Sophie is just the coolest. A talented writer, and a hard core feminist, she’s the kind of girl you want in your corner. We know that Sophie will do pretty much anything we ask her to do, because she loves a challenge and ain’t afraid of nuthin. Meet Sophie.
What was it about TSP that drew you and prompted you to join our Youth Council?
When I first came across The Shona Project I felt immediately hopeful and inspired, which is why I wanted so badly to be involved. With so much negative things happening around the world, when something good like this comes along you have to jump at it. Our young women deserve to know how valued and important their voices are. Each and every one of us is different and we should celebrate these differences, TSP encourages this and encourages young women to stand up for themselves. How could I not want to be part of a brilliant project like this?!
What do you hope to bring to the organisation?
I’m incredibly passionate and dedicated to equality and one of the best ways in which to achieve this is education. We need to educate our young women especially those between the ages of 11-18, when we are at our most vulnerable. Encouraging others to be themselves and express themselves whatever way they want is something I’ve always done. What I hope to bring to the organisation is encouragement, passion and a slightly older, more mature (I hope!) perspective to help others.
How was your teenage experience?
When I think about being a teenager, for the most part I have fond memories but it wasn’t always smooth sailing. I went from an unassuming 12 year old to an awkward teen seemingly overnight. I suddenly had a mountain of problems, friends who didn’t want to be friends anymore; struggling with my looks and conforming to social pressures- you’d do anything to fit in. But my saviour was the Gaelteacht, I went every year for 6 years. It gave me confidence and I made lots of new friends, all different from each other. I had very understanding parents as well which helped me a lot through those years!
What do you wish you could tell your 14-15 year old self?
To just stop being so hard on herself. I’d love to tell her to stop looking at all her faults and focus on how smart and pretty she is. Most of all I’d love to tell her that’s she’s doing fine and everything will work out.
What’s the most important piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
My older brother once told me he admired me because I never feared making mistakes and he told me to keep making them and to keep being fearless. Whenever I’m unsure or scared I just think about that and I know whatever happens I can deal with it!
What do you like most about yourself?
I’m really kind; too kind I’m told sometimes! I want to help everyone I meet in any way I can. But I love that no matter what happens to me in my personal life I never stop wanting to help others. I also love my hair colour!
How do you deal with stress or cope with difficult situations?
I have a small but strong army of women (and men) on my side who are always there for me when I’m feeling overwhelmed or stressed out. For me, talking it out helps so much. The times when I don’t want to talk, I write it down. And when I’m so stressed I can’t even write it down- walk or run it out. Even just sitting in my back garden in silence helps me calm myself down and think clearly.
If you could have dinner with any 5 women (alive or dead) who would they be and why?
Lady Gaga is number 1. She’s an incredibly talented artist but also an amazing feminist, I would love to ask her all about her feminist agenda!
Clarissa Pinkola Estés is my number 2. She’s the author of one of my favourite books “Women Who Run With the Wolves” She specialises in the journey of the soul and her book is one of the most influential pieces of writing I’ve ever read.
My number 3 is Serena Williams. She’s an absolute boss, an amazing athlete and an incredible advocate for feminism. I would love to hear all about her experience as an African-American, female athlete.
Mary Robinson is my number 4. I studied politics in college and have an interest in political women in particular (the lack of them mainly). So an opportunity to speak to the first female President of Ireland would be amazing.
And finally my number 5 is my Great Grandmother Sarah Kane. My Dad’s parents are from Northern Ireland; my Granddad is from County Down. He grew up with his parents, Sarah being his mother. I don’t know much about my Great Grandmother, but I would love the chance to talk to her about her life and her views on women and politics.
What book, film or song means the most to you and why?
“Women Who Run with the Wolves” is my favourite book of all time, as I mentioned above no book has ever spoken to me the way this one did. It talks about the soul and a women’s soul in particular, how we are connected to our past and our inner Wild Woman, we just have to know where to find her. It talks about being free and nourishing our souls and our creativity- something we all need reminding of at times.
If we were to have a TSP Christmas party, which song would get you up dancing?
I’ll pretty much dance to anything new or old, but if Beyonce came on I wouldn’t be able to control myself!! She’s obviously one of the most talented people in the business but she’s also a self made, successful woman.
Share your favourite inspirational quote…
I have 2:
“Remember, if logic were all there really was to the world, then surely all men would ride side-saddle” Clarissa Pinkola Estés
“Women don’t tear each other down, patriarchy tears women down” Tom Meagher,
White Ribbon Campaign, speaking at FemFest 2015.