MICHAEL VAN ORDEN
At what point in your life did you consider yourself a feminist? Was it an event or a process?
My whole life I have been surrounded by strong women. I never even really knew what a feminist was until I was a teenager and I asked what a feminist means by my mother and she said, "equality for men and women". Since I believe in that, I decided I was a feminist. That's how simple it was. I think that the reason it was so simple to me because I was surrounded by educated, strong women with careers and equality for men and women was normal in my family life growing up.
Who most influenced your awareness of your feminism?
My grandmother, Winona Hoyal and my mother, Karen Van Orden.
In what ways has your feminism informed your life choices?
The biggest thing is marrying my wife. I was attracted to her because she is a strong woman and I want to encourage and support her and other women in their life goals.
In what ways do you share your feminism with others?
Feminism has taught me how to view life through the lens of equality and thus, I am constantly reminded by male privilege that as a man I inherently have. So, I am constantly trying to be empathetic to my surroundings so that I can contribute to making an equal environment for everybody.
Describe your vision of a feminist world.
Safety and equality for everybody.
How I Define Feminism:
Safety and equality for everybody, specifically women.
Michael Van Orden was born in Provo, Utah. Michael graduated with a BA in Media Arts at Brigham Young University where he studied filmmaking, his life's passion. While there he wrote and directed his capstone project, Spit, being accepted into various festivals. He continued this passion for three years as a directing student in Chapman's Conservatory of Motion Pictures where he wrote and directed his graduate thesis film Being Doug. While attending school, Michael worked professionally for both narrative and documentary projects and has experience working on television programs, commercials, short films, and feature films. Through his time at Chapman University, Michael worked on the set of CSI, Las Vegas as Martha Coolidge's director's assistant for the filming of the episode Maid Man. He has traveled to Seoul, South Korea, and Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso for filmmaking exchanges where he directed two separate short films. During his time at Chapman, Michael wrote and directed six short films, several of which have screened at various festivals around the country. In addition, Michael immersed himself in the school's television program, directing two pilots, one of which being, Called to Serve, written by Michael himself. After graduation Michael has had many opportunities continuing in the film and television industry from working on feature films to working at film festivals. He enjoys meeting and collaborating with talented people.