Hello Reader, <feminism>
I am Sarim Hamid, a student and Editor with The Teen Pop Magazine! I have a passion for Technology and its reaches, trying a hand at Table Tennis every now and then and crawling into my duvet to read and flip over the old yet mystical pages of Harry Potter.
Today, I am going to be in conversation with Hanifa Hameed. Hanifa, based in New Jersey, is a UI / UX Designer at IBM and now a part-time illustrator. Her work is inspired by her love for colour, culture, and strong women.
Feminism Interview with Hanifa Hameed
Hey Hanifa, how are you doing?
Hi Sarim. I am doing great! Thank you for having me!
Let us start by addressing why and when did you choose to become or announce yourself as a feminist?
I think I always believed in the concepts of feminism; although I really felt connected to the term and sought out to learn more about it, probably in college.
Which men or women, according to you, in your life or a celebrity has
influenced you or other women to fight for themselves and their rights?
My mom has definitely influenced me to fight for myself and others. She grew up in a very conservative family and was able to blossom into such a strong woman – so that is truly inspirational for me.
Previously, as women our fight was to attain basic rights, what is the goal and
the peak of success now in the 21st Century?
It really depends from person to person. I think for many women of colour, it’s still attaining those basic rights. In general, I think it’s a constant battle to dismantle hard lines set by society between femininity and masculinity, and establishing that everyone deserves their rightful bit of equality.
Has being a woman of colour impacted your life in the workplace? If so, how?
(This one is a bit more specific)
I work at a large corporation which is mostly made up of white middle-aged men – so yes it has definitely impacted me. Not only am I a woman of colour but I’m also amongst the youngest age group in the corporation. I’m constantly having to prove myself. It’s frustrating at times, but once I’m able to, it’s pretty rewarding.
What is your opinion about Patriarchy?
A system where only one gender holds all power and makes up rules for the rest of society and thus can never be a society that success and works in the long run. We need an equal inclusion of all genders so that it benefits all and provided everyone their rights to decide and be themselves.
And how about Gender Stereotyping?
Masculinity and femininity were outlined by society centuries ago and the stereotypes placed by societies and communities had no place then and have no place now. Your gender shouldn’t define you and each one of us should be able to express ourselves as we like.
Are there any men that you know who have helped advocate for women’s rights? If so, what have they done to help?
I’ve seen a lot of men help advocate for women’s rights – my husband included. Besides talking to other men, correcting their friends and other peers when they state something wrong or misogynistic. My husband left his home country to live with me in mine, he encourages me to always strive higher and is completely fine with cheering me on from the side. I think it’s important for men in your life to cheer you and to encourage women to take on leadership roles, so we can break the patriarchal society.
What is the biggest struggle and fight of women and girls of today?
To dismantle the patriarchy and fight for equality in every aspect.
What would you like to say to those who believe feminism is all about man-hating?
Feminism is not “man-hating”. In fact, it benefits men – tries to break toxic masculinity. I believe Bell Hooks said it perfectly, “To be a feminist in any authentic sense of the term is to want for all people, female, male – liberation from sexist roles, patterns, domination, and oppression.”
How have you seen feminism progress in your everyday life?
The views on feminism have fluctuated over time and for some reason, it is seen as political.
Based on your experiences, how has the changing role of women in society impacted any aspect of the feminist movement?
People feel that feminism is outdated now that a lot of women are getting educated and are in the workplace – but it shouldn’t stop there, we still need to fight for our rights in many other places.
What historical feminists do you look up to, and how have their actions shaped
your experiences today?
Angela Davis is amazing. I love her. She fights for equality from all angles – and I think that’s the feminist we should all strive to be.
Acts displaying Feminism come in many forms. What is one way that you
incorporate feminism into your daily life?
I think I display it through my art.
If there is one thing you could tell young girls and women and urge them to be
a feminist, what would it be?
Feminism is for everyone. It fights for equality in all aspect – we should all strive to be feminist.
Ways to Reach Hanifa Hameed
Ways to Reach Sarim Hamid
You can also access our recent interviews with Amanda Nguyen Hammond, Utsa Madan, Adrija Mukherjee, Shubhangi Rastogi, Isilda Da Costa, Austen Tosone, Hiba Zaidi and Hanifa Hameed. These interviews range over a variety of topics such as BLM, Fashion, Wellness, Writing and Feminism.