Liz Plank is a woman after my own heart with her ambitious motives to drive the narrative for young millennials seeking progress in women’s equality, the wage-gap, and reproductive rights. She is an award-winning journalist with a passion for politics and feminism. March 9 I had the honor and privilege of sitting down for a quick chat with Miss Plank just moments before her appearance as the keynote speaker at The International Women’s Gala held in the Student Union Ballroom.
Plank revealed that her talk would include the controversial topic of… men. “Boo. Controversial on International Women’s Day”, she jokes. Explaining how fed up she’s grown with only discussing gender inequality amongst other women. She affirms her eagerness to push through the barriers in reaching more audiences, including men. “I hope that men become not just allies but active warriors in creating a more just and equal society,” she says.
Plank is currently the senior producer and correspondent at Vox.com. She is the host of a show called, “2016ish” which has landed her a prominent role in the female media forefront. Plank has developed her own unique approach in demonstrating the importance of female political figures. She uses a bold and forthright style in reporting while addressing touchier subjects. “This is definitely not a time history books of the future will skip over,” Plank said. Originally hailing from Canada, she reveals a more progressive platform that exists in her home country. During an interview from Vox.com with Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, Plank discusses the way we regard women in powerful roles as shocking or radical.
Mrs. Plank went to school for women’s studies and international development and received a masters in gender and social policy. Though it was not her intended career, Plank unexpectedly found herself in the media field. “I knew I was in journalism when people started calling me a journalist.” She revealed her original intention of moving to New York from Canada was for a relationship. When she got here, she envisioned herself bartending to make ends meet until venturing back to Canada. After she was hired for an internship at a media company called, Policy Mic, (now Mic), she was able to flourish and was quickly hired on as an editor.
“I knew that [women’s rights] was the mission of my life,” Plank said. “To understand and get rid of inequality between men and women.” With a strong focus on women, Plank says how this might affect the way certain people receive her stories. “I wouldn’t be writing about the things I write about if I wasn’t making you feel uncomfortable,” she says. While also reminding us that, “Wage-gap is math, not an opinion.” “I’m not partisan, I care about issues.”
In honor of International Women’s Day, I asked Miss Plank who her biggest inspiration has been during her journey as a political feminist and journalist. She said that her hero was her mother. Referring to her as the strong figure in her life through the trauma of her own family. “Often people who are the most vulnerable are the ones to be leading change in our society,” Plank says.
She makes a powerful point in saying, “Gender inequality is one of the most baffling realities of our time. The fact that women are the majority of our population but treated as a minority…” She concluded in saying, “I just want people to make history books, your generation was born into this and you are the one that will get us out of this. I feel honored to speak to you because I am truly excited about what you guys are going to do.”
Liz Plank reminds us that feminism is an intersectional movement and to evoke change, we cannot let anyone- women included- underestimate how much their perspective can impact that change. And as more women become involved in politics and media, we are more capable of harnessing this power wholeheartedly.