am

  11. I found it interesting that Nicholson includes the male gender in her definition of feminism, mostly because I always thought that men have always been the superior gender and had no need to fight for any sort of equal treatment, and therefore should not be included in the definition. But it seems that excluding males from the definition would only contradict what the feminist movement is trying to accomplish. I also love how Nicholson touches on the topic of sexuality, since it seems such a taboo subject to even mention now a days.

    Comment by Alexandra A. — September 5, 2011 @ 11:48 pm

  12. I found it interesting that Nicholson includes the male gender in her definition of feminism, mostly because I always thought that men have always been the superior gender and had no need to fight for any sort of equal treatment, and therefore should not be included in the definition. But it seems that excluding males from the definition would only contradict what the feminist movement is trying to accomplish. I also love how Nicholson touches on the topic of sexuality, since it seems such a taboo subject to even mention now a days.

    Comment by Alexandra A. — September 5, 2011 @ 11:48 pm

  13. I have never looked at feminism like how Zoe explained, “feminist is a person who believes and behaves as if men and women are equal; equal under the law, and with full equal opportunity.”I have always figured it was women who march, riot, and make huge scences to get the eqaulity they wanted. To know that it was simply their way of thinking makes so much more sense. The fact that Zoe turned Bi and got an abortion doesn’t change who she is and what she believes in. I work in a sexist resturant and hearing that Zoe treats her workers equally gives me hope that one day ill be evaluated on my hardwork rather then my sex. I enjoyed this interview.

    Comment by rayleen lopez gws300 — September 14, 2011 @ 3:26 pm

  14. Wow! Reading these articles has shed new light to what it means to be a “feminist”. She speaks from the heart and with such passion. Many of the things she speaks about I have questioned myself and completely understand her frustration. I am looking forward to meet Zoe and listen to what she has to say about her views and experiences.

    Comment by gloria rodriguez — September 15, 2011 @ 9:15 pm

  15. Zoe Nicholson provided the perfect representation of the feminist movement with her wise words! I like how she says,”I would rather ask why one would not want to be a feminist.” She is completely right, I mean who wouldn’t want gender equality to exist??
    The part that stood out to me the most was her statement,”If I am going to be the change I see in the world, then I have to start with me.” This shows us that we need to be strong enough to fight for what we believe in and eventually others will stand up for it too! Hopefully I’ll be able to read more from Zoe, as this interview was very enjoyable and informative!

    Comment by Rosemary A — January 4, 2012 @ 12:34 pm

  16. I agree, single-issue-minded people tend to get to me. You can’t simply call yourself a feminist and ignore the oppression of another marginalized group–like LGBT groups, people of color, etc. While I still would identify myself as a feminist, I would agree that I’m an equality activist as well and respect that change because it makes sense–especially if you are part of more than one marginalized group as Nicholson expresses since she is both a womyn and bisexual.

    Comment by Breanna K — January 4, 2012 @ 3:44 pm

  17. I am definitely on Zoe Nicholson side. If women want equal rights, they should also be for the other groups such as homosexuality that don’t have equal rights. It does not matter what gender or color you are, everyone deserves equal rights. I admire how she started off as a feminist and realized that not only is she a feminist but also a supporter of equal rights in general.

    Comment by Juliana C. — January 9, 2012 @ 11:53 pm

  18. Zoë Nicholson’s views are thought provoking and delighting. I found it interesting when she asked, “I would rather ask why one would not want to be a feminist”. Feminism is a positive ideology, which many avoid due to the negative stigmas and stereotypes that are attached to it. Many people don’t even know the true definition of the term yet, choose not be a feminist because they fear others’ reactions. I like how she changed her personal title from “feminist” to “Equality Activist” because equality is one of the main goals in feminism. The message behind her new title supports her attempt to make a change in the world. She has very admirable ambitions and serves as a positive role model for young feminists.

    Comment by Sandy A — January 14, 2012 @ 12:21 pm

  19. I agree with this article and I don’t know much about “feminism” mean is but after I read this I knew about new ideas. Also I really agree with this common that “feminist is a person who believes and behaves as if men and women are equal; equal under the law and with full equal opportunity” I am trust that men and women having equal rights with different gender or race. Through this reading, I was more open mind about feminism/feminist

    Eun Hee Chung- Women’s studies 10

    Comment by Eun Hee Chung — January 17, 2012 @ 10:15 pm

  20. When I became 18 year-old, I got a job and I was discriminated in the company. Even though other man and I had same work-ability, I had to make coffee for a long time. Therefore, I totally agree with your opinion ‘I would pay my employees equal pay for equal work, offer equal benefits and operate with no discrimination due to sex.’ And it was really impressive to me you changed your card from feminist to equality activist. You are a example in unequal society.

    – Youjung An, Women’s Studies 10

    Comment by Youjung An — January 17, 2012 @ 10:44 pm

  21. I believe it shouldn’t be called just “Feminist” instead it should be called “Equality Activists” because there are all kinds of people out there in today’s society. Different races, sexes, genders want equality as well. Zoe Nicholson’s view of treating people, especially employees with equality I believe gives others a fair opportunity to a successful life. There are many women out there that don’t favor feminism because they usually live the high class with no problem with the sexist world out there if they are earning what they want in life. In other words, they don’t see there is a point to being active in something that would make there life any better than it already is. Now that I have began taking Women Studies class, It really brings to my attention how many women should learn more about their own sex and how people treat the women involved.

    Comment by Alexandria S — January 17, 2012 @ 11:36 pm

  22. I don’t know too much about feminism but after reading this blog i learned the real meaning and idea of it. “feminist is a person who believes and behaves as if men and women are equal; equal under the law and with full equal opportunity” this quote speaks very loud. i totally agree that men and women should have equal rights and oppurtunities.

    Comment by Jonteen R — January 19, 2012 @ 1:56 pm

  23. This interview with Zoe Nicholson was such a welcoming and eye-opening approach to feminism for me. I’m not going to lie, I have heard tons of stereotypes about feminist and have been afraid to dig deeper into feminism because every time I have, I’ve been scared away by the vocabulary and purely the stereotypes themselves have scared me. However, in Zoe’s defense, she really cleared these stereotypes for me and made me feel comfortable with the ideas behind feminism. This interview made me realize that I carry feminist ideas too. It’s completely true how she mentioned, “Would you ask a person of color if they believed in equality?” I think all women have some feminism in them, whether they act upon it or not! No one likes to be treated unequally. It was also eye opening when I was able to notice feminist names she mentioned that I was actually familiar with like Frida Kahlo, Lady Gaga, Mohandas Gandhi, Cleopatra, Susan Sarandon, and Angelina Jolie. I guess I never really have considered these people feminists but after reading this article and Zoe Nicholson’s explanation of what a feminist is then I see how these people are feminists and it’s inspiring because these are people I can put a face to and people that I am not afraid of. I would have to agree with Zoe’s mournful acknowledgement, how the American society doesn’t know what it would be like if women shared leadership, if all people had full reproductive autonomy and if all families and children were respected. I feel like people would be way more free and have way more time to help the world with other issues rather than to be obsessed with the opposite sex. If people weren’t so afraid of feminism then equality would be in a greater reach. After reading this interview I don’t feel so hesitant to say “Yeah, I’m open to feminism!”. – D.O.

    Comment by Destiny O — February 2, 2012 @ 7:53 pm

  24. Zoe Nicholson makes a strong point about questioning whether one is a feminist. I never thought to present it in the aspect of; do LGBTQAI believe in Civil Rights? The way she defines what a feminist is an easier approach to what it means to be a feminist. All along, I admit, I listened to other’s interpretations and meanings and for a quick second believed that the labels must be true. As I read more and more about the women and men behind feminism and the struggle for equal rights, I understand that they are just like me and a lot of others who just want to be treated fairly. So with that said, I will behave as if men and women are equal.

    Comment by Salina G — February 4, 2012 @ 9:39 pm

  25. I had always heard about Feminism, but I never considered myself a Feminist because I did not understand the concept completely. I agree with this article in its short and concrete defenition on feminism. Feminism does not just include women it includes men as well. That is something very intersting, because with all the sterotype about feminist you would think only women are feminist. Eventhough I agree that there should be equality for everyone and not just fight for equality for women but for everyone.

    Comment by lizbeth hurtado — February 6, 2012 @ 12:25 pm

  26. Zoe Nicholson came up with an interesting point when she spoke about equality within race or even sexual orientation. I always thought that feminism included women who disliked men and thought that they were superior in some way, however it is very different. Like she said, should a race be treated equally? The answer is ofcourse. And therefore a persons sex should be equal as well.

    Comment by Heather S — February 6, 2012 @ 2:08 pm

  27. I agree with you that the definition of a feminist is anyone that believes that men and women are equal in any and every aspect of their lives including the workplace as well as under law and should therefore be giving equal opportunities. I also like the idea of this action as you stated being immediate and not having society wait around for a law or an act to demand this change, for example as you discussed the Fair Paycheck Act. I believe that our actions can cause change and if more companies actually already implemented equal pay for all then this would be come common and maybe finally an act would be created to make this happen within all companies. I like that you addressed the somewhat irony behind asking a women if she is a feminist however I do believe that some women stray from being labeled feminist because they want to avoid the negative stereotypes that are unfortunately associated with this term. However a feminist is not a man hater or anti-male as we simply believe in equality for all men and women alike as well as we fight against discrimination or oppression of anyone based on race, gender, class, etc. we are all people and therefore we all deserve the same rights and opportunities.

    Comment by Melissa M. — February 8, 2012 @ 11:11 am

  28. I always had mixed answers what feminist meant to me. Yet, as some stereotypes that people might believe feminist are “man haters” its completely wrong. Zoe Nicholson came up with interesting and thoughtful points through her life. For example, when she states, “So, even though there is no Fair Paycheck Act, I would pay my employees equal pay for equal work, offer equal benefits and operate with no discrimination due to sex.” This shows how she reflects in every aspect of EQUALITY for all people within race or sexual orientation. Not only Zoe included examples such as race, but it made me reflect how feminist people just really want quality with all aspects we face in today’s society. This relates how feminism is not only about women, but men are feminism as well. Majority of the people always stereotype ONLY women being feminism, when in reality men are as much feminism as women are. Although women still face inequality in today’s society, feminism women and men have come together to fight for equality for ALL and not just for men. At last, the term feminism has expanded through education since more college students are receiving and learning about what the term feminism is, in which it’s a positive thing for HOPE in the future for everyone to be treated with EQUALITY.

    Comment by Alicia S. — February 11, 2012 @ 7:34 pm

  29. I mirror the above comments that welcome the different title – “Equality Activist” – because presenting yourself as an advocate for equality for all individuals is where the feminist movement is at today. The title “feminist” holds with it a long-standing struggle which, at it’s inception, were mainly for certain women. As the movement has progressed and evolved into one that involves a large diversity of people, the title may feel awkward and need to be changed. Take the acronyms used for the lesbian and gay rights movement; I remember it progressed from lesbian and gay to LGBT to LGBTQ to LGBTQAI (which I had to look up, I didn’t know what the A and I stood for!) As the populations included in these struggles changes, so to the title.

    I love her idea of truly being a feminist although our society has not caught up with our ideals. As a manager myself of a largely female-run organization, I have modeled our workspace and policy and procedures to one where the women employees are treated equally to the men. As all of us can consider ourselves to be leaders in some environment (the home, at school, at our department at work, etc.) we all have the ability to model ourselves this way and encourage our peers to follow in our footsteps.

    Comment by Noel L. — February 12, 2012 @ 9:03 am

  30. First I would like to comment on Buddhism what little I have read and come to understand is that Buddhism is not religion per se, it’s a way of life. I can see why so many people adopted it, there are no pressures to how one lives their life in comparison to being Christian or Catholic. I myself am not religious I consider myself a spiritual person that will only answer to my creator, not to man especially not to man who is of the church. But if I ever adopted something more in my life it would be Buddhism. Now to change gears I personally have made the mistake of not wanting to reflect on the past many times as I felt no need to, however its important when being a student that I do reflect and use my experiences especially academically. Because the past in our lives is very much connected to the present and our future.

    That being said I began to recall when I was a small child and some of my behavior in regard to our fight for equality and as I reflected I thought I must have been a feminist all along but being a child I never knew what it was. It pissed me off with the stereotyping and racism and inequalities I never understood of why I was being treated or spoken down to in a certain way, or patronized as if I am incapable of doing anything on my own, being a female.

    As I began growing older I was finally able to speak up for myself and as I did those inequalities and injustices of not conforming to family norms, placed me on the outskirts with people in my family, but I dont’ care, I don’t need social approval or family approval. It bothers them more that I won’t conform as I feel I have much to offer being an “Equality Activist”, so thank you Zoe I can respect your feelings of not answering to such a question of being assumed you are a “trans woman”, just as I can’t conform to such a lifeless way of living to family expectations.

    Comment by lindseysegura — February 12, 2012 @ 12:24 pm

  31. Before reading the article/interview, little knowledge did I have of feminism. I had bits and pieces of what a feminist was and what their movement was for. As a women myself, I do not know yet whether I would label myself as a feminist, but I strongly behave in a feminist way. My beliefs that men and women should be given equal opportunity resemble the same as Zoe Nicholson’s. Similarly, I have heard many stereotypes of feminists. Let alone that only women can be feminists. I strongly disagree with that stereotype because, yet again a feminist is one who believes in equal opportunity amongst men and women. I also do believe that their are many negatives comments and stereotypes amongst feminists because very few know the real definition of what a feminist is. The feminist movement has changed the way that many women think of themselves. It has built many opportunities for women in the workplace, and in their personal lives aswell. Moreover, I do believe that many more women are slowly taking part and encouraging others to recognize feminism and treat everyone equal regardless of their sex.

    Comment by Erchanik P. — February 12, 2012 @ 6:27 pm

  32. Zoe stated “To me a feminist is a person who believes and behaves as if men and women are equal; equal under the law, and with full equal opportunity.” This definition of a feminist is amazing. It is by far the best definition of a feminist I have yet to hear or read. I believe it sums up the true meaning of a feminist and what being a feminist represents. Based on her definition of a feminist, someone who is struggling or battling against whether or not they are a feminist, will be able to make a decision once and for all after reading Zoe’s definition of a feminist. I love the fact that law is mentioned in her definition because it does not leave room or opportunity for someone to half way be a feminist or half way believe in feminist ideas.

    I think it is important for people who want to see change happen realize change must begin with them as an individual; Zoe is someone who believes that change. It takes someone to be open-minded and self-reflective to be able to change themselves and what they are accustomed to doing.

    As a woman who has faced many hardships and have yet to open up to close friends about them, I respect and appreciate Zoe for sharing personal information in this interview. It shows the world that she is not perfect and that she has not always known what she wanted but she is strong and willing to grow as an individual and play a role in helping society to grow as well. Many us, especially the college students I know, start off believing that we want a certain life or want to major in a certain field, but a few months or years later decide that it’s not even close to what we want

    Feminism is important and based on this interview I believe Zoe truly wants to see men and women equal in every aspect of society.

    Zoe seems like a wonderful woman and I
    Takisha B.

    Comment by Takisha B. — February 12, 2012 @ 9:09 pm

  33. I really liked one of the comments made in this post in which Nicholson mentioned that a key component of feminism is behaving in ways without waiting for legislation to catch up. I think that is a very important thing to mention; we cannot simply sit around waiting for laws to pass, rather you have to act in order to change something. If people simply possess ideas but do not act on them, change can be very hard to come by.

    Nicholson’s other comment about changing her card from “Feminist” to “Equality Activist” also really resonated with me. For me, the term feminist has never quite been a fitting term for me. I am definitely in favor of women’s rights and for equality for all, but therein lies my issue. The term feminist seems to apply more for just rights and equality for women while I consider myself in favor of equality for everyone, regardless of sex or gender, race or ethnicity. The term “Equality Activist” then seems to take on a broader meaning that encompasses more of the idea of equality and justice for all groups.

    Comment by Logan S. — February 15, 2012 @ 4:36 pm

  34. I thought this article was very interesting. I appreciated the fact that she mentioned that to be a feminist you not only have to have the beliefs but act on them as well. so being a feminist does not require you to roam the streets with a pick-it sign and fight for womens equal rights but you must think that women and men are equal and act as though you do. I definately appreciated that because many people think they are feminists but are scared to stand up for what they believe in. I think acting on the matter is the most important part, because if you don’t then who will? I also thought it was interesting she changed her religion to match her beliefs and she is not “following the majority”

    Comment by Alina Bergelson — February 16, 2012 @ 11:45 am

  35. What struck me the most from this interview was when Zoe stated, “For full equality, every human being must have unconditional sovereignty over their own body, mind, soul and spirit. For full equality, all laws must apply equally for all; including marriage, insurance, employment, military service, all contracts.” The reason this particular statement struck a chord was based on all the continued controversy over laws on women’s reproductive rights and gay marriage.

    It is unfortunate that today we still live in a modern era, and we are forced to have to deal with political figures who undermine women’s decisions on their own reproductive rights. Most of these political figures, notably older men from the Republican party, seem to have a firm view on abortion as murder, and that contraceptives should not be readily available in certain programs or schools. This misfortune brings a heavy burden on women – both mentally and physically. I fully agree with Nicholson’s view that every being should have full sovereignty over their autonomy. What about girls who did NOT consent to engage in sexual acts, but have been raped? What will this girl turn to when her government disables her from choosing to carry a child she is unable to provide for? Issues such as this must be brought to the attention of political heads who feel like they have a say in what a woman can and cannot do with her body.

    Furthermore, I consider it to be a huge disgrace that certain states still feel that marriage between members of the same sex is not a civil rights issue, but a moral one. I concur that for there to be full equality, every single person regardless of their sexual orientation, should be able to marry the one they love. Same sex partners must also be forced to be labeled with the term “civil union”, as if that is more politically correct than “marriage” in their circumstance.

    Nicholson has not only touched on women’s rights, but she has touched on one’s right as a human being – which relates to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Therefore, Nicholson’s view on equality speaks for all people and for all of their interests as humans on this planet.

    Comment by Jasmine Y. — February 16, 2012 @ 5:16 pm

  36. Raised in a Persian-Jewish culture, I realized the unequal treatments inflicted on women. Jewish women are not allowed to read from the Jewish Torah, which is known as the holiest book, but men, which are thought to be the dominance race are. The women are also expected to stay at home and raise the kids as their first priority. The men are allowed to screw around but if the women does it they are seen as a trashy person. this double standard has been going on for a long time now and many women simply accept it for what it is and don’t take any action on it. I like how Nicholson didn’t wait for “the laws to catch up” and simply created a lifestyle where she treats everyone as an equal. even though the laws didnt say that she had to pay fairly, she still did it because she believes that even one person doing the right thing can make a difference in the world. I also agree with Nicholson on the conception that feminism doesn’t just stop as equal rights for women but rather equal rights for everyone. i respect her name change and find it comprehensive of her motives and goals.

    Comment by Chantelle A — February 17, 2012 @ 9:47 pm

  37. Zoe Nicholson responds to the first interview question by asking, “Would you ask a person of color if they believed in equality?” I think Nicholson does a good job by connecting feminism and equality, because feminism is ultimately a movement concerning equality. True, feminists are mainly interested in gaining equal rights for women but they are not solely concerned with that. Feminism is a movement which focuses on putting an end to sexism in all its forms. I believe that both men and women can be sexist. The real problem is sexism, discriminating based on a person’s sex. Therefore, it makes sense that Nicholson changed her card from “Feminist” to “Equality Activist.” Both men are women should have equal rights and should be treated equally. Meaning they should be given the same job opportunities, same pay wages if they are involved in the same work field etc. Furthermore Nicholson states that she would “rather ask why one would not want to be a feminist.” Although she thinks there is only one legitimate reason why others would not want to be a feminist, I disagree. After discussing this question in a Women Studies class I believe there are three reasons. 1. They don’t know what feminism is. 2. The stereotypes associated with Feminists distract others from the actual meaning of Feminism. 3. People have a certain view on activism, so even if they have ideals pertaining to feminism they do not consider themselves feminists. Moreover, I completely agree with her answer to what feminism means to her. She says, “to me a feminist is a person who believes and behaves as if men and women are equal; equal under the law, and with full equal opportunity.” I too believe that a feminist acts a certain way, which demonstrates that men and women are equal.

    Comment by Talia Y — February 19, 2012 @ 2:33 pm

  38. As a male, I agree with Zoe 100%. We need to be about equality for ALL. My favorite part was when she was asked about her favorite activist memory:
    ‘We stood there holding hands for the longest time. Her teenage children were horrified, my friends were confounded but I wasn’t ~ she wasn’t. I asked her what had changed her mind about choice and abortion, and since it was an authentic question, she answered sincerely. She told me she had seen some in-utero footage on a TV show and felt that a fetus was actually a baby. She listened to me share that I thought life began at breathing air. And so we stood, warmly, kindly’.
    Now only if our current politicians could do the same without squabbling like babies, they’d get a lot more accomplished and be able to focus on issues that matter. How is it that we’re in the year 2012 and the issue of equality for everyone is still that…an issue?

    Comment by David A. — February 20, 2012 @ 2:19 pm

  39. I find it interesting Zoe brought up the fact people always ask what or who motivated their feminism. I, too, think that is not one of the most important aspects. Each person has their own motivations and for me it is mostly experience.
    Hopefully one day there can be an equal pay act, but in the meantime, I agree with Zoe that we should pretend as if there were a law regarding equal pay and act accordingly.

    Comment by MarenW — February 20, 2012 @ 2:36 pm

  40. An interesting aspect of the interview with Zoe Nicholson is when Zoe states that she changed her card from “Feminist” to “Equality Activist”, because it shows that she stands for equality for all, not just for genders. This is the important idea behind feminism. Moreover, you gain more recognition for standing up for everyone’s rights, rather than just one group of people. If everyone sticks together for equality, the chances of being successful are much higher than if everyone just stands up for their own racial, ethnic, or social group. Lastly, it was very moving when Zoe says that she refused to answer the question regarding whether or not she is transgendered, simply because it could harm or help her. Never should a sexual preference or lifestyle choice have an effect on how others treat you.

    Comment by Benjamin B. — February 20, 2012 @ 6:31 pm

  41. This article has given me a better understanding of what feminism is and what it exactly means to be a feminist. The meaning I had for feminism in my mind turned out to be true once finished reading this article. Now that it is apparent that feminism means equal rights between men and women, I have to say that I am a feminist. Both men and women should be treated equally, even in politics, their field of work, and even in everyday society. Men and women were created equal therefore they should be treated equal. I agree with her choice to become an “Equality Activist” instead of a “Feminist” because not only women believe there should be equal rights. Some mean believe equality as well.

    Comment by Pauline T — February 20, 2012 @ 9:33 pm

  42. Feminism is indeed the idea that men and women are completely equal, under both legal status and overall opportunity. I think, however, that for most people, it is easy to see a more shallow version of this definition and only realize that women want specific rights promised to them. It’s about more than that. In the culture that surrounded me during me upbringing, I saw many instances where women were in essence hidden in the corner where no one could see them or their worth. They had few responsibilities outside of the home and were essentially seen as less than men. Nicholson makes a valid point when she compares the interviewer’s question to questioning a colored person if they have always wanted equality. However, I realize that many women are simply uneducated in the subject of feminism and are socialized into a world where they are not considered equal to men. Therefore, they do not agree with the idea that men and women ought to be equal in every aspect, and perhaps do not even comprehend it. So some women may have answered the interviewer’s question differently. Perhaps one who was socialized into a male-dominated society had just recently realized that women deserved equality as well. This person would probably not have said he/she was always a feminist, but perhaps that he/she has come to the conclusion that fairness and equality are necessary if we intend to move forward as a society.

    Comment by Neda D. — February 20, 2012 @ 10:40 pm

  43. Zoe Nicholson’s response to the first question was a point that I had never thought of before. When one is asked when they “first” began to call themselves a certain label, even though they have believed in it their whole lives, can make it seem as if the individual just decided to join a certain movement. As part of a minority, women should be supporters of the Feminist movement just how people of color should be supporters of equality. I agree with Nicholson’s definition of a Feminist, because many individuals obtain their knowledge from the third party, rumors, and the media. Most people will believe that a Feminist is a person that should be at a higher standpoint than the male population. They choose to listen to the stereotypes that distract individuals from learning the real definition. As we learn in Women Studies, the idea of a Feminist is to obtain equality for women and men in the work place and social culture. With that being said, I find that Nicholson made a great choice to change her card to an “Equality Activist,” for it shows that she is not only a supporter of Feminism, but also for equality towards the greater population.

    Comment by Giselle A. — February 21, 2012 @ 11:51 pm

  44. This article gave me a better understanding of what feminism means—specifically to an individual. I feel as though we read a lot about what feminism is as whole, and its broad definition. However, reading about it from one person’s perspective gives it different meaning, especially when the topic hits close to home for them. Nicholson’s opening line about she has always been a feminist is striking to me. I do not doubt that she has always been a person for equal rights; however, I do not think she called herself a feminist until she actually learned the term. My favorite part about this interview is when Nicholson says she does not wait for laws to influence her own practices as a feminist. This statement is big and powerful. By saying this, she is basically saying she does what she feels is right even though the law may not be up to speed. Equal rights is important not only for women but for people of different ethnicity, class and age.

    Comment by Catie S. — February 22, 2012 @ 10:38 am

  45. I believe that people have the wrong idea about what feminism is because of all of the negative stereotypes clouding the truth and thus causing people to evade the cumbersome label of being a “feminist”. Feminism is a particularly strong movement in my opinion because it not only umbrellas the idea of equality for not just women as the label might suggest but also for men. Feminists all throughout history did not only fight for women’s rights but also rights for African Americans and fought for other less obvious causes such as Forothea Dix who led the movement for the creation of mental hospitals where people with mental disabilities could be cared for and not treated like animals as they were before. Feminism needs to sprout from within the individual first. We should not wait for laws to kick in for society to shift into a more feminist drive we must all realize the sexism that exists within ourselves and try to understand it and make it right by treating all members of society equally woman or man. I also agree with the overlapping of Buddhism and feminism although I had never thought to connect the two. Both stress that we are all equal and are entitled to the same rights and priveleges living together peacefully side by side.

    Comment by Melody S. — February 23, 2012 @ 8:35 am

  46. Zoe Nicholson’s interview is a wonderful insight into another viewpoint into feminism. Her definition of a feminism being that a person who believes and behaves as if men and women are fully equal with full equal opportunity , with every human being maintaining unconditional sovereignty over their own body, mind, soul. I admire her perseverance and her ability to change her base cards from a feminist to equality activist as she is following her own no one left behind motto. She makes a series of valid points throughout her interview, especially about the bit of equality for everyone regardless of sex or color because humanity can’t afford to ignore anyone.

    Comment by Irving M. — February 28, 2012 @ 2:28 pm

  47. I really find Zoe’s answer to “When did you first call yourself a feminist?” profound. I too often hear the question so many times. I too, find it silly. Aren’t we all feminists? Don’t we all advocate for equal rights? Whether through a micro, macro, or meso lens. However, the question is asked, and the answer most always breaks my heart. As she later says in the interview, “And imagine what we could do if we didn’t have to spend so much time dealing with inequality. It is dazzling to think about.” Reading about her experience, along with other women’s, usually puts my mind at ease knowing there are others out there who understand. Zoe’s change of label from feminist to equality activist was an interesting statement to me as well, and sparked the wheels in my little feminist head. While I do not really see the two as separate, I do understand that just the simple word feminist pushes groups away, as though it is a special, radical club. While seemingly unnecessary, I see her point. A wonderful interview.

    Comment by Kayla Nelson — March 3, 2012 @ 2:03 pm

  48. 1. I found that Zoe Nicholson was right in response to feminism. I think it is fair to say that men and women are equal and should be seen as such and I further like that she knows where to start. If you want to change the world, you have to start with your self. I’m still learning about myself and I hope one day to have the courage to face the world as me. I also like the fact that she mentioned famous people who have worked with the people and fought for injustice. I don’t claim a faith, so it was interesting to hear that she decided to change hers after doing some research into it. I would say after reading this I would consider myself a feminist. I have always believed in equal rights for everyone and will continue to do so and I will teach my children to believe the same thing. I hope our future children will be able to bring about peace among every one and that everyone will be able to share the same rights as everybody else. -EH

    Comment by Eternity Holloway — March 5, 2012 @ 2:14 pm

  49. Zoe Nicholson makes valid and powerful statements and I agree with her 100%. I have taken women studies before and upon taking them I never thought of myself as a feminist. It has come about with negative connotations that are very deceiving, and people question it without really knowing what it is and what feminist stand for. Taking classes like women studies and gender sexuality has really opened my eyes, and made me a true believer that I am a feminist and even though I am a woman I can make a difference.

    Comment by Erica Trumbauer — March 20, 2012 @ 1:42 pm

  50. M. R. Salvat
    March, 20, 2012

    I agree with Feminist Zoe Nicholson in that the right question to ask is why one would not want to be a feminist? I can see how the word ‘feminism’ can be confusing to many people who feel threatened by its activism and philosophy, the different movements, the different waves, etc. The word Feminism can sound strict and radical to many and in need of integration.
    I like the shift from “Feminist” to “Equality Activist” very much because it integrates similarities and differences in everyone (not only feminists). It describes a movement that is egalitarian and can include imply support to social, political y gender issues. Also, the word ‘equality’, or the state or quality of being equal, automatically includes many facets of equality, whereas the word ‘Feminism’, has a ‘separatist’ connotation. And, as Nicholson states, it may leave behind those who are not active participants of the feminist are not completely familiar with its commitment to justice. Those who do not support feminism and feel threatened by it (such as the guy who could not accept Zoe Nicholson‘s words of support during the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” fundraiser) may on the other find himself represented by an “Equality Activist’s” agenda.
    As we deal with current issues that seem to want to take women rights back a hundred years, it is crucial to support the American Equality Movement because, issues such as women’s shared leadership and full reproductive autonomy affect not only women and those committed to gender equality, but everyone.

    Comment by M. R. Salvat — March 20, 2012 @ 5:40 pm

  51. Zoe Nicholson is truly an inspiration for me– to see someone fight for the values I hold so dear is just…incredible to me. I have nothing but respect for her. I can’t imagine anyone feeling anything otherwise, even if they disagree with some of her stances. I like how she encourages us to act now, and not wait for the laws to “catch up” — we should be treating everyone equally and respectfully even if we are not legally bound to do so. Moments like the moment outside of the vigil really captivate my heart — I tend to hope for the best and expect the worst in people, but I know that everyone has the tendency to surprise. While one might expect anti-abortionists to be extreme, and closed minded, Zoe’s encounter and mutual respect with the woman despite their clashing beliefs proved something huge. I also love the progressive way she defines feminism — it is not simply a matter of sexual equality but equality on all fronts and for all people. I show my support for the gay rights movement with my tattoo on my ring finger of an equals sign… because all love is equal.

    Comment by Lyndsay — March 28, 2012 @ 8:05 pm

  52. This interview makes me look at what I though of a feminist in a different light. The point of equal rights for women is just as important as equal rights for all (race, gender, sexual indemnification, religion, and political ideology). If majority of people thought of feminist in this matter, I thought there would be such a negative connotation on feminist. I also like how Nicholson brings in pop cultural references, for us to understand who current feminist in out society is.

    Comment by Kevin Moore — March 29, 2012 @ 9:39 am

  53. I like the fact that Zoe Nicholson makes an interesting point of view “religion” how she converted from Christianity to Buddhist because of the oppression that Christianity implies to woman.
    I also like the fact that she changes her cards from “Feminist” to “Equality Activist” because she does not want to exclude any gender when it comes to equal rights. Everyone has the right for equality no matter your race, gender, and sexuality. I think Zoe makes a valid point in this article.

    Comment by Yuliana — April 23, 2012 @ 11:28 am

  54. When I read this, I can not help but read it with her voice in my head. She has such a strong character that it even permeates through her written work. People like Zoe Nicholson are the ones that will truly make a difference in this world because if a large scale change is going to be made, then not one group can be left behind and Zoe understands that. She sees that if one group is alienated, that the people pursuing equality for themselves are just as guilty of oppressing the others. This may sound extreme, but as long as there is someone above or below you, there is no equality and you are either reaping the rewards of being socially inclined or experiencing the hardships that such adversity has to offer. Over all, it is compulsory to pay respect to someone who came up almost completely fitting the mythical norm and yet gave it all up because she knew that there was much more for her to do in life than live off of what luck had afforded her.

    Comment by Stephanie Farzam — April 24, 2012 @ 11:24 pm

  55. Zoe Nicholson I can’t agree with you more every one should be given equal rights and equal pay for the same work. We are still looked at as the secondary gender and are still not completely protected under the law like men are.
    However most women do not realize that we still do not have equality and until we do educate them and have them join us to fight for what we believe nothing will get resolved.

    Comment by Merri Abramyan — April 25, 2012 @ 3:38 pm

  56. I’ve never thought of myself as either a feminist or not but after reading this I can say that I am because I definitely believe men and women should always have equal rights. Nicholson’s statement about her always being a feminist and whether you would ask a person of color if they are for equality really made clear how important and powerful feminism is. I love the definition she gave for feminism/feminist. I’ve never really thought about it in any way other than the usual textbook definition. Nicholson’s explanation of feminism is what sticks out most to me. Whether it be in the work place, at home or anywhere else men and women shouldn’t be put into different categories because of their sex. Even though there have been huge strides in favor of equality there is still much to do and if more people understood what it’s really about then it could be accomplished.

    Comment by Michelle A. — April 25, 2012 @ 7:23 pm

  57. Growing up in an extremely sexist household, I always thought feminists were stupid, radical, man hating lesbians. My dad would often trash talk feminists and would say to me, “Please, don’t ever become a feminist when you grow up!” Throughout most of my adolescence I had a false perception on what feminists represented. It wasn’t until my first year of college that I discovered the true meaning of feminism, and what a feminist stood for. My American History course on women opened a new door for me, I was on a new path and that path was feminism. With this new knowledge, I felt so idiotic for believing everything my dad had said about feminists growing up. I felt robbed, like a part of me had been purposely repressed because I was a woman.
    Men and women should have equal rights, and I would say that the majority of women living in the US, and even around the world would agree with that statement…so then why do so few stand behind feminism wholeheartedly? Men, and the media have done a really good job at vilifying feminism. Stereotypes have ruined the feminist reputation, and have fooled the uneducated. It’s unbelievable that men feel threatened enough to bash equal rights for women. I feel ashamed that my country has not yet passed the Equal Rights Amendment for Women. The United States is a democracy, and supposedly “The land of the free,” but actions speak louder than words.

    Comment by Deirdre D. — April 25, 2012 @ 11:57 pm

  58. I truly believe in that notion to believe in feminism you should start with making positive changes within yourself. I agree with the feminist movement we should not leave people behind, it’s a contradiction to its core beliefs of equality among women and men. Women should not be classified as 2nd class citizen it’s like telling your mom, grandma, sister, and daughter your not worthy to be on the same level as men.

    Comment by Oscar M — April 26, 2012 @ 12:18 am

  59. Feminism never meant anything to me before. I mean, I never payed any attention to how women were oppressed. However, I was aware that some women stayed home, like my mother, but that was a reward for working so hard. My father and brother work to maintain the household while my mother is a homemaker and takes care of all the children. In my home, my mother is the person that calls the shots and she even tells my dad what to do. My father and mother have never been violent with each other, and my father never screams at my mother. He might raise his voice at her, but that is only to calm her down when she is upset over something and he is trying to make her listen to his soothing words. Therefore, the word feminism never meant anything to me. Now, after learning all these new aspects of our society; I have a new thought process. Feminism means empowerment and sexual empowerment too. Before, my fiancé might want sex and I wouldn’t really want to, but I would say yes anyway. After reading “Communion” by Bell Hooks, I realized that it wasn’t my responsibility to satisfy his sexual needs. Hell, I’m responsible for my sexual wants and desires, and not anyone elses too.

    Comment by lucero Medrano — April 29, 2012 @ 4:09 pm

  60. I never thought much on feminism due to being a man. The view points of feminism is real and I hope one day that men and women will receive the equal rights in the work place. To exploit women totally negates the notion of what America is all about. I do agree with the post, however, that equality for all is more important that strictly to women due to her statement of changing from feminist to equality activist. I hope in the future that when they do comparison to women and men, women’s pay will not be 77 cents to the dollar of their counter part.

    Comment by PhilipW — April 30, 2012 @ 5:12 pm

  61. I love how Zoe describes that she would pay her employees the same and treat them the same. I believe that feminism is about being treated equal. Not about being like a man. But being respect for who you are regardless of gender. Zoe optimistic view is inspiring. She reminds me that that the cause had not died. We are far from it being over. It seems to me that we sometimes take for granted the battles that have been fought. In order to be able to have some equality.

    Comment by Esmeralda Martinez — April 30, 2012 @ 9:49 pm

  62. I agree with Nicholson beliefs. Women deserve equal rights and not to be treated as second class citizens.She is a strong women because she’s fighting for equal rights on many different levels. From what I read, she wants equal rights not only just for being a women but for race, sexual orientation, and lifestyle.I stand behind her beliefs and agree because we live in a cruel world that only guarantees privilege to a certain small group in our society. A change needs to be made.

    Comment by Ally P — April 30, 2012 @ 10:55 pm

  63. I found it very interesting and profoundly intriguing how Nicholson described what feminism is. It just highlighted the degree of patriarchy this society is based on. Nicholson so eloquently and clearly outlines how feminism is just another word for equality, and unfortunately in today’s society it’s viewed negatively and to say you are a feminist is viewed so harshly. I completely agree with the idea that equal rights should be for everyone and it should be an innate view that everyone has.

    Comment by Scarlett G — May 1, 2012 @ 9:10 am

  64. As I was reading this article, I found it very interesting the way in which Nicholson describes what feminism means to her. On of the interesting parts of this is when she mentions that she would pay her employees the same wage and give them the same benefits no matter if they were a woman or a man. I couldn’t agree more with her on this one. I know that like she said if we wish to see a change in the world we should start with ourselves and i would do the same thing as her and pay my employees equally even if there is no Fair Paycheck Act. Every one should be treated equally, and feminism is nothing bad or something that is against men. Its just a movement trying to give women the same rights that men have. I support this movement.

    Comment by Juana Vitela — May 2, 2012 @ 10:32 pm

  65. I first considered myself a feminist after I took a Women’s Studies course at my University. Due to all the negative stereotypes that inaccurately depict feminists most women are hesitant to consider themselves feminists until they actually learn the real definition. Common stereotypes include “lesbians” or “man-haters” which sways women from identifying with this group. Feminism is the belief in equal rights for both women and men. I agree with you completely on what I feel it means to be a feminist. We are not fighting for the right to claim superiority over men, but rather the right to call ourselves equal. Gender should not determine the wages you receive for equal work.

    Comment by Lyndsay Porchas — May 3, 2012 @ 3:55 pm

  66. I loved Zoe’s answer to the opening question: “When did you first call yourself a feminist?” It is silly to think that one day she woke up to the idea of feminism, instead of assuming this was a part of her life from the beginning. To continue this thought, we should all be feminists, fighting for equality. It is truly heartbreaking when taking her words to heart about “And imagine what we could do if we didn’t have to spend so much time dealing with inequality. It is dazzling to think about.” If we were not so preoccupied with ideas that should have no argument against them, there could be so many more things accomplished. I did not follow her idea of changing her “label” from feminist to equality activist. I see the two terms as equal, so I will defer to her experience on this matter. Part of the problem should be that the word feminist pushes people away. Perhaps the solution is to accept that the word feminist pushes people away, while redirecting efforts towards being an equality activist. Thanks for the great article and excellent interview.

    Comment by Jaeyoon Chung — May 5, 2012 @ 10:40 pm

  67. Feminism was introduced to me when I started college and I learn more about it in every sociology class I take. I can say that I am also a Feminist because being a woman, I have seen the inequalities that women go through in school, work or just walking down the street. SlutWalk is a good way to show men or any kind of aggressor that women are not the weak and passive girl that they are expected to be. The way a woman walks or dresses should not be taken in a bad way. If this was applied to men and women judged them on the way they dressed, men would have done whatever they could so we could stop these judgements. I like how Zoe Nicholson calls herself an equality activist because when one hears “feminism”, they automatically think of a woman fighting for women’s equality. I like equality activist because it applies to both men and women. Maybe, if people who fight for equal rights would use this title along with feminist, most people will be supportive and not think of feminism as a bad thing, but at least most people are willing to learn about it instead of judging it and going against it.

    Comment by Sonia B. — May 9, 2012 @ 8:17 am

  68. I loved the answer to what Zoe felt feminism was, the belief that men and women should be equal. If it is looked at like this, than a lot of people would consider theirselves a feminist, including me. I feel like the author has a strong belief in this fight and she is all for equality. It is good that she was able to find herself and what makes her happy in life. I believe that people need to be taught what the true meaning of a feminist is. A lot of people are not clear of it’s true meaning therefore they stereotype it and the people who identify with it. I found it very interesting that Zoe changed her name from a feminist to an equality activist. I think this is very significant because that’s what feminist are all about, EQUALITY.

    Comment by Danielle K. — May 9, 2012 @ 8:31 am

  69. Only in recent months have I come into contact with the concept of feminism. As an African American woman, I am no stranger to the plight of African Americans, but never really took notice to that of being a woman separate from my race, in a patriarchal society. It was extremely eye opening for me when Zoe asked if people would ask a person of color if they believed in equality. That rhetorical question instantaneously connected feminism to my everyday life. As a woman, how could I not possess feministic thought? Without question, I want to be view as equally competent as my male counterparts, and I stand for equal pay for equal work. I agree with Zoe completely when she states that wages should not be determined by ones sex. The though of anyone, especially a woman not being able to identify with that of feminism is uncanny. Feministic thought, is in the pursuit of equality and that is something that everyone should stand for.

    Comment by Jasmine M — May 9, 2012 @ 4:26 pm

  70. I think Zoe brings up an interesting concept regarding feminism. Why is it that we ask people why they choose to be feminists? I think we are all born as feminists, as well as civil rights advocates. It seems that human beings are naturally inclined to practice feminism. This almost makes it disturbing to think that there are so many people in this world who not only do not identify themselves as feminists, but also mock the idea of feminism. I think this all relates to the main problem with feminism: the name. The word feminism, on the surface, seemingly promotes only equality for women when it is really a focus on equality for everyone. The change from using feminist to equality activist is a change we should all explore ourselves.

    Comment by Aleksey R. — May 9, 2012 @ 5:57 pm

  71. I absolutely love the way Zoe answered the first question because I have never thought about it in that way before. I have always viewed women and men as equal in every way. Like Zoe mentioned people should all be paid the same for the same type of job, despite their sex and race. To be a feminist a person need to believe men and women are equal which makes perfect sense because someone cannot be feminist and hate men although there was a period in the feminist movement when women hated men. The first time I heard of the word feminism I heard a lot of negative things. For example, women that were feminist hated men and were mainly lesbians. It wasn’t until I took my first women study class that I learned the real meaning. I quickly indentified myself as a feminist because I believed in equal right among sexes.

    Comment by Debora G — May 9, 2012 @ 9:50 pm

  72. Zoe does a fantastic job in addressing the issue that nobody understands what a “feminist” is and that there is not one clear cut definition for the word. Right off the bat Zoe mentions the arrogance of people when she states: “I have always been a feminist. The question is asked often these days, and I find it so peculiar. Would you ask a person of color if they believed in equality? Would you ask a trans person if they believe in LGBTQAI Civil Rights?” This reminds me of the first day of Women’s Studies class, when we were given a survey on Feminism: Myths, Stereotypes, and Fact. When I was ask what feminism was I stated the common myths and stereotypes of the meaning. The following is a short write up of the results from that survey assignment: The patterns/themes that emerged from my collective answers were that feminism has always been an issue and people (mainly women) are fighting for it. Two of my participants and I agreed that feminism is an inequality amongst men and women. We also agreed that people (mainly women) are referred to as feminist and are trying to gain equality in every aspect of life. Throughout history, women have formed groups to support their cause in this fight against inequality. Groups that I mentioned were the suffragettes, mothers, and/or women athletes. Specific individuals mentioned in my collective answers were Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem, Bella Abzug, and Susan B. Anthony. All answers varied when everyone (including me) was asked the ideas that represent feminist perspective and other stereotypes surrounding this issue. We all agreed that these stereotypes do not accurately reflect all feminists. Two of my participants and I stated that our mothers are our role models. Answers varied on the questions asking about women. We all had different ideas of what it means to be a “strong” woman. We also had different ideas on what it means to be a woman in today’s culture. Answers varied on all questions pertained to Women’s Studies. Lastly, I applaud Zoe’s courage of speaking the truth and correcting the misconceptions of the word feminist by changing it to equality activist. I appreciated her courage, honesty, and bravery to speak out. She is a true woman of integrity.

    Comment by Mary Marrone — May 9, 2012 @ 10:01 pm

  73. I agree with Nicholson. I think that women should have equal rights and shouldn’t be treated poorly. Everyone should be treated equally, paid the same wages, and given the same amount of work regardless of gender or race. Feminism never really caught my attention because I am a male but it has opened my eyes to how harsh it is sometimes, and I now understand what the feminist movement is about. It’s not about going against men in our communities, but its about achieving equality for men and women.

    Comment by Jason Guanlao — May 10, 2012 @ 5:44 pm

  74. You really hit the nail on the head when saying that no one really understands what feminism is. To be honest, up until a few months ago I didn’t know what it was either. Now that I’m more educated on the topic, I would definitely consider myself a feminist. I think if more people were aware of what it really meant, they would find that they fit into the group as well. And with that knowledge I feel that more people would actively work to acheive equality for all. The laws are definitely behind when it comes to equality and I believe that they will finally change if people choose to give equality to all on their own. Leading by example is the way for our society to progess.

    Comment by Sophia S. — May 10, 2012 @ 9:59 pm

  75. I appreciate Joanne’s comment above. Religion should not even be a part of this discussion. I feel that Zoe Nicholson making a negative statement about Christianity has nothing to do with this specific discussion of feminism and equality. However, I can appreciate that she changed her title from “Feminist” to “Equality Activist” because it shows that she is aware of the inequality of individuals beyond the issue of female inferiority. If we are going to fight for the equality of women, we have to make sure that we are not against the equality of gender, age, race, class, etc. as well.

    Comment by Britjette M. — May 11, 2012 @ 7:46 pm

  76. Zoe Nicholson’s ideas on feminism and equality are those to admire. I agree on her philosophy that in order to see change in the world, one needs to take action with oneself first. I especially liked the fact that she is a feminist but also an individual who believes in equality regardless of race, sexuality or socioeconomic status. Another idea I found interested was that Zoe Nicholson believed she had always been a feminist in her life. It made me question myself, “Am I a feminism?”, I never considered myself one but when I read her post, it made me realize I am. I believe that women are deserving of equal rights and that we are just as good in what we pursue.

    Comment by MaryD — May 11, 2012 @ 8:00 pm

  77. I found this article to be a bit confusing. I felt like some of the answer strayed off topic. However, I do not think that, that makes the answers less-valuable. I agreed with idea of equal rights amongst men and women. I feel that people should be given equal pay on equal work. Men are often paid more than women and whites are often paid more than non-whites. I think that people’s pay should accurately reflect the amount of effort they put into their work.

    I found it very interesting that Zoe Nicholson changed her card from “Feminist” to “Equality Activist.” If the point is to create awareness and hopefully make a change for equality, then why change a title. I think that people need to understand what the term “feminist” means. This would create a better awareness for the term and the meanings that lie within.

    Comment by K — May 11, 2012 @ 10:52 pm

  78. This article has given me a better understanding of what feminism means from an individuals perspective. I feel as though we read a lot about what feminism is as whole, and its narrow definition. However, reading about it from another perspective gives it different meaning, especially when the topic hits close to home for them. My favorite part about this interview is when Nicholson says she does not wait for laws to influence her own practices as a feminist. This statement is big and powerful. By saying this, in my opinion; I feel as if she is saying she does what she feels is right even though the law may not be current Equal rights is important not only for women but for people of different structures

    Comment by VicG — May 13, 2012 @ 2:30 pm

  79. I thought the statements made by the author were very  intriguing. I learned to respond to this questions  involving the topic of feminism. Its good  how she puts feminism in perspective. I never really would of thought feminism would be used in comparison with people of color or lgbt. I was shocked in the statement she made on how you wouldn’t ask a color person in equality, I never really thought of this until I read this blog which is true. Feminism should not be seen as something unusual or negative  just because it deals with the rights of women it is the same as LGBT members fighting for their rights. In the last statement made of who she would like to meet only some names were familiar but really didn’t know they achievements. Its good to be educated on the topic and to know those who have fought for our struggle towards equality.

    Comment by Tania L — May 13, 2012 @ 2:37 pm

  80. 1. In the article Zoe Nicholson’s Interview with Feminists for Choice there were ideas on feminism and equality presented,which I personally feel one should admired. I agree on Zoe philosophy that in order to see change in the world, one needs to take action with oneself first. If we want to see change we need to step up the first step and show others they can do the same. I like the fact that she is a feminist,but also an individual who believes in equality regardless of race, sexuality or socioeconomic status,which I consider very important. Another idea I found interested was that Zoe Nicholson believed she had always been a feminist in her life. It made me question myself, “Am I a feminism?”, I never considered myself one but when I read her post, it made me realize I am. I believe that women are deserving of equal rights and that we are just as good in what we pursue. Also, I am always arguing with those who like to put women down or say certain comments about women not being able to do or take some actions as men,which I totally disagree. I believe just how women might need from men,men also need from women.

    Comment by Melissa Avitia — May 13, 2012 @ 5:48 pm

  81. I found Zoe Nicholson’s interview very interesting and beneficial because it helped me grasp a better understanding of the feminists movement and their overall mission. I really liked her definition of a feminist and felt that this interview went against many societal myths associated with feminism. The concept Nicholson introduced in the beginning of her interview regarding her decision about being a feminist helped me understand the overall idea of feminism and expanded my knowledge on the feminist movement.

    Comment by Masis H — May 13, 2012 @ 5:56 pm

  82. I found the answer to the first approach particularly interesting because Nicholson moved away from the stereotypical meaning of feminism and the negative connotation it tends to hold. It was incorporated in a way where the word feminism does not seek to look out for just women’s rights but human rights in general. It is being an advocate and activist for equality in both men just as much as women. What feminism means to her is a definition and a concept that I can definitely relate to. Just because so many times in the media, feminism is constantly bashed, looked down upon, or seen in a negative light because it makes women seem like man-haters, people naturally stay away from it. However if the idea of Feminism was promoted with the words out of Nicholson’s mouth, many more people might be more open to actively opening up and learning about human rights, learning about the issues pertaining to inequality, and actively fighting for equal rights every day.

    Comment by Soraya L. — May 13, 2012 @ 6:17 pm

  83. Equality activist. Such strong words that encompass all facets of our society. I can’t agree more that things should happen and let the law catch up. It’s kind of like noble actions when nobody’s looking. I really found it interesting when Zoe said, “Would you ask a person of color if they believed in equality?” This is so true. Of course they believe. After reading this interview I would say that I too, identify as an equality activist.

    Comment by Avery G — May 13, 2012 @ 6:54 pm

  84. I enjoyed reading this interview because Zoe seemed to have a “sky is the limit” type attitude with every answer she gave. One thing that she said that really made me think was regarding the meaning of feminism to her, in which she states, “it carries within it that the behavior is immediate; it does not wait for the laws to catch up!” I thought this sentence was perfect and brought up the question as to why so many of us are waiting for laws to change, so that we ourselves can then change. It is so interesting that we wonder why there are still so many inequalities within our society, but not enough of us stop to first understand the type of individuals who are creating the laws, in which then overflow onto everyday life within our society. Many of those who are in politics have a majority of traditional views, and these traditional views are nothing but unequal rights. I agree with much of what Zoe has stated in this interview, and especially when she identifies that if you wish to be the change you want to see, you must start with examining yourself.

    Comment by Brittany Fisher — May 13, 2012 @ 7:47 pm

  85. I really enjoyed reading Zoe Nicholson’s article because it really explained what being a feminist is. Her examples were very realistic, espeically, when she explained that a femisnit can be either a male or female. Like Nicholson, I agree that everybody should be treated equally. No one should be judged based on their skin color, sex, gender, or class because those factors are socially created. I think that everyone should be judged on who they are and not sterotyped because of characteristics that are uncontrollable. I really enjoyed this article and everything it stood for.

    Comment by Vincent McGhee — May 13, 2012 @ 9:24 pm

  86. Zoe expresses herself with great sincerity and tranquility. Indeed, she is right when mentioning that all women and men should be treated equally. I can resemble with her on the fact that she would pay “employees equal pay for equal work,’ because no matter what your sex or race is, one should be equally treated. I also like the fact that she mentions about her personal life, when stating that she once marry a man, who disclaims some of the negativity things that are said against feminist; that they all hate man. That phase was a good example that not all feminist hate man. Though this is a short reading, I would have to admit that I now have more of an idea on what feminism is. Prior to reading these blog, I was very confused on what feminism was.

    Comment by Elyzabeth A — June 19, 2012 @ 11:48 am

  87. After reading this you pointed out alot of things that haven’t really been brought to my attention. I agree and like the idea full equal opportunity and to behavior immediately. Like you said business owners should start thinking of giving everyone one equal opportunity and to pay them the amount they deserve, based on the quality of their work. Sadly n

    Comment by Amanda A. — June 19, 2012 @ 4:01 pm

  88. CONT. sadly that doesn’t apply to everyone. It does make me very angry that it can happen and we don’t have control.

    Comment by Amanda A. — June 19, 2012 @ 4:03 pm

  89. i agree with being a feminist because we are all supposed to be equal and it is not fair for some people to have more advantage than others. Therefore, i can call myself a feminist because i want equality for both man and woman and i want them to have equal opportunities to achieve their goals in life and succeed .

    Comment by Youram F — June 19, 2012 @ 9:10 pm

  90. I agree with the idea of equality between men and women, so do most people, but that doesn’t mean we consider ourselves as a feminist. It means we are for equality, and that is why I like how Zoe Nicholson changed her state from a “Feminist” to “Equality Activist.” By doing this more people are able to relate and also join the cause.

    Comment by Jemal H — June 24, 2012 @ 3:28 pm

  91. I like the comparison of feminism and equality rights to other civil rights; it helps me see the significance and importance of learning about women’s rights. Today some women may be used to what rights we do have that it is hard for some (me included) to remember that there are many areas such as equal pay, that have not been embedded into our government’s laws. And they should.

    Comment by Dylan B — June 24, 2012 @ 9:20 pm

  92. I think it is very interesting how Nicholson pointed out that she was obviously a feminist because she believed that men and women are equal and should be treated as such. I think this really simplifies feminism to it’s most basic ideas that I think everyone should share. I think a lot of people believe that feminism is really about empowering women over men or cutting men out of our lives, and therefore avoid it because it seems too much of an abstract or extreme concept. But it isn’t abstract or extreme at all. Feminism simply supports the fact that equality is something we are still fighting for.

    Comment by Tiana R.Q — August 30, 2012 @ 8:49 am

  93. I agree with Nicholson that it is simply irrational for especially a woman to not classify herself as a feminist, and it irritates me that many women do not do so because they are afraid of the label and the stigma that goes along with it. I also believe that all women who want change should follow Nicholson’s approach to not only believe, but simultaneously behave as if men and women are equal and as if there are laws to support their actions. Moreover, I admire Nicholson’s choice to change her role from a feminist to an equality activist and I find it inspiring when she says, “If I am going to be the change I see in the world, then I have to start with me.”

    Comment by Jasmin B — August 30, 2012 @ 11:03 am

  94. I don’t think that humans are born equal. Because of the biology, we are not naturally born equal. Some of us are born taller or prettier or quicker than others. Yet that does not mean that we should not all be treated equally.

    In nature, weaker animals are property of stronger animals. It is natural for strong people to protect weak people and naturally take too much control. I want to say that equality has not been natural idea for any species including human, but as the most intelligent species, we need to pursue equality in order to differentiate from other species and past humans by changing our natural violent and selfish personalities.

    I believe that it is not only should women who stand up for equality, but also all groups of people. Instead of only seeking women’s equality, more important, we should seek humans’ equality as whole. In sum, I especially like how Nicholson calls herself an Equality Activist. While we, women voice for the women’s right and equality, we should not forget that we are on the same level as other people, and that we should treat everyone equal. This equality is not only for women, but for all people.

    Comment by Yiyen H — September 1, 2012 @ 8:22 pm

  95. I believe Nicholas has the right idea. Being bisexual is hard, especially since it’s rare. However, in my retrospect, bisexuality may have been an advantage towards Nicholas. Unlike many of us, Nicholas had the opportunity to perceive the world through a male and female’s point of view. Supporting my reason was when Nicholas had a relationship with a guy. I’m assuming that he played the feminine role, seeing how he is a feminist. And then he got into a relationship with a female, most likely playing as the masculine figure. Which then allowed him to view this world from a male and female’s point of view. This gave him the idea to not take sides and become an “Equal Activist” instead of a Feminist. In my opinion, Zoe Nicholson will be one of the few people to really change this world.

    Comment by Alexander K (Wom.10 Scholars) — September 2, 2012 @ 9:22 am

  96. In my opinion I believe that Nicholson is right! I never really looked at feminism in the way that she described it. Equality between men and women is the same as equality between different races and religions. If everyone took in this idea the way Nicholson presented it to us then I have a strong feeling feminism would be a stronger concept. Before reading this I had so many different stereotypical thoughts about feminism, however now I don’t think I have any. She aired out all the stereotypes behind feminism and made me rethink the whole idea. Nicholson has a huge stand point on equality and I back her up any day.

    Comment by Edwin S. — September 2, 2012 @ 8:49 pm

  97. Before I actually read this article, I did not really know a lot about what feminism. Of course growing up and hearing about it, I knew roughly what the movement was. I agree with Nicholson on her beliefs that men and women should be equal. I really have a lot of respect for Nicholson especially because she is not only considering her self a feminist but she is considering her self an Equal Activist. All men, women, groups of people, etc. should be equal and if we would all “be the change we want to see in the world” then ultimately we can change and all be equal.

    Comment by Yael K — September 3, 2012 @ 11:31 am

  98. What struck me the deepest while reading this article, was how clearly Zoe Nicholson states “Never.” when asked if men and women were innately unequal. I have the same mentality. I don’t think I’ve ever thought my brothers, male cousins, or male friends to be better than me simply because they were men. I had always grown up with boys and was even “tom boyish” while growing up. I was excluded for being a girl sometimes, but that never really deterred me from being a strong girl, and I don’t think she was ever deterred either. I also enjoyed learning Nicholson’s definition of feminism and finding that she implements the idea that “personal is political” into practice by simply choosing to pay men and women equally even though there is no Constitutional law enforcing her to do so. I never really thought about how much a difference something as simple as that could make politically, but it truly does. I’ve always had the mentality “do as to others as you would like done to you,” and I think that idea resonates with her idea that she needs to be the change she sees in the world. Simply by just adjusting her habits, she can change her world… and indirectly cause the changes within others and eventually create the change she wants to see in the world.

    Comment by Negin S — September 3, 2012 @ 12:05 pm

  99. Why is it that equality between men and women is so difficult to be seen through the same lens as equality amongst races? When will we be able to overcome the barrier that separates the two? A greatly informative article that has provoked questions about equality for me and also created a deeper understanding about the importance of equality for me. I admire the memory Zoe Nicholson brings up about holding hands with a woman who is anti-abortion. How her memory didn’t display any feelings of hate or resentment from one woman to the other but instead respect for what each women believed in no matter how different the beliefs were.

    Comment by Rosa E. — September 3, 2012 @ 1:57 pm

  100. I particularly liked the way that Zoe Nicholson described the definition of feminsim; “To me a feminist is a person who beleives and behaves as if men and women are equal; equal under the law and with full equal oppurtunity.” The point of her definition was the accentuation of the two different sections of equality–for one to work the other had to be in action as well and by doing the things feminists want to be legally asked of society, such as the Fair Paycheck Act, one must do these things as if these laws have already been passed. Her view that she was not only a feminist but also an equality activist was a reassuring and genuine way to express her genuine want for a better world.

    Comment by Michelle G — September 3, 2012 @ 5:45 pm

  101. I still have a hard time saying that I am a feminist. There is a lot of stigma and possible misinterpretations attached to being a feminist. I like that in her article Nicholson offers a more holistic approach in choosing to be a “Equality Activist” rather than just a “Feminist”. No one should left behind. I believe that claiming to be Equality Activist is a term that will more easily reach into the hearts of people. It’s more loving and-all inclusive way of being that more people would readily adopt.

    Comment by Olivia W. — September 4, 2012 @ 12:12 pm

  102. I definitely agree with Zoe. I absolutely admire her definition of feminism and I do believe that becoming a feminist does not mean that you believe men and women are unequal. Becoming a feminist can evolve from numerous reasons and I feel that society judges people who become feminists. I believe that it is not a bad aspect at all, but it is a way for women, even men, to take pride in femininity and, as Zoe states, to generally have the mind set that men and women are equal. I also admire Zoe’s confidence and high self-esteem which is an aspect that every women should have, feminist or not.

    Comment by Sheerly A — September 4, 2012 @ 5:51 pm

  103. One reason why people do not associate themselves with the term “feminist” is because they lack a level of activism. I am not asking anyone to devote their life to feminism, but change is needed. There is a quote, “The personal is political.” Everyday actions have political implications. I agree with this quote. The article mentions a very important key detail, we should not wait for the law to catch up with equality. Instead we should personally extend ourselves for equality to happen, whatever that may be. From paying all employes the same or standing up for women. If each individual does his or her own part, as a system they have made a difference. I believe that men really need to understand the importance of what equality means, especially equality between men and women. Women are not trying to kick men out, all they are asking for is to be treated equal. If we wait for the law to change, women might wait forever. Women did not have the right to vote until 1920. It is the 21st century and it is time for people to take their own actions (political or not),instead of just simplying waiting.

    Comment by Dorsa D. — September 5, 2012 @ 1:11 pm

  104. I really enjoyed how Nicholson started off her initial answer with rhetorical questions because it really shows the stupidity of those who don’t believe in equality for not just women, but for people of all ethnicities, social class and sexuality. Nicholson’s changing herself from a “Feminist” to an “Equality Activist” was an intelligent move. This new title not only incorporates women, but anyone who has been treated unequally, which is what Feminism is really about. By changing her title, she takes away the stigma of being a Feminist. However, changing her title to an Equality Activist takes away from the message that would have been sent to specifically the feminist community as opposed to just preaching about equality. Additionally, when the press decided to not report that the man assaulting her, it clearly shows the bias in today’s news that puts down women and the plight they must go through just to get equality, which everyone deserves.

    Comment by Nathan R — September 5, 2012 @ 2:21 pm

  105. I think Nicholson’s response is very accurate to social criticism brought towards any minority within society. Whether referring to gender,race, or class, there are bias that exist within communities and within smaller factions of minorities as well. Nicholson’s argument that these differences that affect individuals are what define their viewpoints is something that really defines why everyone can and should be a feminist; everyone is entrenched and underneath the system of patriarchy no matter what minority you belong to. The paramount issue in my opinion that this article clearly attacks is, to create change and deconstruct patriarchy you first have to deconstruct bias and stereotypes perpetuated by media-based sources. Once people begin to register they are all inherently equal then patriarchy as a system crumbles upon itself.

    Comment by Hasun K — September 8, 2012 @ 4:44 pm

  106. I like how Nicholson realized that Christianity is a patriarchal religion and decided to convert to Buddhism because it was a more centered religion based on bettering oneself and being on equal ground with everyone else. After all, that is a little bit of what feminism is about. It’s about treating each other equally. I also very much like the fact that she identifies herself as an “Equality Activist” because in today’s society it’s not just about being a feminist and fighting for equality- though females totally should- it’s about fighting for everyone’s equality. So, thanks to Nicholson’s wise words, an Equality Activist is what I’d like to be identified as.

    Comment by Stephanie R. — September 17, 2012 @ 12:09 pm

  107. Zoe Nicholson is an individual that’s been through a lot.From getting married and falling in love with a woman to being kicked out of a feminist fundraiser,its safe to say she still stands strong despite some of the negative setbacks she has had even though shes had many positive experiences.When she says how a feminist is somebody who behaves and believes women are equal to men, i don’t think you necessarily need to identify yourself as a feminist.I have always thought women and men are and should be equal,but I never once considered myself a feminist.One reason i didn’t was because i always thought the term feminist is something only women identify themselves as.

    Comment by Saman M. — September 19, 2012 @ 11:39 pm

  108. After reading this article, I realize that I too am a feminist, I just couldn’t state that out loud because up until this class I didn’t even know what and the definition of a feminist was. Then I do realize everything that a “feminist” stands up for and believes in is everything I believe in, or what everyone should believe in for that matter. I believe that no matter who you are, race, sex, gender, color, everyone should get the same pay for the amount of hours they work. I actually didn’t know about the statistics that women get paid less than men. One thing I liked about this article is the fact that Nicholson defined the definition of feminism, a feminist is someone who believes and behaves as if all women and men are equal. And that’s exactly how I think, I just didn’t know that what I thought and believed were the definitions of feminism.

    Comment by Mita S. — September 20, 2012 @ 2:59 am

  109. I relate to Zoe Nicholson’s ideaology completly. She articulates a nuanced post-femininist ideology that feminism at its core, if it is not going to be itself a movment with its own biggotry and prejudice, must be about a quality for all. As she explains it, any equality minded personmust automaticly be feminist. There are only two poisitions; to be in favor of equality for women (and everone else) or to be against true equality. I admire that her goals are not motivated by anger and stridency, but by a strive in for an ideal.

    Comment by MansourR — October 23, 2012 @ 6:42 pm

  110. Zoe’s thoughts about feminism are thoughts that have never ran through my mind. Her answer to the first question immediately gives the reader a sample of what kind of individual she comes off as. To me, I see her as a woman who realizes the issue of inequality and acts as a up stander by expressing her opinions and taking action to try to change the major problem. I also really enjoyed her answer to the second question because thats an answer not many people would give. Instead of the typical answer of fighting for women’s rights and equality,she said a feminist to her is one who acts as though men and women are equal, keyword; acts. Really portrays that stereotypes might changed the way people perceive feminism which is why they avoid learning about it.

    Comment by BrittanyP — October 28, 2012 @ 3:24 pm

  111. Zoe Nicholson’s interview was great for me to read. I came in to Women’s Studies with Feminist stereotypes in my head. I would have never considered myself a feminist, based on the negative statements said about this kind of activism. But Nicholson says it perfectly. Why wouldn’t she be one? Why wouldn’t she wish for equality for herself? And that is really what it comes down to. Every woman should consider them self a feminist, as should every one else in society who believes in equality for all. I would also like to talk about the fact that she changed her title from a “feminist” to an “equality activist.” I LOVE this idea. Feminism is purely looking at equality for women. But what about all of the other unequal individuals? For homosexuals? For people of color? Calling yourself an Equality Activist is the perfect way to encompass all of this.

    Comment by SydneyO — October 28, 2012 @ 6:52 pm

  112. Nicholson right away portrays the stupidity of those who do not believe in equality for all cases. Nicholson changed herself from a feminist to a fighter for all inequalities of course this is great yet it does steal from the idea of her being a feminist due to the idea they are both the same thing but the feminist is a specialization of inequality in a certain sector and I feel there need to be people specializing in the methods to correct this issue as this equality is the most common and viewed as least important. Women need to be aware and educated in what is going on and in their history as well as other men. So they can get equal pay equal job rights equal everything as they are clearly equal. She truly pushes on equality activism and how all groups social, sexuality, ethnic, racial and class. She did this because I feel she realized the world is bias so the woman’s fight for equality will not be strong enough she needs to fight for equality for all.

    Comment by Daniel S — November 2, 2012 @ 5:57 pm

  113. Imagine if the world carried the same attitude as you do. A Utopia where people do what is right, equal, and fair just for the greater good of the community. Where people don’t need a law to tell them to treat people of all races, religions, and genders equally. Where people don’t need a law to tell them not to pollute their environment. Unfortunately we live in a world completely tainted in self-interest, who would negatively call that “hippy talk”. Or maybe that’s just America.

    On another note, my female peers have also asked me whether I’m a feminist or not, but with a critical tone. My response: “If it weren’t for the feminists of our past and today, us women wouldn’t even have the right to vote. We still struggle to this day to fight for equality. So fuck yeah I’m a feminist!”

    Comment by Jasmine F — November 4, 2012 @ 7:37 pm

  114. We live in the twenty first century, we have gone so far with technology yet we can’t say the same with accepting all humans. We still live in a society where we judge each other and still have inequality. Woman make up more than fifty percent of the population but are still considered minorities. And even though woman are now aloud to do jobs that had been previously been only been occupied by men, woman still don’t get paid the same amount of money. We were asked in our Woman Studies class in an assignment if we were feminist and I felt like Zoe Nicolson had said “Would you ask a person of color if they believed in equality? Would you ask a trans person if they believe in LGBTQAI Civil Rights?” you probably wouldn’t. If it weren’t for feminist girls like me wouldn’t be able to attend school let alone college. And they have also paved the way for many girls to explore different careers paths that would seem impossible a century or two back. So I feel like I need to continue this activism as a feminist so girls in the future don’t have to deal with problems we are dealing with now. I also agree with Nicolson on that we need to fight for equality for all humans if your a woman or gay there should be equality for all.

    Comment by Tasnim D. — November 6, 2012 @ 11:03 am

  115. We live in the twenty first century, we have gone so far with technology yet we can’t say the same with accepting all humans. We still live in a society where we judge each other and still have inequality. Woman make up more than fifty percent of the population but are still considered minorities. And even though woman are now aloud to do jobs that had been previously been only been occupied by men, woman still don’t get paid the same amount of money. We were asked in our Woman Studies class in an assignment if we were feminist and I felt like Zoe Nicolson had said “Would you ask a person of color if they believed in equality? Would you ask a trans person if they believe in LGBTQAI Civil Rights?” you probably wouldn’t. If it weren’t for feminist girls like me wouldn’t be able to attend school let alone college. And they have also paved the way for many girls to explore different careers paths that would seem impossible a century or two back. So I feel like I need to continue this activism as a feminist so girls in the future don’t have to deal with problems we are dealing with now. I also agree with Nicolson on that we need to fight for equality for all humans if your a woman or gay there should be equality for all.

    Comment by Tasnim D — November 6, 2012 @ 11:06 am

  116. This is the first Zoe Nicholson article I’ve read and it really made me think. On the issue of trading the “feminist” label for “equality activist,” I get the point: You either believe in equality or you don’t. On the other hand, I wonder whether there may be limits to inclusionary activism. What I mean is, I wonder whether activism focused on a narrow set of issues might not be more effective than a broader approach. As a core principle, I agree that full equality is the only answer. It’s noteworthy that the author recognizes her privilege and works for the greater good of all. Her answer to the question about whether she was trans really resonated for me. I think it’s great that she is sensitive to all the issues. Before reading this article, that question would have sailed right over my head.

    Comment by Sofia F — November 10, 2012 @ 4:53 pm

  117. Before taking Women’s studies and reading this article, i thought i was living the feminist lifestyle. I was wrong. I wasn’t actually educated or knew what it “really” meant to be a feminist. i thought just by saying “girls are better than girls,” made me a feminist. Always chanting that just made me everything but a feminist. I set the female race apart from everyone else. Feminist believe in equality and not putting anyone over the next person. Zoe Nicholson’s article definately made me think and it brought up new questions.

    Comment by CourtyanaF — November 27, 2012 @ 3:12 pm

  118. Due to the so many stereotypes about feminists and the way they are portrayed in the media, many people don’t understand what a feminist really is. If you think about it, the intention of feminism is to bring about the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of equality to men. Their intentions have never been to TAKE rights from anyone. All they ever wanted was to have their own rights and they also believe in the rights of others (men). If people learn to be more open-minded, maybe they will learn to see what a feminist really is.

    Comment by Shahriar Mangoli — December 1, 2012 @ 2:58 pm

  119. Zoe Nicholson said some very motivating things in this article that I just read. Since I am a man I have never really dealt with feminism or have been discriminated by anybody. I find it very fascinating the way Zoe thinks about feminism and how she relates to it. When they ask her “What does feminism mean to you?” I would of personally answered the same thing I don’t believe men and women should have different opportunities in life. Also, when she was asked “is feminism still relevant today?” I certainly do believe it is still relevant today. In many different countries women are treated differently from men and that is not fair. Everybody should be treated the same no matter what race, religion, or gender they are. I also believe that it is because of some women that women do not have the same rights as men they allow themselves to have less power. If women allow that then equality in gender will never change.

    Comment by Jimmy S — December 4, 2012 @ 9:48 am

  120. Zoe stated some very interesting facts and raised valid points in this interview. I agree with almost everything she said. The thing that really got my attention was that she changed her card from feminist to “equality activist”. I agree with her idea that no under privileged group should be left behind. We should all work together to make the world more equal and change this patriarchy.

    Comment by ZaneM — December 4, 2012 @ 12:50 pm

  121. I agree with Zoe Nicholson a feminist is a person who believes that men and women are equal. 3 month ago before i took my class based on feminism, I would say i knew slim to nothing about feminism or how a feminist would be. My favorite part about this article is when she says she’s not a feminist and that she’s “Equality Activist,” makes em feel she’s not trying to go beyond man just trying to be equal in which she should be. Everyone should have equal rights and be able to do the same thing as another, no matter male or female.

    Comment by Sean A. — December 4, 2012 @ 4:26 pm

  122. I think that Zoe Nicholson raises some very valid points. I like how she stated that people who believe in feminism and equality for women need to act on their beliefs. There can never be change, unless someone starts to break from the norm. As we break away more and more from the norm, change becomes more readily available. Each time someone acts as if there already is an Equal Rights Amendment, he/she is sending a much needed message. Nothing will ever change unless people rise up together and try to make change, which I think is a point that Zoe Nicholson succinctly points out. I also like how she stated that fighting for women’s rights is the same as fighting for racial rights, LGBTQ rights, etc. It’s ridiculous that it’s at least, if nothing else, accepted for groups to fight for their own rights without people wondering why they’re fighting; however, when women fight for their own rights, people still remain ignorant and mock women for fighting for their own rights.

    Comment by Matthew H. — December 5, 2012 @ 4:40 am

  123. I strongly agree with Zoe Nicholson and her obviously strongly believed points. I would think its safe to say that her definition of a feminist relate to what I would consider mine to be. People do tend to have a very misleading perception on what being a feminist means, which is why I respect her she claims herself to be an “Equality Activist” rather than a feminist because truth is that is the message feminism is trying to get across; equality rather than women being more or less powerful than men in society. I admire her points and devotion for what she believes in.

    Comment by Segal M. — December 5, 2012 @ 3:39 pm

  124. I agree with Zoe Nicholson and her viewpoints about feminism. She really opened my eyes about the way she views feminism which is “a person who believes and behaves as if men and women are equal; equal under the law, and with full equal opportunity.” I would have to say that I never really viewed feminism in that way before until I read this blog by Nicholson. People do tend to hold on to the stereotypes about feminists and not open their eyes/minds to see that feminists want equal rights for women and equal rights for everyone else (including men). I also admire Zoe’s persona on how she treats men and women in her workplace the same and in a neutral setting. I believe all workplaces, schools, etc.. should have a neutral setting as well.

    Comment by Shannon Hack — January 8, 2013 @ 5:17 pm

  125. I believe being a feminist involves more than just helping out both women and men. It involves calling for positive change that has yet to occur simply because those in power risk losing their power. There is nothing wrong with being a feminist. Rather it should be encouraged. It allows people to open their eyes to many social and political issues that require the people’s attention. Zoe Nicholson is right there is nothing wrong with being a feminist and it should be encouraged.

    Comment by Oliver S — January 9, 2013 @ 11:55 am

  126. After reading this article, I have to say that i agree with many of the points which Zoe Nicholson argues. Zoe Nicholson not only believes in the equality for women but in equality regardless of race, age, or class. Zoe Nicholson’s definition is different from that of Bell Hook’s definition. While Zoe Nicholson explains how feminism is about equality for women, Hook defines feminism as a movement to end sexism and sexist oppression. I think that these definitions both encompass the basic ideas behind feminism. Lastly, i find it very unfair that she wasn’t able to declare that she is a transgender woman.

    Comment by Michael Z — January 10, 2013 @ 10:59 pm

  127. I would like to emphasize on why questions such as “ are you a feminist?” towards women aren’t peculiar. As shocking as it may sound, but not all women are feminist and this is because we are socialized into an anarchic society. A society in which ideologies such as sexism aren’t just accepted but encouraged as well. A society where men are inherently superior to women, where women seeking for equality are considered selfish. Other than that I completely agree with Zoe Nicholson, people shouldn’t wait around for a bunch of written laws in order to treat women as equally as men. Being a feminist doesn’t only imply the belief of gender equality, but also a behavior upon this belief. What I think stood out the most in this interview is the distinction between belief and behavior. Zoe Nicholson’s refusal to answer the question “ are you a trans woman? “ proves that stereotypes do serve to distract and discredit the movement in question. Therefore concerned that her answer would “grant or deny some privilege” she refused to answer. I think she did the right thing because in situations like this, the best thing to do is to ignore and let go.

    Comment by Mariya A — January 12, 2013 @ 12:33 pm

  128. It is quite amazing to see the number of positive responses and agreements with the article and Nicholson’s ideas. It is by no means anything bad that many people claim they agree with her advocacy of equal rights between men and women, and pretty much between everyone regardless or any other barrier between any two individuals. However, I find it ironic that people seem to have positive views and accepting attitudes towards these kind of ideas after reading an article, but in society, people don’t really act as if they believe too much in equal rights. Regarding Nicholson’s point in the article, her view is something I will agree with. No one should be granted a privilege or denied a privilege due to race or gender. To fix the problems she addresses, people need to make a collaborative effort, and it seems like, by looking at the above comments, there might be some people who are willing to support.

    Comment by Jun L. — January 12, 2013 @ 7:44 pm

  129. I strongly agree with the controversial comments made by Zoe Nicholson. The issue of Feminism is a topic that stirs much attention and also confusion. People do not identify themselves as feminists because they do not know what it means and they are also distracted by the common stereotypes. I agree when Nicholson mentions the importance of equality and how people of different color, gender and sexuality should not be deprived of their rights and their freedom of expression. In result, they should not be treated differently or unjustly due to their differences.

    Comment by Edwin P — January 13, 2013 @ 1:32 pm

  130. After reading this post I have come to realize so many things about feminism. When I first heard the word feminism I had thought that this has to do with women’s rights only. But after learning about it in class I find out that it is not just for the rights of women. This is a movement that brings up the rights for women and men, race and gender, ages and classes. From what I have been taught at home and school I understand that men and women are both created equally so in that sense we should all be treated equally. I have also come to understand that feminism is a positive thing avoiding all the negative comments and stereotypes that is said about it. Zoe Nicholson brings up a great point in the article. She states that in order to see change and result we need to first start working on ourselves and then move on to others.

    Comment by Daniella L — January 21, 2013 @ 12:56 pm

  131. I really agree with the way zoe calls herself an equality activist now rather than a feminist. I see her where she is coming from for her to change to equality activist from feminist because it leaves out people out. Equality activist is a broad term and it certainly leaves no one out.

    Comment by Alireza D. — February 2, 2013 @ 4:22 pm

  132. To call oneself a feminist is to call oneself a humanist. Equality, individuality, and freedom are all at the forefront of feminism however, the media and the progressively changing perception of feminism within the movement itself seems to limit its progress. Feminism crosses over genders to support and promote equality and yet, these days it is “taboo” to promote equality as long as the word “feminism” is associated with it. Ridiculous? Well if one does not support and promote the fair treatment and existence of all humans then that logic shall bode well with them. However, for the rest of us logical people it is not an accolade to call ourselves feminists nor is it some idealist state of disillusionment, for change does come even as it slowly progresses. As a man I do not find it “emasculating” to call myself a feminist, for I believe in equality for all and not the superiority of the few. As Zoe Nicholson says “I would rather ask why one would not want to be a feminist.”

    Comment by Darien a. — February 14, 2013 @ 3:06 pm

  133. After reading Zoe’s responses to several questions, one thing that bothers me is her meaning of being a feminist. She stated that “a feminist is a person who believes and behaves as if men and women are equal; equal under the law, and with full equal opportunity.” Why does a person who simply believes in equal rights be labeled as a feminist. I’m not saying that being a feminist is bad, but simply labeling things so BASIC and FUNDAMENTAL to being a good human being introduces unnecessary hatred. Why start labeling people for no reason. Can’t an individual just be a good person without being labeled as something or someone. That just annoys me. As I read further, Zoe says that she changed her label from Feminist to Equality Activist, which again, is labeling, but seems a bit less intense. Normally, if you ask an average man walking on the street and ask him what a feminist is, he’ll say a woman and then shrug you off, or at least that’s what I’ve experienced. If you tell the same man that you’re an equality activist, he’d probably be a lot more accepting and supportive. The label Equality Activist simply sounds more broad and general.

    Comment by Pravesh S. — February 16, 2013 @ 3:16 pm

  134. Before reading this interview with Zoe Nicholson, I wasn’t completely sure about what a feminist was. But now I think of myself as a feminist because of the ideas that Nicholson points out. I like how she asks rhetorically “why is it that we ask people why they chose to be feminists?” It is a good question, and made we wonder why anyone would ask this, given how obvious the answer should be. It seems so clear that everyone should be treated equally regardless of gender, race, color or sexuality. I think that men and women should be paid the same, it is irrational and completely out of keeping with the times we live in to think even for a second that women should be in some way less than men, or deserving of fewer opportunities or discriminated against. I think more people would say that they are feminists if the “label” wasn’t attached to them, and I like the way Nicholson is starting to describe herself as an “equality activist.” I think there should be equal opportunity for everyone.

    Comment by Lois P — February 17, 2013 @ 2:12 pm

  135. Nicholson’s thoughts on feminism in relation to religosity and definition of equality is extremely agreeable and relatable. In many cultures and/or religions, a women’s “priority” would have to first be a good mother and housewife. Next, Nicholson makes her argument valid by tying feminism to her definition of it. She states that she disagrees with the notion of women being degraded and believes there is no possible reason for her not to identify herself as a feminist. In comparison to me, I do not understand what could possibly make me, a woman who strongly believes in equality for all races and genders, be against feminism. It’s like being against something that is a necessity for society and all its citizens.

    Comment by RoxanaGM — February 18, 2013 @ 1:11 pm

  136. I must say that I completely agree with Zoe Nicholson and her viewpoints on feminism. Especially how she brought forth her definition which ties feminism to religion and equality. She validly makes an argument for herself and her case for feminism. Throughout the world we have many cultures and religions, and in many of these practices a woman’s priority in life is to be a good housewife, cook, clean and watch the kids. In addition to that, Zoe so cleverly makes the argument strongly by saying that she believes that everyone should be treated equally regardless of race, religion or gender. Also she believes that there is no reason for her to not identify herself as a feminist , because she is one. Zoe Nicholson is extremely valid in the points that she makes and i agree with her whole heartedly

    Comment by Shahien Hendizadeh — March 26, 2013 @ 1:07 pm

  137. I like how Zoe Nicolson makes the point how if we want change we got to act upon it and if we believe in feminism or equality that we got to do something about it, it doesn’t get better by itself and us just sitting doing nothing. Many people do not know what a feminist is; they have this whole stereotype in their heads and just assume that they are all crazy and a bitch. This is very misleading and creates pessimistic views on feminists. But if people actually take the time to actually think what a feminist is they wouldn’t have such negative thoughts on it. All we really want is to be treated equal like the opposite sex. We want the same rights and not be treated differently.

    Comment by Jasmin H — May 9, 2013 @ 1:04 pm

  138. Some of the points Nicholson makes I can realte to. For example, when I was a child I was not aware of the inequalities that existed in the world. All I wanted to do was have fun and play sports. In school, the inequalities were not really mentioned until later on in middle school. I feel like this is similar to how parents usually do not tell their children where babies come from. As I grew up and went to high school I was exposed to more of the inequalities that exist in our world today. However, I did not fully grasp the inequalities that exist between males and females until I took a Women’s Studies course. The class opened my eyes to the unfair world I live in. An example of an inequality that still exists today is unequal pay. For instance, a male may earn $15/hr for a filing job, while a female in the same position earns $10/hr. This is totally unfair because they are doing the same amount of work. Therefore, they should both be compensated the same amount. Lastly, I do not consider myself a feminist because I do not contribute to the feminist movement in any way. Perhaps in the future I will be more involved in the movement.

    Comment by Bryan K — May 17, 2013 @ 11:43 am

  139. Upon reading the interview with Zoe Nicholson, my mind started to brim over with a stream of consciousness in regards to what the true definition of feminism actually is, and what it means to be a feminist. First and foremost, I certainly agree with Nicholson; a feminist is a person who believes and contests the right for gender equality. I also like how she has a basis for her answers based on her life experiences, such as becoming Buddhist and Bisexual, which is enough evidence to deem her points valid. In addition, I admire the fact that she is not only fighting for equality in men and women; but for other ethnicities and social classes as well. After reading this interview on a wonderful and strong women, I am now more aware that gender inequality is a lurking problem in today’s society and it has to come to an end.

    Comment by Eli-Ran Y — May 28, 2013 @ 9:21 pm

  140. I find it very interesting when Zoe says, “she has always been a feminist” and how she makes one question if weather one is a feminist or not. Personally, although I have grownup in a patriarchal society, I believe and behave as if men and women are equal. However, I have doubted my character as a feminist in the past many times. Not because I stopped thinking that men and women were equal, but rather felt hypocritical by thinking that I was a feminist when I had never taken action or advocated for women’s rights. As mentioned in my Women Studies class, a reason for someone to not label himself or herself as feminist is because they have a sense of what activism is. This said, I was not, or at least I did not think that I was practicing activism.
    Nonetheless, I learned that being an advocate of women’s rights is not limited to political and economic changes, but also social changes. Thus I realized that I was being an activist in my family, by going against the patriarchal thoughts that dominated the various male figures in my family. By confronting their oppressing behavior against women and treating the females in my family with the same respect as the males, I was promoting a social change within my family and my community.
    Thus, as Zoe said, I also have always been a feminist.

    Comment by Julian G. — June 24, 2013 @ 1:09 pm

  141. I think its important to appreciate and accept the definition that Zoe Nicholson has on what being a feminist is. A lot of people dare not call themselves feminists simply because they believe that their actions or lack of action in protests. Zoe expresses that active feminism doesn’t necessarily have to be in protest but can and should be displayed in daily yet important actions.

    Comment by Maggie — June 27, 2013 @ 1:48 pm

  142. I think the definition that Zoe Nicholson wrote was completely correct except she didn’t include that in order to be a feminist you have to take action and be an activist instead of just sitting there and saying “Men and Women are equal” but not actually doing anything about it. I really like how she changed the word to feminist to equality activist because if you’re going to fight for one thing, why not fight for equality amongst all.

    Comment by Ely M — July 24, 2013 @ 4:16 pm

  143. I agree with the comments made by Zoe Nicholson’s. Feminism is a very confusing topic and not many people know much about it. Zoe Nicholson really makes it clear what being a feminist is and nearly clears any confusion about the topic. The people who know about feminism don’t usually like to call themselves feminists because they’re worried about the stereotypes. She makes it easy to understand equality between men and women and can make anyone learn about feminism.

    Comment by Matthew M — July 24, 2013 @ 8:37 pm

  144. I agree with what she is saying I like this because unlike other people who wont admit who and what they are, she actually isn’t afraid of what others might say or think. A lot of people think whether man or women, that if they actually admit they are a feminist that people would judge and stereotype them. She makes this topic very understandable! Unlike when I first started learning about feminist I wasn’t to for sure and it was hard to understand. Unlike how she take things step by step.

    Comment by Alexis C — July 25, 2013 @ 7:11 am

  145. I respect Nicholson’s approach to this issue by acknowledging the notion of Intersectionality in which race, gender, social class, & sexual orientation intertwine. I agree. A person cannot only be black or white, man or woman. For example, a homosexual colored man can have similar beliefs or ideology as a heterosexual white woman, or even belong to the same social class. We often disregard this idea when dealing with economic, social, or even political issues. In our modern-day society, difference is inevitable, and some might argue that difference necessary to some extent. However, it is inarguable that despite those factors, everyone should be equal – in freedom, choice, and opportunity. Contrastingly, my one critique of Nicholson (if I may) is that she comes on too strong and her supporting ideas sound a bit improbable by stating she has “always” been a feminist and dislikes being asked about her views. The purpose behind my saying this is because Bell Hooks states in “Feminism is for Everybody” that “feminists are not born, they are made”, suggesting that life experiences are what mold our identities. I would be more drawn into Zoe Nicholson’s approach if I could relate to what caused her current mind state.

    Comment by Michael A — August 31, 2013 @ 12:59 am

  146. I agree with this article. Actually when our professors asked to write our own defition of feminism, I mentioned the “unequal rights of women compared to men”. I thought her definition and mine were somewhat related. Her second part of the journal, from my perspective is what makes this whole article stand out. SHe really tells us what feminism/who feminist are, since many people now arent really sure what it means, anymore.

    Comment by Hiro K — September 3, 2013 @ 1:41 am

  147. When I was asked on an assignment whether or not I was a feminist I hesitated than replied no. The reason for my response was similar to the reasons many other people had. I was not fully aware of the definition of feminist and in my mind I assumed a feminist believed in every single aspect of equal rights. I thought a feminist was someone who would get mad at men opened doors for them or paid for dinner on a date and while I did and still do believe in equality between men and women I did not see myself as the type of person that would get upset if the man opens the door out of curtsy. However, after reading this article and looking at feminist through the definition offered by Zoe, I do believe I am a feminist. However, I find it interesting that I was not made aware of the definition of feminism in high school even though we learned about women’s rights in high school. It seems that the school system speeds through the women’s rights section. How else could we explain how many students coming out of high school can’t name three feminist as shown on the survey I took?

    Comment by Ronita K — September 8, 2013 @ 5:07 pm

  148. I agree with Zoe, without a doubt. A feminist is literally an “Equality Activist” as she said, and not some crazy, old woman ranting about women being the higher gender. In fact, feminism strongly enforces equality FOR ALL. I used to think that feminists were just old women who protested and nagged about how women are treated less, or viewed lower to men. However, after reading about this interview, I think differently; feminism is about equality. About being treated fairly no matter what gender you are. I believe women can do anything men can, not to say were better, but to say were capable of anything. That’s equality.

    Comment by Andreina D. — September 16, 2013 @ 5:11 pm

  149. I came to this reading through a class assignment. I must say my views, eventhough I am a female, on feminism were completely naive and outdated. The simple explanation Zoe shares as to the importance of being a feminist and it’s translation to very simply being an equality activist is very enlighting. I have gone through a lifetime of education and never really learned the value of self. Being from a culture in which the man is so highly regarded and a woman is viewed as nothing without a man, it is inspiring to read an article with such openness and honesty. This has made me want to look at myself through Zoe’s perspective. I am a budding new feminist (at 40) eager to learn and share my knowledge. Thank you Zoe.

    Comment by M. Lisa C — October 7, 2013 @ 9:15 pm

  150. I enjoyed the answers Zoe Nicholson gave regarding what feminism means to her. I agree with her definition that “A feminist is a person who believes and behaves as is men and women are equal; equal under the law, and with full equal opportunity.” Many people view feminists as just men hating bitter old women when really the act of feminism is fighting for equal rights and opportunity. If someone was asked “Do you believe in equality?” most people would reply “yes of course” however if someone was asked “are you a feminist?” many people would say no because they do not realize they are one and the same. Nicholson brings out the core values of feminism-showing the truth instead of what is perceived.

    Comment by Elizabeth C. — November 25, 2013 @ 10:44 am

  151. I agree with the fact that she changed her card to say, “You might find it interesting that about two years ago I changed my card from “Feminist” to “Equality Activist.” Because, who ya gonna leave behind? If I am going to be the change I see in the world, then I have to start with me,” because if anyone truly wants equality they will not only close their mind to a specific race, sex, gender, or sexuality. Equality amongst people must accept everything despite all differences. I respect that you are openly bi and a feminist while being a veteran because even though it is more accepted today it is still not okay with everyone.

    Comment by Jessica L. — November 25, 2013 @ 12:59 pm

  152. I actually did not know the true meaning of the word feminist until I took the socialogy class. After taking the class and noticing what feminism is about and what is it try to change, I of course say that I am one of the feminists. I think there would be just few people who would not claim that they are feminist after knowing the real meaning of the word. Especially if one asks people in the public place if someone s feminist or not, I believe that he or she would answer that that person is a feminist. Even if he or she is not, that person would think of other people’s eye and would not be able to answer that he or she is not a feminist. Feminists are not claiming that women are better than men, but just that men are equal to women or women are equal to men.

    Comment by Jieun K — November 26, 2013 @ 4:11 pm

  153. I completely agree with his definition of feminism, before I decided to take a women studies class and before I even went to the class I had no idea what a feminist was, nor did I know I was one. I completely agree with having women’s rights, in my opinion women and men should not be treated differently in the working force, they are doing the same job just as well as each other. But I do believe that women should act a certain way and men should act a certain way. There is a reason as to why there are men and women in this world, there should be a difference. But there are certain things that are completely unfair that men can do and women are looked down upon for doing. We all live on the same earth, we are all capable of doing the same things, we should not be judged according to our sex. I really respect Zoe Nicholson for writing this, and calling himself a Equality Activist rather than a Feminist.

    Comment by Nicole R. — November 29, 2013 @ 7:52 pm

  154. Nicholson started off with a few rhetorical questions and this pretty much sums up the stupidity of the people who do not believe in equality. I also love how this is not only form women, but also all ethnicities, social classes, and sexuality. It was ingenious to change from a “feminist” to an “equality activist” because it changes from only incorporating women, to incorporating anyone who was and is being treated unequally. This does take away the stigma of being a feminist, however changing her title also takes away from the message that would have been sent to all feminists as opposed to just talking about equality. I also hate how the media is so biased, and it is shown when they decided not to report about the man who assaulted her. It clear that the news is putting down women, and the struggle just to get equality which everyone should have.

    Comment by Jason P — December 3, 2013 @ 1:25 pm

  155. Zoe Nicolson is one of the most amazing forward thinkers of our time. She is aware and literate of all the flaws that plagues our culture and looks at them as a challenge to change and grow instead of giving in and following blindly. Her definition of Feminism is eloquent and simple. I completely agree with her attitude of looking at the people of the planet as equal no matter what sex, race, class or religious beliefs they are or follow. I believe that if a large part of global society started to look at each other as equals with a loving and open heart, and started to become, and teach the younger generations to be emotionally literate then steps can be taken to adjust our current thinking and move forward into a more healthy and open global society. Thank you Zoe Nicolson for being so awesome!

    Comment by Caroline F-H — December 4, 2013 @ 10:25 am

  156. I found this whole interview very interesting. One aspect that really struck me as unique was when Nicholson admitted that she was in fact bisexual and that because of this she is able to not only fight for women’s rights but LGBTQAI rights as well. This concept is not only empowering, but inspiring. Nicholson is breaking the social boudnires on so many levels that she should be looked upon as a huge inspiration to not only women but society as a whole. I also feel that it is great how open she is about not only her sexuality but her religion and how she has stuggled and converted and now finally feels at peace (to an extent) to where she is in her life. Nicholson is a crusader of change and a huge inspiration.

    Comment by Lindsay Grossman — March 17, 2014 @ 8:23 am

  157. It is apparent that many are misguided to what feminism really means. If someone were to ask me if I were a feminist, though I believe in equal rights for all sexes, I would not label myself as one. Zoe Nicholson changes her card to call herself an “Equality Activist” instead of a feminist. Advocating equal rights for all, goes beyond equality by male and females. That covers more ground including the female sex, but not its focus. Feminism’s sole purpose is building equal rights so women can receive equal pay, not men of other races or immigrants receiving lower waged jobs. Zoe, the feminist veteran specifies, “A feminist is a person who believes and behaves as if men and women are equal.”

    Comment by Ariel M — April 1, 2014 @ 3:19 pm

  158. After reading this article it just makes sense to me why all women should call themselves feminists and should educate themselves in this matter. Like many women, I did not feel informed enough and was even a little ashamed to call myself a feminist because of all the bad stereotypes and the label. However, how Zoe compared being questioned a feminist to being questioned about racial equality really struck me because especially being part of a minority group of Asians, I would not say I am against equality; but as a women, why shouldn’t I be a feminist? I too now feel stupid asking myself this question. I am clearly being oppressed as a women and I should proudly say that I am a feminist. This just showed me how gender equality is still not seen by society as important issue as racial inequality or other subjects. I also agree with Zoe that feminism needs to carry behavior. As educated women, I believe we should teach our peers who are willing to learn and listen about female oppression and we will all collectively behave and act in ways that promote equality in our lives. One small change can really create a big change, and hopefully soon.

    Comment by Stephanie Hua — April 20, 2014 @ 6:44 pm

  159. This article has given me an understanding of what a life of an activist is like, which in turn sparked my being with various ideas and wonders. It seems as if it is quite simple to set one person equal to another like what is the problem with it, how does it hurt to do so. However, in reality, one has to possess a lot of vigor to crush discrimination or to bring the issue to attention, just like Zoe Nicholson. Nicholson maintains a very strong ideology and stands by it with sheer courage, guts, and tons of emotions. Whether it is shouting at President Obama or holding hands and interacting with a simple woman who did not share the same view about abortion, Nicholson has demonstrated that any kind of action is stronger than words, and there can never be enough activism until the world (or majority of people) has taken those actions into consideration.

    Comment by Tamir Mizrahi — April 22, 2014 @ 9:10 pm

  160. I really enjoyed reading through this interview. Nicholson definitely has a strong set of beliefs about feminism, and I appreciate that. Not too long ago, if someone were to have asked me whether or not I am a feminist, I probably would have said no. At the time, I believed that to be a feminist was to be actively protesting in the streets for male-female equality. However, now, I would say that I am a feminist. Although I don’t practice the art of protesting for women’s rights everyday, I do, like Nicholson, try to carry out the goals of feminism in my everyday life. For example, I view men and women as equal in terms of their capabilities and potentials.
    I agree with Nicholson that even though women are not fully and equally integrated into our patriarchal society, we should still make an effort to be as fair and equal with others as possible. If individuals make an attempt to see their neighbors as equals, then maybe society will change for the better.

    Comment by Jessica B. — May 6, 2014 @ 4:26 pm

  161. This post definitely struck a cord for me in a plethora of ways. Nicholson acknowledges and ties different races, and the LGBTQAI community to being a feminist. She also discloses personal information such as her being married, divorced then in a relationship with a woman. She mentions how her sexuality (bi-sexual) she considers herself to be more well rounded in these terms-able to speak to different sides when it comes to equality. I too feel that due to my sexuality I am able to connect and identify with many individuals from different walks of life. With this I believe it is my responsibility to promote overall equality between men and women and share this with everyone that steps into my life. Although we are in the year 2014 equality between men and women is seemingly so far away. Nicholson’s explanation as to why feminism is still relevant has pushed me to realize I have always been a feminist. To be quite honest I just was not educated enough to know that I was. I have always questioned whether or not I should label myself or earned the right to call myself a feminist due to negative stereotypes or the simple fact that I do not consider myself an “activist.” I realize now that I have always and will always be a feminist. I will continue to stand for full equal opportunity.

    Comment by Lacey A — May 28, 2014 @ 8:25 pm

  162. I have much respect for Zoe Nicholson because she is very blunt and speaks whatever is on her mind. Previously, I thought only women could be considered feminists and that they were the ones at rallies and protests for women. But, I now realize that what determines if someone is a feminist is the person themselves. No one can label another human as a feminist, the only person who can do that is yourself. Nicholson states that a feminist is a person who believes and behaves as if men and women are equal under the law and that they do not wait for the law to set the precedent. The individual sets the precedent themselves and goes by on their own belief of equality. If we were to wait for equal opportunity for men and women under the law, which would include fair pay, I might not be around for that. The law doesn’t necessarily keep up with ethics, but what defines morality is the individual. Just like Nicholson said about if we want to be the change we wish to see in the world, it starts with you the individual. We can’t wait for the corrupt politicians to make laws that create equality under the law.

    Comment by Arya A — May 31, 2014 @ 3:37 pm

  163. After reading this article I can proudly say that like most other people I enjoyed reading this passage. I liked how Nicholson used a slight rhetorical and hypothetical question based right back at the person asking the questions. After reading this, one begins to question inequality not just towards women but also towards other ethnic backgrounds as well. I like that Nicholson called herself an equality activist instead of a feminist because with this she avoids the negative stereotypes and connotations that can be associated with feminism. I really like that she knew that in order to change the world she would have to start with a change in herself. At the same time, I think that this change of her nickname takes a lot of the meaning out of what she does and what she stands for. Another item I found really interesting with Nicholson was that she married a man, had an abortion then later found out she was bi sexual.

    Comment by Daniel Nikravesh — May 31, 2014 @ 6:29 pm

  164. I really liked how Nicholson began her answers with persuasive questions because of this I think we are able to see the ignorance of those who don’t think that anyone deserves equality no matter what their gender, ethnicity and sexuality is. Nicholson changed her title from a feminist to an equality activist which really made me gain a lot of respect for her because of the fact that everyone deserves equality not just women. I think by her changing her title it will cut out a lot of confusion and hatred. Many people don’t really know what feminism is really about, they think it only incorporates women but I think it involves everyone and anyone who has ever been treated unfair. Now that she has changed her title to an equality activist I think that the focus is more on everyone rather than solely woman. I also found it surprising and extremely disturbing that the press didn’t want to put out the man who was attacking her, This comes to show the unfairness and bias that is put out in the news that we watch. It does nothing but put women down and put the blame on us even though we are the victim.

    Comment by Jennifer P — June 1, 2014 @ 9:03 pm

  165. I think it is noteworthy that Zoe Nicholson mentioned the fact that being bisexual or heterosexual should not change the fact that she should be granted or denied some privilege. As well as the fact that we should not be asking our women if they are feminist! Should it not be obvious that we want to be feminist because feminism advocates for the social, economical, political advancement and equality of our own welfare and lives? Of course, we want to better the world we live in and turn around the patriarchy that encapsulates and predicts our every move. It is difficult to break through the blinding reality that is our captivity, but at the end of the day, I believe that all of us, within ourselves, however deep it might be, have that feminist feeling and allegiance to our womanhood and well being.

    Comment by Pnina O — June 2, 2014 @ 10:34 am

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