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Where my feminism started – IWD19

I wanted to go big for International Women’s Day this year – feminism is something that’s really important to me but something i don’t tend to speak about a lot because i’m busy educating myself. I never want to say anything wrong, accidentally, so i like to make sure i’m fully informed before i tackle these topics.

I wrote a post last year about feminism in general and why we still need International Women’s Day, so this year i wanted to go one step further and do 5 posts on 5 different topics, relating to feminism.

I’m also going to be including a few different charities which will have something to do with the topics i’m gonna cover. I will be donating to a few of these charities this week, so please consider doing the same! A lot of the sites detail what you will be providing and who for, and even £10 makes a huge difference.

These posts also aren’t sponsored by any of the charities i mention. The idea for this weeks content came entirely from me – i want to raise awareness of the issues that are important to me and want to let people know what they can do to help!

So, without further ado, let’s dive in to the first of 5 posts – where it all started.

The first instance of feminism i remember learning about was the suffragettes. I was about 15, in my History class, and we got to learn about women for once. From what i remember, it was mainly all men who fought wars, men who were kings, a little bit of Mary Queen of Scots, more men men men men.

It was fascinating learning about it all, and i was obsessed with the suffragettes for the remainder of the time i studied History. I did a lot of extra research because i just needed to know more, i watched the film Suffragette and got a tension headache from frowning so much. Still didn’t get an A though.

A lot of my knowledge now comes from social media, which i think is the same for a lot of people. It’s probably quite bad, but i rarely read actual news articles and just rely on the internet for a lot of my info. I’m quite good at not forming strong opinions until i have done research though, so there’s that.

The #MeToo movement had a huge impact on my feminism and made me way more likely to speak out. The fact that every single woman has probably had an experience of sexual assault is disgusting and it’s good that we opened up this conversation because it needs to be spoken about. We can’t let them get away with it.

I’m very lucky to have grown up in age where information is so accessible. If i want to learn more about the history of feminism or about a particular activist, i can just google it. I’m very grateful for that because it prevents me from saying anything ignorant. I hope…

It is difficult because in today’s society, you feel like no matter what you say, someone will take offense to it. I’ve tried to take a lot of care when writing these posts; putting emphasis on women who are worse off than we are, but being careful not to dismiss the issues that we face in this country as well.

I try to always be aware of what i’m saying. But I try to always think of other people because feminism is about more than just me.

I’m very lucky in that i have never really needed feminism for myself. Not in the same way that other people do.

I’m a thin, privileged white woman and i don’t feel oppressed in my daily life as much as other women are. I don’t talk about body positivity because it’s not my movement – it’s for plus-sized women. I think it was also created for black women, by black women, but i’m not entirely sure so don’t quote me on that.

I think I definitely have equal opportunities against males in my area. I feel way less harassed since moving out of retail. I’m lucky, extremely lucky.

I recognize my privilege. There is, of course, the issue of sexual assault in daily life and not feeling safe when going anywhere alone, but i feel like i’m in a strong position to tell people to fuck off. I don’t need feminism for myself.

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It’s hard to get angry at the men in my office for leaving the toilet seat up all the fucking time when last month, a bill was blocked to prevent female genital mutilation.

Of course, i want to work towards a world where women aren’t afraid to go outside in the dark and aren’t murdered for saying no. But we have to remember our sisters out there who need help too – those forced to marry so young or still don’t have rights or access to education.

Feminism shouldn’t be selfish. It shouldn’t just be about “what do i need?”. It’s about women everywhere being equal, and some need a lot more help to get there.

The Fawcett Society

It seemed only fitting that the charity i donate to & focus on today is The Fawcett Society, in honour of Millicent Fawcett. Continuing on from her fight for women’s votes, The Fawcett Society are a leading charity campaigning for gender equality and women’s rights.

The list of what they do is endless, and is also listed on their website so i wont cover it all, but it includes campaigning to close the gender pay gap, challenging gender stereotypes and defending women’s rights post-Brexit, which is something i hadn’t ever thought of.

A lot of rights for women in the UK come from EU laws, and if we are no longer part of the EU, Parliament have the ability to abolish some of these laws, which includes fair employment for pregnant women and working parents. It’s quite a scary thought.

To support The Fawcett Society, you can volunteer your time at events, become a member and attend meetings/debates, or donate money, either through fundraising or out of your own pocket.

Where did your feminism originate?

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