Feminism, undoubtedly, has come a long way in recent years. What was once considered an unconventional and widely despised attack on tradition is starting to – thankfully – become a far more normalised set of ideologies, with an ever-increasing number of people identifying themselves as feminist. As a fierce proponent for feminism myself, it brings me feelings of immense pride to see so many others also aligning themselves with this imperative social movement. There are so many different ways to engage with this movement on a participatory level, that it can be difficult to even know where to start. I know that when I ‘discovered’ feminism, I sure didn’t! For that reason, and to try to help make feminism more easily accessible to the community around me, I have collated this list of resources, so that no matter what your preferred method or level of involvement is, you’ll be able to find a way to become a more active participant in the feminism that you find meaningful.
Standing up for yourself and the social movements you believe in is very difficult when you’re not sure what your own values are. Informing yourself on the meaning of and issues relating to feminism will help you figure out which aspects of feminist ideology and practice are the most important to you. Learning about feminism doesn’t have to be boring either! There are plenty of readily accessible resources out there, such as:
- Books – you can start with the classics like The Second Sex, or try something more contemporary such as Clementine Ford’s Fight Like A Girl
- Films, TV shows and documentaries – series like The Handmaid’s Tale can help inspire ideas about the importance of feminism, and comedian Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette is both a hilarious and impactful look into gender-related issues
- Podcasts – Deborah Frances-White’s The Guilty Feminist, and Scarlett Curtis’ Feminists Don’t Wear Pink are super interesting listens for any podcast enthusiast
- Website and blogs – Feministing will keep you up to date with breaking social and political news affecting women all around the world, and Black Girl Dangerous is an excellent blog that gives insight into how feminist issues affect women of colour
- Articles – there’s this little magazine called GROK that has some fabulous articles on feminism (so I’d recommend checking those out)
- Social media pages – @salty.world and @womensmarch on Instagram are two great places to see empowering feminist imagery
Being an informed feminist is essential in acquiring a deep understanding about the importance of this movement, and exploring its history to put in perspective of how far we have come thanks to our predecessors’ efforts.
The continuation and growth of feminism relies heavily on more than just inspired words and labels. Although considering yourself a feminist is indeed a fantastic first step, an even better way to further the cause that you believe in is to become an active participant in it. Some ways in which you can be more involved are:
- Volunteering – the WA Women’s Committee always needs the assistance of volunteers and new committee members to keep promoting women’s rights both locally and globally
- Donating – donations to Share the Dignity, an Australian charity, goes directly towards providing underprivileged people with sanitary products, and donations to One Girl will help give girls in developing countries access to education
- Support female artists – supporting local female artists, ensembles and musicians like the Perth-based Maiden Voyage Theatre Company, and local muso Your Girl Pho helps female creatives to flourish
- Support female athletes – if you’re a professional sports fan, try watching more games from women’s leagues such as the AFLW, or see a game from a local women’s sporting club such as Perth Roller Derby
- Support female-owned small businesses – markets are a great place to find small businesses run by people from all walks of life, and social media can also be a great resource for this too!
Doing our part and becoming an active participant is essential in promoting the importance of this movement and helping to dislodge issues such as the systemic prejudices against women around the world.
Sexism occurs all around us, every single day. It infiltrates all areas of society, and the prospect of openly speaking out against it can seem scary. If you do see or hear about sexist jokes, anti-feminist sentiments and generally cruel behaviour, and are in a safe position to do so, call out those inappropriate words and actions you see happening around you. Equality for all is a human right that we should always be striving to attain, and calling out people who perpetuate injustice and inequality is one of the most impactful measures you can take in making a difference in your community, and in encouraging others to do the same.
Standing up for yourself and the values you believe in can be emotionally challenging, especially when the world around you seems intent on preventing you from speaking your truth. As the great proverb of the modern activist goes, though: “if we fight, we win”. So voice your opinions, my fellow feminists! Rise up against oppression, and don’t let anyone force you to sit back down. Look out for each other, uplift those around you, and remind yourselves and each other that we have the ability and the drive to create the change we want to see in the world.