Release to refresh
Hi everyone! I'm looking forward to our chat. If you've got questions — about feminism, activism, writing, television, online video, relationships, motivation, social media, behavioral science, politics, whatever — go for it! I'll try my best to answer.
This Q&A took place between 8/31/15 and 9/5/15. Unanswered questions have been hidden
10 questions
Researcher @ Harvard | Parlio community manager
Hi Liz -- thank you so much for taking our questions! As a feminist myself, I believe a feminist is someone who believes in and works towards achieving substantive and meaningful equality between men and women.

How would you define feminism?
That's a great question. Although it's important to remind people of the dictionary definition of feminism (equality of the sexes in terms of political, social and economic rights) it's also crucial to recognize that every person has their own understanding of the word. The point of feminism is to give women options and choices so if we were to label feminism or put it inside a box, it would be antithetical to the mission of the movement. We should remind people that feminism is after all about equality, but we should also encourage everyone to have conversations about the different way that they experience gender. It intersects with other identities such as race or class.

Despite it being a complicated label, it shouldn't be one people should feel scared to identify with. When I went to Time Square for the final episode of Season 1 of Flip The Script, I was shocked to see so many men identify with the principles of feminism refuse to identify themselves as feminists. If more people knew what feminism actually means, there would be less resistance to it.
It feels to me that a lot of important feminist discussions are isolated to the blogosphere and to liberal academics - not really the populations whose minds need to change. What do you feel is the best way for the feminist community to reach and influence the general public?
I love academia. When I worked for the LSE, I considered it as a long-term career path, but eventually realized that the change I could effect was much smaller scale.To your point Michael, it felt frustrating to have those conversations in silos. That's why I love taking what I learned during my masters and integrate it into my writing and my web series. I regularly incorporate feminist theory into my writing and see many other writers do it as well. I do think we make that knowledge more accessible when we stay away from jargon. I personally try to avoid in my pieces or define those words if I do. Most of the time, people are turned off from those conversations because they don't feel included, but by making the language more accessible, you make the content more accessible too. I also think news is generally more accessible thanks to social media. Young people especially are more informed than ever and we shouldn't underestimate their willingness and eagerness to learn.
Consulting Research Associate, Root Cause Institute
Hi Liz,
Thank you for taking our questions! You have an extremely interesting bio with a whole host of different experiences and approaches to tackling public interest issues. How did you land on media as your leverage point for inspiring change?
Hi Sarah, that's a great question. I actually ended up in media by accident. While I was living in London in 2011 doing my masters at the LSE, I started boxing. For the record, I was terrible at it! One day I was on Twitter and saw that the International Boxing Association was considering forcing female boxers to wear skirts at the 2012 Olympics. I was appalled. So I tweeted about it, naturally. Change.org saw it and reached out to me about starting a petition around the issue. They asked me to write a blog post about it and the Huffington Post decided to publish it. My campaign went viral and the decision was overturned. That's when I realized that I could effect the change I wanted to see in the world through media. I wrote about once a month for Huffpost on issues I cared about. Then I moved to New York and took a job as an intern for Mic. In two months, I brought one million users to the website and helped it grow into the company it is today. I couldn't be prouder of the work we have all accomplished together. I have also personally found my calling which feels great!
Jobs and workplace reporter at The Cincinnati Enquirer, J.D.
What distinguishes a good journalist from a great journalist?
Being rigorous about everything. In this day and age, it's easy to overlook details but those details really matter. A good journalist can find a story and write it up. A great journalist verifies sources and information.
In other words, a great journalist values accuracy over speed.

Also, if you think you're a great journalist, you probably aren't. Humility and a willingness to admit the things you don't know is also an important part of the job.
Product Leadership Business Partner at Intuit
What is the most important public issue our society needs to take on that it hasn't yet?
Institutional racism. We still think discrimination is individual and visible but often the most pernicious kind is woven into every fabric of society to the point where we don't even see it anymore. I would like to see us recognize and tackle this issue in my lifetime.
And a lot of people have. That's why the #BlackLivesMatter movement is perceived as being so contentious. People are scared of it because it may actually work.
Founder, 10 TRAITS Leadership Institute; UN Virtual Mentor
Hi Elizabeth: It's been said that "the fastest way to transform the world is to mobilize the women of the world." Would a campaign to set a QUOTA of at least 40% women in the boardroom and Congress help?
Women provide a huge benefit to the organizations and companies that they join. The idea that we would need to "force" people to hire and elect women bothers me because it makes it sound like we are doing women a favor. When more women are in power, the entire world benefits. I think we need to dismantle the forces that prevent women from accessing positions of power, and quotas aren't necessarily the right way to do it.
Should we expect the recent trend towards unionization of media workers to continue?
I believe so. There is still a huge gender gap in media and unionization is a good way to remedy that problem. It adds transparency and accountability for workers, something many journalists lack.
Audience Engagement Consultant, digital strategy specialist
What do you think of #freethenipple and the overarching conservatism towards female nudity on social platforms?
It's ridiculous. I investigated the issue in an episode of Flip The Script and I found the topic to be fascinating.
I'm upset at companies who censor women's bodies, but I also understand that this is a complicated issue.
Porn used to be the largest source of traffic on the internet, and now it's social media. That content has to go somewhere, so I get why companies need to make rules to ensure that they don't become hubs for erotica, but they also need to recognize when their rules are sexist. If people are so upset about nipples, why are women the only ones who are getting censored? Let's have a frank conversation about that.


youtube.com/watch?v=say51...RGgMFk
When you think about journalism in 10 years, what do you see? In our online ecosystem, how do you think the news media will change, and should or shouldn't change?
I have no idea and that's why it's so exciting to be in journalism right now! My job probably didn't even exist five years ago so who knows what other job that doesn't exist yet is out there waiting for me five or ten years from now.
Hello ma'am,

Do you believe that Mic will host more Q&As similar to the one with President Obama a few weeks ago?

Thank you!
I sure hope so! I'll be interviewing Wendy Davis on September 21st in our office at 6:30pm and you can expect more interviews with politicians especially as 2016 approaches. We're very excited about the year ahead!