Forget New Year’s resolutions – this year for International Women’s Day I’ve decided to make some feminist resolutions to direct my efforts over the coming months.
What’s a feminist resolution, you ask? It’s any kind of promise we can make to ourselves to help in our quest to be better feminists. Here are some of mine.
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1. Empower other women more actively
It’s often all too easy to see other woman as direct rivals – rivals in love, in the workplace, in getting jobs, even rivals within friendship groups – perhaps because of the similarities we share. Some media forms can even encourage us to judge other women for what they wear, who they date or what they eat. It’s time for some female solidarity. This year, I’m determined to ditch jealousy and judgement in favour of support and empowerment!
2. Stop being so hard on myself
Women have a hard enough time in this world as it is… why give ourselves an even harder time by indulging the inner critic? Whether it’s succumbing to pressures around body image, striving for perfection in everything, or wading through self doubt, it can be hard to access some much-needed self-love and self-care. From here on out, I am going to do my best to ask for help when I need it and remind myself that beating myself up isn’t going to make things any easier.
3. Be a more global feminist
To be fully effective, feminism must be intersectional. We must take into account the ways that gender inequality varies by country and according to factors like class, ethnicity, and age.
While in the UK the patriarchy is subtly embedded into everyday interactions, in some other countries, women still struggle for basic human rights ranging from accessing equal education to being able to safely leave the house alone. This year I will work on my global perspective and try to include as many diverse perspectives in my work as possible.
4. Work on consuming responsibly
The theme for the 2020 Women’s Strike is “consumption strike” and calls for alternative forms of shopping – clothes swapping, upcycling and charity shopping, for example. As well as recognising that shopping is a task often taken on by women, we must remember that women are also more likely to be involved in the production stages of fast fashion industries, manufacturing our clothing on very low wages. This year, I will try to consider if I really need that new item of clothing or accessory, or if I could source something similar second-hand instead.
5. Read at least one feminist book before the next IWD
I have a list as long as my arm of books I want to read, and I’m determined to start ticking off some of those titles. I’d recommend the uplifting How to get over a boy by Chidera Eggerue, Caroline Criado Perez’s incredibly informative Invisible Women, the lovely Feminists Don’t Wear Pink collection by Scarlett Curtis, or Cordelia Fine’s Delusions of Gender. Doing some reading for the soul will help with all of my other resolutions, too.
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