Thanks so much for visiting the Future Fe+male platform.
We are promoting everyday equality for social change. Empowering humans with everyday language to reframe thinking around habitual sexism, conscious or otherwise.
The everyday fe+male stories and important conversations we feature, resonate with humans across generations. Last year we created an advisory board, made up of women and soon to be men, from a variety of backgrounds who support and facilitate the next steps.
Everyday habitual sexist language affects everyone. Whether it be stereotyped language filtering down through the generations, like “stop screeching like a girl”, ‘big boys don’t cry’ or, stop being hysterical. The fact is people have learned this behaviour, they were not born with it. So how can we unlearn?
We’ve started by taking back ‘Hysterical’, reframing it so we can see empowerment of fe+males through language. We’ve even collaborated with Anthropologie creating a slogan tee-shirt which we are very proud of.
However, speaking up is scary, because as humans, we don’t always want to rock the boat, fearful of the derogatory backlash when women in particular stand up to everyday habitual sexism.
Awareness is the first step, once you are aware of everyday sexist commentary whether it be so called ‘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 we are exploring and working out how to address through tangible action.
We are 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. We are 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. We are exploring primary education and what action we can take through collaborating with teachers already doing great work.
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.
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.”
Founder Deborah Campbell is a sustainable fashion designer and consultant, lecturer in marketing at Winchester School of Art and equality campaigner.