THE NEW F WORD

What is your initial reaction when you hear the word "feminism"?

You may feel a strong sense of alignment, perhaps repulsion? Or plain ambivalence. For the young women of today, feminism is deemed the new F word—a dirty word that conjures up images of hairy armpits and angry bra-burning.

Dear Feminism, is a letter of alignment with the new F word from young modern women, to future feminists about feminism today, based on feminisms of the past. This book, which I would like to propose as a manifesto, is dedicated to today’s young women, between the ages of 14 and 25 who are misinformed about and therefore reluctant to identify with a cause that is, in fact, fighting for them.

Feminism, as a movement and cause, is buried under layers of history that date back to the 1800s—and even thicker layers of misconception and debate about what feminism is and isn’t. Through the use of translucent pages, I attempt to peel back these layers of confusion to arrive at the core message of feminism today: the fourth wave is not about one kind of feminism but the reality of many feminisms. Moreover, the motif of sliced pages emphasizes the theme of illusion versus reality. Feminism, which seems complicated, is actually quite simple. The slicing of young women's portraits further highlights the duality and internal conflict that afflict women today.

The boxing in of sentences and phrases aims to mirror the shared frustration and tension that is felt in the tones of the writings I’ve selected. The same bars are used to cross out these negative sentiments, generalized reasons for why many young women shy away from feminism. Towards the end, however, the bars that crossed out text are used to underline and highlight the ultimate reason for alignment to this cause.

The color code is also built into my narrative and intended to reveal more with each reading. The magenta is a contemporary take on pink, conventionally associated with femininity and daintiness, meant to be assertive, not aggressive and just womanly enough. The black represents anti-feminist attitudes while the yellow stands for the detached or the “in-betweens.”

Dear Feminism, ends with an emphasis on the collective, implying the power that young millennial women have as a unified body. Thus, I invite my reader to add her own voice to the symphony of feminism by signing at the end of the letter, signifying ultimate alignment with this manifesto and the larger movement that is Feminism. This book is intended to accompany Dear Feminism,'s social media and online presence. On Dear Feminism,'s Facebook page, young women are encouraged to join, like, align, and share. I hope to design a real Dear Feminism, website in the very near future.


Poster for the exhibition of Dear Feminism at the 2014 Communication Design Senior Seminar Show at the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, Washington University in St. Louis.