It’s a New Year everyone, in case that has passed you by. Happy 2018!
Is there any way of arriving in a brand new year without feeling the need to reflect upon the year just gone? If there is I’m not sure how you do it. But I’m not sure it’s such a bad thing anyway. It’s important to look backwards sometimes, to see how far you’ve come.
So with that in mind I thought I would take a little time to reflect upon the impact of 2017 on feminism. I know it was a big year for me – it was the year I woke up and started to find my passion for fighting against all the inequality that is ingrained in our daily lives and I discovered some of the incredible women out there blazing a fierce trail for us on a daily basis (Caitlin Moran, Sali Hughes, Sophie Walker to name just a few). Amazing, brilliant and inspiring women who demonstrate how to take no shit but to do so with grace, humour and intelligence. And sometimes sublime sarcasm. I love them all! I know twitter can be a double edged sword but I’m grateful it has brought the voices of these women into my life. Also, no biggie, but I started this blog. So yay for 2017!
As for the bigger picture, 2017 has had some killer punches to throw our way. Seriously. I mean, it started with Trump’s inauguration – a man who dismissed his own admission of sexual assault as ‘locker room banter’. Er….. well, there are no words really for that one. I think perhaps no words are needed. Suffice to say that 2017 started on a bit of a downer. But, and this is a little controversial, maybe we should be grateful for the awful spectacle that has been Trump’s presidency. Yes, really – hear me out.
His inauguration ceremony was (sorry Trump) vastly outnumbered by the amount of people who then turned out for the Women’s March the very next day, which was the largest single day protest in US history. How amazing is that? What an awesome response. Sometimes the enemy just needs a face in order to make people see who they’re fighting against.
And if Donald Trump wasn’t enough of an incentive for you to get off the sofa and fight, then 2017 also provided us with the poster boy of sexual assault, Harvey Weinstein. And what an incredible, watershed moment that has turned out to be! It’s mind blowing. The outpouring of horror stories not just regarding his alleged behaviour but then other big players in Hollywood and the momentum that gathered to eventually start shaking the ground in Westminster itself… I can’t even comprehend how important this was. Who could have ever imagined it? It has been so important, so shocking and frankly absolutely fucking fantastic to suddenly have this topic on everyone’s minds, being discussed in every workplace and in every home and to begin to hope that perhaps – just perhaps – the next generation might walk into workplaces where this behaviour is no longer accepted or acceptable by those in power. It could be a moment of real change – it really could – and that is the goal. I don’t have the words to express how happy this makes me. Women have found their voices.
The #metoo movement, born out of the Weinstein scandal, gave women a collective voice, possibly for the first time ever. The strength and solidarity that has resulted has been so necessary and so important that it can’t be overstated. I still haven’t found a woman who doesn’t have a #metoo story. Just saying.
And now, as we start a new year with 2018 (the centenary of women getting the vote, just FYI), a follow up movement to #metoo is being launched as #TimesUp, where some of the most powerful women in Hollywood have set up a fund currently amounting to around $13million to support and help those women experiencing harassment and assault in their work places. Basically using their power to help those women who have no power and no voice. God, it makes me want to cry thinking about it. This is what the world should look like people!
So yeah, I think 2017 was a good year for feminism. A lot of things got brought into the light that needed to be seen.
Here’s hoping that 2018 kicks ass just as much. The fight isn’t over – it’s just beginning.