My Feminist 2017 Resolutions12:23
New year, new me, right? Wrong. I like the concept behind them - it’s nice to set goals and work towards something for yourself, but I don’t like the way there’s so much pressure on us to be better than the year before. It won’t be hard for 2017 to be better than 2016, but for the new year, there are a few things I want to aim to do.
1. Stop apologising for things that weren’t my fault
I think this is one that everyone needs to adopt for themselves, especially women. We’re constantly drilled into us that we should be small, polite... apologetic in everything we do. I am not standing for this any longer. I’m funny, I’m loud, I’m clever, and I will not apologise for it. It’s the way I was born - in men they’re admirable qualities, so I am going to make people admire me, as a woman, for them!
This is also a very personal one for me, too. My mental illnesses constantly tell me that everything bad in the world is my fault, and hence I should apologise for it so people will still like me. This logic is total bullshit! If I haven’t done anything wrong, I won’t say sorry for it. The negativity is just fuelling my low self-esteem, and it not healthy for me. I hope that in the new year I can unabashedly be myself, because that’s all I can be.
2. Start using my Moon Cup.
In late August, I won a Moon Cup (along with other feminist goodies!) from the amazing Tara at Cattitude & Co, but I’m still yet to use it. I’ve been meaning to for absolutely ages, but I just haven’t got round to it yet! Within the next few months, I am definitely going to use it, because it’s so much healthier for so many different reasons.
Without boring you to death with all the reasons why you should give reusable menstrual products a go (in a future blog post maybe?), I’ll just say how much better for your body they are, because there’s no chemicals at all being inserted up there. It makes perfect sense! It’s also completely hygienic (you boil them clean yourself), and there’s not all the waste of sanitary products, which isn’t good for the environment.
3. If something is sexist, don’t overlook it
I know I do this already, and do try my best, but recently, I’ve been noticing more and more just how problematic my favourite things are, and I want to do something about it. A few months ago I binged the first two seasons of ‘black-ish’, and it’s been celebrating for it’s realism about black lives in the USA at the moment. It taught me so much on these issues, as well as being really funny, and I loved all the characters... but it was absurdly sexist.
I'm not sure if it's still okay to enjoy and support something I know is problematic (black-ish is different because it's doing something good. I like to like that show). I want to be brave and call things like this out when I know I’m doing the right thing. It’s hard, and often we’re attacked for calling out sexism, but I want to put this aside me to do what’s right. It’s important, and if someone doesn’t start, then who will?!
4. Lift other women up instead of trying to find faults in their arguments
I think this is a really important one, and that everyone should try harder to do in 2017. We spend too long criticising other women for what they’ve said about feminism (eg Taylor Swift and Lena Dunham). Obviously, it’s super important to call out people when they’ve been exclusive, and White Feminism is never okay, but it’s not fair for us to criticise women more than we do men. Yes, these women have said things that are never okay, but we should also recognise the good things they’ve done. Taylor Swift has brought feminism into the public eye, and while her brand of feminism needs a lot of improvement, getting people interested in the movement is very important too.
I want to focus on celebrating other women in the new year. My fellow sisters are amazing, and we should rejoice that! Women fight such a tough battle everyday, so I don’t want to make it any harder by criticising them more than they deserve. We’re all human, and we all make mistakes. This doesn’t mean that we should ignore when they say something problematic, but we should teach them without attacking, and then lift them up when they do say something great.