Is it me or is The Woman on the rise? It seems that Feminism (with a capital F) has never been such an accessible – or even – downright cool topic. Today I popped in to my local Waterstones to spy my husband’s very first book (Eeep!!!). Insert proud wife emoji right here! We found it on the shelves, well stocked, but that wasn’t enough for us, so I added a slight tweak to their visual merchandising and might’ve relocated a stack of them to the main display at the entrance. In my defence it was a stand that the book should have been on: ‘Local interest & Nature’ – I mean, meant to be!
Anyways, I was also struck by this rather fantastic wall display of pink-hued, recognisably fantastic pro-woman ‘It’ books! Tres impressed I was, to find this in little ol’ Cheltenham; I suspect one discerning young part-time petal was behind it.
Now, I won’t lie to you: I used to think that Feminism was for other people. I thought it was just more ‘us verses them’ conditioning, and it might involve some very intense, slightly scary females. And armpit hair. Lots of armpit hair. I also got the impression that it was something that others were likely to openly scoff at and would roll their eyes disparagingly, were you to declare, “I’m a feminist!”, so caricature-like was it’s appearance to the mainstream by-stander.
Today, it’s in our city marches, it’s on our T-shirts and it’s on our high street bookshelves. Feminism seems to have a different face, voice and meaning today. Or perhaps instead, it’s that today more people have a better understanding of what being a feminist actually is. Today, joyfully, it’s not that unusual for a man to proclaim ‘I’m a feminist’ and attend a womens march.
Sophia Amoruso’s award-winning biography #Girlboss might seem like a tangent here, but when this hit the shelves I found this such an empowering tale; not only because she was a self-made, powerful, successful business woman, but because she also spoke of a fearless, no-fucks-to-give, pro-woman ambition. Her story shows that yes we can earn more than men, we can call ourselves a ‘girlboss’ no matter what our age, and even if our empire comes tumbling down (as Amoruso’s sadly has) we can still get up and try again. The #Girlboss message lives on!
Even if you still feel unaffected from sexism, out there in the big bad world – have you considered internal forces? For me, reading about feminism has been an awakening to the inadvertent sexist views that we might be unwittingly imposing upon ourselves. Believing that others can’t treat you as second best also requires you yourself believing that you are not second best. What the feminists who I encounter all have in common is a lively, confident sense of self belief and self-worth.
Why settle for that dull office job, when all you can think about is that dream position? Why accept that first, probably low, salary offer, when you know you’re worth so much more? Why not start a savings account and start all the adulating now, because you’re an independent woman, after all. Have you ever wondered why someone treated you so badly? Well, part of the answer to that is, inescapably, because you let them… Dare to dream, haggle and make it happen!
I just finished Little Black Book by Otegha Uwagba which is essential reading for all women with ambition, and now I’m devouring Girl Up by Laura Bates. This is the book that all 14 year olds should read – girls and boys. Reading this retrospectively as a thirty-something (I’ve never been so far away from an age bracket) who also didn’t have the best time at that age, has been really interesting. If you have any teens in your life, I suggest you go and buy them a copy today. Next on your reading list should be We should all be a feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie followed swiftly by Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur.
This Ted talk by the aforementioned Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
Here Chimamanda discusses her journey and the fascinating tale of how she came to write her book, and why no matter where you live in the world, equality is part of the wider conversation and we are all part of the issue. Also watch Carol. Just watch it.
Slogan Tshirts are having a moment and this has not escaped the feminist movement. Let your t-shirt do the talking, so you don’t have to. Plus they are darn cute (not that being cute in any way detracts from your personal strength and integrity, of course. Obvs).
Monki just dropped the first mainstream mooncup and you need to know about it: Monki x Lunette x TheCup
Mooncups have been around for yonks but only in the most hippy-dippy of circles and shops, oft sold beside the Nag Champa; hence why a huge brand such as Monki launching one is a big deal and something to cause excitement. ‘The Lunette menstrual cup is the future of period care. It’s your user-friendly, safe, reusable, and eco-logical alternative to pads and tampons. Plus, using Lunette menstrual cups helps you rack up good karma points by protecting the environment and your purse strings offering peace of mind and a stress-free cycle’ – Bravo Monki, I salute you.