By Maura Reilly on September 09, 2019
“I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat” -Rebecca West, author
My name is Maura Reilly, I graduated from the University of St. Andrews this past spring with an honors degree in Social Anthropology and a desire to differentiate myself from a doormat. During my time at St. Andrews, I studied the role gender plays in many facets of life, from the trend of female migration to fill the emotional care shortage in the U.S., to the paths of power for women in Hungary and Poland following the end of state sponsored socialism and its mandated programs for nominal gender equality and parity.
My passion for feminism and the importance of female leaders started at a young age with impromptu debates with grade-school classmates about the benefits of female leadership and demanding room for female voices. This tenacity of taking charge of the classroom conversation was further nurtured in my all-girls high school and came in handy in my college tutorials. I hope to use this passion in my research internship with RepresentWomen and the amazing work they do to call attention to the gender disparity in U.S. politics and the intriguing research they conduct on international trends in gender parity.
When I’m not seeking out unwitting acquaintances, friends, classmates and family members to debate feminism and reconvey the new facts I learn from my internships, I like to pass my time by cooking, re-watching Friends episodes, and being a puppy au pair for a goldendoodle named Penelope.