International Women’s Day 2015

Today’s International Women’s Day. I’d like to say a few things that I hope any/all of you can take forward and think about every day.

Listen to women. When they’re speaking from their experiences, do not belittle them or second-guess them.

Don’t use gendered insults. This use of words like “bitchy” “girly” etc has a pejorative tone that automatically places women as lesser, and it also adds to the issue of toxic masculinity.

Feminism is not about hating men. It’s about bringing equality to genders and sexes, making sure nobody has to be lesser ever again. Feminism should always include trans women, women of colour, marginalized women. I believe that those struggling groups should be given the stage in talking about feminism and their experiences.

If you are in a male-dominated industry, make it a friendly space for women to take part. Don’t assume we need your help, just make space for us.

And don’t assume that if your industry or hobby is male-dominated that we don’t want to take part. We’re struggling against structures that are so ingrained that women are putting themselves in danger to try and change them.

Rape culture and gendered violence is real, and is not getting better. Don’t pretend that it isn’t, or try to explain it away. Try to make it so it’s not a thing ever again.

There are women all over the world who don’t have a choice for their reproductive rights, or to have safe working environments, or who are being held in detention centres with their children being treated like animals for seeking refuge. (I’m looking at you, Australia).

Women are diverse, and their struggles are real. International Women’s Day celebrates the diversity and the wonder of what women can be after having been downtrodden for centuries. Let’s try to lift all women up and listen to them, support them, bring equality to their situations lives.

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