I want to make 2018 the year all your feminist dreams come true, with these five feminist New Year’s resolutions:
1. Listen To Learn
There is no singular ‘female experience’. While many women share similar experiences of marginalization and oppression, we are not the same. Moments like #MeToo remind us that we must listen to women and believe what they say if we are to continue working towards equality. We must create an environment where women, minorities, and other underrepresented, marginalized groups can speak for themselves.
2. Educate Yourself On Intersectionality
Intersectionality theory was first developed by Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989 as a way to explain marginalization of African-American women through the intersection of race, class, and gender. This intersection of identifiers remains relevant today and understanding how race, socio-economic status and gender marginalize some while empowering others is crucial. In 2018, we must continue marching together whilst acknowledging that each person is a person of diversity.
3. Collaborate With Women
In 2017, women kicked some serious butt. This was made possible by rallying at Women’s Marches worldwide and standing together to protest widespread sexual harassment and assault. As we continue fighting for equality, we must collaborate in new and creative ways. Make it your mission to break down old boundaries and rules by supporting the creativity and ingenuity of women around the world. We can all challenge our own assumptions and the assumptions of others to be the best possible versions of ourselves.
4. Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is
In the U.S. we vote with our dollar, and so by buying from minority- and women-owned businesses and understanding the costs of consumption we can proactively support the things we believe in. Many garments are made by women and children in developing countries, and in many cases workers are neither treated humanely nor paid fairly. By understanding where our clothing comes from, we can consume more intelligently. For example, Sseko Sandals is a female owned and operated brand using sustainable materials and supporting women’s higher education in Africa. There are so many ways to support women and minorities: donating to women’s organizations like Girls’ Globe or buying art from women and minority creatives. If you are not in a financial position to monetarily support other women, you can open your network or volunteer your time and expertise to help other women. The possibilities are endless!
5. Self Care Is Not Selfish
Take care of yourself. Make sure the people around you are taking care of themselves, too. And be patient with your self care. Sometimes you have to try something new, or spend more (or less) time taking care of yourself to feel at your best. I think that women often undervalue themselves, and so by caring for yourself you remind yourself and others that you are worthy of love and care.
What are your feminist resolutions for the year ahead? How are you going to make sure 2018 is a great year for gender equality…wherever you are in the world?