It’s kind of crazy that I’ve not written a whole lot about feminism on my blog, but then again I don’t feel the need to declare myself a feminist. It’s 2018 – by this point I think we’re all feminists in one way or another.
But what does it actually mean to be a feminist? There’s a lot of talk of marches, hashtags and boycotting, but what about actionable ways to bring feminism into your day-to-day?
1. Know that being a feminist is about unlearning what you’ve been programmed to think
All too often I hear women – and men – apologising for not being ‘politically correct’ or ‘unsure about feminism’. And I’ll always say that’s natural. You have to think of feminism as a journey, a process. There are times when you probably will catch yourself criticising a woman based on her appearance or realise that joke you laughed at was actually pretty sexist. But here’s the thing – anti feminist ways of thinking have been engrained into all of us, systematically from the time we’re born. The trick is to open your mind to identifying these thoughts and learning from your mistakes.
2. Know your HERstory
A big step to unlearning anti-feminist ways of thinking is to read read read. One of my favourite places to learn about feminism is Everyday Feminism. I’ve liked their Facebook page which means I get all their articles straight to my news feed. They’re well-written, easy to digest and break down a whole spectrum of feminist issues from transphobia to cultural appropriation.
3. Recognise your privilege
Feminism has almost become a fashion accessory; name dropped by clothing labels and celebrities alike. But all too often, this brand of feminism is not intersectional. Intersectional feminism is essentially feminism for all, regardless of race, class, religion or sexual orientation. If you don’t notice the absence of intersectional feminism, you need to check your privilege. We all carry privilege of varying sorts; and unpacking your own is a big step towards intersectional thinking. This Buzzfeed quiz is a good place to start (I scored 61)!
4. Support female-owned businesses & artists
You don’t have to be out at a march to be flying the flag for women. One of the most powerful decisions you can make is where you put your money and support. Swap your chain brand coffee for an independent, female run business. Listen to female artists. Watch films by female directors. Shout about them on social media. There’s power in these actions – use it wisely. I love this list of 22 witty and beautiful feminist gifts that actually benefit the women’s movement from Stylist magazine!
5. Consume feminist-focused media
I’ve already spoken about Everyday Feminism, but there’s a whole host of female-led, pro-feminist publications out there. I really like Affinity Magazine for social justice, politics and culture but through a teen lens. Don’t be fooled though – there’s nothing immature or inexperienced about its writing! I’m also a firm believer that reading and supporting bloggers is an act of feminism; a way of rejecting traditional, manufactured media and listening to the voice of women who wouldn’t normally have a platform from which to speak.
6. Taking selfies = taking up space
Hear me out on this one. In a world that constantly tells women they’re not skinny enough, white enough, pretty enough, taking selfies is like an act of defiance. It’s switching up the narrative. You won’t make space for women that look like me in your media? Well here I am, switching up the narrative and being the cover star of my own story. Owning your appearance is empowering, uplifting and the biggest middle finger to the patriarchy.
About the look
For a post about feminism, it seems apt to me that I’m clad in leather and red lipstick; the word ‘WOMAN’ emblazoned across my chest. I’ve always considered being female as synonymous with a sense of bad-assery. There’s power in my armour, and I like to think I’m channelling the women before me who have dared to rock the boat and question the status quo.
leather look trousers – River Island via charity shop
earrings – ebay
belt – vintage