In honor of Women’s History Month, Youth Advisory Board member, Elisabeth Dee, shares with us her experience as a woman, her favorite inspirational women in history, what she wants gender equality to look like, and some resources for getting involved.
YTH: Who are your favorite women in history, women who inspire/empower you, who lead in youth, tech, and health innovation
ELISABETH: My favorite women in history… There are so many, how do I choose?! I think my favorite women in history are women who fought for a better, more radical future for all- Grace Lee Boggs, Marcia P. Johnson, and Audre Lorde, just to name a few. A woman who led the way in health innovation that inspires me is Emma Goldman. She was one of the first outspoken advocates of birth control and was arrested because of it.
YTH: What changes do you hope to see towards gender equality in the upcoming year?
ELISABETH: I hope to see greater equity for genders outside of the gender binary of male-female. I want to see more recognition of and rights for folks who are non-binary, genderqueer, gender fluid, agender, etc.
YTH: How has sexism personally affected you? Intersectionality?
ELISABETH: Sexism has affected me in every stage of my life. As a queer woman, I am constantly fetishized and seen as a sexual object available for public consumption. Being feminine is seen as less-than, being unintelligent and vain. I can be smart AND love lipstick. Also, labor that is traditionally associated with women/femmes such as caretaking/emotional labor is consistently devalued.
My personal philosophy about my feminism is that the movement has to include everyone and be intersectional or it’s nothing. Feminism has to include trans women, sex workers, young mothers, elderly lesbians, and everyone else. If feminism’s biggest concern is the wage gap while black trans women are being killed on a daily basis, we’re doing it wrong.
YTH: Any pro-women projects/groups/writing you’re doing that we can promote?
ELISABETH: I’m not directly involved in this, but I have been LOVING The Body Is Not An Apology. In terms of things that I’m working on, I’m the General Manager of the Stanford University Sexual Health Peer Resource Center, and we teach a class on sexual health and healthy relationships. I’m working on developing an anti-racist component to our curriculum, so any suggestions/recommendations on this would be greatly appreciated!
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