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Imren and Sidhu at a “Who Needs Feminism?” photo booth.
Michael Grondin/The Gauntlet

Reclaiming the ‘F’ word

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“Who Needs Feminism?” is a new initiative at the University of Calgary that works to break negative stereotypes surrounding feminism.


Who Needs Feminism? was started at Duke University in North Carolina in 2012 to reclaim the word ‘feminism’ and proliferate its message of equality. The U of C Women’s Resource Centre started the campaign at the U of C this year.


Who Needs Feminism? is a photo booth campaign where participants finish the phrase “I need feminism because.” There have been over 100 photos taken so far.


Second-year U of C international relations student and member of the WRC Male Allies Team Pavit Sidhu said the campaign is a personal way to explore what feminism means to U of C students.


“We’re trying to get rid of the negative connotations that are associated with the word feminism. A lot of people are very scared of being associated with feminism. I think feminism helps promote gender equality and it benefits us all,” said Sidhu.


The photos are uploaded to Facebook and Tumblr. Sidhu said the response has been extremely positive.


According to third-year international relations student and WRC volunteer Eesha Imren, feminism is a complex idea that means many things.


“The point of it is not to think of one singular definition for feminism but to come up with what feminism means to each individual person, because there’s a lot of different personal definitions of it,” said Imren.


There have been three photo booths this semester and they will continue in the future. There have also been photo booths at different events this semester. 


“Feminism is not just one thing, because people just think of it in a single context,” said Imren. “I hope that people are aware that there’s more than one definition for it.”

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