Featured Feminists

Kate Glavan is a blogger, activist, and student living out her dreams in NYC clad in all vintage. She has worked with Man Repeller, Outdoor Voices, Maryam Nassir Zadeh, and is an intern at the National Organization of Women.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m a sophomore at New York University, originally from a suburb in Minnesota! I grew up playing volleyball, drawing/painting, singing in choir, and of course, interested in politics and fashion.

What are you studying and what do you hope to do with your degree?

I’m in the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at NYU, where students design their own major. I’m stu=dying law, politics, women’s rights, and civil liberties with a hope to go to law school after graduating and then work for an organization which represents minority groups and their constitutional rights.

What does feminism mean to you?

Men and women should be equal. Period.

What do you do on a daily basis to make change?

On the day-to-day, I find myself making the most impact with my environmental choices and how I project my passions. I’m vegan, don’t use plastic utensils, bottles, bags, etc., and try to make conscious choices when consuming to reduce my impact on the planet, however, I believe that systemic change is required for the climate crisis to be addressed, not just individuals forced to change their behavior to take shorter showers or use metal straws. I do both; make small changes in my everyday life and continue to learn more about how the government can change.

Why is intersectionality important?

We tend to believe there is a certain sense of universality to our personal experiences, but we all didn’t grow up the same, have the same embarrassing things happen to us in middle school, or overcome the same obstacles to get where we are. Broadening your perspective with an intersectional analysis not only changes your personal perspective, but forces everyone to recognize the government and systems of power grant certain groups privilege.

Who are your icons?

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Leandra Medine, my mom.

How do you think feminism has changed over the last 5 to 10 years?

Feminism has definitely become more embedded with neoliberal politics, such as with Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In and intense social media marketing towards women to “better themselves”, buy these products, do it all. It’s a trap where capitalism is the main method for empowerment, nothing about intellectual or emotional healing. I do think that feminism has become more diverse, cast a broader tent to minority women who have not had a voice in the conservation previously. However, I still think there is a significant amount of white privilege in the movement. Many push of the blame onto individuals on why they aren’t succeeding, instead of a collective vision for feminism to change laws that disempower others.

If you could pick one person (not based on electability or even if they are running) to become president in 2020 who would it be?

I like Amy Klobuchar, Kirsten Gillibrand, Elizabeth Warren, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as VP. I’m concerned more with the cabinet appointments once, hopefully, a Democrat takes office in 2020 because I think some of the 2020 contenders could be better served running the Department of Labor, Justice, EPA.

How does fashion fuel you? How do you approach it in a sustainable way?

Fashion keeps me in touch with who I am, I can control how I present myself and utilize my creativity. 90% of my wardrobe is thrifted or vintage which I find to be a huge aspect of practicing what I preach with sustainability. I also enjoy the aspect of owning a piece with a past life.

What are your three favorite items in your closet?

My vintage pink polka dot pants, my cow print mary jane flats from Maryam Nassir Zadeh, and my white shell beaded purse.

You are a part of the National Organization of women, correct? What is NOW? What does your role there entail?

NOW is a nonprofit focused on upholding rights for the women and girls of New York. I started as a Women’s Rights Intern in September of 2018, working at the founding chapter of NOW here in New York City! I do lots of social media, research, and legislative & policy work. It’s been a great opportunity for me this year!

You can find Kate at her Instagram (@kateglavan) or her blog (https://kateglavan.wordpress.com/)