I've deliberated long and hard about wether its worth me actually posting a more in depth insight into my view on 'feminism'; what ever you perceive that to be in 2016. I say this because after posting a status on Facebook about an article written in a women's cycling magazine calling out a company for an out of date marketing mistake, not only was I accused of being anti feminist, but also an angry feminist. How can you be both of those things I hear you ask, well I'm not sure you can. What I'm quite sure of, is that unfortunately the short attention span required for social media means most people didn't even read my whole post before feeling like they should leave a comment with their opinion - which in some cases were so ignorant it was funny. People are way to quick off the mark to be angry and negative or poke fun at other peoples issues and its toxic.
So why am I posting this?
I don't want to discuss the in's and outs of the said campaign any more, because I think its pointless. It was taken out of context by the author of the article and most of all I don't believe the way it was handled was in the overall interest of the way girls are perceived in mountain biking - a sport that is mostly male. I am posting this to highlight that I think that positive example is the way to solve the core problem that everyone is so offended by.
So next time you are scrolling through social media that you have unfiltered access too, on your smartphone that you brought with the well paid job you have as a result of the education you have a right to; along with your vote and your freedom of speech. You may see something (like said post) that is not directed towards you that you don't like, you can choose to be angry about it and spread this anger. Or you can choose to put your energy into amazing projects like these that will in a few generations to come, make that post you're annoyed about, a thing of the past. Its 2016 and only last year FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) was banned! Women are still forced into marriages and kept as property. Meanwhile, the UK's highest suicide rate is young men as a result of the subtle pressures they undergo growing up. As we break down the walls of gender in children, and instil confidence, education and empowerment into the young girls today through positivity and inclusion and learning we will make sexism a thing of the past, but not through bad media and shaming.
Women Win - A charity teach girls leadership skill through sport, run and founded by professional athletes.
Fast and Female - Canadian organisation with the aim to keep girls in sport into adulthood
Strongher.cc - A new platform I am extremely proud to be an advocate of, providing stories, a community, support and organised rides for women in all disciplines of cycling.
No positive will come from anger, and quite frankly I think a lot of 'feminists' of the western world need to prioritize fighting for the rights of women and girls who don't have basic human rights across the world.