Today we feature junior, Kenzie King, from West Bloomfield, Michigan studying Art and Design and PitE. Read more about Kenzie below:
How do you define feminism?
Feminism is about advocating and lifting up every type of women. For me, It is simply about protecting diversities, advocating for justice, and standing in solidarity with all woman within our community. Feminism has had many different waves throughout history – the inclusion of all of those narratives and every type of feminist promotes the greatest definition of inclusivity. A true definition of feminism is one that does not call us all to agree, yet calls us all to fight for the moral good, together.
How do you try to incorporate feminism into your daily life?
The most important part about incorporating feminism in my daily life is open dialogue. I encourage myself to have an open mind when approaching every conversation, and an open heart when listening to others. The only way I can continue to grow my knowledge and perception of feminism is from acknowledging the successes and adversities of the women around me. I work hard to learn something new every day that contributes to my goals of advocacy and inclusion.
Who inspires you?
I am immensely inspired by female artists. To curate, a full list of all the wonderful women that inspire me would be impossible. However, I am recently very impacted by the work of photographer Sarah Bah Bah and collage artist Andrea Lux. I am fascinated by artists who challenge themselves to re-define the gaze projected onto female bodies and their spaces.
What advice do you have for anyone looking to get more involved in the feminist movement?
She doesn’t have to be a grand gesture. When I was young, I was always looking for ways to affirm my feminism by attending big rallies or making some loud vibrant vocal statement about what I believed in. While these are also valid ways of becoming involved with feminism – they are just as important as the nuances of how you treat women around you, how you reject toxic language, and how you hold yourself accountable for rejecting systems of oppression. Most often, feminism is about the small day to day routines you form that encourage you to love others and yourself to a greater degree.
How has your view of feminism evolved/changed at your time at the University of Michigan?
Coming into college, I did not have a definition of feminism that included a diversity of identities. I never considered any other feminist experience than that of a middle-class white cis woman ( like me ). Attending the University of Michigan forced me to see feminism through a broader lens, one that captures so many complexities and important issues. Education is a gift. Once you have seen it, it changes how you see the world. My views on feminism have allowed me to grow the community of women around me and encouraged me to approach the world with a greater sense of empathy.
What do you see yourself doing in 10 years and how will you continue to incorporate feminism into your daily life and work?
In ten years, I hope to be doing something I am passionate about. I don’t know where I will end up. I hope I end up making art with people who inspire me. I hope to be finding ways to help the women in my community. At the end of the day, If I am able to make a positive contribution to the communities and spaces I will be living in – I will be happy. I know there will be many challenges faced in fighting for equality in the spaces I exist in. However, I think that’s what feminism is. It is a daily life and work – its something you wake up doing and fall asleep thinking about. It is not a single act, but a lifetime of fighting for each other, for the good in the world, and of picking each other back up along the way.