I’m back after a glorious getaway snowboarding in France. My week in the mountains wasn’t exactly restful, sharing a chalet with 37 of my amazing friends, unlimited wine, and throwing myself down a mountain in -18 degree weather – but time away from London and my online life was just what I needed to feel motivated again.
There are two big events coming up this week: International Women’s Day and Mother’s Day, both which offer a great opportunity to celebrate amazing women!
This double whammy of women centric events got me thinking about my own relationship with womanhood.
I was born genetically a girl, yet I feel like I only truly began to understand the power of being a women since moving to London. Before this point I had been living in a bubble where things were just the way they were, and that was fine, because you know boys will be boys and things could be worse and all those other common phrases we use to justify the way we live.
There was a niggling feeling that things weren’t right but the world seemed so big and I felt so small that I didn’t know what to do. This underlying desire for change is one of the reasons I studied politics, I wanted to learn and be part of a conversation. This didn’t exactly pan out the way that I hoped, but somehow between drowning in recommended texts by dead white men, I found my passion for human rights.
Internally my mind was expanding beyond my own little privalledged world, yet I has still not found my voice. There were many times when I tried to raise a point about women, race, or sexuality but was often shut down with a joke or made to feel problematic. So, like the good little girl us women are raised to be I let things go, afraid of embarrassment or coming across as over emotional.
Once I began settling into London I met people from all over the world with different viewpoints and though I still could not find the courage to raise my voice, I learned to listen. The conversations I was finding myself in (though not always a something I completely agreed with) were enlightening and made me start to question many aspects of my own life.
From this period of listening I learned a lot, and instead of accepting the way things were I began to ask “why?” Once I started asking I didn’t like many of the answers and knew it was time for change and to not only find my voice but to use it, too.
My blog is my voice online and though I loosely cover topics such as feminism, gender, gay rights, race, and privilege I still don’t feel confident enough in my own knowledge to put together the type of content I would like. So I want to use this International Women’s Day as a catalyst to start a conversation. I’m not hugely academic, and an open dialogue is the way that I learn best, so I would love to start sharing more experiences of womanhood and hopefully get you guys involved too.
This year’s International Women’s Day campaign theme is #PressforProgress a collaborative effort of actions for gender parity. These actions include: maintaining a gender parity mindset, challenging stereotypes and bias, forging positive visibility of women, influencing others’ actions, and celebrating women’s achievements. These are big areas but ones I am going to actively be trying to take action on and cover on here as well as in real life and social media.
This is a learning process for me but some of my initial ideas for using my blog to celebrate women include;
I want to continue to educate myself in women’s rights, inspirational women, women’s struggles, and intersectional feminism. I will of course do my own research but if you have any great reads, films, or podcasts that you could recommend that would be very much appreciated.
I am hugely privileged that I have been able to reach the level of education I have and also have the accessibility to be able to continue to learn. This is not the case for many.
“Girls are more likely than boys never to set foot in a classroom, despite all the efforts and progress made over the past two decades. According to UIS data, 15 million girls of primary-school age will never get the chance to learn to read or write in primary school compared to about 10 million boys”
Charities like Wonder Foundation are working to change these statistics by providing both women and girls in vulnerable communities education that is relevant and aims to assist women in gaining employment and helping them out of poverty. This International Women’s Day Boohoo have partnered with this great charity and for every one of their Women t-shirts sold £5 will go directly to Wonder Foundation. You can purchase the one I am wearing*, as well as hoodies and sweatshirts from here.
Share Women Who Inspire Me
I already share bloggers who inspire me, however I want to expand my knowledge and look further afield for women who are inspirational.
I was brought up by a single mother and come from a clan of strong women, but outside of my family female relationship have been more turbulent. I want to celebrate the women in my life as well as explore the complexities of female relationships.
Women in Art
There are so many incredible women out their killing it, but are overlooked simple because of their gender. This is an issue across all industries but I will be mainly focusing on creatives as this is my sector. This week I’m starting out with Zabou, a French street artist based in London who through her work spreads the message of love, fun and rebellion. She has 144 murals under her belt but this Frida Kahlo piece just off Broadway Market is one of my personal favourites.
Female Role Models
From family to film, female role models are something I think are hugely important in personal development. I have loads of female role models that I can’t wait to share with you guys but I would also love to know yours and if you opinion on these role models has changed as you’ve grown.
Still somewhat of a scary word in some circles and a movement I want to discuss more.
As the world finally seems to be waking up to the idea that gender is not based on X and Y chromosomes, I want to explore what gender means.
Are you guys doing anything to celebrate International Women’s Day? I’m keeping it low key this year by popping along to the Like a Woman Book store, a pop up that’s only stocking titles written by female authors.
* This t-shirt was gifted to me by Boohoo but as always all words and opinions are my own.