How To Keep A Tidy Home Without Breaking A Nail

My (well my mum’s, no 16 year old can actually afford a magazine subscription) monthly Red magazine arrived through the post this week*.
*That sounds like an awful metaphor a teacher would use for periods in a Year 6 sex-ed class.
One of the features was the ‘Red’s Women Of The Year’ awards and I literally fan-girled over it. It not only included middle-aged women I had never heard of, but also BBC Radio 1 presenters and even some fellow bloggers*.
*I say ‘fellow’, but I will never, ever be in the same league as these women.
Of course, being Red, and being just an all-round fab magazine, these awards weren’t for ‘The World’s Sexiest Woman’ or ‘Greatest Arse of 2014’ but instead were for innovators, leaders and world-changers. Each one inspired me in a different way, whether it was to speak more openly about the issues concerning FGM and abuse, to carry on this blog or to not be afraid of having power.
What I really came away with, however, was that feminism isn’t just about the women we see on our TVs and hear about, campaigning for equal rights, or the celebrities (like B-queen) making a stand at a huge, sold-out arena, but also how the little people, like me and you, live our lives.
This sounds really patronising but feminism is all about standing up for ourselves, and for women everywhere, whether it be to thousands of screaming fans or just to those few guys at school who haven’t hit puberty yet and are completely and utterly up themselves. This is especially tricky for me as I go to church. I’m not saying everyone there believes in a patriarchal society or that they hand us booklets titled ‘Cooking For Your Husband’ and ‘How To Keep A Tidy Home Without Breaking A Nail’, but if I can discuss feminism with a male youth leader I can pretty much discuss it with anyone. And so can you, gurl!*
*Or guy, whoever is reading this really.
I think the last give-away that I was feminist, to anyone who didn’t already know (I’m 98% sure they lived in caves), was my Facebook post:
“Because the odds of being attacked by a shark are 1 in 3,748,067, while a woman’s odds of being raped are 1 in 5….yet fear of sharks is seen as rational while being cautious of men is seen as misandry.”
The worst thing was, some guys in my year (the prepubescent ones) found it funny. I’m all for the occasional light-hearted joke about women in the kitchen (actually I’m not, but I’m trying to appear jovial) but the fact that they found rape statistics funny was appalling. The status got 97 ‘likes’ and ended up with 435 comments. This status, if nothing else, proved to me how many people do actually care about this stuff. Another surprising thing was not only the numberof people who commented on it, but the actual people who did the commenting. Of course, there were the typical ‘feminist-girls’ (me and a few others) but also a number of girls who, until now, had never spoken out about this topic or made it obvious to anyone how much they cared. I also got quite a few messages from girls too. Even if they weren’t brave enough to publicly comment, it had stirred something inside (probably anger and disgust) and that was what made me know all the notifications and hassle had been worth it.
Sorry for the rant, but I’m not quite finished. I’ve actually had to save half of my notes for this post for another day because sending you to sleep is not the aim. 
Or maybe it is. Mwa ha ha.
One of the quotes from the ‘Women Of The Year’ awards was from a blogger, Ella Woodward. It went a bit (exactly) like this, “You need to find one thing you care about. It doesn’t matter what that one thing is, because if it’s something that you have a passion for, other people will feel that and connect.”
Ella’s blog is btdubz.
As you can probably tell, I took that quote to heart when writing this post. I realized that the one thing I’m really passionate about is advocating equality, particularly centered round gender and social justice. I know I’m young, and that all sounds pretty pretentious but I’m fairly sure that’s what I want to do with my life.
Please don’t ask me what job I want to do, or where I see myself in 10 years because I don’t know. Remember I’m still the 15 year old (except a few months older) whose only current life ambition is to own an angel delight factory.
Another quote I loved was “Girls’ and women’s lives have been so confined. What an extraordinary world it would be if everyone’s potential could be realized.” from Jude Kelly, the artistic director at Southbank Centre. I’m well aware I haven’t experienced much in my life, and that so many women have had to suffer and fight through injustice that I couldn’t even begin to comprehend, but there’s still such a long way to go on the road to equality. I’m so hopeful that our generation will take a few steps along that road instead of just sitting there basking in mediocrity. But this will only happen if the people who keep quiet about these things say something and make a stand. Sorry for the clichés but that’s the truth. If we are relying on the amazing women who made history to somehow rise from the dead and do it again, it’s time to wake up.
So, in fewer words, that’s what a lot of my posts will be about from now on. There will obviously still be the ridiculously long ramblings and gushing over fake flowers and pink glittery things, but along with that will be some 21st century feminism.
I hope you guys can still relate to the things I talk about (plenty more embarrassing stories to come) and that you take something from my badly worded rants. I’m not optimistic enough to say you’ll be inspired but hopefully, as well as enjoying laughing at my mistakes, you’ll also be able to support me as I struggle through college as a 16 year old feminist with an unhealthy addiction to cheesy American TV programmes and the colour pink.
“I would love to see men and women be a lot less fearful of each other’s power and more trusting.” – Alice Feinstein (Editor of Woman’s Hour)

hey! i'm an 21 year old medical student (currently intercalating in anthropology) living it up in east london! i spend my spare time playing dixie chicks on guitar (badly), attempting to do yoga and turning it up at my church.

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