Written by Amanda Huettner
While 2017 was one of the toughest years politically and economically it was also a huge year for feminism.
We learned about perseverance. We struggled through pain to create our own justice as survivors of assault and harassment. We took to the streets. We created dialogue and forced the world to listen. And hey, we started FACE BC!
Watch out, 2018!
Here's our 5 Feminist New Years Resolutions:
1. BE AN ALLY TO ALL WOMEN*
Feminism is about equality, but gender equality isn’t the only place we need to level the playing field. Intersectional feminism recognizes how overlapping identities like race, class, ethnicity and disability impact our experience of discrimination. Feminism’s goal is to acknowledge every woman's complex experience of oppression and to join together as allies in the fight for equality.
How do we put this into practice? Listen to voices that differ from your own (be mindful of speaking on behalf of or over others). Follow and share the words of communities you want to support on social media. If someone says you are being close-minded, take a moment to challenge your own ideas instead of getting defensive.
*Anyone who identifies as a woman or non-binary person is part of our movement. Trans women are women.
2. EDUCATE YOURSELF
Knowledge is power. This 2018, seek out new ways of thinking and challenging the status quo. Racism, sexism, ableism - all the ‘isms’ - thrive when people choose to ignore the issues.
Study up on disabled feminism, add black feminist blogs to your daily reading list and seek out feminist learning opportunities like FACE BC’s conference (your employer will likely pay for you to attend!).
3. SHOP AT WOMEN OWNED BUSINESSES
Put your money where your mouth is! Whether it's companies that provide safe and supportive working environments for women or businesses built by women themselves, you’ll get what you need with the added bonus of helping women thrive!
Here are a few of our favs:
4. WEAR YOUR EMOTIONS ON YOUR SLEEVE
2018 calls for realness. No more stifling emotions or adjusting behavior to make others comfortable. 2017 saw #metoo, womens marches, #nastywomen, the continued power of #trans and #blacklivesmatter, and art and media that demonstrated that our anger is 100% justified.
Embrace that anger and express it. Listen to and care about other people’s frustration, support and share their words. The more we raise our voices, the harder it is to ignore us.
5. SAY WHAT YOU REALLY MEAN (NO, YES and everything in between).
This one sounds simple but is a constant challenge! Our advice is to first start with the word “sorry”. 37% of women feel they apologize too often and for things that aren’t their fault. How dis-empowering is that?
Every time you start to say “I’m sorry”, try swapping the negative statement about yourself into a positive statement about your interaction.
A delayed response to an email is a perfect example. Instead of “sorry I took so long to reply” swap in “thanks for your patience”. The recipient feel acknowledged, and you haven’t thrown yourself under the bus!
Saying and truly meaning ‘no’ and ‘yes’ is another hurdle. Remember that you are allowed to pause and think about a question for a few moments. Ask for time before you give your answer if possible. Join us at our boundary setting and inner voice FACE Your Life workshops for more ideas and support in saying what you mean.
We hope you have a safe and fun New Years. If you're in Vancouver, Good night Out will be working NYE and will have volunteers at the ready with nalaxone, water, snacks and harm reduction supplies.
Thanks for reading and for your continued support - and we hope to see you in 2018!