Age: 25 Occupation: Student (Micro-Economics) Place of Residence: Oxford Place of Birth: Milan (Italy)
Why did you choose this place for your picture?
Two years ago I was part of a committee of students here at my college. We assembled in the room behind these windows. This committee had a budget so they founded a bunch of activities as well as representative roles for the students, so that if students had issues, ideas or wishes, they could go to them and it could be discussed. There’ve been a bunch of quite heated discussions within this group, which I think had to do with feminism. There turned out to be fights between basically two sides for a bunch of different issues. For example one of them was regarding how much to fund some sports instead of others. Some sports tend to be played by men whereas others tend to be played by women. And a lot of money was going into the ones that were played by men whereas very little was going to the ones that were played by women, roughly speaking. So there was a debate specifically about how much money to give to yoga whilst a lot of money was going to football and rowing.
That was one issue; another issue was the construction of a new position within the assembly. Because there were these representatives, for example the LGBT-representative and the family-representative and some people wanted a women-representative. A lot of other colleges now have it. And a lot of people were really opposed to this idea, so there has been a long debate about it. In the end the position was not created. But there have been a bunch of other big issues as well. I felt like I was part of a fight in this committee.
What is your personal understanding of feminism?
It’s understanding that men are privileged in a sense that their life is easier and more comfortable, it is easier to achieve something for them and to earn respect and recognition than for women. And realising that that’s not good and that the world should be changed in a direction where men and women have more similar experiences. I think that by understanding this it should change people’s behaviour in their everyday life. It’s something that can be exercised in your everyday life, in the small things as well as in the big ones. You can just get involved in something or you could just simply change the way you speak to people.
How do you express your feminism?
I think mainly by trying to keep these ideas in mind when I talk to people and particularly in trying to not come across as someone who doesn’t think about these things or being untactful. And by talking about these issues more directly as well. Perhaps also by trying to stay informed on some “battles”, for example I’m trying to see what happens in these feminist groups on Facebook. Or by talking to a friend of mine who is particularly involved in a lot of activism.