Posted on Behalf of Sarah Kate Ellis
To me, feminism is about women being treated equally and having the same opportunities as everyone else. It’s a seat at the table where it doesn’t matter what you’re wearing or how much makeup you have on.
As a mother to both a daughter and a son I think it is crucial that we educate and prepare the next generation to be feminists, just like my mother did with me. I was raised a feminist and was taught to work relentlessly because my mother knew that as a woman, I would have to work harder and longer to be just as successful as a man. Things are definitely better for women than when I was growing up, and feminism continues to reach higher levels of understanding and engagement. I’m so happy that my children are being raised in a world that is more aware, but the core ideas of self-empowerment that I was taught I am passing on to my daughter. It is my sincere hope that when my daughter enters the workforce, she will be paid as fairly as her peers. With my son, I teach him to be cognizant of issues that women face in our society and that it is imperative for him to be part of the solution, not the problem.
At GLAAD we work across communities – something that is absolutely applicable to feminism. All of our wonderful, intersecting identities are important to consider whether it’s sexual orientation, gender identity, race, age, socio-economic class, ability, or sex. As a lesbian, I know firsthand that there are a lot of issues specific to the lesbian community that are not frequently addressed – obesity and alcoholism among them. This is a community of women which has enjoyed some great strides recently with marriage equality, but is all too often out of the spotlight.
Ultimately feminism is about fully realized acceptance and equality for all women, and we can’t settle for anything less.
Sarah Kate Ellis was named CEO & President of GLAAD in January 2014 after a successful career as an award-winning media executive and communications strategist.
A powerful communicator, Ellis has used GLAAD’s position as the nation’s leading media advocacy organization to demand and generate coverage of LGBT Russians during the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. Under her leadership, GLAAD worked closely with Facebook to expand the social network’s gender options to be more inclusive of transgender and gender non-conforming users. And during the 2014 World Cup, Ellis’ team led an effort to demand that FIFA address anti-LGBT slurs at the games, leading broadcasters ESPN and Univision to condemn such hateful language on the air to worldwide audiences.