My 2018 Feminist Agenda
I’m a proud feminist. And a bad one too.
I struggle constantly. I don’t know if I’m helping or hurting the feminist agenda. I have not marched out with my sisters and oftentimes can have issues with some of the things they advocate. But nevertheless, I am still a feminist.
The events of the year have felt like a turning point in feminism - both across the world and personally.
It's been one year since the Women's March. And this weekend, once again, our social feeds and streets have been flooded with solidarity and empowerment as the marches returned – a poetic bookend to a year of brilliant activism and change.
From #MeToo to #TimesUp, we’ve seen change at a rate we have never seen before. Powerful discourses and moreover powerful people being held accountable for their actions have signalled seismic shifts in the institutions that had often discouraged or dismissed women to speak out.
Tales of harassment and coercion are opening up conversations that we had so often had privately, and now put them out on a global scale - and quite literally at the Golden Globes.
But that is not to say it has not been easy. It hasn’t been.
We welcome back the marches this year with a bittersweet feeling. While they can serve as a celebration for an amazing and inspiring year, still highlights that there is still plenty more to march about.
Though we’ve had an incredible year to shine light on these issues, they are still shining light on an innate darkness. A darkness that we hid in for so long for shame or embarrassment or loneliness.
The number of harassment stories that have plagued our news cycles is a reminder that #MeToo actually meant "me too." A reminder that almost all women around the world have had to deal with this in one way or another. In acknowledging that, it is easy to feel resigned to the realities of being a woman and helpless in the fight for change.
Read more about why it is still a bad time to be a woman.
But then again, maybe that is why this movement has been quite so successful and pertinent. This has been a movement predicated on inclusion and positivity. It has allowed everyone to speak out and has been focused on each one of us telling our story. And the sisterhood has never felt so strong.
On a personal note, I have had one of the best years as a feminist. I’ve never felt so more in tune with what this movement means to me and to this world. I have come to reconcile my differences from it and not shied away from it.
It’s also helped me to clarify how I fit into the wider feminist agenda. I used to be intimidated by the discourses of third wave feminism and other academic readings. The fact that merely telling our stories have been central to this new era of feminism has resonated with me beyond compare.
More on the power of storytelling.
My feminist agenda is about challenging the status quo - a status that has long been designed for the disempowerment of women.
It's about the more straightforward - calling out casual sexism and harassment.
It's about telling, and helping others to tell their individual stories that end up being our shared experience.
It's about shaking up the current structures and old ways of thinking that are still affected by the legacy of institutional sexism - by travelling, alone, as a woman; or being a digital nomad.
It's about supporting people and organisations doing amazing things for women.
My feminist agenda is to never settle because we are in a moment of change. This change will not be easy or straightforward. But we'll all be better for it in the end.