The word feminist is often associated with negative connotations that prevent many individuals from adopting the feminist label and self-identifying with the women's movement. This creates challenges for feminists and the movement because individuals choose to believe stereotypes and distance themselves from feminism before fully understanding its purpose or positive aspects. The negative stereotypes and misconceptions associated with feminism and the women's movement contribute to individuals' hesitation to claim the feminist label. Conservative media outlets and social groups would like members of society to believe feminism is dead. As a gender and women's studies graduate student, I know that is inaccurate. Over the years, the women's movement has grown and become more diverse, but there remains much resistance towards being associated with feminism. If progress and equality are to be achieved within the United States, it is important to understand the history of feminism and gain an accurate outlook on the movement. For my research, I interviewed self-identified feminists across generational lines ranging from ages 18 to 85. I then analyzed their stories to find common themes and patterns. Through this research, I give voice and agency to feminism and the women's movement by sharing the personal experiences of feminists. I also reveal how feminists across generational lines have come to self-identify and show how diverse stories may be connected within the larger social movement.


Maria Bevacqua

Committee Member

Laura Harrison

Committee Member

Lisa Perez

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)


Social and Behavioral Sciences

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License



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