I Am A Woman – International Women’s Day Poem 2017

I am a Woman,

It’s something I’ve grown into, although I didn’t have a choice.

although I didn’t have a choice.

Sometimes I look at the world, through youthful eyes

and they burn in anger.

I look at my sisters around the world and they suffer,

damn it they suffer, for the simplest things.

And all because they have a vagina.

Yes I said the word! The one that makes some flinch

VAGINA! VAGINA! VAGINA!

A part of the body that equals discrimination and a lack of equality.

There’s pressure all around,

to look a certain way.

Although that’s not entirely on the men, we have a part to play.

Why waste our time with waistlines and cellulite,

when our sisters can’t even go to school?

But that won’t get printed in a glossy, on reality TV.

Hell, we rarely talk about inequality!

About mother’s rights and the pay gap.

About sexism all around us, violence and threats.

We can’t rely on leaders, have you seen who’s been voted in?

And so we’ll march, for those who can’t, for ourselves.

We’ll be told to ‘calm down’, that we’re winning the game

but while you control our bodies I don’t think that’s the same.

Say what you want, about my voice so loud.

You cannot keep us quiet, lock us all up.

We’ll carry on resisting, just you wait and see.

We don’t want to control you, just equality.

I am a woman, and I will fight.

I am a woman, and I am strong.

I am a woman, hear me and my sisters roar.

Sunday Seven: Reasons We Needed The London Women’s March

womens-march-2004278_1280

Today saw women of the UK marching in London ahead of International Women’s Day on Wednesday. When I was younger I wrongly believed the rhetoric that women had it better, what was the fuss about today, on the other hand, I’ve been I’ve been wearing a jumper that proudly proclaims I’m a feminist ‘Feminism – The Radical Notion That Women Are People. So why did women need and want to march? Here’s just 7 reasons.

Because women are not equally represented in parliment.

Because around the world women still don’t have access to reproductive healthcare.

Because women are taught that we should be trying to prevent sexual assault, rather than talking about the real problem, and it’s not the length of our skirts.

Because gender expectation and stereotypes hurt both women and men. I 100% believe that the high rates of men’s suicide are down to outdated gender stereotypes.

Because women are taxed for Towels and Tampons, but if we didn’t wear them we’d be judged and ridiculed.

Because women face judgement whether they become mothers or not about their choices.

Because we deserve to be heard.

Feminist Friday: 10 Fab Feminist Quotes

“Why do people say “grow some balls”? Balls are weak and sensitive. If you wanna be tough, grow a vagina. Those things can take a pounding.”
― Sheng Wang 

“We need to reclaim the word ‘feminism’. We need the word ‘feminism’ back real bad. When statistics come in saying that only 29% of American women would describe themselves as feminist – and only 42% of British women – I used to think, What do you think feminism IS, ladies? What part of ‘liberation for women’ is not for you? Is it freedom to vote? The right not to be owned by the man you marry? The campaign for equal pay? ‘Vogue’ by Madonna? Jeans? Did all that good shit GET ON YOUR NERVES? Or were you just DRUNK AT THE TIME OF THE SURVEY?” 

― Caitlin Moran, How to Be a Womanpexels-photo-1

“We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls, you can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful. Otherwise, you would threaten the man. Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage. I am expected to make my life choices always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important. Now marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support but why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same? We raise girls to see each other as competitors not for jobs or accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing, but for the attention of men. We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists

“Responsibility to yourself means refusing to let others do your thinking, talking, and naming for you; it means learning to respect and use your own brains and instincts; hence, grappling with hard work.”
― Adrienne Rich

IMG_8421

“Feminism is not a dirty word. It does not mean you hate men, it does not mean you hate girls that have nice legs and a tan, and it does not mean you are a ‘bitch’ or ‘dyke’; it means you believe in equality.” – Kate Nash 

“Women are leaders everywhere you look — from the CEO who runs a Fortune 500 company to the housewife who raises her children and heads her household. Our country was built by strong women, and we will continue to break down walls and defy stereotypes.” – Nancy Pelosi 

pexels-photo-110470

“For I conclude that the enemy is not lipstick, but guilt itself; we deserve lipstick, if we want it, AND free speech; we deserve to be sexual AND serious – or whatever we please. We are entitled to wear cowboy boots to our own revolution.” – Naomi Wolf 

“Value yourself for what the media doesn’t – your intelligence, your street smarts, your ability to play a kick-ass game of pool, whatever. So long as it’s not just valuing yourself for your ability to look hot in a bikini and be available to men, it’s an improvement.” – Jessica Valenti 

relay-race-competition-stadium-sport

There’s just as many different kinds of feminism as there are women in the world. -Kathleen Hanna

Feminism is dated? Yes, for privileged women like my daughter and all of us here today, but not for most of our sisters in the rest of the world who are still forced into premature marriage, prostitution, forced labor – they have children that they don’t want or they cannot feed. – Isabel Allende

pexels-photo-233954

 

Feminist Fridays: Back to the Archives My First Public Feminism Post

For this weeks Feminist Friday, I wanted to take you back to the first post where I unapologetically called myself a feminist. I’d had some years that I’m not proud of where I both feared and loathed the label, I wanted equality, why did I need to be called a feminist? Weren’t most of them all angry and man hating (a common misconception). I’m not the first young woman to have felt that feminism wasn’t for them, and I wouldn’t have been the last BUT in the summer before my final year I read a lot (what else is new) and I found what I’d been looking for. I found other women who initially thought the label was too much but then realised there was so much BS in the world if you’re a female. So I wrote this blog and I hope that I’ll show that feminism and feminists aren’t as scary as people make them out to be. We just want equality and we don’t hate men (well no true feminist does).  Enjoy my archive post titled ‘I am a Feminist’, because now I’m so damn proud of that label. 

A lot of people may see the title of this post and think, so what? I’ve thought about writing this for a while and put it off for no reason other than I didn’t want to get this wrong. I am publicly declaring I am a feminist and anything I thought or wrote before is now over written. I’ve always been a feminist but I hadn’t always liked or used the word. I’ve been a feminist since I was a little girl where I’d shout GIRL POWER at everyone while wearing girl power temporary tattoos and would play armies at school and take charge. I’ve been a feminist since I got bored of barbie and used to sketch out my own dolls who could do anything and be anything. I’ve been a feminist since I was a passionate and angry teenager  determined that women could be and do anything and later as an excited 17 year old who saw a poster for the feminist society at university. Then something changed. I came to uni and got in an argument with a male feminist about how oppressed and angry I should feel. As a rule I hate being told what I should and shouldn’t do or feel, more people tried to fit me into a mold so I decided I didn’t want to be a feminist if that’s what people expected of me.

For a long time I, like a lot of young women, refused to call myself a feminist. I didn’t like the way the word had ugly connotations of man hating, being angry and not wanting to shave or wear a bra. I hate body hair on any human and I love a good bra (let’s face it, exercising without one is just damn painful). I’d say I was a humanist and other things like that, I got in arguments at uni and a lot of ‘feminists’ made me feel like I had to conform to their way of living and thinking. Fast forward to when I broke my spine and had a lot of spare time on my hands and something changed. I picked up a copy of How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran for my Writing Women class and it spoke to me. I suddenly felt like I belonged and I could be a feminist and still be myself.

I read and continue to read every book on feminism and strong women that I could get my hands on. I got more interested in politics and women in an international context. I was happy talking about feminism and debating with others. I wanted to be part of a great group of men and women who wanted positivity and empowerment. I’ve said too many that I feel feminism is something you need to discover for yourself and not just tell people WELL YOU ARE, that just pisses people off. I found, fell in love and embraced feminism. I love women like Roxanne Gay too who question what it means to be a feminist in her book ‘Bad Feminist’, because I don’t think there is one true way of being a feminist.

I’m all for women going out and getting a career but I’m also totally supportive of stay at home Mums. My first female role models who I spent time looking up to were my Mum, my Aunt and my Nanna all three are incredible, powerful, kick ass women and all three were stay at home Mums. I also admire working women too, I’ve learnt a lot from my boyfriend’s Mum, who’s always worked. They’re all different and all deserve to be respected for different things.

I also feel that a woman can do what they like with their bodies. I’m not against glamour modelling or the porn industry. Don’t get me wrong there are issues and that’s a whole blog post right there, but if women WANT to do that to their bodies then who is anyone else to dictate to them? Because to me feminism is all about having a choice.

baba3e11a456141db4a589c250b0277a

image from Pinterest via Popsugar

 

I could go on and say all the things we need to fight and put right in the world gender stereotypes, rape, female education around the world, the children debate, etc. I could write about all the men on Twitter, when I posted about equality, who told me I was wrong that the pay gap was a myth and feminism wasn’t needed anymore. I could apologise for being young and naive when I said I wasn’t a feminist. Really though, I just want to say that I’m a big fan of feminism and other women. I don’t want to get angry and compete with them or knock them for every little thing. I certainly don’t want to stand up and go well women are better and men suck, I love men!

I’m writing this because I felt like it was the right time for me to say. I’ve been thinking about feminism instead of sleeping and looking up more books to add to my collection. I know there are some fantastic women out there who I’ve yet to meet and I also know there are people who will judge me first on being a woman before anything else, but you know what I’m excited. I’m excited that I’m a part of this community and that we live in a time where there are so many people working for equality and hopefully less hatred.

So there you go, I’m a feminist, how about you?

My Big Mouth: Ireland changes the world, Take Note USA

5881eba7fa9563c6e5ee32c79c3df4f2

Today history was made in Ireland, the good people of that beautiful country voted YES to everyone being able to marry! While I was unhappy that it had come down to a vote (I mean come on no one had to vote on straight people being able to get married) the result is incredible.

I’ve been watching the news for the past two days, hoping and keeping everything crossed. People travelled home to cast this vote, because they are decent people, who believe in freedom and equality. Someone asked me ‘Why are you so excited?, It’s great but you don’t live in Ireland and you’re not gay?’. Correct, I neither live in Ireland, nor am I gay but I have a really close friend who is. I wrote a letter to them last year for National Coming Out Day (read it here), it makes me sick that if they lived in another country they might not be able to marry someone they love because of someone else’s bull**** opinions. I don’t care what religion you’re a part of, you can’t take away someone else’s happiness.

I’m bursting with happiness for Ireland but there is so much that we need to do! Listen up America, it’s your turn! America is getting a lot better with legalising gay marriage (pft legalising it, I hate writing that). That said, some people still think if they shout loud enough they and stop whatever they want, especially if they back themselves up with some religious book.People deserve the right to get married no matter what their sexual preference is. They are in love, they want to be committed to each other and it’s not going to impact anyone else’s life other than theirs.

I realise this has gotten slightly ranty and I apologise. I just feel so passionate that countries such as the UK and USA are leading countries so we should set an example and show love and compassion. I’ve hung out with a lot of LGBTQ people and guess what? They’re good, normal, honest people! So what if a girl likes another girl, a boy likes another boy or someone decides they like the best of both or uncomfortable in their own skin.

Change the world, spread some love and fight for equality! Congratulations Ireland!

Image from Pinterest