I've been lacking in creative ideas recently, and honestly just struggling to work myself out. This is the first year in which I think I have truly struggled with my identity, and still am. I am viewing myself in different ways that I hadn't even considered before. I think we are all continuously on a journey of self discovery that doesn't necessarily have to have an end. We can be fluid, dynamic and forever changing. Although we are always aiming to better ourselves, we should also accept who we are intrinsically, and with that understand our identity and history. I know that my view of myself has changed dramatically over the last few months. I have always heavily acknowledged my gender and to some extent built myself upon it. I am very proud to be a women. I am proud of both my body and my mind, because I am women. It is something I treasure and thrive upon. I now find myself resonating with different parts of my identity that I previously hadn't even considered, like my family heritage and history.
I live in a society in which I have the privilege of being able to speak up and be heard. I think we are still somewhat scared to use the word 'feminism'. I know I have been before. It's a thrown around term that doesn't carry a concrete understanding. Our society, and our world, is progressive in the sense that it is always changing. We don't like using terms that we feel hold us back. We don't like looking at the negative parts of history because we think they are done. Feminism is tied into that, because feminism is, and should never be, what it was when it started. Feminism in the UK is no longer fighting for the right to vote, drive, work or get an education. It doesn't need to be, but that fight is still very current elsewhere in the world.
The future of feminism, and quite honestly society as a whole movement, comes from looking back. We cannot see where we are meant to go if we do not know where we have come from. Intergenerational feminism is the way forward. We need to stop ignoring the past, and thinking that we have progressed since then. Instead we need to work with the past, and with our older generations. Stop convincing yourself that everything is okay just because they had it worse. Yes they did, but they have paved the way for our future success. Just because things are better does not mean they are equal.
I recently watched a panel discussion from Aretha Brown, a Indigenous artist and activist, who perfectly reiterates that we are hiding from our own history. In her case, she found that she wasn't even in history. Her story and her heritage are not represented. So how is she meant to know who she is? How is she meant to move forward and be better than those before her? How am I meant to understand myself and improve the world we live in if I do not know my history.
As people of the 21st century we have the huge advantage of the internet and social media. We have an unlimited amount of platforms in which we can spread positive ideology. We can connect with hundreds of individuals globally everyday. We have the opportunity to be heard. So we should use it, to solve issues that are present right now. America and Russia, the two most powerful and most dangerous nations in the world have never had a female head of state. The gender divide within politics is hugely prevalent.
If a group of people are underrepresented within politics then how do we know what they need? How do we, as leaders, know how to make their lives better and help them?
The future of feminism is inclusive and diverse. Equal rights for others does not mean less rights for you. Feminists don't hate men, feminists hate being bound by structures that deny us rights, most of which are built by men. Equality isn't limited. It doesn't come in a bottle that can run out. Equality is just door a that needs to be unlocked. It is just unfortunate that the keys to these doors are given to individuals of power, not to individuals who support, understanding and acknowledge these minorities.
What is truly scary in all of this, is not this radical idea that women hate men. Whats truly radical is that we live in a world in which men feel threatened by the idea of women being equal. Men feel attacked by the idea that women deserve power too. Masculinity is vulnerable, and thats okay. We need to reinvent or completely destroy gender.
Our greatest asset as humans will always be our mind and our ability to voice what we think. For me, my goal is always to bring light to voices that cannot be heard, to minorities. Women are not a minority. We are not a small group, yet our voice is still not being heard. We, our history, has constructed these ideas that surround women. We need to look at how things were to know that we never want to be there again. We are, as women and feminists, causing change. We are better than we were but this fight is not over.
Luvvie Ajayi, writer and professional troublemaker, inspires me to be a domino. I want to leave the world better than I found it. I want to say what everyone is afraid to, if it is right. Being quiet, is being comfortable but telling the truth should not be revolutionary. I hope, and aim, that when I do speak up someone else will follow.