As we enter a new year, we’re all thinking of change. How can we change our lives and make it better? How can we change life around us? How would you change the world to make it better for women? What is your #Shetopia?
2018 started with a bang when Oprah Winfrey delivered her phenomenal Golden Globes Speech (if you haven’t seen it, go do that NOW, I’ll wait for you). She tied together so many conversations around the realities women face today, and this tipping point where so many are simply refusing to back down or stay silent anymore. We are on the brink.
The dream is that we will soon reach a point where no woman (or man) has to say Me Too ever again; That we’ll be able to walk down a street without being catcalled; That we can go dancing with friends without being groped at the bar; That we won’t feel afraid to leave a drink unattended or to walk home at night. That’s one of the dreams for my #Shetopia.
What is a #Shetopia?
Sally Hansen is driving this phrase, referring to an ideal world you would like to see for women. You could want something as simple as no more bathroom queues, to being able to breastfeed in public without getting awkward glances. And if we start to express these desires, these goals, I believe we’ll see society change to turn a dream into a reality.
So how does my #Shetopia look
In my #Shetopia women’s bodies would not be considered shameful.
Why should we feel the need to hide when we breastfeed? Why are periods still such a hushed-up topic? Boys touch a tampon like it’s a live grenade! Periods aren’t dirty! Why do so many women refuse to leave the house without makeup? Or a bra? Are boobs only pretty when they’re squished into cups and strapped to your body?
We need to take pride in ourselves as women and fight for a society where no woman ever feels ashamed about something her body was made to do.
In my #Shetopia, no would mean no.
When I was at university, I overheard a guy saying that any girl who is in a club after 2am is there to get some. Or, Mr. Overly-Ambitious Student, she is there to have fun and it has nothing to do with you in any way.
While we have come a long way in terms of equality, we’re by no means at a point where respect and consent are the order of the day. Just watch Thirteen Reasons Why to pick up that conversation. Last year the internet was flooded by women admitting to sexual abuse in some way – be it something as everyday as catcalling, to much worse – simply adding their voice with two words: Me Too. It was so shockingly commonplace. We have to do more to create a world where no means no.
In my #Shetopia, women would support women.
One of my favourite moments in Oprah’s speech was when the women in the audience jumped to their feet to cheer her words, tears in their eyes. When women support women, something magical happens. I think as women we’re too hard on each other, and we just add to the problem. Women are called stuck-up and bitchy if they are too ambitious, we slut-shame when a dress is too short or demean someone as a bimbo if they wear too much makeup. As women we should learn to build together, support each other, and find ways to grow a new society.
Let’s all dream up a perfect Shetopia. And let’s start building that world in 2018.
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*This post was sponsored by Sally Hansen