The face of feminism

One of the first things Clarie Randall has to combat as part of the Feminist Collective is the negative impression that tends to follow the word feminism.

Randall believes that many people have distorted perceptions of feminism, and she hopes to work against this. She says that many people see feminists as angry, but she believes her strong feminist views stem from passion rather than anger.

“There’s a lot for me to be upset about because there’s a lot of injustices in the world,” she says. “But at the same time, there’s a difference between anger that is the kind of angry that people see as being deconstructive and just hateful and anger that drives you and pushes you to go further and be motivated.”

According to Randall, members of the University of South Carolina’s feminist organization strive to create a community of peers with similar ideals. Members also raise money, attend conferences and host discussions about feminist issues.

Randall believes this has allowed her to expand her beliefs in this area, as well as integrate it into her life and the lives of others.

“I have educated myself so much over the last year and a half just expanding my knowledge base more than I already had just from my own sense of right and wrong, my own personal moral compass,” Randall says. “Really it’s just that it’s kind of my core value set that I have that’s pushed me towards this.”

Feminist Collective was a natural fit for Randall, who has been a strong feminist her entire life.

“Feminism is extremely important to me. It’s always been important to me even though I didn’t always have a name for it for a long time,” Randall says. “It’s just something growing up. I was always very much a proponent of equal rights for all and I just found this organization.”

Randall is only a sophomore, but she is already president of the group. She joined the organization her first semester on campus and has served as vice president before becoming president for the past two semesters.

“It was kind of weird being a freshman for a semester and being looked at, by all these older women specifically, as someone who was worthy of running their organization,” Randall says of her rapid rise to the top position.

Being president of Feminist Collective has forced Randall to learn very quickly to be the kind of leader she thinks the group deserves.

“I want it to be an organization that is taken seriously,” she says. “I’ve driven us to be that kind of org that we get the ball rolling and we do things and we follow through, and I want to continue to do that.”

Randall sees a lot of potential for the future of Feminist Collective, which meets at 7 p.m. each Wednesday in Russell House 304.

“We aren’t going anywhere,” she says. “The feminist movement at USC is just getting started.”

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