women's rights

"1 in 4 women get sexually assaulted. That’s is almost every woman I’ve ever met." - Kayla Ancrum

1. Walking alone on a deserted street at night, I think of – 

Generally, when I’m walking late at night, I don’t feel like I’m in danger. Generally, I feel completely fine and free until someone or something viscerally reminds me that I’m prey. Like a man who is just trying to get home quickly, walking too close behind me. Or some teenagers smoking in an alley who duck out at the same time I walk by. Or footsteps behind me that turn out to be another girl. Its like being a bunny and seeing something wriggling in the bushes and as your bunny heart begins to race with dreams of foxes and dogs, out comes another bunny and you breathe just to live another day.  

2. My first time - If are you open to it, you could share the first incident of street harassment/teasing/“catcalling” you experienced. 

I honestly couldn’t tell you. I became prey so young I can’t remember. The worst incident however, I do recall: I was riding the train to high school and it was rush hour so it was very packed. I felt something weird happen to my leg but it was over really quickly, and my wallet wasn’t back there so I didn’t think anything of it. When I stepped off the train however and turned to check. I noticed that a complete stranger had ejaculated all over the back leg of my jeans. I cut the seams and ripped them into shorts right there on the train platform and walked the 8 blocks to school in jorts. It was 18 degrees outside.

3. Healing is - What do you do to regain your sense of self, rooted in being a woman/woman identified person who has to fight for herself in a world where so much physical and emotional violence is directed towards our bodies and minds.

I don’t allow myself to wallow. 1 in 4 women get sexually assaulted. That’s is almost every woman I’ve ever met.  I understand that my experiences are common and treat them as such. I do not let them affect me and I discuss them openly because until people realize just how common these occurrences are, we will keep excusing them as incidental. It is of more interest to me to teach the men around me in my life about feminism and about how to treat women like human beings, with respect, than to turn inwards when dealing with these issues. Every man and boy who I have taught to stand up to fellow men and reel back in disgust when they see women being dehumanized, is one less woman who gets cum on the back of her jeans.

4.Do you think your city is safe for women? What can be done to make it better?

No city is “safe for women”. There is nowhere on earth that is safe for women. Even small matriarchal towns and sects are under constant threat of gender based violence.

5. What is your survival song - a method to self-care, a mantra, a ritual or something you hold close to revive and strengthen yourself after a shock, setback or trauma? (This section is important because I think a lot of young girls who read this will gain strength and means for their own survival songs.)

 Keeping Warm by We Were Promised Jetpacks. Its an incredible millennial song about surviving inherited circumstance.

The chances of being born are so slim

So keep warm, so keep warm

And take some heart at being born at quite so young

You can learn to talk, and learn to walk in your own time

You’re so young.”  

I love that understanding that you’re so precious and so vulnerable and so young, and no matter what you’re doing as long as you try your best—even if that best isn’t good enough– you are still okay. You are still Doing Good. There aren’t many places young people can hear that said out loud and with such tenderness. So, whenever I feel small, I listen to that song and think “ I feel so small and hurt right now, but really—I am small, and that’s okay. One day, I will grow. If I keep going, I will grow”.

 

Kayla Ancrum is an American YA author who is fond of tea, fan fiction and turkish delight. She is repped by Amy Tipton of Signature Literary Agency.

Scherezade Siobhan creator and curator of The Mira Project, is an Indo Rroma behavioural scientist and hack scribbler of 2 poetry collections - Bone Tongue (Thought Catalog Books, 2015), Father, Husband (Salopress, 2015) and 1 poetry pamphlet - to dhikr, i (Pyramid Editions, Forthcoming). She can be found squeeing about militant bunnies at www.zaharaesque.com or @zaharaesque on twitter/facebook/ig. 

Stop telling women what to wear, stop banning women’s clothing, stop slut shaming women for what they wear, stop telling women they should wear more, stop telling women they should wear less, stop telling women what to do.

viralwomen.com
Female Chief Terminates 850 Child Marriages in Malawi and Sends Girls Back to School | Viral Women
A Malawian female chief has established a new law to prevent child marriage in Malawi and has terminated approximately 850 child marriages across the country to date.
By WRN Editor

According to a 2012 United Nations survey, more than half of Malawi’s girls are married before the age of 18. In addition, the country is ranked 8th out of 20 countries believed to have the highest child marriage rates in the world. Chief Kachindamoto is changing this one step at a time and has begun by annulling more than 850 child marriages, sending hundreds of young women back to school to continue their education, and by making astonishing strides to abolish cleansing rituals that require young girls to go to sexual initiation camps.

This is amazing. She’s like a real-life superhero.

10

In 1980, photographer Anita Corbin decided to turn her lens on the young women of UK subcultures. Over the next two years, rockabillies, mods, goths, rude girls, skinheads, rastas and more posed for Corbin and opened up about what it was like to be a young woman navigating an alt scene, and the importance of female friendships. 

I have chosen to focus on girls, not because the boys (where present) were any less stylish, but because girls in “subcultures” have been largely ignored or when referred to, only as male appendages.” -Anita Corbin, photographer, “Visible Girls”

Listen to our interview with Corbin and learn what happened when Corbin and her portrait subjects reunited earlier this year.

Are you a woman in a subculture? Do you feel welcome? What role do female friendships play in your scene of choice?

5

Nicola Thorp was sent home without payment on her first day at work because she refused to wear heels. She’s since started a petition to make it illegal for companies to require women to wear high heels. The petition has received over 100,000 signatures. 

Watch an interview with Nicola

vine

Beautiful: Watch This Woman Use A Raw Steak To Bang Out The Word ‘Equality’ In Morse Code On The Hood Of Her Car