Panel discusses the power of feminism

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City Council representative said wage inequality exists.

By Michael Smith


Dr. Marianne Bueno, history professor at this college, moderated a panel discussion on feminism March 6 in the auditorium of McAllister Fine Arts Center.

“The purpose of this event is to have stimulating discussion about feminism in this new millennium,” Bueno said. The event is part of this college’s observation of Women’s History Month with the theme “F Word,” referring to feminism.

The panelists were Dr. Sarah Erickson, professor in communications at Trinity University; Dr. Sobia Khan, dean of academic success at this college; Ana Sandoval, San Antonio District 7 councilwoman; and Sophia Sepulveda, health care organizer with Texas Organizing Project.

Erickson spoke on her relationship with feminism and how being a smart woman is deemed unattractive by some men.

“I have been told that I am too smart to date,” she said. “Cool, I guess I am going to be single forever.”

Erickson said research has shown some men are less attracted to women who are highly educated.

“It is absolutely ridiculous,” she said. “This is just another duality.”


“Being a feminist is derived by complex dualities,” she said. “My position in the world is somehow threatening to some people but also dismissible.”

Khan said there are several things that represents feminism, such as respect, love and the opinion of women.

“Feminism is giving women the same opportunity as men,” she said. “Feminism is understanding that she is the center of her universe, and no one else is.”

Sandoval described how an event that occurred during her father’s childhood caused her strong sense of feminism.

She said her dad had been left by his father, so he and his sisters were raised by their mother, she said.

Her father’s story influenced what she chose to focus on growing up.

“To this day I am not married,” she said. “I have always focused on my education and my career.”

Sandoval encouraged women to be involved in politics.

“There is a hunger in the voting electorate to have a women leader in San Antonio,” she said. “If any of you are considering to run for office, there is definitely a place for you.”

Sepulveda said even though women are progressing, there is still more work to do.

“We have the right to be angry,” she said. “Despite the amazing stuff that we have done regarding women, we still have a long way to go.”

Sepulveda said ensuring women have a say on issues that overlap is a sign of feminism.

“We do not just have one single issue,” she said. “There are things like health care, education and lower wages.”

Sepulveda spoke on the wage inequality between men and women.

“I can be working at a place where I make $8.50 an hour while my counterpart is making $10,” she said. “We have to fight for better for our women.”

Sepulveda said women need to look out for each other to ensure further progress.

“Feminist, it is not just fighting for equality, it is fighting to ensure that we have better access to things that we do not have access to right now,” she said.

For additional information, contact Dr. Suraya Khan, co- chair of the Women’s History Committee at 210-486-1709 or visit




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