Duke University Students Launch A Fascinating ‘Who Needs Feminism?’ Campaign


So I got lost in a Zooey Deschanel vortex and ended up on the website she shares with her two friends. It’s called hellogiggles and it’s as adorkable as it sounds. But it also has some really informative pieces that make for great discussion. Recently they shared a piece written by a 6th grade girl who had recently discovered a tumblr/campaign started by Duke University students called, “Who Needs Feminism?” I for one, can think of a lot of people in the entertainment industry who could use a healthy dose of Feminism 101. I won’t mention their names ((LilWayneTerryRichardsonRihannaAdamLevineetc.)). Anyway, according to the site, we all need it. Agree or disagree? Check out what the campaign’s participants have to say inside.

Here is an excerpt from the piece written by the young girl, named Ruby, who contributed to hellogiggles.


So, I just found out about this really cool website that a bunch of people at Duke University started. It’s called Who Needs Feminism? and people post pictures of why they need feminism. For instance, this woman says she needs feminism because “feminine” is not “anti-feminist”.  I saw that and I felt like she got me, you know? The whole who needs feminism campaign? It’s awesome.

Wait wait wait. Back up. Who needs feminism? We all do. But we all don’t get what it means, because it can be described in many different ways. To me, feminism means girls and boys are of equal value. This means if girls can play with Barbie dolls, so can boys. WE ALL NEED OUR EQUAL RIGHTS. It’s not just about sports or playing with things; I’m talking about our approach as a society to each other. Girls and boys should have the same opportunity to do the same thing and not be all like, well, girls can’t do math. That’s craz town! WE ARE ALL HUMANS.

I need feminism to be a part of everyone’s vocabulary because I am in middle school, and I don’t see it as part of our language, even now in 2012. And I have this feeling I’m going to keep talking about it, probably for the rest of my life. But maybe when I get older, I’ll be talking about it in a different way than I am now.

Read the complete, amazingly well-written piece here.

I also found another article from a Duke student called, “Do We Need Who Needs Feminism?” It reads a bit like something out of a literary theory course (which is fine), but in quoting another student she makes a great point: feminism is like democracy– it’s a good idea that nobody agrees about. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

There’s a simplicity to the campaign that I can really appreciate. People send in photos of themselves holding up signs explaining why they need feminism and that’s it! The debate comes from people like us, looking at it critically (and trying to decide whether or not we need feminism), but the idea is basic and is almost completely dependent on audience participation. I’m interested!

I’d love to hear what you guys think about the project. Do we need something like this today? Or is Feminism the outdated F-word that people are over?

Here are some of the campaign’s other contributions:











  • jenn

    i need feminism because i still make less money than a man for doing the same job

    love it. thanks for the post.

    • PeaButNutter

      I’m with you on this one!

    • jenn, you’re welcome! Thanks for commenting!

  • PeaButNutter

    I need feminism because I want to watch more movies that sexually objectify the male body instead of the female body, like Magic Mike;)

    • PeaButNutter, LMAO! That’s right! Equal objectification for all!

  • kim

    Can I get an ‘AMEN’!!

    Loving your work on this blog, Shannon!

    • Thanks kim!
      And yes, you can get an AMEN!

  • Dot

    I love the fact that guys are also participating in this. This is really inspiring and reminds you about true meaning of feminism.

    • Dot, thanks for commenting! I’m glad you can appreciate the post.

  • Janaegal

    I need feminism because my male customers think its appropriate to touch me as they please when I come out from the bar. But my male bartenders never get groped!

    I love this movement and I adore the posts you’ve been doing Shannon!

    • Janaegal, thank you for commenting! Bar tending is no joke– stay strong, lol :)
      So glad you’re enjoying the posts.

  • Jack.

    I need feminism to protect the rights of my sister and my daughter, and because the same people who oppose equal rights for women oppose equality for gays and lesbians. Together we stand.

    • Jack., good point. And those same people seem to oppose equal rights for everyone under the sun, right?

  • Isabelle

    I need feminism because I once heard my boss saying he’d rather hire only single men without kids over any other kind of people. He didn’t realize I was just behind him.

    • Isabelle, thanks for sharing this. Makes me think that there are lots of reasons we have this whole women and work ongoing debate.

  • Jessica

    GREAT post. Thank you for sharing this – now I get to be part of this community, and pass it on to others as well. yay!

    • Jessica, thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed the post.

  • Charlotte

    I need feminism because my nieces need to know how to say “fuck you and your dog” to anyone who treats them as less than any male.

    • Charlotte, lmao! Good one…

  • Jen

    Shannon, I LOVE your posts and writing style.

  • ChristineLA

    Wow, does this post ever resonate with me, and I LOVE it, Shanno! I relate to a number of the photos, but the one that really made me nod my head in agreement was the one about breastfeeding.

    To make a long story short, I had a grandmother come up to me in the airport at baggage claim to tell me that I had ruined the flight for her granddaughter (who was 18, if a day).

    How? I was nursing my 8 month old baby under a nursing cover with my Mom sitting in between me and this girl. She was SO OFFENDED, she complained to grandma afterwards, who then felt motivated to hunt me down in baggage claim to file an official grievance. So, yes, I need feminism because the fact that I nursed my 8 month old baby on a flight from Hawaii to Los Angeles and he never cried once, NOT ONCE, offends people. Worse yet, it offends other women. That moment still enrages me, and my son is 2.5 now.

  • ChristineLA, thank you so much for sharing this. The question of breastfeeding has become a cultural thing and even a class issue (the way people understand it). I’d like to think that open discussion (like this one!) can work to change some of that. Thanks again!

  • Great post! Thanks for sharing this with us. :)

  • I don’t post on here, ever – I’m a lurker – and I’m a little late in the game, but thank you for this. I have been truly moved today, and I am proud to join this community. I need feminism because I have a little sister who is amazing, and when people tell her she’s too fat and ugly to amount to anything, I shouldn’t be the only person telling her they’re wrong.

    • Melissa, it’s never too late to join the Who Needs Feminism discussion! Lol, I’m glad this piece spoke to you. Your little sister sounds like she’s a very lucky girl– big sis is looking out!

      Thank you for sharing this comment with all of us.