13/08/2015

life as a feminist (with the zusterschap ladies)

feminism


It's no secret that feminism is having a moment. Which I think is great. In the media at the moment, there are so many celebrities preaching about equal rights for women, and I think that is so important for young girls and women in today's society. We grow up in a world where we are told that men are superior to women, where they get paid more, have more rights, and think that they can govern OUR rights. It's so so important that young girls realise that it shouldn't be this way. But the problem that comes with feminism is that it's often seen as a bad word. People associate feminism with man hating, matriarchal lesbians who never shave. And that's not what it is!! Feminism is all about allowing women to make choices that they want to without having to be judged for it. It's about equal rights for women and men all over the world. So if you're a lesbian, good for you! If you don't want to shave, so what? You do you. If you hate men... well, that's not entirely the point.




A lot of girls that I know don't want to say that they're a feminist. They're embarassed. But it's not embarassing. So many strong women in this world are feminists. Let's take the zusterschap ladies for example. They've founded a website where women can talk about the issues concerning themselves, and it's amazing. You can find content regarding periods, pubic hair, body image, mental health and LGBTQ issues. It's a wonderfully inspiring site that I think is one of those things that young girls need to see in this day and age. I don't think we should be afraid to talk about our sexuality, or other personal issues. Why can men? But anyway, the point is, these wonderful women are feminists, and incredibly inspiring ones at that. So I asked them a few questions about their feminism, now and growing up. Because, for those of you who are young, feminism is not a bad word. It's a great thing that's going to make a huge difference in the world some day soon. 




So, hello Tara and Katherine!


  • What was your "journey" into feminism like. How did you become so involved and how did it become such a big part of your lives?
Tara:  My journey into feminism is an odd one because it took me so long to actually identify as a feminist. Growing up, I was always angered by stereotypes and how I was expected to act. I hated the fact that promiscuous men were celebrated and women were shamed. I was disgusted by the way women were constantly pitted against one another and I always find myself questioning things. I always stood up for myself, even if I didn't realise it was against sexism. It wasn't until my late teens/early twenties that I became more interested in feminism. I've always been an outspoken individual so once I educated myself on feminist issues, I couldn't say quiet. I didn't really become involved in feminism until my photo went viral, I have since attended and spoken at a feminist event!


Katherine: I was introduced to it by some housemates in first year, and I kind of fell into it by chatting about it and then doing a feminist module in my second year at university. I would read around the subject and find myself volunteering to write feminist articles for publications I was working on. It became a theme in my writing, and I went from writing mainly on film to mainly on feminism. I became more and more confident in my beliefs and myself the more I got into it, and suddenly Zusterschap was born!


  • What would you say your life mantras are, what rules do you live by?
Tara: I think my number one mantra is probably something along the lines of "keep doing you". In the past, I've wasted so much time worrying about what others are doing or what they think of me. We're all on different paths and can't compare our first chapter to somebody's twentieth.


Katherine: "The first rule of fight club is, don't talk about fight club." I don't really have mantras, rather nagging thoughts in the back of my head that reoccur, such as "Hey girl, make sure you do this work on time or you'll fail and you know how upset you get when you fail at things..." I guess I think about consequences to get me motivated rather than having a particular driving force.


  • What would your advice be to all of the young girls out there, just discovering feminism?


Tara: My advice to young girls discovering feminism would be not to let the naysayers get you down. Don't take any notice of the ridiculous feminist stereotype, don't feel like you're taking things too seriously or being too extreme. Pick your arguments (you can't sway everyone) and always, always, make sure your feminism is intersectional. You may feel quite isolated but you will meet other feminists eventually - I did! If you're getting trolled, you're doing something right.


Katherine: Look it up, do some reading on the subject and stick with it. It will begin to make so much sense. There are some insanely good Instagram accounts that teach me things every day and even looking up #feminist hashtags can inspire and broaden my mind.


  • Is there anything you'd wish you'd known when you were younger about growing up a girl?
Tara: I wish I had known about feminism sooner!


Katherine: You will be happy one day and not because you finally "get thin". I used to make a wish at 11.11 every day (apparently that was magical or something) that "I wish I was skinny" because obviously that was synonymous with happiness. If only I knew what I knew now!


  • Who would you say your celebrity role model is, and why?
Tara: There are a ton of famous women who inspire me but the first three that spring to mind are Beyonce, Amy Poehler and Mindy Kaling; all three grind so hard, celebrate others and are super humble despite their enormous talent.


Katherine: I'm not really that into celebrity culture, but you can't go wrong with Mindy Kaling and Caitlin Moran. Both are intelligent, hilarious women with career goals similar to my own. My main jam is women can be funny and they prove that with everything they write and do.



I really love the message that these women put across, and I think the main thing that I want everyone reading this to take away is that you shouldn't be afraid to be a feminist. I hope you all feel inspired by this post, and by Tara and Katherine's words about their journey's into feminism and their lives as feminists.

What do you think? Would you consider yourself a feminist?



Eden xx

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