Ariel Koren was elected the 2015 Class Board President at Penn University. Subsequently, Koren has found herself in the middle of a feminist heat storm because she made the comment that students should “stop worrying about the female leadership issues [within school politics] and do their own thing.”
The reason there was a “female leadership issue” at Penn was that when Koren was elected, she was identified as “female,” and not by her given name. “The female that won the competitive election,” as if that was so rare. The fact that a female could take charge in a competition and come out ahead, didn’t anyone tell Penn that females are strategy thinkers? We play to win.
The problem lies in the fact that some students think that to achieve gender equality we need to be more critical of the barriers to success that women face on campuses. Still others say that gender equality will be reached when there is no longer any need for front-page news to recognize the accomplishments of a woman as a leader simply because of her sex. For Koren to come out and say being female is not a big deal cuts both ways. It says to some that she is turning her back on feminism and to others it says she’s embracing that male or female the best person won.
Feminism is about women being seen as equals so is the best way to acknowledge that we do the same things as men (and some time beat them)? Or should we just act as if it’s not a big deal and this is the way the world works, sometimes you win sometimes you loose and what’s between your legs shouldn’t make a difference? There’s no clear cut road, but what is clear is it is a very long road ahead.