My Feminism is Not Faultless

June 3rd, 2018

 

I am not sorry that I bought a copy of “We: A Manifesto for Women Everywhere” in March 2017. The book opens with a quote from Mary Oliver: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” A call to action to do something, to make my own environment the best I could, to have an impact in some way. I asked myself: “If not me, who? If not now, when?” And so Ladies-who-Launch was born.

I had a desire to increase the visibility around the amazing things women are doing every day, and to create a place for conversation and dialogue on the topics we so often shy away from. I wanted to celebrate and champion the incredible feats I was seeing women around me achieve—be that a promotion at work, founding a company, becoming a mother, taking time to focus on themselves, committing to a cause, supporting a relative… The list goes on and on.

This journey has forced me to confront a lot of things – scepticism about what I would achieve, my own bias, my own privilege, my own poor time management. Not to mention a number of impossibly uncomfortable conversations with people I had always assumed wanted the same as me – a fairer, more equal, more inclusive world for us all. Conversations that quickly descended into difficult and confusing threads, moving further and further away from what I was sure wasn’t a commonly held view.

But for the all the minor hurdles, there have been a tremendous number of giddy highs. So, I am not sorry for any of this journey—in fact I couldn’t be more grateful. I truly feel empowered by the women who have shared their stories with us on the Launch Pad and who have offered their unconditional support. It has enabled me to tackle those difficult conversations in a new way. Not from a place of furious emotion but from a place of informed calm.  It’s forced me to learn and listen, to educate myself and understand viewpoints different from my own. I’ve learnt that challenging views is not about criticism and correction, it’s about stimulating discussion and creating a space for change. I’m not sorry for making people a little uncomfortable as they have to rethink what they have said and reflect on the impact of words a little harder.

I am sorry for getting it completely wrong sometimes. Which believe me I do. My feminism is not faultless and pure: it’s an evolving education with inclusion and equality at its heart. I too have biases, I too have prejudices with a large dollop of privilege as a white, educated, cis woman. But I am working to understand my perspective and use my platform and voice for good and meaningful change. For real impact and real progress. Ladies-who-Launch is about bringing people together and providing a space where ideas, inspiration and support are freely shared.

There’s something incredibly special about the community of people that has grown around Ladies-who-Launch, a large number of whom I chat with on a regular basis but am yet to meet. We all share a desire to learn, grow and play a role in making the world a more equal and inclusive place. They are all so supportive and accepting, always willing to lend a hand and share a lesson learnt.

I truly believe we all have a story to tell. I am not sorry for asking to hear yours.

Emma Tattersall