Kaity Radde

Feminist Icon Series


In this series I get into the nitty gritty of feminism and try to break down the idea of why feminism has become a negative word.

Kaity Radde is a John Adams alumnus, former Editor-in-Chief of The Tower and current sophomore at Indiana University Bloomington. She is a role model for many people (myself included) in the South Bend and Bloomington area. She is not just fill of wit, strength, and other admirable qualities that I could list but would make me go over the word count, but she´s also an activist, young feminist that anyone can admire. 

Radde doesn´t recall the first time actually identifying as a feminist, but says that her personal tendancies made people say sexist remarks about her growing up, and she knew something was amiss. ̈ ̈From the time I was a very young child I would always get in trouble for being too loud or too bossy when I was doing the same behaviors as boys, who were also probably being too loud or too bossy but would never get the same treatment.¨ Even when Radde was in High School there was still the mistreatment of being ridiculed for these qualities, when working in groups with boys. ¨I would say from early elementary school I identified with the ̈Why do I get treated differently from boys ̈ and ̈why aren’t my clothes functional for life as opposed to sitting still and looking pretty, which is what little girls clothes are designed for.¨ 

¨I believe that a lot of girls, especially ones that are more aggressive or ‘masculine’ (which means nothing according to Radde), they are intuitively feminists from a young age.¨

From the time children are born, girls and boys are inherently treated differently. This is not always intentional on the part of the parents, but it can still have lasting negative effects and Radde believes that this is the root of why feminism is important. The word defined to her doesn’t only mean equal rights, but also equal treatment, from the time men and women are kids. ¨Under the law, women are mostly equal in the United States as we know, but I think it also means the pink tax, the wage gap in terms of different pay for same work and in terms of women who are just as capable as men but aren´t hired for higher paying jobs because they´re seen as a risk they´ll get pregnant and therefore all of the sudden become incompetent and unreliable. That´s a major source of income inequality and self esteem inequality because if you´re seen as incompetent for the same job just because you have ovaries that makes no sense. Equal rights and equal treatment from the time girls and boys are little kids.¨

Feminism nowadays sadly seems to leave a sour taste in one’s mouth. But why? Radde states that, ̈Part of the reason it is so negatively viewed by so many people is because when you’re in a position of privilege, equal rights of someone who is not privileged makes you feel oppressed because you don’t have that privilege over them anymore. So if you ́re equal you ́re no longer higher up. Therefore it feels like you´ve gone down when really everyone is just up with you.” As a society, if we allow both legal, financial, or psychological discrimination, then it allows space for someone´s skin color being attacked next, or their financial status. If seeing that everyone’s struggles and successes rhyme with one another then someone succeeding won’t hurt your success as well, and therefore making feminism not sound as negative. There also are many wild accusations about feminism, so if one woman or feminist messes up or does something wrong, then it colors all feminism and women, which is exactly why need it.                    

As a role model for many young adults, Radde ́s advice is “to simply support girls” (even if it is often overlooked). “Don ́t talk about girls in a way that empowers sexism. Don’t ́t call another girl a slut, or hysterical. Unfortunately as women and girls we are seen as representatives of everyone in a way that men often aren’t. If we say, ‘oh she’s such a slut’, we ́re going against what we want. Girls have to stick together, and a major way to do that is not to use sexist words. Also know that if anyone calls you too bossy, aggressive, whatever, ignore them. Keep being loud and keep being bossy, that is how I got a full ride scholarship to IU.”