Yesterday was International Women’s Day and thankfully I got through it only hearing one comment about it being sexist (um?) and, ‘Well, when’s International Men’s Day, then?’ November Nineteenth, you demented knob. And, you know, every other day of the year. Other than that one misguided soul, it was a lovely day across the scope of my social media, with so many people praising the beautiful ladies that inspire them and feeling utterly uplifted and empowered. One of my guy friends even sent me a snap with the wonderful IWD filter and the message ‘Go get ’em!’, which just goes to show this isn’t a ‘us or them’ battle. Feminism is simply about having an equal playing field for everyone. Kapiche?
— Alice Marshall (@aliceymarshall) 8 March 2017
All this follows on nicely to Louise Pentland’s latest video entitled ‘I’m SO Sorry’, which I only just got a chance to watch, hence all this International Women’s Day chat coming a day late. In the video she talks a lot about women apologising for themselves; apologising for how they look, or what they choose to wear, apologising for being outspoken and prefacing the things they say with “I’m sorry, but…” Laura Bates also touched upon this idea of placing ourselves in an inferior position in ‘Girl Up’ with the language we, as women, use. Every time you write an email or compose a text, watch for how many times you use the word ‘just’ or ‘sorry’, essentially setting up anything you have to say as an inconvenience to its recipient. We all do it. I, for one, am guilty of it. I must use the word ‘just’ 9/10 times I text someone, even if it’s another fellow lady, effectively invalidating my emotions, the questions I ask, and the mere presence of my message in someone’s inbox. Women’s breath is not wasted breath, for the record. The things you and I have to say are just as important as a man’s.
Louise also talked about how this internalised mentality in women can stop us from being loud and proud about our achievements, giving an anecdote about how she introduced herself at a recent breakfast for #ReWritingTheCode in a timid and underwhelming fashion when, in fact, Louise is a certified Bad Ass Woman who has both overcome and achieved a lot in her life. At the end of her video (which I’ll leave a link to at the bottom of this blog post with some other resources) she lists off her achievements and the identities that make her up as the successful and passionate woman that she is, inviting her audience to do the same in the comments.
When it comes to commenting on YouTube videos, it’s not something I really do. But Louise inspired me to write this blog post instead, because, damn, I needed to gush about her and her unapologetic status as a woman. And to add my own little list of achievements and bits and bobs that make me me! Make up a woman I’m proud to be. So here goes…
I AM… a sister, a daughter and a damn good friend.
I AM… probably the coolest auntie you will ever meet.
I AM… a First Class Honours Journalism Graduate and a writer (or trying to be).
I AM… a reader and a dreamer, and maybe still a bit of a hopeless romantic.
I AM… empathetic, open-minded and constantly wanting to learn.
I AM… an intersectional feminist and a thick-thighed, big booty-ed goddess.
I AM… and will always be an unapologetic woman.