Happy International Women’s Day! The day which celebrates equality and women in general.
It’s not just IWD this 8th of March, no no, it’s also Commonwealth Day, the day in England which we get to start going back to school, and National Napping Day. Whichever one is most important to you personally, I think we can all agree that this Monday is one to celebrate.
This year International Women’s Day campaign theme is #ChooseToChallenge. The way to show your support is simply to strike the Choose to Challenge Pose and post it to social media! This way people will know that you are supporting inclusivity and equality.
Since I didn’t want to take the photo myself, I instead decided to challenge myself and draw myself doing the pose. This took quite some time I’ll be honest with you, but I am pretty happy with the end result and I hope that you can all see that it’s important that we choose to challenge gender bias, sexist talk and general inequality between men and women.
If you want to know anything else about International Women’s Day, go ahead and click here and I will see you next time!!
For most of these articles, I need to think long and hard about my answer. However, this one came to my head without even really thinking. By far the person I look up to the most and who I hope I will meet someday is Malala Yousafzai.
When I was around 10 or 11, the book I Am Malala came out. I was in year six at the time and I didn’t know much about this woman. What I read changed my life forever.
For those of you who don’t know, Malala Yousafzai is a 23-year-old activist who spoke out against the Taliban, a radical terrorist group in Pakistan when she was only 10 years old. In an a futile attempt to silence her, she was shot in the head when she was twelve when she was on her way home from school. Being the strong person she was, she survived and managed to become the youngest Nobel Prize Laureate ever.
After reading her book, I completely re-evaluated my thoughts and feelings about so many things. Firstly, this is the book that really made me realise I was a feminist and that I wanted to change the world, and Malala made me realise I could do it. Her sheer power and resistance is something I will never stop talking about and I always hope that she knows she changed my life for the better. Secondly, she made me proud to be mixed race. Some of you have read my post about my Ethnicity, in which I spoke about Liza Koshy inspiring me to be proud about my skin colour. However, a mini turning point for me was reading this book. This strong woman who was Pakistani was standing up for what she believed in, and refused to let anyone silence her. Even after she was in fatal condition, she never stopped fighting for equality and for education for all.
This woman is such an inspiration and has shaped me to become who I am today and I desperately hope that one day I’ll be able to meet her, just to say thank you for helping me to accept myself and begin to become my best self.
I’m sorry this was rather brief, Malala is one of my biggest role models and I want people to understand that! Also, as I was writing this, I accidentally went down a bit of a Yousafzai-Spiral and it really made me realise how truly grounded this woman is, in one article I read she said all she needs right now is Netflix and Sleep and, honestly, who doesn’t! I think we can all agree that Ms Yousafzai is an absolute icon and inspiration to all young women in this world.
“If one man can destroy everything, why can’t one girl change it?”
I have a feeling this is meant to be positive and heart-warming, but who has time for that crap? I’m fuelled by insults and hate, it’s what makes me rise up and grow stronger.
One day, someone said to me – pre warning this may make you feel very uncomfortable because it’s sexualising a minor – and I quote
“Tati, you’re hot, peng and you have great tits [something which he has never seen, considering he’s only seen me in my school uniform]. But, the only way I’d date you is if you shut up about your opinions and let the men talk. Also if you dressed less like a whore then people may feel more sorry for you when you say you were sexually assaulted by different guys.”
I remember exactly who said this to me, what had caused them to say this, where I was when they said this, how I responded and why I never forgot it. So, without further ado, let’s delve in and analyse this quote!
Who: Of course I won’t expose this person by name because that’s not what I do. It just promotes more hate and fuels the cancel culture this society feeds off. However, we shall call this person… [brb currently looking up random names which don’t have any relation to me] Kronos! Kronos was someone I knew from school who added me on Snapchat to ask for help with schoolwork.
Where and When? This time last year ironically! It was the start of the summer holidays (after the sexual assault allegations surfaced) in 2019, just after I’d finished my year ten exams.
What caused Kronos to say this? We were on the phone just chatting, as I do with many of my friends, and I was jokingly complaining about how no-one likes me and that I’m going to die alone. [I swear to be overdramatic and true too Taylor!] So, of course, Kronos decided to be “helpful” and give me this lovely… boost in self-confidence? Constructive criticism? Just plain insult? Who knows?!
How did I respond to this? At the time, as ashamed as I am to admit it, I pretty much just said “oh, okay” because I didn’t really know what to say. However, it’s safe to say I cut off almost all contact with Kronos because he made me so uncomfortable. If he said this to me now though, I’d most likely roundhouse kick him into another dimension.
Why I never forgot. As a 14 year-old, vulnerable girl, I should not have just shrugged it off like I did. However, as bad as it is, it’s just part of the job description when you’re a girl. You have to deal with boys saying things which make you squirm, as wrong as it is. Even though I will never ever stop fighting the good fight of pressing on with my feminist agenda, I have begun to accept this sort of thing as a part of life, which is just so wrong. Please take this into account before you open your mouth and say something which involves making someone upset, degrading, telling them what to do, sexualising them or even simply calling them peng.
Thanks for reading this light-hearted but kinda important feminist article. I’m going to be cheeky and pretend it’s a Friday so I can say it’s a Feminist Friday post! Love you peng people, xo baby, Tati xoxo