What does the concept/word “feminism” mean to you? What does the concept of equality mean to you?
Gender equality. But also no racism – not only gender equality but in other areas as well.
What do you think is the most pressing struggle for women today? What is the most crucial aspect in your eyes?
That’s difficult. If I had to choose, it would be that it’s hard not to be pushed into the role of a woman – that you don’t get pushed into a stereotype is difficult.
Is feminism a subject you think about? Have you ever read a book or seen a documentary about feminist issues?
I don’t think about feminism much, but I realize when something is sexist. In a particular moment I’ll notice it, and depending on who I’m with I’ll comment on it. If I’m with people that are not understanding of the topic then I don’t say anything. I read feminist things in high school.
Why do you identify as a feminist and how/when did you learn about it? What were you taught about women growing up?
I don’t really identify as a feminist, but I learned about it in school and in seminars for a program I did in Nicaragua. There you get in touch with people who are more experienced with the topic and it kind of goes from there. My dad is a total sexist. I mean really, he says things like: “Oh look, a woman driving terribly again”. With my mother and stepfather there was no real discussion. So I didn’t learn much growing up. In the one home I learned nothing and in the other home probably negative things about women.
Is feminism empowering for men? If so, how? How does feminism differ for you?
I don’t care about power as an individual so I couldn’t care less. I think a fair society is more comfortable to live in. Equality would have positive impacts on society as a whole, not directly on men in the short term.
Why do you think the word “feminist” is associated with such a negative stigma? What do you think it connotes? How do you think it could change?
I don’t like the word feminist either because it ‘sounds’ as if you want to put women above men and I don’t think that should be the case, I think you should think of them as equals. I think the term is chosen unwisely, even though I agree with the idea.
What issues/reservations do you have with feminism today? What do you personally think needs change?
Some people take it to the extreme. On the one hand I can understand it – if I were oppressed, I’d be mad and constantly trying to correct people’s behavior. But on the other hand, if you’re with a person like that you can’t act freely. Say you’re with a hardcore feminist and that person always tells you: “You did this wrong and that wrong”. I know people who are like that about racism and in my opinion it’s not helpful. You’re afraid to talk in case you say something wrong. It’s good to correct people, but if someone corrects you all the time, you can’t change everything at once and if someone does it too much people will get annoyed and not take any of the hints anymore.
This post was originally published on the author’s Tumblr blog and is republished here with permission.
Do you want to be part of creating a kinder, more inclusive society?
Deryne Keretic: an artist, photographer, and musician, has a conceptual interest in capturing the moment and further understanding these moments as an episodic yet connected series of experiences. Her body of work has been featured in multiple countries as well as in several magazines that she has received international awards for. Born in New York City, Deryne lived and studied in Germany where she slowly grew to merge her passion for music and photography into her art. Trained initially as a musician, her love for photography began in the dark room, when she became interested in understanding how we perceive objects in multiple scales. Currently living in New York, Deryne’s passion has evolved into exploring the human body in black and white portraits. “My interest is in capturing the essence of real moments and the photography that I explore is not staged. I love working with people who are not used to being photographed – the experience is so much more exciting and rewarding.” Her background as a musician has helped further her lyrical ideas within photo shoots, as well as allow her to truly understand and collaborate on multiple projects with other artists.
Deryne holds a BA from Eugene Lang College at The New School in Liberal Arts: Music, Photography, Gender Studies and Poetry.