At what point in your life did you consider yourself a feminist? Was it an event or a process?
I started indentifying myself as a feminist during my first year at University, thanks to a very dear friend of mine with whom I had many discussions on the topic. It was a process rather than an event, and I started reading more and more about it and getting more and more interested - passionate even. Before that, I think I had been conscious, and revolted by my 'inferior' role as a women since a tender age. I was treated differently than my brothers simply because I was a girl, and I just could not understand why.
Who most influenced your awareness of your feminism?
I think the person who influenced the most my awareness was my one of my friends at University. She opened my eyes to so many things that I felt uneasy about but I had never really given deep thought (I started university at 17, very young and naive). I remember that day we had a girls' night and went out in a club to dance. A guy put his hand on her ass, refused to apologise when she asked him to, and started insulting her (if I recall correctly it was something like "you're an ugly hysterical whore anyway"). She simply punched him in the face. I was at first shocked, and then I realised that she was so right, and that we should all refuse to be treated like objects and stand up for ourselves, just like she did.
In what ways has your feminism informed your life choices?
My feminism influences many of my life choices. First and foremost, it influenced my career choice. I have chosen to dedicate my life to fight gender inequality. I want to contribute to make this world a safer one for girls and women, and everyone that does not conform to their pre-established gender roles. At a more personal level, it also influences the way I shop, trying to avoid the 'pink' tax as much as I can by buying 'male' products or boycotting some things. It influences the way I perceive things, always noticing sexist behaviours that sadly seem normal to most people. It influenced my choice of starting my last (and lasting) relationship with a boy. He is a committed feminist and I would never have even considered him had he not be. Feminism is a huge part of my life and it pretty much influences my every step.
In what ways do you share your feminism with others?
I try not to impose my feminism to my friends, most of which are not particularly intersted in the question - I love them and I do not want to annoy them with it. But, every time they ask me something relating to it, or everytime they seem open to talking about it, I seize the opportunity to try to make them understand my point of view. I also share many articles of my Facebook and Twitter accounts. I discuss with other feminist friends and we learn a lot about each other's feminsims.
Describe your vision of a feminist world.
A feminst world encompasses three realities. Local, where the people surrounding you act as feminists: no cat-calling, no sexist remarks, no violence against women etc. National, where your country's laws uphold it, making sure that women get the same treatment as men - whether in the workplace, in the streets, or home. And global, by a feminist United Nations that stops struggling with gender related questions and imposes itself as a leader in the field - starting by appointing a women as Secretary General.
How I Define Feminism:
For me, feminism means fighting for gender equality - for an equal treatment of men, women, and everyone that does not identify at such.
Marie just graduated from the University of Edinburgh with an MSc in International Relations. She now lives in Madrid, Spain, to learn Spanish and figure out what the next step is.