The day Trump won the election I – and a billion others around the globe – were devastated and concerned for so many reasons, one of which was the impact his Presidency would have on women’s lives and rights. After his first week and a half in office, it is clear those worries weren’t unfounded. But, in the face of his misogyny, something amazing is happening.
On Election Day, my Canadian friend B and I connected across time zones to generally wallow in misery for a little bit. When speaking about how this would impact women, she said, “What’s terrible is all the momentum and passion that the feminist movement has gathered will dissipate now.” I agreed... we felt hopeless. How wrong were we?
The one good thing to come from Trump’s reign of hate is the unity we have seen on a global scale to fight for what’s right. On protecting and securing female rights, on accepting people of all cultures, countries, and faiths, and on welcoming and helping people fleeing terror and war in their homelands.
As a global citizen, I take Trump’s actions, words and denouncements personally. On the issue of gender inequality, I already considered myself a feminist, albeit a quiet one, but having such an unashamedly sexist man making decisions that will hugely set back a gender which is already at a disadvantage has turned my personal feminism from quiet to something much stronger. Specifically, his reinstating of the “Global Gag Rule,” taking away critical funding from NGO organisations in developing countries that provide information on sexual health and perform abortion procedures, makes my blood boil. The pictures of him signing away this executive order surrounded by – surprise, surprise – a gang of privileged, white males went viral almost immediately. Having spent time in a small community in Kenya and seen firsthand the deplorable rights of women in a developing country such as this, Trump’s nonchalance with which he makes decisions that will likely cost many lives has turned me into the kind of feminist he hates. That’s right; I’m officially a Nasty Woman.
What does that mean? It means I am going to get loud. I am going to stand up and fight wherever and whenever I can to protect women’s rights. I am going to speak up when I see or hear anything that plays into the sexism which is supporting the ongoing imbalance between male and female. I know there’s a stigma attached to putting your hand up and saying “I’m a feminist” but I’m not afraid to do so anymore. What I wish people would understand is that feminism has nothing to do with elevating women above men; it has nothing to do with “male-bashing” as it’s become known.
It’s about looking at the facts, acknowledging that one party is at a disadvantage and using your voice to raise up the disadvantaged party so it is on an equal playing field. From there, we should work to better the positions of everyone, together. So many people say they’re not feminists because they want equal rights for everyone, not just women, but in my opinion, that is nonsense. Feminism IS wanting equality for all. We only call it that because, when discussing gender, females are blatantly at a disadvantage. All people - male and female - who believe in their heart of hearts that men and women are equal and should be treated as such, should be proud to call themselves a feminist. It’s like when people responded to the “Black Lives Matter” movement saying “No, ALL lives matter.” For goodness sake, do you really think anyone was saying they didn’t?! They were looking at the stats, at the facts, and calling out an inequality which was manifesting itself in a horrible way... by the too-frequent loss of black life. To help demonstrate this, I employed my tremendous(ly abysmal) artistic talent, and a couple of basic graphs... it's really simple:
To the end of being much louder from now on, I have been scouring my favourite online marketplace, Etsy, for the best ways in which I can outwardly call attention to the need for feminism. Slogan tee-shirts get people talking, and whether it’s positive or negative is actually irrelevant; debate is key to progress, and progress is key in the face of what we are seeing take place in the world right now. If you’re keen to get your hands on some amazing feminist tees too, I’ve pulled together my favourite finds... there really is something for everyone!
FOR THE LOVER OF FOOD (AND A GOOD PUN)
Yes! Find it here.
FOR SHAKESPEARE FANS
One of the most beautiful quotes from the famous playwright's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Find it here.
FOR THE REBELLIOUS SPIRITS
There's nothing like a 50s style floating head to get a message across. Find it here.
FOR THE 'MEAN GIRLS' FAN
I believe that would be all of us? And of course, it's pink. Find it here.
FOR THE NASTY WOMEN
The best thing to do with an insult? Turn it into an accolade, something to be proud of. Find it here.
FOR CAT PEOPLE
Felines... always relevant. Find it here.
FOR THE PEOPLE WHO MEAN BUSINESS
Sometimes, you just gotta come right out and say it. Find it here.