YOUTH Voice: Girl Defends/Explains Feminism in Under 1,000 Words!

By: Kelly Mulrooney ( a feminist/ female / decent human!)

What is Feminism?

( Special thanks to Merriam-Webster for defining that for us! )

So, now that everyone knows feminism literally means gender equality, hopefully that'll clear up some of the uncertainty and prejudice surrounding the word.

Why do we need feminism? Not you, him/her, or I need feminism, but we need it--not just as Americans, or whatever else one might identify as, but as human beings. Equality is essential to happiness. It's a necessity. Now let's get down to the nitty-gritty.

Intersectional and Inclusive Feminism

Feminism isn't really feminism if it isn't inclusive and intersectional. Professor Kimberley Crenshaw pegged the term "intersectionality".  What it means is that to be a feminist you must want equality for all women. Not every woman experiences the same kind of oppression because each woman is unique and one of a kind. Women of different race, ability, sexual orientation, religion and age experience varying degrees of discrimination.
Feminism that inspires change and betters the lives of women is feminism that  can be molded to each individual, rather than a "one size fits all" type of deal. You can't proclaim to want equality for women but then be silent when it comes to issues of race. Feminists must acknowledge and combat racism! Women of color will undoubtedly face harsher and different types of discrimination not only on the basis of sex, but also race. Feminism is inclusive. It applies to all races and sexualities and is trans-inclusive. As feminists, we must acknowledge the different hardships and discrimination different types of women face and always keep an open mind.
Gender Pay Gap
It is the twenty-first century and women are still paid less than men. Hispanic and African American women are paid even less due to their gender and race. 

The pay gap varies from state to state, but in every state the gap exists. 

- Typically Caucasian women make 78 cents to every dollar a man makes

- African American women make 64 cents to every dollar a man makes 

- Hispanic women make 54 cents to every dollar a man makes

Feminism is also about female empowerment. Female empowerment isn't female dominance or superiority. Empowerment is positive. There is nothing menacing about female empowerment. A gender that has inarguably been oppressed throughout their existence deserves empowerment and a world with equality requires just that. Female empowerment can be something inspired by one's self or something inspired by others. It can even be something as small as empowering yourself to try out for a sports team or join a club or make a club or something as major as running to be the first female president!

Women should be able to be fearless with their bodies and dress however makes them feel confident. If a gal chooses to wear minimal clothing and feel like a bad bitch, then she should be able to do that without worrying about a man feeling "entitled" to her. If a woman dresses "sexy," it should be understood that she isn't doing it for anyone else but herself. However, women should also feel confident covering up as much as they'd like without feeling like "prudes", or that somehow because they choose to cover up they're embarrassed about their bodies. A gal can be equally as bad bitchin' in a lot of clothes as she is in a little bit of clothes! It's all up to her!

When comparing men and women there is an undoubted hypocrisy surrounding sex. Men are applauded and glorified for their sexual encounters, while women are shamed for theirs. Girls are taught from a young age that they are not the sexual beings that boys are. Sex is just a part of being a "man"--it's natural--but for girls sex is supposed to be something sacred. A boy "takes" a girls virginity and somehow after that moment, that one boy has forever changed her. Sex should be whatever one wants it to be and and shouldn't be associated with antiquated gender roles.

Guys also face discrimination! Do not be fooled--feminism is a fight for equality and not everything is perfect in a man's world. Feminists (both men and women feminists) care about issues that affect men! Feminists actively try to combat the f'd up prison system which hyper-indicts racially profiled American citizens, more than often by poorly trained and aggresive police men and women. Rape, whether the victims are male or female, is an issue frequently addressed by feminists. There is undoubtedly representation of issues that affect men in feminism, but due to the fact that the fight is for equality in a society that has opressed and discriminated women througout their entire existence, making the fight heavily about men's issues would be retroactive. Women have a little catching up to do in the human rigths department. It's like the saying "all lives matter": all lives do matter, but due to the fact that currently African Americans have been subject to brutal discrimination and oppression, it's necessary for the spotlight to shine upon the injustices endured by African Americans, just as it is for the spotlight to be on women's issues.


Feminism cannot be "destroyed." Feminism is equality. It is the good in the world, it is the future, the good fight, something to be proud to identify with. Feminism is for everyone. It's 100% inclusive! Just because you don't identify as a woman doesn't mean feminism isn't for you. It is the fight for EQUALITY. If you condemn feminism you are condemning equality and you are claiming to want male superiority, just to make it perfectly clear for all those out there who say they aren't "feminists".  There is nothing to be afraid of. 

Fight the good fight! Be a feminist!

links to definition!


YOUTH Radio: Interview with James Hersey

by Amy Karp

James Hersey, Austrian electro-pop singer-songwriter, has spent the last year touring Europe, touring the US with Milky Chance, playing festivals, and breaking girls' hearts with his love songs. I mean, the man knows how to make an audience swoon. Unfortunately, unless you were the right combination of lucky and smart like I am and bought his debut album, "Clarity," at his show, you are unable to enjoy his music, as it is not yet available in the US. Until it is available, we must be content with his remixes of "What I've Done" available on SoundCloud (link at the bottom) and the few songs uploaded below.

Hersey, who plays the acoustic guitar during shows, has also been playing the drums, cello, and electric guitar since he was just a kid. He studied jazz in school and incorporates elements of jazz effortlessly into other genres.

Read the interview below to find out about Hersey's creative process, tour experience with Milky Chance, inspiration and more(:

Q. Seeing as you were so musically gifted at such a young age, did you always know even at that age that playing music is what you wanted to do with your life?

A. No, I didn’t know it would be my life until I was 17 and all I could think about was playing the guitar. I would literally play before, after, and even during class until my teachers yelled at me to stop.

Q. You also studied jazz after high school. Would you say that jazz influences the music that you are currently making?

A. There are certainly elements of jazz in what I do now, but it’s so mixed up with everything else it’s hard to pinpoint exactly.

Q. How would you describe touring with Milky Chance?

A. It was exciting because they're such a phenomenon, inspiring really, because you realize that anything is possible -- and they're also really kickass live.

Q. I know you are signed to their label, so do you work closely with them?

A. Yes, their label in Germany has been a big part of my career, they've helped in many ways. But Philipp and Clemens are not very active on the label side -- they're so busy with the band!

Q. I know that you produced your mixtape "Twelve." Do you still produce all of your own music or anybody else's?

A. I’ve produced all my own stuff until now, yes, but I’m very much looking forward to working with producers in the future. There is so much talent out there, it would be insane to think I’m the only one who can make my songs work.

Q. I am really interested in the creative process. The making of a song is something I have never really been able to really wrap my head around. Do you normally have lyrics first and then work out the instrumentals? And do you work with any other songwriters or musicians while you are creating a song?

A. It works both ways -- sometimes you find a chord progression that just strikes you before you write the lyrics, and other times you grab your notebook and write down a stream of thoughts before even touching an instrument. I’ve worked with a couple other people on my stuff, but only on rare occasions and always very carefully.

Q. A lot of your songs are pretty romantic. Are all of your songs really personal to you or do you ever make a song playing a character or just out of something random that you end up liking?

A. Most of them are real stories from my life, though often exaggerated as my imagination takes over. I’ve done a couple tracks from a character perspective as well -- coming up with a story and writing about that. Both ways are fun, but I’m probably better at just telling it like it is.

Q. How would you personally describe your sound? It seems like you gather influences from many different genres.

A. Yeah, I have the weirdest iPod shuffle you can imagine, haha. My sound is singer-songwriter alternative pop-rock with urban and electronic influences. That’s as close as I can get without getting too annoying, and that’s already pretty annoying.

Q. What artists are big influences to you, and likewise if you could work with any artist who would it be?

A. My biggest inspirations are John Mayer, Phoenix, Drake, Darwin Deez, and Jack White.

Q. You have traveled a lot and lived in so many different places. Does moving around help you gain inspiration for your music?

A. I need to feel free to make music, and moving around as I please helps me do exactly that.

Q. What would you be doing right now if you decided to stop being a musician?

A. Right now? Oh man, I have no idea. I’d probably find a couple friends and try to start another business together. I don’t think I could work for somebody else, that’s just not me.

Q. Take me through a typical day in the life of James Hersey. I’m interested in even the boring stuff
. For instance what were you doing before you started answering my long list of questions?

A. Haha, excellent question. All of them have been excellent, honestly… Today I woke up at 8.30, fed my cat, had a couple coffees, quick work-out, took a shower, called my manager, cleaned the kitchen, read my new book, folded clothes and listened to the hypem charts, took out the recycling, went food shopping, and called my parents. No meals yet, haha, but I’m going for dinner with a friend later! Yesterday was completely different though, and the day before that was totally crazy, so it’s not the easiest question, haha.

Q. How do you get ready and excited before you go on stage? Do you have any rituals that you have to do or something like that?

A. Yeah we have a small band ritual, but nothing crazy -- a little symbolic show of trust and support for one another! Otherwise I warm up my voice a bit and make sure I am relaxed and happy before I walk on stage.

Q. When will all of your music be available in the U.S. (please say soon!)

A. I am not sure when everything will be available for purchase, but believe me I’m working on it!