When asked which topic I would be interested in to investigate for a whole semester, I thought of a few things but the idea that stuck out to me the most was the feminist movement in Philadelphia. As I researched the topic, I found Feminist Public Works. They seemed really interesting and had a unique approach to combatting street harassment along with advocating for safety and equality of women in the community and in the government.
I have struggled with declaring myself a feminist because, in today’s society, it has somewhat of a negative connotation. And, until recently, I did not believe I was a feminist. But, after a bit of research, I realized that feminists are not aggressive, man-hating individuals. Feminism works for equality for not only both genders, but all genders. Ellen Lapp speaks more on this topic in her essay, Why Feminism Has a Bad Reputation.
I don’t think that I officially decided that I was a feminist until I began researching for this project. And, in my investigation so far, I have found many different non-aggressive, non-man-hating campaigns that simply raise awareness to subtle sexism in our culture by depicting the lack of women in a very powerful industry, that throwing like a girl is not an insult, and that some people still believe that women deserve no rights what so ever, among others campaigns.
Feminist Public Works, specifically, is a local company that does their own campaigning to promote the safety of women in Philadelphia. Here are a few examples: I, II, III. I hope to speak to someone from the organization to learn more about their mission and how they come up with their campaigns. I would like to know what they are doing to reduce gender bias in the community and in government. I believe this is a huge issue that many are interested in and support because women deserve equal treatment wherever they go. That means women should not be called out on the street, receive less pay, and be thought of as lesser because of their gender. I think it is important to raise awareness, no matter how small, about an extremely significant issue such as this and I believe Feminist Public Works does an amazing job of addressing this topic.