“Bossy,” “gobby,” “too much,” “feisty,” “high maintenance,” “opinionated,” “arrogant,” “hard work,” “extra,” “childish,” “forceful,” “haughty,” “irrational,” “demanding.”
What is it about me that you are so afraid of?
I am every woman I have ever met and every woman I have yet to meet. I write this on the one year anniversary of the Women’s March; a global movement that galvanised those seeking to validate their humanity to those fighting to deny it. We have not yet won the war so why is it that I am eternally hopeful and my heart bursts with love for the young girls I see linking arms and forming bonds of sisterhood that are stronger than any man-made wall?
My own feminism has never been complicated- I was never smart enough for it to be- but it has been woven into the fibre of my being from a young age. From demanding the right to wear trousers from my school council representatives (I was told to stop being a troublemaker), stealing Ariel and The Colossus from the school library at 14, writing and publishing a fanzine which quoted Valerie Solanas at 15 to playing in a cacophonous pseudo riot grrrl band at 16. I am now a woman of 34; a white, cisgendered, heterosexual woman living in the UK and working in what has traditionally been considered a middle class profession: teaching. I am privileged. I do not try to speak for other women (mostly, because I don’t think anyone is actually listening most of the time but that doesn’t stop me) but I understand that it is my responsibility to pass the mic and pull a chair up to the table for my sisters.
I am starting this blog because I am, like many women all over the world, constantly grappling with the rollercoaster of emotions of being a woman in 2018. I can’t decide on most days whether I am seething with a blistering anger at the white supremacist patriarchy and ready to punch the next mouth-breathing, manspreader on the tube in the throat; whether I feel just so heartachingly helpless at the violence and poverty our young girls and women face all over the world and want to nap for ten years or do I feel so fucking exhilarated and empowered when I see young women and girls rising up, holding each other up and screaming for their voices to be heard and join them? Times are a-changing and so are my emotions every five minutes.
I have not had an outlet for my writing in 17 years since I wrote a fanzine and social media has never really motivated me to do anything more than the odd “opinionated” post and share pictures of my adorable rescue mutt. Funnily enough, the latter are far more popular than the former which seem to have lost me many Facebook friends over the years. Twitter has never really worked for me. I have always been a more than 140 characters girl and I am struck with sheer panic when tweeting as I know the few dozen strangers that follow me literally don’t give a shit about my opinions on the latest series of OITNB. If no one cares what I have to say, why am I writing a blog? Because I care and I feel like I am going to implode if I don’t tell someone soon just how angry and sad and excited and hopeful I am about all of you finding your voices in this world and getting your seat at the table.