At what point in your life did you consider yourself a feminist? Was it an event or a process?
It was an ongoing process but it probably started somewhere around high school (2007) and slowly transitioned from there. When I finally realized that I need to actually CALL myself a feminist, because that is indeed what I am, was about 3 years ago.
Who most influenced your awareness of your feminism?
1. My conservative family members. They influenced me more than they probably realize because their attitudes showed me how I don't want to act.
2. My mentor from my first volunteer position as a rape crisis counselor, Sarah. She is an amazing person and really introduced me to different people and different ways of thinking.
3. Well known feminist activists and writers like Jessica Valenti. When I read Full Frontal Feminism for the first time, I was hooked.
In what ways has your feminism informed your life choices?
It has changed my life drastically as far as a career path. I'm now dedicating my time to being an advocate for victims and running my own organization for sexual assault survivors. Feminism has made me a more empathetic person.
In what ways do you share your feminism with others?
I think I share my feminism with others by being an advocate for victims of all genders, sexual orientations, religions, and political ideologies. Also by being inclusive to those who may be overlooked, and being a voice for the voiceless.
Describe your vision of a feminist world.
I envision a world where everyone is equal and everyone starts on the same even playing field. I envision a world free from sexual violence, domestic violence, gender-based violence ... actually just free from ALL VIOLENCE.
How I Define Feminism:
Feminism is for everyone. That sums it up for me. Feminism benefits every single person whether they realize it or not. We just want equality for all.
Ashlyn is a feminist activist, advocate for victims of sexual and domestic violence, and a certified rape crisis counselor. When she's not working on her own project, Survivors in Solidarity, she is working with her local rape crisis center and domestic violence agency.