Tag Archives: #change

Change

Dear Reader,

I thought long and hard about what to focus this week’s letter. There are so many topics I could have written about.

I was going to write about all schools becoming academies, or the proposed adding of an hour onto the school day – but I figured I can’t keep writing about education every week. I know you all agree with me and I know that the people who need to actually read the letter would undoubtedly ignore its contents if they ever did. Because they have ignored every single shred of evidence that points to the fact that no one agrees with what they are doing to the education system. They are ploughing on regardless even though teachers are leaving in their droves and mental health issues in the young are steadily on the rise.

And then, having spent over five hours in the last couple of weeks at various hospital appointments for my children, I thought about writing to Jeremy Hunt again. But you know, he doesn’t listen either. Not to patients who owe their lives to the NHS or the people who work for it.

And then I wanted to write to Donald Trump and ask him what the hell he is playing at. And to the Americans blindly voting for him. But hey, how do you change the opinion of a nation being slowly brainwashed by an absolute tool?

And then I hit a blank and got writer’s block. Whilst I very much enjoy writing these letters I am frustrated by the fact that they don’t seem to do anything. I mean, I know I’m never going to change the world or the government single handedly, but maybe a little change would be good. Like with the latest Oscar’s row – they listened to the debates raging about how black people were not fairly represented and now have new ethnically diverse board members as a result. They changed. And now it has sparked a fresh debate about whether older women are fairly represented on UK television, something which could be changed easily.

But change is something that is often feared in spite of the fact it can be a positive thing most of the time. And sometimes change takes time.

And maybe I shouldn’t give up so easily.

Surely the government have to listen to us all at some point, right?

Love, me x

FEMINISM IN POP CULTURE – A YOUNG FEMINIST’S VIEW

Bristol Woman is delighted to publish the second part of the ‘Young Feminist’ series from young blogger, Mollie Semple. Probably, our youngest guest blog contributor to date. In this blog, Mollie tells us her hopes and fears in terms of the evolution and expansion of today’s Third Wave feminism. Definitely worth a read!

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It used to be, in recent years, that there was only a very subtle undertone of feminism in any kind of pop culture most likely due to the fact the ‘Angry Feminist’ was the only stereotype thought of to refer to. And an angry woman just does not sell to the masses.

After the popularity of the full on 90s feminist movement Riot Grrrl, the whereabouts of feminists in the limelight, to me as a young person, appear to have dwindled away.

Only a few years ago I found it hard to find celebrities, songs and films right in the middle of popular culture to resonate with my growing feminist beliefs but now it’s increasingly hard to find an area that isn’t slathered in a new Third Wave feminist tint.

Obviously this feminism has always been around, but there wasn’t the same platform there is now to shout out to the world about one’s beliefs on equality. There wasn’t the same number of actresses questioning the press why it was only them who were asked about their family life or their skincare routine instead of their impressive careers. There was no Emma Watson to appeal to UN delegates on the importance of equality for women. Feminism was a dirty word, but I can see more and more of us embrace it as a powerful one. It is within this explosion onto the Hollywood scene, the music scene, the celebrity scene that one can see, mixed in with the added bonus of the Internet, the power of the media to share a message with the people.

This sudden surge of Third Wave feminism in the Western world, which has been building up, right from the first surge of Riot Grrrl, is completely exhilarating. Twitter is littered with it, Facebook is swimming in it and the celebrities are more and more becoming advocates for it. The Angry Feminist, for most, is now just a ‘Taming of the Shrew’ type exaggeration because a huge number of people are now fitting comfortably into a new “acceptable” egalitarian category. We are of course still angry, because you can’t see the gaps in equality and not become deeply impassioned in a desire for change, but it is now an accepted feature to be commended and not frowned upon.

Staggeringly, huge numbers of female celebrities are no longer afraid to open their mouth and express an important opinion in case of a drop in popularity. There has finally been created a safe space for feminism within pop culture where women and men can properly express their thoughts on it. The obvious inequality in this culture is no longer happily ignored, Third Wave feminism has broken through and started to dominate. Perhaps this is the beginning of the end.

However, I do just have one issue with this mostly brilliant popular movement. I worry that in between Emma Watson’s work for the UN, or frequent call outs on the Hollywood pay gap meant to ripple into the world wide pay gap, or the highlighting of the blatant racism in the film industry, there isn’t just a small element of inactivity with this newfound prestige. I wonder if there is too much focus on Western inequality and a lack of intrigue for the disastrous inequality on the other side of the world. Malala Yousafzai has been voicing her feminist views for her culture all over the world, but I wonder if she reaches the level of pop culture that, say, Ryan Gosling does. Western inequality is not unimportant or negligible in any way, but we mustn’t again fall into the trap of forgetting that the rest of the world exists. I also worry that this popularity might be detrimental to feminism in the way that it could exhaust its meaning without a sufficient achievement.

I am so excited by the fact that celebrities are using their platform to spread the word of feminism, but are they truly aiding us or telling us to actively do something?

Perhaps my criticisms are unfair here, perhaps I should just let feminism with its new fame find its steps and see where it goes. I just don’t want its power to become trivial, and for the feminist stereotype to be cyclical and in a few years time we fall into the unattractive label of the “Angry Feminist” once more. I just don’t want this fantastic opportunity to be squandered and lost in this fast moving pace of the pop culture world.

BIO
Mollie is a 17 year old student in the midst of her A Levels. She’s a passionate blogger at The Fully Intended, and all she really wants to do in life is write. She has been raised by her parents to want nothing more for the world than equality, and so intends to spend a lot of her time making sure her generation gets a little bit closer to just that.

Top Gear: Time for a Woman

Search for “woman driver” on Google images and pictures of female Formula One drivers is NOT what you get. Instead you get women arranging their hair and make up in car mirrors, parking badly, or getting into some ridiculous car accidents.

Images headed by “Caution! Women Drivers”, “Women Driving a Car: Always Ends Badly”, and even “Women Drivers: There’s a reason why it’s illegal in Saudi Arabia”. Compare these images to the fact that women make safer more mindful drivers.

Mainstream media is not helping promote the reality. I’m going to jump on the bandwagon here and talk about Top Gear as an example. Everybody else is! Continue reading Top Gear: Time for a Woman

A Monster Ate My Mum

Bristol author Jen Faulkner on tackling post-natal depression

frontcoverTHEONE_zpsa9dea037Post-Natal depression affects many families; and it affected mine. I am a mum to three beautiful children and have suffered either pre or postnatal depression with each of them. It is a debilitating illness that affects the entire family and I was painfully aware of this after the birth of my third child when I was at my most ill. I witnessed my older children, then three and eleven, look at me with confusion when I was crying again and asked me why I was so sad. I saw them shy away from me when I was irritable and tip-toe around me when I was locked in my own anxiety ridden hell. It wasn’t their fault, it wasn’t anything yet they’d done, but it know they were affected by it. I know they were confused by what was happening to their mum who was such a confident and lively person.

Reaching out to them, and anyone in fact, when I was ill was hard. I hated asking for help and for a while battled with the reality of the illness, refusing to believe it had taken me in it’s grasp. Yet I did want to reach out to them, I did want to explain why it was happening to me and that it wouldn’t be like this forever. So I wrote the poem ‘A Monster Ate My Mum,’ which looks at post natal depression through the eyes of a child. My children loved the story and it prompted some very honest and open discussions about the illness. It helped us so much; even my husband understood a little bit more about what I was going through after reading the poem. Continue reading A Monster Ate My Mum

Is it time to let go?

By Sam Stone

Caterpillar into Butterfly‘Who are you?’ said the caterpillar….

‘I – I hardly know, Sir, just at present’ Alice replied rather shyly, ‘at least I know who I was when I got up this morning, but I think I must have changed several times since then’.

Lewis Carrol, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Making sense of change isn’t always easy. Whether you are becoming a new mom, starting a new job or simply experiencing some sort of restructuring in your life – these can be times full of excitement, mystery and adventure; promising many benefits, but as we know, they can also be stressful.

Few people relish in change. I hit a bump in the road when a relationship that I was in came to an end but I wasn’t ready to let go. My inability to move on was unpleasant and the situation tortured me for many years. I looked for new solutions all the time as there must be some way I could get things back on track. I was stuck in a rut and brilliant at wall papering over the cracks, telling myself ‘it’s no big deal, everything’s alright really’, but then anger would rise up in me as my own truths crept in. Numerous times, I sizzled into despair to start the cycle all over again by denying my lived reality. The thing that I missed on so many occasions was acceptance of an ending. Acceptance that, yes, I will miss this and I don’t like the new situation but I will give it a shot anyway. Continue reading Is it time to let go?