Feminism's death is greatly exaggerated, its influence underestimated, and its purpose misunderstood, writer and activist Jamia Wilson told an engaged audience in Franklin & Marshall College's Mayser Gym on March 10.
As executive director of Women's Action and the Media, Wilson appeared at Common Hour, a weekly discussion for the F&M community held each Thursday when the semester is in session.
In her talk, "Where Are All the Young Feminists? Girls, Social Media and the Presidential Election," Wilson argued against the idea reported in the media that today's young women have no interest in the multiple issues for which feminists long have fought: social justice, reproductive rights, equal pay, gender and racial equality.
"I am a proud feminist and my aim is to do my part to be a part of a more feminist future for us all," Wilson said. "And what does that mean? … It means a future where in principle and practice, people of all genders, all races, all abilities and beyond will have social, political, economic and cultural equality."
Wilson, a TED Prize Storyteller and former vice president of programs at the Women’s Media Center, has for more than a decade argued and fought for social justice. In a 2015 essay for the New York Times, Wilson wrote, "… candidates seeking support from young feminists must advance an agenda that acknowledges the connection between race, class, gender and economic justice."
Before closing her talk, Wilson cited pop singer's Beyoncé's song "Formation," and told students that it mattered not where on the political spectrum they stood, but that they participate in elections.
"I'm asking you to get in formation and vote," Wilson said. "Your vote is your voice. Make it heard."