Thanks so much for visiting the Future Female platform. We are building an inspiring community of women who have something important to say about every day equality. Women like you who are projecting your positive actions and behaviours to be and inspire the Future Female we would all love to see in the world.
The female stories and important conversations we feature, resonate with women across generations, because we are women intent on making a difference to our lives by speaking up when everyday conversation is obviously sexist. Whether you are 14, or 74 a female focussed derogatory comment effects you. However speaking up is scary, because as women, we don’t always want to rock the boat, fearful we will be called ‘hysterical’, a nag, a bitch, or worse, a slut. When I hear such words used, I think what a boring stereotypical narrow minded view. The fact is people have learned this behaviour, they were not born with it. They learned from people around them, from a traditional patriarchal system. So how can we help them unlearn?
I believe awareness is the first step, once you are aware of everyday sexist commentary whether it be innocent banter or misogynistic, you have already made a change. The next step is working out how to deal with it. And it’s this action I am most interested in addressing. I believe each generation have a role to play. How a young teenage woman deals with a comment or action may be different to an older woman.
I am very interested in understanding why this behaviour continues, especially in young people. Universities and some schools have reported inappropriate sexual behaviour without consent in some young people. This is not the way of the world. Has the behaviour started with inappropriate banter? Where have these young people learned such banter? Media, peer group, family members, the school playground? I am also interested in children of primary school age and how they form their behaviour, particularly that girls and boys from a young age tend to play in gender specific groupings.
This is not necessarily the case in some European countries. I have no evidence based research to back this viewpoint up at the moment, however I am intent on looking at this. In order to effect real change we all have a part to play so that being treated equally in the home, at school, in the workplace and socially is the norm.
My personal every day action includes how I act and speak around men and boys. As a mum of a boy, I feel a huge responsibility and duty to bring up the male I wish to see in the world. A boy who knows the value of girls and women, of how to act and speak to girls and women. A boy who understands that body image should not define a woman. A boy who understand first we are human, and that gender should not define us.
Part of the next steps for the Future Female series will include the male voice, because I want to discover why males act the way they do in terms of everyday misogyny and sexism. In order to do this I want to include voices from males who don’t feel they are part of everyday sexism and get their view, I also want to hear from males who feel the need to be more vulnerable.
Emma Watson, was in part the inspiration for Future Female, when she stood up in front of the UN, to launch #HeForShe. Emma’s speech taught me to be hyper aware of everyday conversation and really listen and observe. I believe Emma’s speech to be a defining moment in the movement of feminism, it highlighted we have a lot of work to do before we can achieve gender equality.
‘If not me, who, If not now when?’ Emma Watson
Around the same time I listened to the award-winning speech “We Should All Be Feminists” by Chimamanda Nygozi Adichie.
Adichie said her own definition of a feminist is a man or a woman who says,
“Yes, there’s a problem with gender as it is today and we must fix it, we must do better.”
This speech was the call to action needed and a must watch. To view you can find it archived in the community section of this blog.
Two other major influences have been Maya Angelou and Oprah Winfrey, role models that I look to for empowerment, light and guidance.
Future Female style will play an important role in our blog series, I will showcasing women who not only inspire and dazzle us with their stylish lifestyles, but who have made it their mission to embrace positive body image.
I hope you will join me in being the Future Female we want to be, right here right now!
We have limited edition Future Female tee-shirts available to purchase for the special price of £15 for you lovely FF folk who are giving up your time to support the Future Female movement. Use code FF15 at checkout to purchase yours in the shop link in menu.