Valentines day encourages people to tell people they love, them and in the same way IWD will get people focusing on feminist issues and the power and beauty (inner and outer) of women. I know that the blogging world is going to be heaving with posts, and while this is no bad thing I hope we will try and thread this through our content throughout the rest of the year too. We don’t have to do posts about sisterhood, supporting other females, girl gangs and such to do this. By offering up opinion on issues that matter, by being accepting those of others and contributing intelligent debate, we are showing we have voices that should and deserve to be heard. If we continue to post articles that show that females can be vulnerable, but can also be strong, and if we continue to do good work within the industries we beaver away within, we have actions speaking loudly alongside our words.
Unfortunately some of us are made to feel like we need to prove ourselves, or that we need to fight to be considered equal…in a relationship, in a work place or in a community. I think how we live can be just as important as the things we say. Us ladies may exist in a world where we still need to be extremelyresilient, having to buck up, dust ourselves off, and persevere to a level that we shouldn’t have to, but my god am I going to continue to brush off those dusty needs and stand tall as many times as I need to. I know that my gender doesn’t harm my ability in the areas of work I have chosen to explore, so even if there are people telling me, or making me feel that I can't succeed, do as well, then I’m damn well going to make sure I do all I can to prove them wrong.
On another relevant issue…I have tired a bit of the angle that girls should support other girls, without exception. I understand our journeys are littered with issues connected to equality and sexism, and that we don’t need people of our own army going rogue and attacking us too. I of course agree that we should offer kindness, support, and encouragement when we can, but I don’t think the fuel should be the gender of the person. Realistically not all women are going to share the same values, the same opinions, the same level of understanding and kindness, or the same backstory that has had an inevitable impact on the aforementioned things.
I’ve noticed on social media that as soon as a female voices an opposing view, a difference of opinion, or merely challenges the words/actions of another female, many people love to conclude that they are jealous, ‘throwing shade’ or being un-feminist. We need to be careful here. I wouldn’t want anyone to think that as a woman I couldn’t take on board the opinions of others or another person’s (females) standpoint. I would feel weakened if I thought people didn’t believe I could take criticism and try and learn from the experience in some way. We will all find ourselves in a position where need to called out we aren’t infallible - we WILL make mistakes. I know I don’t agree with everything every blogger says for instance, but that doesn’t mean I don’t admire their work ethic, how well they’ve done, or dislike in any way. It just means I have a different opinion on that or many other matters they have chosen to talk about, and that's okay. Surely we should use our platforms to showcase our own personal and unique views and in turn encourage healthy and well thought out debate. Otherwise me might as well upload posts with links to other peoples blogs saying - READ THIS.
Now to this media storm that has happened in the last week or so, focusing on the actions and words of high profile celebrities like Brie Larson and Emma Watson. Shock horror Brie Laason wore revealing outfit on the One Show, and Emma Watson wore an outfit that was quite revealing in the boob area as part of a high fashion shoot. I'm sorry they have faced this mass wrath of judgement but at least it's got people talking, which I hope will lead to a deeper understanding of what being a Feminist really means.
The assumption that a naked body or the appearance/showing of a part of the body that we see less on a day to day basis is always a sexual thing, is so off I don’t really know where to start, but I’ll try. People seem to believe that a bare female body immediately means people will be titillated by it, that the person displaying their body is doing it to feel sexy, or to give off ‘sexy.’
It can be about so many other things, but so many people seem to respond in a way that targets the obvious and the easiest angle, perhaps due to the ‘values’ that have been ingrained as they grew up or perhaps due to how society has conditioned them to.
I wish people would consider these things before jumping to conclusion. when viewing an image with an element of nudity or flesh baring.
Perhaps that part of the body holds some significance for them. Perhaps there’s a link to something that has happened to them during their life, a visible or invisible scar that tells a story. Perhaps it’s a part of the body they hold dear because the struggle or torment it has delivered to their life, which has go on to teach them some valuable life lessons. Maybe to them, their body represents a vessel for new life and a source of love and nutrients for their offspring. Perhaps it represents the potential of new life. Maybe their willingness to appear without clothes signifies a shift in their self acceptance and a new level of confidence. Maybe they want to portray vulnerability. Maybe their creative eye gazes in awe over beautiful lines and curves. Maybe they want to stand strong as a message of hope for people doubting their own self worth or beauty. Consider whether they are doing it to rebel against conformity. Allow yourself to wonder whether they may see the naked form as a human in it’s purest form, stripped back and without prejudices and judgements caused by the addition of clothing, which tends to has the ability connote a level of wealth or status. Some may see their skin as a canvas, proud to show off the artwork they’ve collected on their body. Perhaps they find being naked liberating and the life that ‘free’ feeling it gives them. Perhaps they are doing it to draw attention to a cause. Perhaps their life hasn’t gone how they would. Perhaps it’s an artistic decision, perhaps every aspect of the shoot was artfully curated.
Maybe they put on this revealing and skin flashing outfit that made them feel fantastic. There’s a chance they felt powerful and strong. Ask yourself whether the sight of someone enjoying their sexuality or being comfortable in their skin, should always be considered something that cheapens, devalues their worth, or the perception of women as a whole.
I think I said what I wanted to say in a nutshell in this instagram.
Lastly. Build people up where possible. Have intelligent conversation. Promote equality.
I really hope you all have women in your life that bolster the fact that you can do anything and you have a voice that should be heard.
Just make sure you got those people that can say ‘You got this’. But if not please tell yourself.