What started as a small idea from athletes at Boston University has evolved into a national campaign to promote equality on college campuses.
In November, members of the Boston University women’s ultimate Frisbee team decided to write a simple sentence on a frisbee to bring people together. Each began, "I need feminism because..." and continued with their personal thoughts. Photos of the Frisbees were posted to the team's Facebook page.
The decision came after the presidential election, when, according to team member Apryl Hsu, many of her classmates expressed fear and uncertainty about the future. In response, she wanted to do something that would help ease worry and bring people together.
"There was just a really low morale," said Jacki Salustro, an athlete on the team.
"I said I need feminism because we have yet to have a woman president," Hsu explained.
The photos went viral.
"In the span of less than a day, we were already across the country," Salustro said.
The posts received thousands of shares and messages, prompting Frisbee teams at Duke University and Elon University to make their own. On campus, the support was similar, as members of the men’s Frisbee program were eager to join the effort.
"I said yes right away. Everyone was super passionate, super involved," said Jonah Rosner, a member of the men's team.
Andy Mark, another teammate, wrote, "I need feminism because it’s easy to ignore sexism when it works in your favor."
The response has been overwhelmingly, although not exclusively, positive.
While the attention was welcomed by Hsu and her friends, she said the real goal was to start a conversation on topics centered on gender equality.
"We're a catalyst of conversation," Hsu said, "We are not going to sit back and watch our world become something we don’t want."