Seething, Burning Fury: The One in Feminism
“Feminist: A person who believes in the social, economic and political equality of the sexes” When Beyoncé sampled the above words from a TED talk by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on her track ***Flawless in 2013, it was a feminist awakening for many young women, and men, across the world. For others it was an affirmation that even Queen B was on their side. My own exploration of feminism had begun many years earlier, starting with baby steps during my final years at school which turned into strides when I started university. By the time Beyoncé gave her iconic performance at the MTV VMAs in 2014, it felt like feminism had finally thrown off the backlash of the nineties and was cool again. Like many others, I was ready to get into those difficult discussions and debates with anyone willing to get into it with me.
It was inevitable, really. Although my mother once told me she was not a feminist, in reality that was not the way I had been raised. As a child it never even crossed my mind that I might not be able to achieve everything I wanted to, that certain career paths might not be open to me, or that other people would ever question my ability or intelligence because of my gender. My parents encouraged every interest and supported my ambitions unconditionally. The realisation that being born without a y chromosome could hinder me came as a teenager, by which point I was far too old and opinionated for it to do anything other than anger me.
That burning, seething fury has driven me ever since.
I have been accused of being ‘too feminist’, of refusing to ‘relax’, of ‘taking things too seriously’. Honestly, it doesn’t really bother me. I am allowed to be angry about everyday sexism, about misogynistic microaggression, about casual transphobia at the same time as fighting for the bigger problems in the world. I can be annoyed by catcalling and want to end the abominable practice of marrying children off to older men. I can rant about sexist dress codes in the same breath as arguing for the right of everyone with a uterus to choose to have an abortion. I am capable of complexity and of experiencing many emotions at the same time; I am able to fight on many fronts and care passionately about many things. We all are. It’s part of being human.
So what do I want this Window to be? I want it to be a space in which all aspects of feminism and women’s issues are discussed. In which different voices can be heard with equal respect, where we can debate and discuss matters of importance and consider the big questions from all angles. Where we should be open to being proved wrong, to being pointed towards more nuanced view, to recognise we might not have all the facts, and to admit that we may be approaching something from a position of privilege or cultural ignorance. A space in which we can all learn and grow together.
In short, I’d love it to be somewhere that I can one day point baby feminists towards with pride.
Please, join me in that endeavour.