On Campus, Embracing Feminism and Facing the Future

“The structure of the economy, of family and of work is very, very different,” Dr. Campt said.

She said young women today were entering an economy with fewer work opportunities and much more debt. It is also an era in which feminist activism and education happen in both the physical world and the virtual one, often through blogs and social media.

One thing that surprised Dr. Crossley about the college women she studied was their wholehearted embrace of feminism. “They spoke about how feminism permeated their worldview and their interactions and the relationships they had in their everyday lives,” she said.

We spoke to female undergraduates at colleges around the country to find out what issues they were most concerned about and what feminism meant to them. Their comments have been edited and condensed.

Morgan Brownlee, 22, graduated from San Diego State University in December

Sociology major and French minor

The biggest issue for me as a woman on campus is safety and acceptance. When I walk in a room, I do a quick scan to see if there are any other women there. And if there are men, I look at how many are white, and their ages. It gives me a sense of the openness of the room.

I worry about equality of pay, and it’s something that when I hear my dad talk about, as a black man, I think, “He’ll still probably make more than I ever will,” because not only am I a woman, but I’m black.

I feel like the women’s movement doesn’t represent women of color as well as it could. I’m not expecting the movement to be perfect, but if you’re talking about women earning 80 cents for every dollar a man makes, you’re not really talking about Latina women, black women, Native American women, who make even less than that.

Melanie Camejo Coffigny, 18, first-year student, Duke University

Neuroscience major

If you had asked me my concerns about…

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