Maureen Shaw

Maureen recently completed her Master’s degree in Human Rights at Columbia University with a focus on Women’s and Gender Rights, and is the founder of When she’s not busy blogging about women’s issues, she is advocating for the women and girls of New York City in her role as Director of Volunteers for the National Organization for Women’s NYC Chapter. Maureen is also a huge fan of snark, all things chocolate, and traveling. Follow her on Twitter @MaureenShaw for snippets of awesomeness.

What is feminism?
To me, feminism is synonymous with self-determination. Feminism means the right to choose one’s path without needing to conform to societal, gendered norms and to achieve self-defined — not pre-determined — goals. It also means equality; equal access to opportunities, equal recognition and remuneration for our work, and equality in the power structures that define our personal and professional relationships.

What is choice?
Choice is, at its most basic level, a matter of human dignity and respect. Every person, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation, has the right to choose his/her life’s path. I firmly believe this can not happen without bodily autonomy, which itself encompasses myriad choices: if and when to have sex, with whom you have sex, if and when to become a parent, the right to say no, the right to say yes — and enjoy it!, and the independence to execute your choices.