I’ve always been a feminist but I’ve been really lucky, I’ve not really been affected by any sexist occurrences personally. When I first got social media, Twitter especially, seeing the vitriol that female MPs get, seeing people recount their stories of being followed home, or someone on the Tube touching them in an inappropriate way, it woke me up to the fact that my safety in public is not guaranteed. I’m always going to have to think, if I’m walking home at night do I need to be with a male friend so that I’m not alone? Bad things happen, and bad things happen proportionally far more to women.
I was brought up to believe that whatever a man could do I can do too, but there’s still this lack of respect. Seeing things like catcalling on the street, seeing my friends and myself subject to random men on the street telling us to smile – it was a wake-up call for me. A large proportion of society think they hold power over women in that way.
I’d like to see a different type of equality emerge, not just politically or changing legislation, but changes in attitude
Over the last 100 years, priorities switched a little. The main thing I noticed from my studies of history and politics is the way that it changed from equality; having equal rights recognised and being an equal citizen, to liberation – making sure that women can go into whatever career they want, do whatever they want, not feel constrained by gender roles of having to stay at home. That shift, from the Sixties, is what I as a young woman definitely benefit from today.
As a white woman myself, I feel that even though I might be less likely to get a promotion in comparison to a male peer, a BME woman would be even less likely. Feminism should speak for all of womankind. Any movement from here has to address all rather than just a select few. That’s the direction I want to see the women’s movement move towards in the next 100 years, so there’s no race or class boundaries in equality between men and women.
— Harriet Hards MYP (@HarrietHardsMYP) December 6, 2017
I’d like to see a different type of equality emerge, not just politically or changing legislation, but changes in attitude. You can legislate against sexual assault, you can legislate against the pay gap, but there’s always going to be attitude changes needed.