Feisty Five: Steph Wilkes

By Stephanie Wilkes

Steph here, it’s time for my intro. I’ll be giving you a glimpse into my brain with the Feisty Five, modeled after Feministing‘s Feministing Five. Here goes!

How did you come to be a feminist?
I had my click moment when I interned at the Minnesota Women’s Press back in 2008. I had been a latent feminist up until then, but spending 5 months trolling feminist blogs and interviewing kick-ass local feminists ignited my inner feistiness. It was an awakening to the passion and commitment I have for feminist issues like reproductive health and women in the arts, and has inspired me to work actively for these causes ever since.

Who are your heroines in real life?
Female comedians and comedy writers. It may seem frivolous to some, but to me (note: as a nine-year-old I swore comedy was my destiny because I was born on April Fool’s Day), these ladies are a BFD. I am in awe of Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Joan Rivers, Sarah Silverman and countless others who’ve got the balls to be onstage/onscreen and unapologetically funny.

What recent news story made you want to scream?
Woman Jailed for Sending Kids to (the Wrong) School
We all know that the educational system in America is, at least in some areas, truly effed, and the politics around public schools are rife with issues of class and race–but this is too much. A woman uses a loophole to send her daughters to a better school than the one they were assigned, and she got found out. And then sent to JAIL. If that isn’t a gross overreaction, I don’t know what is.

What, in your opinion, is the greatest challenge facing feminism today?
Comprehensive sex education and access to safe, affordable reproductive healthcare. Knowledge and choice are gifts, gifts we shouldn’t ever take for granted or stop fighting for.

You’re going to a desert island, and you’re allowed to take one food, one drink and one feminist. What do you pick?
Mac & Cheese, Cherry Coke, and Amy Poehler (Smart Girls at the Party, Kaitlin, Leslie Knope…need I say more?)

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