All feminists have moments that made us so — things that acted as turning points for us in realising that women and non binary folk weren’t equal to men and it was our job to fight to change that.
On International Women’s Day 2018, The Nopebook’s editorial team share their feminist awakenings.
Georgia Sanders — Founder and Editor in Chief
I was about 22-23, and had always considered myself an ‘activist’, and that heavily involved me stressing that ‘women are just as great as men and can do what they want’. But I had the ingrained patriarchal bullshit image of a ‘feminist’ painted into my mind’s eye — she’s angry and has a shaved head and rants at people constantly. Until my friend Lee-Anne read a book. And called me as soon as she’d finished, with the shocking revelation: “I think we might be feminists.”
I rolled my eyes, of course. And then she lent me Caitlin Moran’s How To Be A Woman. Now, since embarking on my feminist journey I’ve obviously learned more about Moran and her problematic side, but her description of feminism brought me to that same realisation. And slowly I found a community, both on and offline, of other feminists who taught me so much I had never known, due to my own privilege, about feminism, intersectionality, and so much more.
And guess what, mother f*ckers – I’m angry, I have a shaved head, and I f*cking rant at people constantly.
Liv Woodward — Deputy Editor and Politics and Activism Editor
When I was 13, I used to troll feminists on Tumblr, because I was so full of internalised misogyny and cis, white privilege that I actually believed that feminism was a thing of the past. Eventually, I read enough Tumblr posts and blog articles about feminism that I started to see the error of my ways (proof that ranting on the internet can change the world!). By the age of 16 I was a raging angry feminist, and I haven’t looked back since.
Rachel Charlton-Dailey — Story Corner Editor
I was always a bit of a gobby child and stubborn to boot. I would argue about every detail and if anyone told me I couldn’t do something I was determined to prove them wrong. Nobody knew this more than the eleven year old boy I was made to sit next to in school.
We were learning about Edwardians in school, and since it’s hard to keep a bunch of ten- and eleven-year-olds who’ve just had their first sex ed class interested in dead people, my teacher had us making dioramas. I’d already piped up angrily asking Mr Andrews why we weren’t doing the suffragettes (I’d received a set of history books for Christmas and was obsessed) and he wearily suggested I based my model on them. Thats when this boy, we’ll call him Tyrone (because that is his name) opened his ignorant mouth. Every time our teacher was out of ear shot he’d make quips about whinging women and how girls are poo. He was eleven, his insults weren’t very sophisticated. But then came the blow:
“Mine’s better than yours. You can’t do anything ‘cos you’re just a stupid girl.”
Now, eleven year old Rach with paint in her hair was not having this. I did the rational thing and tipped paint all over his diorama. My teacher was incensed and sent me to the deputy head teachers room. She was used to this and rolled her eyes asking who I argued with, I explained my story, red faced with rage and expecting her to make me sit outside her class for the next hour. I wasn’t expecting her response which set me on course for the next 19 years of my life:
“Damn right you’re not just a stupid girl. Don’t ever let a boy tell you that you can’t do anything.”
Becki-Jayne Crossley — In The Media and Entertainment Editor
My feminism was not a ‘eureka’ moment – it happened over some time. As a young woman fumbling my way towards intersectional feminism I would often miss the point, trying desperately to fight for equality without quite knowing which direction to fight in. It was through immersing myself in the online feminist community that my feminism formed and evolved, always learning from the incredible, inspirational women speaking out about what they believed in. I am forever grateful – they helped make me who I am today.
Caroline Marie McDonagh-Delves — Health Editor
As a girl from a working class background with a disabled mother, I guess I realised pretty early that the odds were stacked against me and always powered through to be more clever than the boys, to do the ‘boy stuff’ like help my dad fix the car and stuff so you could probably argue that I was always feminist. But I, like so many others, had this idea in my head of a rad fem with a bald head and hairy armpits (and that that was a bad thing) and I even had a blog ‘Thoughts from a (Fairly Reasonable) Feminist’, because I’d internalised the notion that feminists were unreasonable.
But, once you mixed a bit of pop feminism like Caitlin Moran with arguing alongside like minded people on forums and twitter, I think I embraced the label. Since then, I developed chronic health conditions and connected with so many diverse people that I blew my internalised incorrect stereotypes out of the water and embraced intersectionality.”