International Women's Day

 

09 March 2020

International Women's Day got us all talking about how we can help create a gender equal world by celebrating women's achievement, raising awareness against bias and taking action for equality.

Student Giada Vaglietti, staying with us at our all-female residence Goldsmiths House, tells us what this means to her. 


To me, being a feminist means being an attentive and compassionate being. It means keeping my eyes open to my privilege and not only to my struggles. It means placing myself inside of a larger, unfair system, critiquing those who have more power than me while at the same time understanding the difference between mine and others’ different, maybe more complex, types of oppression.

And, most of all, being a feminist means occupying the space that is granted to me with the honest, harsh truth, because I owe it to those who are erased from that very space to begin with.

‘Speaking truth to power’, from within its structures and from outside of them, is the essence of being a feminist: it means going beyond overly simplistic assertions of equality among the sexes and understanding the overlapping realities of our globalised world.

It also means genuinely researching the long-standing history of our struggle, and of the patriarchal system against which we fight.

It is hard to live according to these principles, as it requires constant intellectual labour as well as engaged activism. And yet, it is a life very well worth living.
 
“Solidarity does not assume that our struggles are the same struggles, or that our pain is the same pain, or that our hope is for the same future. Solidarity involves commitment, and work, as well as the recognition that even if we do not have the same feelings, or the same lives, or the same bodies, we do live on common ground.”
 
- Sara Ahmed, feminist writer 

A gender equal world is what I, as a feminist, want to fight for. However, I would be blind if I did not see that my fight is not an isolated one: on the contrary, I cannot call myself a feminist without fully supporting my siblings who fight against racism, ageism, classism, ableism, discrimination based on sexuality, nationality or religion.

I cannot call myself a feminist without acknowledging the lived experiences of refugees across the planet, and without recognising the huge work that still needs to be done towards respecting our environment.