What Feminism Means to Me: A Network of Accomplices

A couple of weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to attend a lecture by Symone Sanders, a revolutionary Democratic strategist and pundit. The poignancy and timeliness left my head spinning but one quote in particular stuck with me: Sanders said, “I don’t want any more allies, I want accomplices because accomplices are in it for the long run.” Through feminism, I’ve built a network of accomplices. I have found women who will follow me into battle, lead the fight for decades to come, and work to pick up the pieces when it’s over. We’re all in the fight for the long run. Decades from now, I’ll see my peers in charge of corporations and nonprofits, teaching the next generation of activists, serving as politicians, and effectively running the world.

Before I found feminism, I was a confused girl who had a lot of rage about current events but didn't have a platform or voice to harness my outrage. Upon discovering intersectional feminism and shaping my voice, I have lobbied for comprehensive sexual education in front of Pennsylvania State Senators, published opinionated editorials on social justice issues, interned on political campaigns, lead marches, spoken at rallies, discussed feminism with Angela Davis (that’s a long story that I’m proud to have experienced), ran a club called Feminist Student Union, and served as an ambassador for the United States Department of State. Tapping into feminist issue networks allowed me to turn my rage into not only eloquence, but action. I would never have been able to do that without the help of countless feminist accomplices in the form of peers and mentors.

To hark back to the words of Symone Sanders, my definition of feminism is serving as an accomplice to the women around you. To all of my fellow feminists: Thank you for not only changing my world, but the rest of the world beyond us. I’m not only proud to know you, I’m proud to be one of you.

Author: Serena Zets

Serena Zets is an eighteen year-old senior at Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts School. She is an activist, writer, and freelance journalist based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Her writing has been featured in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Angsty Women of Color Magazine, Sonic Blume Zine, and WESA-an NPR affiliate. She utilizes her writing to explore her experiences as a queer woman of color and address societal injustices.