Writing has always been important to me throughout my life. I’ve kept journals for as far back as I can remember. Using what comes natural to us, or something we are good at to spread our message and our feminism, is the best way to express ourselves. My journey with writing hasn’t been smooth, but I don’t know where I would be without it, personally and in terms of feminism. I’m dyslexic for a start, so over time I had to develop my love of reading and writing. I have never let this hold me back, fortunately I grew up in a house where anything was possible if you just tried your best. The purpose of this article is to tell anyone reading who feels they can’t- you most certainly can.
I’m angry everyday- when I hear sexist comments being thrown around, normalised into everyday life. I’m angry when we police girls about their clothes and behaviour. We’re told to be polite, not too loud, to sit and act a certain way. This makes me so angry that often I don’t know what to do with myself. So I challenge this everyday sexism, I call it out. What am I then told? I’m told I can’t take a joke, that “all you feminists are the same- you hate men”. Sometimes it’s like screaming and banging your head against the wall. I’ve had countless conversations and debates with friends, co-workers and family , even a few strangers, about these encounters. Some of those chats reassure me, make me believe there is hope and people are listening. But it still happens, we still get criticised for nearly everything we do. We’re too quiet, too loud, too skinny, too fat, we wear too much make-up, we don’t wear make-up, we curse so we’re rude, we don’t curse so we’re a prude. I decided to take this anger and passion and turn it into something good. That’s when casual writing became much more to me.
It didn’t bother me in the start that no one was reading or seeing these opinion pieces because it was just a way for me to unload how I was feeling. Like everything, writing is a process and it’s not always your best work on the first, second or even third attempt. I still have pages of rants hidden in notebooks scattered all over my bedroom that I’m embarrassed to read, but to improve you have to start somewhere! My undergrad degree had thought me an academic way of explaining and critiquing, which was helpful but very boring to read, so I threw it all out and just wrote from the heart. I’m far from where I want to be but well on my way to where I’d like to end up. I was lucky enough to accidently fall into writing opportunities. All of these opportunities are why I’m now a contributor for this wonderful website. If we just believe in ourselves and our opinions more, we never know where we will end up.
Whether writing is your creative outlet or not, my message is to take the anger and stress we face in our lives as young women and turn it into something good. Go and create something beautiful from something ugly, believe in yourself and others will too. I get disheartened and fed up, every feminist I know feels the same, but we just have to keep going, keep believing and above all keep creating!