Bernard, if you could lend me your magical time-stopping watch, I’d really appreciate it mate. It’s been a hectic few days.
I’ve been at WOW (Women Of The World Festival) this weekend, and I wish I had more time to tell you all how incredible it’s been; but I’ll resort to a few bullet points about my favourite events for the sake of efficiency:
- Annie Lennox is an inspirational activist, and my Mum & I saw her in conversation with Jude Kelly last night at Royal Festival Hall.
- The Body Politic was a fascinating discussion which encouraged women to challenge the social construct of ‘beauty’.
- ‘Stop Touching My Hair’ was an insightful discussion about black feminisms, and the growing need for intersectional feminism.
- Vian Dakhil, the only Yazidi MP in the Iraqi Parliament, appealed to the audience to help end the genocidal, systematic raping of Yazidi women and girls.
Whilst many of the conversations were painful to listen to, the number of listeners and the inclusive atmosphere made everything easier to process; and action to end this inequality was vehemently encouraged outside of WOW’s walls.
Earlier in the week, International Women’s Day was both celebrated and criticised in equal measure on my social media newsfeed. I spent a large part of my time in defensive discussions about why we still need one day in the calendar to celebrate and encourage women to get to where they want to be. I won’t carry on this ‘defensive discussion’, because once again, WOW has proved to me there are like-minded individuals – female and male – who acknowledge the importance of events and days directly aimed at celebrating and challenging issues which still affect women on both a personal, and global scale.
Sometimes you have to dull the questioning voices of others, and the ever prevalent voices of self doubt in your own mind. I’ve discovered that listening to Mac Demarco’s ‘My Kind Of Woman’ is a sensational way to ease anxiety. Mac’s referring to women in a romantic sense in his song (whatta babe), but I’ve been singing it to myself in a platonic way, and to borrow a term from Emma Jane Unsworth (author of the amazing Animals)‘self-seducing’ myself as a reminder that I need to love myself, as well as the other women (and men) in my life. Look after each other, and chuck ‘My Kind Of Woman’ on whenever the doubt gets too much.