To the Editor:
In last week’s edition of The Phillipian, Hyun Cheol Jung, Class of ’14, published an engaging [article](http://www.phillipian.net/articles/2013/09/19/diversifying-dialogue) commenting on a lack of inclusive dialogue within Feminism is Equality (F=E). Seeing as differences in opinion are essential to the comprehensive discourse we hope to encourage, the authors of this letter would first like to thank Jung for his candid take on the areas in which our movement could be improved.
It seems important to note that F=E owes much of its influence to the audacity and determination of the Seniors who initiated the movement last year, and although Jung primarily critiqued the organization, there is no doubt that he demonstrated a similar courage in penning this article. Like the founders of F=E, Jung lent his voice to the call for an on-campus environment in which varying opinions on gender and intersectionality can be discussed with honesty and conviction.
The only aspect of Jung’s article to which we wish to directly respond is an anecdote that we consider to show not a difference of opinion, but a factual inaccuracy pertaining to our views. At one point in his article, Jung states, “Is a mother guilty of working towards inequality if she resolutely refuses to accept the help of her son in the kitchen? The answer would be obvious to F=E.” While this analogy provides an intriguing premise, it is not an accurate representation of our beliefs in reality.
The goal of F=E is not to establish a new set of gender roles in which the woman takes on a less domestic role in society. Rather, it is to abolish gender roles altogether. In addition, the rhetoric of the F=E movement is deeply rooted in the reality that not all women are the same. When discussing gender equality, there are a number of factors to be taken in account, including race, class, sexual orientation and cultural identity. Jung’s anecdote fails to mention any of these factors and, more importantly, fails to clarify whether or not the woman or her son actually wanted to be in the kitchen (rather than being forced there by cultural gender norms). The answer, therefore, is by no means clear to us.
Nevertheless, F=E sincerely appreciates Jung’s contributions to the development of our movement. We would like to use this opportunity to encourage others members of the Andover community to speak out on issues of gender. F=E exists in order to promote tolerance, inclusivity and equality on our campus. We embrace potential clashes in opinion as a means of bettering our movement and the conversation on campus. We cannot truly “Diversify the Dialogue” without the input of our peers.
Despite differences in rhetoric and methodology, the members of F=E believe that we share a common goal with Jung—namely, the creation of an environment in which we can all discuss issues of gender inequity in a tolerant and inclusive atmosphere. This is the very essence of feminism and social justice. This is what we, as a movement, stand for.
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