Thursday, 25 July 2013

Summer Project.

I have officially given myself a summer project. I will not reveal what it is for if I do I fear it will never be accomplished. And I am certain that keeping it a secret endeavour will inspire me to achieve it and then to surprise people with the finished product.

I'm hoping this summer project will allow me to do something I've always wanted to, if it is completed I will be most pleased. It will prove to myself that I can work hard to make things happen, and I think that's an important skill to learn that I haven't quite mastered yet.

I will keep you updated when the said project is, hopefully, done.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

What does being a feminist entail then?

My male friend asked me the other day when I claimed to be passionate about feminism, "What does being a feminist entail then?" For the moment I replied, "Believing in the equality of every man and woman regarding every race, sexuality and religion." He nodded and then said "Oh, okay then."

I like to be under the impression that my response made him think. Or at least understand a little more of what I so ardently believe in. I am also sure that he agreed with me, even though he didn't then suddenly propose to also be a feminist and attempt to fight for equality. I think it was because my friend  found the F word a little daunting, certainly as a teenage boy. Maybe he believed some great commitment was attached to declaring one's self as a feminist, as if you have to go through an initiation process and give sacrifice as you swear never to be sexist or discriminating. I was worried he thought I'd suddenly pull off a mask and reveal my true feminist identity as a butch girl wearing no bra and having a shaved head and hairy armpits. That my girly skater skirt would slowly fade away into shapeless shorts.

Perhaps it was the uncertain concept of the 'ism' usually involving some sort of war and a band of opposing 'isms' to follow. What I don't think has ever been explained to him or most people in general is that feminism isn't a political ideology, or a particular way of life, it is simply an active or passive agreement to fight as peacefully as possible against the discrimination of any human being.

I don't think anyone has officially told my generation about the new age of feminism, about its revised meaning. That whilst the original hard bearing feminists of the 60s/70s, or the suffragettes, were forced to be fairly aggressive in method in order to reach some form of equality between genders, they have now given us the chance to push this equality to be absolute. They have given us the chance to be able to express this new feminism so openly, and so widely.

We should be informing the ignorant not to forget or criticise our bra burning warriors of equality, but to learn and understand from them that we need to continue the fight until it is done.

I think feminism needs to start being promoted as a thing to be proud of. Not as a way of life, or a definite commitment, or a daunting, aggressive opinion, but as a united crusade for every man and woman to have equal rights. And that it does not need to change your image or person because feminism is as much about choice than anything.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

All kids need Netflix.

I try not to take for granted the fact that my teenage life is privileged and wonderful and has the power to give me a secure future. I complain about my school work, and the pressure I am under for certain examinations and qualifications needed for the further education I will most likely proceed to attend. I go home exhausted and feel the early morning wake up the next day daunting.

I concern myself with what I should wear at the weekend, and how I should do my hair tomorrow. I wonder if I have enough allowance left to go to the cinema with my friends, or whether I should start saving up for the car I so obviously am not going to be able to afford in two years time. I plan my future home out on Pinterest, and procrastinate for hours on Twitter pretending I have nothing to do.

I'm devastated when it doesn't work out between Joey and Dawson on Dawson's Creek. Or when Jess and Nick don't get together on New Girl. Or debate whether to rewatch Green Wing again on that ever growing black hole of procrastination known as Netflix.

I have excited, fangirl discussions about books amongst my friends, and squeal at our favourite parts and laugh and tease each other because very little concerns us in the world.

What I endeavour to teach myself is to never forget the other teenagers around the world who will live in parallel universes to me and grow up without my privelages. Who won't have buckets of time to spend lounging around procrastinating, or worry about what dress to wear to a party, or even get stressed out with school work.

I want to enjoy my school career as much as possible to get the most out of the advantage I've been given with an education. I want to for the kids who long to be taught to write and to count, I want to to use the right I have as a person to learn and gain knowledge.

I want to savour all the trivial moments I will have, to remember that I am so incredibly lucky I don't have to look after a family, or earn money to live, or scavenge across a rubbish tip to survive. I want to to understand that my life is good, and that all the bad things in it are minuscule compared to the issues others have to face.

I don't want to take my teenage years for granted because one day I want to be able to give a new generation the chance to live free and wild like young people should in parts of the world where right now that's impossible. I may not do it alone, but I want to be a part of something that liberates teenagers all over the world to take advantage of the rights they have, but may not have access to.