We are more than half-way through 2016 and practically everyone we know is a feminist - or at least striving to be one. In practice, feminism is the not always so simple quest for gender equality in every area of life. But how can freshie women really activate their feminism in their day to day life? This is a question that we’ve thought about endlessly and, having dug into our personal beliefs, the values that freshie was founded with, and some research into powerful ways to be a feminist. While there are many different ways that feminists can step into a more active role to further the movement, sometimes the most effective actions are the most simple. If you want to step up your feminist game, here are 5 tweaks you can start implementing this week.
One of the easiest ways to amp up the impact you have on forwarding feminism is to create a home environment that teaches that both men and women can (and should) share equal responsibilities. By ditching traditional gender norms, you can enforce that all members of the household contribute according to their skill levels and ages, not their gender. Some ways to incorporate this equality into home life are having men tie an apron on and whip up a delicious dinner or having the girls helping out with yard work. The benefit that goes beyond divvying up household duties is laying a foundation on which kids and adults alike will be able to base a lifetime of beliefs around gender equality.
Keeping up with trending feminist topics, as well as understanding the history of feminism, doesn’t have to be a Master’s degree worthy time investment. All it takes is some weekly reading to keep informed. There are many great resources for feminist education including Bitch magazine, the Feminist Majority Foundation, and The Feminist Wire. Becoming a better feminist means being up to speed on what’s happening in the movement - and against.it. Adding in a few minutes each day or week to read an article or chapter in a book can help give you a deeper understanding of what feminism really means. As you educate yourself, remember to seek out information from feminists whose perspectives are different from yours.
Ok, so this isn’t exactly easy but it is important. There are many ways that privilege can present itself but it is often overlooked by those who possess it. You may have white privilege, heterosexual privilege, class privilege, or cisgender privilege. Knowing which you benefit from and how much you benefit from it can help you “check your privilege” when trying to approach things in an inclusive way but shouldn’t make you feel guilty. Instead, let it be at the forefront of your awareness so that you can be mindful of managing it. One powerful way to do this is to insist that spaces you occupy - be it work, your social groups, or your internet haunts - are inclusive of groups of people who have been traditionally marginalized. Another call to action is, as mentioned in number 2, to surround yourself with a diverse range of feminists who can enlighten you to the struggles of gender equality that you haven’t experienced firsthand.