Date of Publication

5-11-2018

Degree Type

Honors Thesis

Department

Sociology

First Advisor

Dr. Melody Boyd, Assistant Professor, Sociology

Abstract

From The Women’s March in January 2017 to the current Me Too movement, women’s rights have appeared to come to the forefront of America. Discussion of abortion rights have reemerged, gender norms are questioned more and more, and sexual assault is becoming a visible, important topic. To some, this is seen as a revolution that has been necessary for decades. However, others may not see it this way for a variety of reasons. Feminism tends to be a very taboo word that carries baggage of all sorts. What may cause some women to label themselves as feminists, and what may cause others to turn away from it? Which elements of the feminist movement may be at play in this? Do women today perceive themselves as possessing a marginalized status, and do any small benefits that come along with being a woman connect to women’s perception of having a marginalized status? Through interviewing twelve women at a public college in upstate New York, this study finds that many women do see the need for the movement and believe that women are still marginalized. However, they also largely believe that feminism continues to not include all identities, still privileging white, straight, middle-class women over other identities. Advantages of being a woman did not tend to play a role in a woman’s support of the feminist movement.

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