by Fran Hall
Inspired by the letter to Santa from all women, I’ve taken the liberty of writing a list of New Year’s resolutions for women. Because it is tragic to think just how many women will make a resolution list for 2013 that looks something like this:
1) Lose weight
2) Get prettier
3) Find perfect man
4) Repeat steps 1) and 2)
I’m trying to make this as positive as possible, but as you’ll see it proves tricky. 2012 has had its ups and downs for women; from positive accolade at the Olympics, to horrific stories of rape victim blaming from around the world .
But here goes:
1) No means no. This has to come first and foremost. Because apparently, especially in 2012, some men need constant reminding of this. Women are never to blame for being the victims of sexual abuse, no matter how drunk, naked or wondering alone they are.
2) Don’t put up with everyday sexism. This means:
a. Speaking out against sexism in the workplace. Whether to their face, making a formal complaint, or joining the twitter campaign @everydaysexism (one of my favourite movements of 2012)
b. Perfecting that glare or witty response to the average street abuser with his ‘get your tits out’ remark
3) Shout I AM A FEMINIST from the rooftops, the office or kitchen chair, at any given opportunity, Caitlin Moran style.
4) Do what you, not anybody else, wants with your body. Shave what you want to shave, wear what you want to wear, stop fretting about those few pounds. Don’t let men/society/media/other women tell you otherwise.
5) Stop reading those damn magazines. You know the ones. We all find ourselves doing it and feel so much worse afterwards. They are pretending to help but instead strip you of all self esteem and sense of worth, and make no 4) much harder to achieve.
6) Celebrate the achievements and successes of women. Properly. I’m guilty of this when I follow men’s sport and don’t scroll down to that tiny link at the bottom to the women’s league. If we don’t praise women, give a damn and spread the word, how can we expect the media or anyone else to care? Sorry Cheryl, this doesn’t include you. I’m discovering female role models every day who I am amazed that I’d never heard of. We need to make sure the next generation are celebrating and looking up to those who deserve it.
7) Campaign for true equality. Whatever the issue, be it closing that gender pay gap, introducing affordable child care, or making abortion available in Northern Ireland. We must continue to fight and not become complacent or we will be trampled on.
8) Help women across the world gain equality. Give to a good cause, volunteer or campaign for those who have it much worse than you or I.
Many of you do these things already. Hopefully, if we all try to (and even better if men did as well), then 2013 should have a more positive outlook for women. Finger’s crossed.
Fran Hall is aelf confessed feminist currently working as a Programme Director at Debate Mate.
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.