We opened with a great discussion on their impression of feminism. I asked them what feminism meant to them, leading into the messages they’ve received – whether directly or indirectly – about being a girl.
I was so impressed by how articulate they all were, and what they had to say on the topic. They all had a pretty deep understanding about the messages girls receive because it’s such a lived experience – the messages have been received since before being born. I was struck by the fact that the messages they told me about were the same ones I had received when I was their age – more than 20 YEARS AGO.
Things like: girls don’t excel at sports (Serena Williams, anyone?!), that they shouldn’t play video games (here’s a great article on the video game industry waking up to the lack of women – gave me shivers, actually), that their priorities should be taking care of children, and that they should identify with pink and not blue (so arbitrary).
20 years later, and those messages are still being sent out. This is why we need feminism and why we NEED to talk about gender representation (and more importantly, about intersectionality). It’s also why we need to talk about it with boys and men too – so that we can all move towards a future where we’re free to be ourselves.
I hope I can reflect on this in 2038 and look back on all of the progress we’ve made. One step at a time.
Me, power posing at Galifax. They practiced afterwards and rocked it.