Suffragette Chronicals

Historical Suffragettes: Maya Angelou

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I am SO excited to be writing about this extraordinarily colourful and intensely genuine woman. Most recognisable as the poet of ‘Still I Rise’ (often quoted out of context on hipster and faux-feminist instagram posts), Maya Angelou (1928-2014) was an acclaimed performer and writer of many forms, and a social activist with a powerful voice. The more I read her work, the more I love her.

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

I’ve only just come across her seven autobiographies, and my god, I am obsessed! It isn’t her tragic childhood in southern segregated America that inspired me, nor is it her triumph as an adult making her mark on the world (although it goes without saying that both aspects touched my heart). It is her character that really strikes me – despite her flaws, she’s so contagious, so absorbing a story-teller, someone who is able to capture the best in others, and someone who really demonstrates how perspective and reflection can really change the way our lives fold out.

I am not religious anymore, but I genuinely believe that it’s a massive historical blaspheme that God has been represented as an old white man rather than a black woman. I don’t mean this patronizingly at all, but the women Maya talks about in her story have such soul, such character, such integrity and kindness under the insult of racial bigotry, I believe that is the real image of what God looks like. Oh gosh, I could gush even more, and should probably stop before I offend someone, but seriously, Maya is a supremely unique and incredible woman. It is a special thing when you come across someone who lights a fire in you that cannot be put out. Even better when it’s a person you know personally (and I know a few!).

I first read her final book “Me & Mom & Me“, as an Our Shared Shelf monthly feminist book discussion. I was first intrigued by her ability to remember details and feelings so acutely that they didn’t seem made-up or exaggerated for the sake of filling up a page. Her ability to give and receive love and capture the integrity of the people in her life – no matter how minor a character.

Don’t get me wrong. Maya Angelou wasn’t perfect. She is, unfortunately, painted as such by many people who don’t know her, but to say she is so would dismiss everything she stood for. Having just written about perfection in my last post, I really wonder whether saying this of Emma Watson could be construed the same way. But Watson and Angelou came from vary different backgrounds and circumstances – despite their shared vision and inspirational lives.

I recently finished Angelou’s first autobiography, “I know why the Caged Bird Sings“, which is undoubtedly her most famous, if not her most painful and moving memoir. Her interpretation of segregation in the south isn’t a new concept (although it probably was when it was first published in 1969), but WOW the resilience of her people, and her spirit! I wonder if people like myself with the luxuries and privilege of being white and middle class could ever cope with that sort of mistreatment.

Gushing aside, what makes Maya who she is? What can we feminists learn from her? I think in particular, it’s the power of voice, and the power of forgiveness. As a black woman, her story in particular highlights the importance of remembering the struggle but forgiving those who put you through it.

Throughout her illustrious career in letters, Maya Angelo gifted, healed, and inspired the world with her words. The beauty and spirit of those words live on in this new and complete collection of poetry that reflects and honors the writer’s remarkable life.

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.

Continue reading

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Reflection

On Perfection.

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I sometimes think we’re sorted too soon,” – A.P.W.B.D

 

A Harry Potter fan would understand the context of this statement and who said it, and perhaps only a Harry Potter fan will understand what I write today. At eleven, do we really know who we truly are? Can we even be defined by our youthful thoughts, fears, and beliefs? Even at twenty-one – when I was sorted into Slytherin on Pottermore – it feels too young. Being sorted into the ‘bad’ house was extremely devastating for my self-image: I actually believed myself (for many subsequent years) to be cruel and more manipulative than I actually was.

There is evidence suggesting that our brains don’t fully develop until we’re in our mid-twenties. Retaking the test now (multiple times), I can assure you that I am a true creative, curious and communicative Ravenclaw (and I would call an emotionally-courageous Gryffindor secondly). To back this up, Time Magazine’s sorting (with evidence gathered by specialist scientists) thought I was most strongly a Ravenclaw (at 37%), and only 2% Slytherin!

As one of the first 10,000 in the world to access Pottermore on the historic first day of it’s opening, I stubbornly refuse to delete my original account, of which is brazenly painted in colours of green and silver, a forceful reminder of who I was, and who I’ve been trying to get away from. My life has been a series of changes to improve particular aspects of myself I don’t like. Even if I was a Slytherin at aged twenty-one, I’m definitely not anymore.

Which leads me to a slightly different topic of discussion: The pursuit of Perfection.

Humans are constantly seeking perfection. Not necessarily the perfectionism of beauty and lifestyle as hammered by the media, but from a fear of failure. As a result, we are continuously changing and evolving (or even going backwards) to find it. What does perfection look like? How is it determined, and is it even attainable? If perfection is attained, wouldn’t we simply stagnate and effectively become imperfect again?

Growing up, I was repetitively criticized by my parents for my mistakes and not praised or shown enough love for what I did well. Their human failures as parents resulted in me constantly comparing myself to my brothers, to my peers, to those more talented, pretty or accomplished. I’ve had a lifetime of self-deprecation and agonizing over the smallest of criticisms or mistakes because I failed (in my mind) to be perfect. In many ways, this explains why I was a Slytherin – I was always desperately seeking to be the best; however, I think I have learned to deal with my faults and failures much better since then. Every now and then I do find myself sensitive to criticism, but I’ve come to understand that perfection is by all intents and purposes, difficult to interpret. Although it hasn’t stopped me finding ways in which to improve.

I know we’d all be a lot happier if we had gratitude for what we have, instead of looking at others who are better off than ourselves. There is always someone more intelligent, more beautiful, more wealthy, more kind, or more accomplished than us. Like comparing our lives to a social feed, we’d never be happy. But happiness is the process of life. And so I spend my life in search of better things. Along the way, I discover experiences, connections, laughs, self-expression, understanding and knowledge, all as a way of attempting to live life to the fullest, and as a way of defining and refining my character. This is what drives me. The risk is that I have to struggle with failure and stagnation sometimes.

In any case, while reflecting on perfection, and whether it truly is attainable, I stumbled across this video by the School of Life about Emma Watson (who – let’s all admit – is a Ravenclaw). While I fully support the views of the video, which praises Emma for the way she holds herself up in the public eye, I can’t help but compare myself to her and think – how can I be like her? How can I follow in her example?

I struggle to hold myself up with the same dignity. Being able to relate to others and have a sense of humour without being crass; not being outspoken, but still having a firm opinion; using my power for forces of good; not caring about how others perceive me, but still presenting oneself respectably. If life were a lottery, Emma would have won the jackpots. She, to me, is one of those rare examples of someone who is perfect.

I don’t suggest that this as a bad thing – on the contrary, I admire her for it. She’s presented herself as a role model by behaving exemplary, not looking exemplary. Her looks and fortune are simply luck, and she’s accomplished because of hard work and using her position wisely. Perhaps calling her perfect can be construed negatively. It suggests that she didn’t need to work to get to where she is. It’s like calling someone ‘naturally talented’. It doesn’t take into account the hours of practice, improvement and reflection that goes into being the best, or at least better. I think there’s a lot to Emma we simply don’t see.

In many ways, Emma is seen as Too Perfect. Perhaps rather, being private about her flaws has made her imperfect. Take as a contrast, Lorde (another Ravenclaw if I ever saw one!). In her new album Melodrama, Lorde pours her soul, quite candidly. Her fears, anxieties and troubles with love. Her embracing of her quirks and flaws has made her successful, likable and popular in her own right. People are less intimidated by those who make mistakes and own up to them. It’s part of being human, being real.

Never the less, Emma Watson may be one ideal I strive to measure up to, but it’s important to understand perfection before we beat ourselves over it.

Perhaps a Slytherin would be intent on seeking perfectionism by all means possible.

Perhaps a Gryffindor would see it as a challenge.

Maybe a Hufflepuff would not care about it at all.

But a Ravenclaw? I believe a Ravenclaw would have the understanding to know when to seek perfection, when to accept imperfection, and the wisdom to know the difference.

 

In mark of 20 years since Harry Potter’s first publication, I celebrate with this post. All referenced quotes and associated content of the world of Harry Potter belongs to JK Rowling – and to my understanding, Warner Bros. as well. A massive thank you is overdue to JKR for her influence and shaping of who I am between the ages of ten and twenty seven, and who I ever will be. You are, in the sense of this post, another example of a perfect human being.
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Uncategorised

Why I’m Quitting Social Media

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We are told to love ourselves, but we all have the ability to construct our lives and stage illusions of who we are – especially on social media. This doesn’t always match what we feel inside. 

It’s easy to blame social media for this problem but it goes deeper than that. We are afraid to be ourselves because we don’t think we’re good enough. But on the inside, we have stories, inspirations, passions, that we have almost an obligation to share. We should all be sharing these to be authentic, to connect with others who feel the same way. Instead, we share to impress.

I’ve noticed recently a lot of targeted ads on social media about young 20-somethings who quit their jobs and make money documenting their travel and leading completely frivolous and useless lives. But it is important to learn that this doesn’t make you more interesting. It doesn’t make you a better person. It’s not giving back meaningfully to society. The inspiring people are the ones who are honest about their insecurities and are open about their stories. This isn’t confined to social media either, this is adaptable in all areas of our lives.

I am still anxious about things I did years ago and worry about what people think of me. Even on this blog, I sometimes worry that my writing can come across to readers as some pseudo-intellectual dribble. But nowadays I am more able to accept myself as ‘good enough’ and feel comfortable with who I am. Knowing that I have a small readership on this blog has also helped as a stepping stone, as I find that I am free to be myself, speak my mind, and prattle on and on knowing that few will notice or care.

And I love it.

No pressure at all!

But on occasion, I relapse into old ways (ie. being opinionated online, being depressed by countless profile filters for supporting victims of terror with no meaningful action, counting the acquaintances who are engaged or married or generally comparing my life with others – sad I know, but true). The result is that I end up with self-deprecating and negative thoughts that I have been working to avoid. Like discussing politics or religion, social media is that instigator of anxiety and frustration.

Ultimately, we all want to be loved, valued, and heard.

On social media, people seek love, value and a listening ear from people who … well, really don’t care, unless it includes contributing their own two cents. We’re not connecting with people who are important to us, we’re connecting with strangers who don’t have our best interests at heart and gaining validation from the amount of ‘likes’ or followers we have. And even comments of a positive and supportive nature feel non genuine simply because it’s easier (for example) to rely on a Facebook reminder to wish someone ‘happy birthday’, rather than giving a person a call, hug or even a card. Social media has allowed us to become lazy and take shortcuts. Cancel plans in the last minute. Not respond to plans. Excuse rudeness. I could go on.

If happiness is found through meaningful action, the first step is to eliminate identified causes of unhappiness.

This is my new resolve. To quit social media indefinitely in order to dedicate more time to myself, build close relationships and seek purpose in this world.

What do I think will happen if I went off the grid?

This is not a new concept, but eventually I hope I will find myself in a better place mentally. I hope it will eliminate the anxiety I often feel when interacting online, and learn to become authentic and happier within myself by comparing my own past as a measure of how successful I have become.

I’ve already quit Twitter a year ago with positive results. Initially I had withdrawals, but eventually the addiction for it wore off. Really, how was I contributing anything by retweeting a celebrity, or attempting (poorly) to be witty in less than 140 characters?

How will I document the process?

I am journalling more frequently offline, but I would like to use T27R as a means of recording some aspects of how I use my time more productively and tackling issues around self-development.

How this will turn out is unknown and part of the excitement of the journey. Who knows? Maybe this will lead The 27 Resolve to new territory! Maybe you won’t hear from me for another 6 months because I’ll love my non-digital life! Maybe I may fail and fall back into social media after a week! Who cares? I’ll reflect on that if and when I’ve come to that, and when I’ve learned something valuable to share!

Have you quit social media before? How did it change your life? Was this for the better or worse? I want to know your thoughts.

 

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Purpose

Developing a Growth Strategy

I went into this blog venture with a particular goal in mind (to discover my purpose) with only a hazy idea of how I was going to achieve it. (At least I thought it was something to be ‘achieved’ at the time). I figured that if I invested into something I’m really passionate about, I’d eventually discover my purpose and then I could tick off that box. Well-intentioned, but somewhat naive. It’s funny how 8 months down the line you end up with a totally different mindset. I haven’t really strayed from my main intention, but I’ve certainly ended up with different results and conclusions.

I’m still passionate about feminism and will write about it occasionally, but part of my development to discover my purpose, I’ve been getting more involved in self-improvement books, youtube channels and courses. I’ve been setting goals and challenging myself to work on my flaws and bring out the best in myself and others.

People become better when around those who demand more. In the same way, people become better when they demand more of themselves.

What I have learned though, is that making a statement or goal doesn’t necessarily mean you will achieve it. It’s not about the motivation – it’s about the follow through. We often get excited about a goal to begin with, but quickly lose steam when we realise the arduousness of our commitments. And if you don’t have a plan or set of smaller goals in place, it’s much, much harder to accomplish.

I needed to ask myself what routines I will set in place in order to make sure I am following through on my goals, and how will I reflect on my progress and hold myself accountable? But firstly, I needed to clearly and broadly identify my overall goal. This was it:

“My intention is to become the best version of myself possible. To lead a life worth writing down. To be happy. To be someone who lights up any room she enters and whom people find hard to forget. To be irresistible to everyone I meet because I have something special to give to this world.” s.j.o

Yes it’s cheesy, but it’s honest!

Having concluded that discovering my purpose was less about a final goal and more about the process, I wrote this intention based on how I wanted to perceive myself. I didn’t give a time frame for this. If I had said ‘within a year’, I know that I would relax and put it on the back-burner. If I had said ‘by next week’, I know it wouldn’t have been achievable. Realistically, I would need to develop a growth strategy, and this requires short, achievable time frames and steps. (It’s all about the process…)

The same method can work for you too, regardless of how big or small your goal or goals are.

Starting with an intention is the first step. Make it as open as you like. It helps to imagine the best version of yourself possible: the person you want to become. It doesn’t matter if you want to simply be more positive, or become a famous youtuber, it could even be one around dating and improving your mindset in love. Write it down.

After this, you need to identify steps (mini-goals) that you will need to follow through and change in your short-term routine in order to meet your intention in the long-term. Some of these may be hard to do, some of them maybe even embarrassing to admit (although this can be a totally private venture) – but if you want to become the person you describe in your intention, only you can make that happen through deliberate changes to your daily life. Fate will not revolve things to work your way. You have to make the conscious decision to change.

One of my goals towards my intention is to greet people with a smile and look them in the eye. In addition if I know them: greeting them by their name. This is a simple and easy goal, but it’s one a lot of us don’t actually do. This simple action can build and strengthen relationships between strangers, colleagues and good friends! It shows that you have an interest in that person simply through acknowledgement.

It is important that you do this regularly and make specific – SMART – goals, so that they are achievable. I also encourage you to write down the purpose of each goal to specifically remind you of its benefit.

S – specific, significant

M – measurable, meaningful, motivational

A – agreed upon, attainable, achievable, acceptable, action-oriented

R – realistic, relevant, reasonable, rewarding, results-oriented

T – time-based, time-bound, timely, tangible, trackable

For example: Perhaps your intention (in a nutshell) is to reinvent your look. Part of this could be weight loss or toning. So one of your goals could be: “4-5 times a week, I will get up earlier to go for a brisk 40 minute walk.”  Purpose: “This will improve my health and general well-being over the long term and tone my legs and stomach”.

I designed two charts to track how I was meeting my goals weekly and daily, so that I could keep a visual record of progress. I have made these available to download for free. These can be used individually or together! I recommend using the daily growth strategy primarily because focusing on 2-3 goals is proven to be more achievable than aiming for 10+ and spreading yourself too thin. The checklist on the weekly growth strategy should not force you to aim for ALL of your goals EVERY day, but rather give you a range to pick and choose from.

Download them here and here– and try them out!

They also include daily gratitudes and forgiveness lists. These are important in general for our mental well being, and being able of letting go hurts, or comparing our lives with others.

For those people who may be setting goals based on appearances, I strongly suggest taking photos to track development. Not only to feel proud of your achievements when they are met, but change takes time, and it’s often frustrating and easy to give up when the results don’t appear fast enough. So keep a record! You may be surprised.

Happy goal setting!

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Let's Talk

A Fresh Perspective and The Battle of the Sexes

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Recently, I’ve been getting into self-help books like a bag of crisps. For someone who used to avoid them (if not laugh at them), you might be wondering what made me change my tune? As I am always very honest and confiding, I will admit that I was at a point (during a predicament) where I needed guidance beyond what my friends, family and own reasoning or instincts could give. Open mindedness and a willingness to try was simply the only option left.

One book I am reading stressed on the importance of “giving up frustration and anger in lieu of a new possibility” – basically making positive any negative situation. It encouraged the mindset of making your own life good, not waiting for an external source to do it for you. It also suggested that you can speak to the universe – that your choices and mindset shape what comes to you. Those who read too literally into this would see this as ridiculous, but those who are willing to understand can really take away a lot from this perspective.

The message of this particular book, although not one on feminism, reminded me of my struggles within the Women’s Rights Movement and gave me an idea on how to overcome this. One issue I really find hard to deal with is how many people see feminists as bitter, or a bunch of complainers. It’s easy to bring out the claws in defense, but what good does it do but confirm the accusations? And even if we are in the right, this is a person’s honest opinion of feminism. Perhaps we have to acknowledge this? So how do we deal with the continuing struggles of gender equality being of non-importance to many, while considering these statements against feminism, and still go forward towards our collective goals? (We give them a Pepsi of course. But if that fails…)

We change tactics, and we challenge our mindsets. We look at negative situations as opportunity to grow. 

Let’s take a look at the Women’s March on Washington for example. The love and community that came from that day inspired more than the reason for the march. Embracing the best from a negative situation inspires. Focusing on the negative – i.e. the reason women were marching to begin with – sucks. We have to think of ways to make positive every situation within the Women’s Rights Movement, even when we feel our anger is justified. And yes, it begins with acknowledging how far we have come and how many people have contributed to this ever-improving situation for global gender equality, even if we haven’t achieved a 50-50 world yet.

If this seems like a slap in the face of all those who sacrificed so much for the cause (or those who already do acknowledge how far we have come), I assure you, I originally thought this too. It took a while to get my head around this, but we have to understand that this doesn’t mean we ignore the wrongs that have happened, but we rather look at things with a NEW perspective. If we want a more positive approach and welcome more people into the fold of feminism – perhaps we have to further understand why exactly people don’t support this cause, digging beyond the surface level of people’s opinions.

After all, I think the root of our problems has little to do with superficial stereotyping of feminists, and more to do with a cultural habit that has existed for centuries, if not millennia. And this is where I get to the real guts of this blog entry.

Our whole culture – not just in the case of feminism – encourages a battle of the sexes. Since it’s birth, feminism has been mislabeled as a cause for man-hating, and every modern feminist feels like a broken record trying to communicate the true definition of the word (if not having it man-splained back at us). But let’s continue to zoom out: most men and women are in a constant power struggle to outdo one another and try to prove their superiority. In work, in education, in sports and reality TV, magazines and casual sexism in conversation, even down to the expectations parents place on their children. It’s hard to find one example where men and women, boys and girls aren’t compared or pitted against one another, or even simply separated based on biological differences. Despite the social and political advances of women in the last century, this war wages on, and I believe this is the fundamental reason for why feminism is seen in a negative light. People only see it as segregation of the sexes. This is why so many people opt to be called humanists or egalitarians, or denounce feminism when the values they speak are, in fact, feminist. This mindset runs rampant in our community, and until we recognize the nuances of it’s existence,  we unwittingly participate in the war. So this message is for feminists, self-proclaimed non-feminists alike:

If we all truly want gender equality in our lifetime, we have to recognise that the battle of the sexes – and how we stereotype men and women – are fundamental in our viewpoint of feminism. We need to redirect our understanding to be based around social justice (the principal of equality in all definitions, for all people), not solely focusing on the semantics of the name.

I became a feminist because I wanted to prove my value as a woman. The more I invested in the movement, the more I realised that this cause was bigger than my own. Our ideas on feminism are palpable and resonate with others. We need to make them positive and inclusive, if we want positivism and inclusiveness to come back to us. It goes back to that idea of putting out to the universe what we want returned. Basically, we have to acknowledge that most people want equality, and feminism is called feminism because it’s a cause directly associated with women, but that doesn’t mean it’s exclusively for women, or beneficial only to women. Changing the name of feminism simply takes away the special significance of women’s suffrage in the movement.

Call me idealistic, but I think if we actually learned to understand the reasons why people see our values differently, and learn to not take it personally when someone disagrees, we may become closer to Planet 50/50 faster than we think.

“Now you know better, so you do better” – Maya Angelou

This entry skipped and hopped around a bit, much like my thoughts tend to do when excited about an idea. But do you agree? Do you disagree? I want to know your thoughts! Share in the comment section below.

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Purpose

Losing your Purpose in the Pursuit of Love.

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Last year I started up this blog with one goal in mind: to realise my purpose through issues greater than my own.

What I have discovered since then, is that your purpose is not a finish line or a measurable target. It’s an ongoing discovery of self, and the act of gaining happiness through connection with others.

I’ve put this blog on hold because of… well, LIFE – and not making excuses here, but LIFE generally does tend to throw hurdles at you and slows down the reaching of a goal. Buying a new house, moving to a new city, starting a new job is all very overwhelming and time consuming for a young, single woman, and I can forgive myself for that. But the main reason I didn’t write was because I wasn’t being inspired. I like to reduce the pressure I place on myself with this blog by accepting that this is a part of the process of soul-searching and creativity. Producing blog posts (particularly when one is not a writer) is not something you can turn on like a faucet. And even though there has been a LOT going on in Feminism since the Women’s March on Washington (now that it’s such a hot topic), I just haven’t been giving enough time to focus on what’s going on enough to comment on it.

Now, never say I don’t tell all!

Outside of the endeavors of my blog, I recently acquired a book by Katherine Woodward Thomas called ‘Calling in The One’. I stumbled upon it online, and my initial impression was that this was one of those cheesy, money-making scams targeted at the lonely cat-lady community (of which I totally am one). However, reading the reviews changed my mind. Most people seemed to suggest that the title is misleading, that if you were genuinely open minded, this book would serve as a useful tool in discovering the best in yourself, and learning to love everyone around you – not just a potential partner. So I ordered a copy, and so far, I’ve really enjoyed reading each chapter and engaging in the daily practices.

The most recent chapter, “Clarifying your Soul’s Purpose”, brought me back here, onto The 27 Resolve. It inspired me because it clarified what my purpose is on a deeper level. It reminded me of why I started this blog. It came at a particular time in my love life where I really needed to be reminded of what this was.

The chapter begins with explaining that each one of us is born to fulfill a particular destiny. For most of us, this lies beyond our consciousness and teases us with dissatisfaction. Many of us confuse our jobs and our roles in life with our purpose… our purpose is not a thing, place, occupation, title or even talent.

“Our purpose is to be. Our purpose is how we live life, not role we live. Our purpose is found each moment as we make choices to be who we really are.” – Carol Adrienne

WOW.

I’ve never come across a statement that re-defines it so articulately and matter-of-fact.

It’s simple. For me, I am here to learn and grow and discover and connect with others. I am here to help and heal. I am here to radiate kindness, and happiness, or hope. If I am not making choices based on this, I am not aligning with my purpose.

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Let's Talk

The Women’s March on Washington

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Woke up to the most exciting news about the marches across America and the world. The Women’s March on Washington (specifically the one in DC) is so big, they couldn’t formally march to the White House. The march in LA expected 80k people, but got 750,000. This is so historic. Make sure you understand why these marches are happening before choosing to sneer at it, or stay neutral. When women first started marching 100+ year ago, it lead to (white woman’s) first rights to become CITIZENS so never underestimate the power of an organised peaceful protest.
Images from marches across America. Via: NYTimes.com

I’ve taken a break from my hiatus, otherwise I would have missed the most exciting day for women and minorities in the current state of affairs! Who would have guessed how BIG this was and how far spread it was?  What a day to be alive!

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Women’s Marches across the globe: including Antarctica!

As I began this blog in August last year, I was aware of the unrest and underlying anger of feminists, humanists and civil rights activists and so forth across the world. I had no idea what was to come, but I felt a huge urge to do and SAY something myself. I knew it was time to get on board. Having received so much flack for my views, it’s empowering to know I wasn’t alone in this, and that so many people feel what I feel. It seems the election of Trump was just the ignition needed to blow up the ticking time bomb. I am so incredibly proud to have witnessed humanity rise up – across the world – to say “NO” to the system, the flaunting of ignorance and indecent human behaviour, and people who don’t believe in equality for all.

The fact that the Women’s March on Washington (which is effectively a march for equality, climate change, anti-greed and so on, not just for women) has dominated the news scene and dwarfed the crowd turn out for the Inauguration is so exciting. It says something. Everyone from career activists to celebrities to first time activists and introverts have joined up – oh, how I’d love to have been in the States this day! The Official Women’s March on Washington in DC was SO BIG it couldn’t march to the White House for safety and coordination reasons. The LA crowd was expected to be 80,000 but got an estimated 175,000! There were marches in London, Sydney, Vienna and about 20 other countries, and even in 4 cities in little old New Zealand! All organised in less than 2 months! This sort of outcome is not to be sneezed at. If you haven’t taken thought to why this is happening, I suggest you get informed — after all, I believe this will become a notable piece in the history books, and you’ll want to be able to proudly tell your grandchildren how you played a part.

“Once or twice in every generation a line is crossed so egregiously that where you stood on the issue will forever define you.” – Kara Vallow

Hilarious and clever signs from various marches. Please contact me for crediting!

For those who understand why these marches are happening, I need not explain. For those who don’t understand why these marches are happening, let me explain.

In a nutshell, the last four thousand years have seen women persecuted, cast as secondary human beings, not been seen as capable or intelligent as men, and often having to struggle in abusive conditions and lifestyles across many different cultures and laws. We don’t know a lot about Women’s History because it’s simply never discussed or taught in our schools. Black Civil Rights has been covered a little better – simply because the condition for Black people was so much worse. But for many minority groups, their stories have not been told.

But without delving too much into the history that brought us here, it is important to know that laws for equality that came around only over the last century didn’t happen because white men in power suddenly felt guilty and decided to be nice, they happened because the minorities in every culture stood up and protested. I didn’t get my education and freedom to work as a woman without the activism of the Suffragettes pre-1920. I’m super grateful to these women who had the strength to stand up and risk persecution, job loss, jail time, ridicule and even torture so that my future as a woman wouldn’t have to be a choice between becoming a spinster in a limited career path or the property of a husband. Likewise, those who activated for Black Civil Rights in the 60s and Gay Rights in the 80s-onwards have all risked EVERYTHING in order for the particular minorities to have less social stigma today. Our future children will thank those today who stood up against a corrupt US Government for equality, climate change and reproductive rights for women, among the other rights that are being trampled on by the Trump administration and the extremists of corrupted nations and religions across the world.

Some might think this is a waste of time! But even if today was completely ignored by Trump, the whole world has taken notice. People are getting inspired and jumping on board. People are questioning what they value. Mindsets are being changed. The fight has only just begun.

The Women’s March, or the March against Trump, isn’t a march against Democracy. It isn’t even a march against the fundamentally flawed Electoral system that helped seal Trump’s victory. The Russian scandal, his lying and breaking of the constitution on day 1 hasn’t really been mentioned. This March is focused on protesting the values of the Trump Government, which is working to eradicate all that is fair in America. The rights of and opportunities for all citizens, including immigrants and the LBGQT community. The Arts. Science. The fight for the Climate. And bringing in Greed, Religious Fundamentalism, Discrimination and Sexism. Normalizing casual misogyny, racism, homophobia and xenophobia. Working backwards to make America Hate Again. If anyone is comfortable with this sort of value system, they really need to check their heart. This isn’t about standard republican policy, this is about basic human dignity and decency.

If you see only one presentation from the March, I urge you to watch Ashley Judd’s hugely powerful and emotional rally speech here. Also, the NY Times has a rundown of the events that have/are taking place. Stay informed, and get on the right side of history. To those who are following, or taking part, I am SO PROUD of you. Let’s stick together and fight for what is right. If you took part, I want to know! Share your thoughts down below.

hillary
Words from my hero ❤

“Women’s Rights are Human Rights” – HRC

www.womensmarch.com/

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