Throughout 2017, we are going to introduce our followers to the One Woman Project team by asking them five feminist-related questions. Here we have Ally Sarah.
What is your name and your role with the One Woman Project?
My name is Ally, and I'm one of two facilitators for the OWP 102 Seminar Series Stream.
What does feminism mean to you?
Feminism means realising that all the little micro aggressions I was never able to make sense of suddenly having not only an explanation, but a solution.
Feminism makes me feel strong, and confident, and empowered. Feminism means doing just as well as my male counterparts in my science degree (heavily rooted in mathematics). Feminism means fighting for people who don't have a voice, and using my platform of privilege to help other women, all other women.
Feminism means inclusivity, belonging, support and safety. Feminism is for everyone.
What personal experience drew you to feminism? Why did you become a feminist?
When I was younger, there were all of these tiny instances that I could never explain that made me feel different. People would always draw attention to the fact that I was a girl in some capacity - sometimes it wasn't malicious, sometimes it wasn't ill intended, but it was still making my gender obvious and bringing it to the forefront somehow.
And then the wolf whistling started, the catcalling, the constant comments about how I was smart 'for a girl' I could run fast 'for a girl' I was funny 'for a girl'.
So really, it was a collection of tiny experiences that one day became so clear - a constant stream of micro aggressions which were so blatantly discriminatory based on my gender.
Once this clicked, I knew I had to fight back. Finding the OWP was like coming home after a really long time away. Walking in the door and feeling completely safe, understood and supported.
I became a feminist because if we want equality, safety and inclusivity, there is no other choice.
What is your biggest focus within the movement towards global gender equality?
My biggest focus is unhealthy relationships and domestic violence. It is the perfect example of the ripple effect - small comments, actions that seem harmless at the time but contribute to a larger and much more serious issue later on.
Many people have no idea of the small signs of an unhealthy relationship, and are often surprised to hear them. There is so little education surrounding this, especially for school aged people, I believe its on the most important aspects of global gender equality, and the safety of women in general.
If there was one feminist resource that you wish everyone would read or view what would it be?
We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. The book version is incredible because you get a little bit of extra content, but watching this as a Ted Talk will change your life. She describes so many aspects of feminism perfectly, and you leave feeling incredible inspired.