All posts filed under: Feminism

What Would You Say to Your 19-Year-Old Self?

There are moments in life when you simply need to remind yourself that you are enough. In order to do that, you have to have enough self confidence to come up with the words that are both comforting and inspiring. I’ve been told that nothing is impossible, but also that certain things aren’t meant for me. I’ve been told to follow my heart, but also to always be mindful of others. I’ve been told to say what I really want and to move in that direction, but also to move with caution. I’ve been told many conflicting things, but I am finding out that the most important words come from within. What do I tell myself when I am not sure of the next step, or when I am scared to articulate my thoughts and turn them into actions? I tell myself to move. Just move. Take a step, and move. Be bold. Forget your failures and mistakes because they are over. Sometimes we have to fail over and over until our failures are no longer setbacks; they simply push us …

Hello Spring, Hello Sexual Harassment

London is at it’s most beautiful in the spring. After many dreary months the city fills up with candy-floss blossom and slightest breeze scatters pink and white confetti over the pavements. Parks fill with daffodils. Occasionally the sun shines for two days in a row – although this leaves everyone confused and suspicious. Londoners begin barbecuing everything within arm’s reach (and inexplicably wearing sunglasses on the tube). But one of the very best things about spring is the liberation from the shackles of the Winter Wardrobe it brings. Freed from socks and boots, toes wriggle joyfully in sandals once again. Coats are confidently packed away til next year (or ‘til it randomly snows in June). Legs escape the prison of thick black tights, shoulders are bared, noses are burnt. But flash so much as a bit of ankle in springtime and it won’t be long before you’re reminded of a far less welcome consequence of the warm weather. Not absent in winter by any means, just rarer – and more subdued. Welcome back, spring. Welcome …

My Views on Transgender Feminism

Feminism is alive and constantly redefining itself. It has long been an empowering roar fed by the voices of all kinds of women. Today, something else can be heard too. It’s the sound of thousands of women – transgender, transexual and intersexual women – who have found their own voice, strength and value with the help of feminism. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a renowned feminist, recently stated that the life experiences of transgender women can’t be the same as cisgender women, because, in her opinion, they have experienced male privileges before transitioning. “It’s about the way the world treats us, and I think if you’ve lived in the world as a man with the privileges that the world accords to men and then sort of change gender, it’s difficult for me to accept that then we can equate your experience with the experience of a woman who has lived from the beginning as a woman and who has not been accorded those privileges that men are.” – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie I would like to explain why this is relevant for the trans community. …

Why Transgender Rights are Women’s Rights

Feminism is inherently controversial, even within itself. There is a political spectrum of feminism, from radical feminists on one end to what Roxane Gay describes, tongue-in-cheek, as ‘bad feminist‘ on the other. Where this political spectrum becomes hurtful is when it excludes or devalues certain women’s experiences over others, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the case of the denial of transwomen’s rights as women’s rights. Radical empathy may render the thinking behind trans-exclusionary feminism understandable on a knee-jerk emotional level, if not still impolitic. It is easy to be a little bitter as a woman. Many of us have at least the occasional moment where we have a twinge of intense impatience or frustration when our male family members or friends or colleagues are surprised at the minute discrimination we experience daily. This resentment can spill over into a resentment of transwomen, for what some think of as their former privileged position as a man. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, for example, came under fire for her comments that “I think if you’ve lived in the world as …

Through Needlecraft Towards Revolution in Sweden

Right now, making a pair of relatively simple mittens, knitting feels methodical. Melodic even. Other times, knitting causes every muscle to strain and my temples to pound with frustration. Sometimes I would rather just burn the sweater I’m knitting since it’s turning out all wrong, but I don’t. Instead I keep knitting, because I know I’m backed by a needlecraft community that is spread out all around the globe. Nea Glad is one of the co-founders of ‘Unifying Progressive Handicraft’ – a needlecraft association based in Malmö, Sweden. She and her friends started the association in the summer of 2012. Since then it has grown and today they get together once a week to hang out and do needlework. Now and then they also participate in political projects or conduct workshops. Nea says: “Through our association we wish to create spaces that enable people of different ages, colors, nationalities and abilities to meet through their mutual interest. It doesn’t matter where you come from or how old you are, as long as you like to needlecraft. In …

Women are our Best Support Group

The other day I overheard a group of women talking about something they’d seen on social media. A woman they all knew had reported a sexual assault she had suffered earlier that night on her Facebook page.  She had claimed a man, who the group of women were all acquainted with, had inappropriately grabbed her in a local night club. Immediately, the women started accusing the girl of being intoxicated, because she had posted her message early in the morning. They said that because of this she had no credibility, and they claimed the encounter she described was not even remotely close to what they considered to be sexual assault. They also criticized the fact that she was willing to humiliate the man through social media. While I sat there listening to their unbelievable lack of empathy, I started thinking about gender congruence amongst women in Mexico.  One out of three women worldwide will experience some sort of physical or sexual violence in their lifetime. I want to emphasize how important this issue is; these numbers are rising as I write. So, if you read the event …

#BeBoldForChange: Stories of Courage from the Girls’ Globe Network

Our bloggers and organizations work every day to create a better, more equal world. On International Women’s Day 2017 we are celebrating their commitment to standing up and speaking out by asking them to share what motivates and emboldens them – we hope their answers inspire you to be bold for change too! For an extra dose of inspiration, let Girls’ Globe’s #BeBoldForChange playlist be the soundtrack to your day!   Tell us about a time in your life when you’ve been particularly bold? Amanda: “I feel bold every time I stand up for my self and others, especially women. It makes me feel important and I feel like I am doing something meaningful.” Farah: “The times in my life when I have managed to be brave haven’t been terribly exciting or dramatic one-off events. Many times, being bold has been, for me, learning to take it on the chin; understanding that life will throw you a multitude of blows, some of them truly devastating, and the hardest and bravest thing to do is just get up in the morning anyway, brush your hair, get …

Girls’ Globe Feels Bold All Over the World on International Women’s Day 2017!

Girls’ Globe’s incredible community of contributors is made up of bloggers and organizations around the world who raise their voices for change every day. We are in awe of their courage and determination and so, on International Women’s Day 2017, we want to showcase just how bold our network is. We asked them to share what motivates, inspires and emboldens them in the hope that they can inspire YOU to be bold for change too! Tell us about a place you go, or a place you’ve been, that makes you feel bold?  Ayla: I feel strong and bold when I am at the top of a mountain. Nelly: My village is a place that will always make me feel bold since I overcame so much criticism because of how I am outspoken about women rights, access to family planning for women and girls, and girl child education. I am also the only young woman from this village who decided to choose education over marriage. Miia: New York, because of the constant energy and all the bold people surrounding me in the streets. My favorite place to …

Surround Yourself With Feminists

In places where access to information isn’t reliable, support groups and networks can play a hugely important role. In Mexico, as has been highlighted in previous posts, there is a gender-based problem that needs to be addressed. Among many things, such as security, access to education, sexual rights and health, access to information is one of the biggest problems for Mexico’s female population. It is inevitable to address religion when talking about women’s access to information here in Mexico – it’s the second largest Catholic population in the world, and although religion has proven to aid many people through personal or community issues, it definitely has an impact on the county’s public policy. Although Mexico claims to be a Lay State, it has been proven in the past that the reality is quite different. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, often when more  progressive policies have been pursued the conservative population has demonstrated their rejection. So, it is normal to expect that conservative opinions have influenced a lot of the institutions that should be safe spaces for women, men, the LGBTTI community and non-binaries. In no way …