November 21, 2014 at 4:31 pm

Fischer is an Activist, Not a Bystander

By Chris Caldwell

To become a better feminist: Read. Talk to people. Take a class. Start a project or blog. Do an internship. Learn about other issues.

That’s what Erin McKelle Fischer ’14 suggests on her blog. And it’s what she practices in her life.

Erin McKelle

Erin McKelle

“I am always looking for ways to better my perspective on feminism, learn more, and practice the most inclusive feminism as possible. I think that we should all work on improving our identities and roles as feminists—no matter how much or little we know,” she says.

Fischer knew what she wanted to study—Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, while leaving room for the future.

She took the majority of her general education courses at a community college so that she could focus on courses exciting and relevant to her interests when she arrived at Ohio University. “I thought about sociology, and then I got into feminism,” she says.

Erin describes herself as a fearless feminist, activist, writer, social media consultant, and speaker.

She recently was accepted as a speaker with the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network Speakers Bureau. She works at the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center. And she can attract a crowd on social media.

Putting Feminism into Practice

At the crisis center, “we would be trained in crisis and bystander intervention,” says Fischer. “It was because of these tools that I got excited about WGSS coursework.”

She already had a good handle on the introductory information. But she dug into building her capacity for theoretical deconstruction and analysis, intent on putting feminist theories into practice.

Through her studies with WGSS, Fischer has refined her understanding of crisis practice for those individuals who struggle daily with systems of patriarchy and abuse. In order to put the ideas of Butler, Cixous, Woolf, and others into practice, she has created her own women’s issues blog, and contributes to others. She tackles feminist topics such as social justice, sexism, and body image.

“I use the methods that I learn in class to deconstruct sexuality and gender in the broader world,” says Fischer. Her ultimate goal is to utilize the lessons that she learns from WGSS, as well as potentially graduate school, as a tool for activism.

Several of her articles and videos have gone viral. One post, 5 Things You Should Know About Interacting with Me, A Fat Girl Who Wears Revealing Clothes, saw more than 200,000 Facebook likes and 4,000 tweets.

“I would love to be a speaker and someone who is looked up to as a scholar, but not in a scholarly, degree-e, sort of way.”

Fischer would like to be able to continue to impact the lives of women in a positive way. Her capacity to plan for what she wants, execute her desires effectively, and continue making progress will undoubtedly assist her in her future goals.

“I hope to expand my work as a writer and an activist,” she says.

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