“I’m a feminist. I’ve been a female for a long time now. It’d be stupid not to be on my own side”. Maya Angelou
Welcome to episode 14 of Blondy’s People and we are almost there…. a few more to go and I think I will be ready to make my point…but we will come back to that.
Feminism is something that was not part of Blondy’s everyday life. Not in an empowering way. In all areas of society, sex inequality is the norm. Disgusting aint it. That the mere fact that you are a female means that life could pan out a certain way.
Blondy was oppressed because of her sex, from day one. From Birth. Just like many females. The very fact that she was born a female in the area she was, already increased her chance of harm and violence from men. Violence against women and girls is deeply rooted in sex- based discrimination.
Blondy was abused and exploited from a young age. She was born into violence. Her mother suffered horrendous domestic violence from her farther. Did her farther stop beating her mother whilst Blondy was in the womb? Did he fuck. Blondy grew up thinking that men and women had their places in this world. That men did certain things and women did not. One of those things was exciting a certain level of violence from men.
Blondy was never taught about feminism. And whilst she watched her mum be strong at times and raise her alone, she also saw that men ruled the area where she lived, both in and outside the home. No one ever spoke in school about the great thing’s women done. And as she grew older, Blondy was too busy trying to survive to even try and discover feminism. But if she had of from a young age life would have been very different.
I’m going to say something that could offend people but…well…it needs to be said….
No women…girl…. female ever caused intentional harm to Blondy. And those females that may have been involved in what happened to her were fully controlled by men.
As a female Blondy was expected to be pretty and act a certain way. She was encouraged to wear sexualised clothes from a young age. Her peers and adults around her spoke about the need to find a male partner, to settle down. Her mum taught her that when your husband/partner has been out at work all day, it was nice to have a bath run for him, to have dinner waiting when he got home. Her mum was brought up that way. The only female in a house of 6 males. So, she taught her daughter what she was taught. Blondy watched her mother work around her dad.
Blondy started to challenge stereotypes and such from a young age. She always felt that it was unfair that she had to act a certain way because she was a girl. I think the first step into understanding feminism would have been she was 15. She had been presently excluded from school and she was pregnant. Discussions started to happen around her about what she “Would do now ”. She was told that she could go to college and two courses were offered to her…. hairdressing and childcare. Blondy said that she did not want to do that. She did not care for hair or beauty and despite the fact she was about to have a child, she did not want to look after children. She said to the social worker at the time she wanted to study criminology.
The look on that social workers face will stick a long time. It was a mixture between amusement and disappointment.
Feminism is not about hating men. Its about being Pro-women. And it needs to be taught in schools across the country.
When I was 38, I was invited to a feminist conference, FiLiA. You can read about it HERE. When I was asked to go, I was confused. I was not a feminist. I mean…. I didn’t really know what a feminist was, but I knew I was not one at all. Not one bit. Nope. And as many people know I went to the conference to prove I was not a feminist and ended up on stage to whole bag of women , with my chest pushed high, telling them that I WAS a feminist thank you very much.
I didn’t become a feminist at 38. No. I have been a feminist my whole life. I have been oppressed a long time purely because I am a woman. But I have also been fighting against it for just as long. I just didn’t know what feminism was. I actually feel sad that I wasted 38 years not knowing that all this stuff is out there for me to understand myself. For you to understand yourself. Now…. I preach feminism daily. Hourly if I must.
My name is Kendra Houseman and I am a proud feminist.
Blondy should have been educated about feminism. About women’s rights About her rights, she never was, and this led to her being not only exploited but also believing she deserved less because she was a girl. That she had no right to challenge certain things. That a woman is only as strong as the man that stands beside her so work hard and try and meet the right man and settle down.
Well fuck that. I mean, if it works for you, then of course…. you should do that.
See me though…. I believe in me. If I need it …. I will get it…. If I don’t like something …. I speak out. And maybe one day I will meet someone and live my life with them, but it will be as equals and I doubt very much it will be a man….ya feel me….
No man (Or women so we are clear) will ever make me doubt my power as women. Like Maya Angelou say’s…. would be stupid not to be on my own side.
The best part….
There is this little girl who has been watching me. Hearing me. She knows that if the washing machine need plumbing…you best go google that. She knows that men do not have any hierarchy over her in any way. She is told that she can be what ever she wants to be in life and most important …. she believes that girls and women should be treated as equals. Blondy may never had these lessons but because of her, her children and her children’s children will know and understand feminism.
So, to talk about feminism for Blondy’s people we have the one and only Sally Jackson.
Where to even start. I met Sally when I was invited to talk at Filia and have watched everything she has done since then. When you think of the saying “When women support each other, incredible things happen” then Sally Jackson’s picture should be under that quote.
Sally would never big up herself. SO frustrating because she is fucking awesome. She would much rather I told you about all the awesome women she mentions in our video and more that she emailed me. We will get to them. But for a second lets just take in the epicness (Is that a word) that Is Sally. She is trustee for Filia. Sally works with those affected by domestic abuse and violence. She helps to give a platform to the women who may never of had the chance to have a voice before. She is an advocate for us. For women. I mean she went to the house of lords and spoke about how the various forms of male violence against women fit the definition of torture and how as a state we are failing in our international obligations. Her speech is reproduced below. For god sake. (You can read her full speech here). However….this is what Sally wants me to tell you….about all the epic women out there that are fighting the fight….So watch the video…look at the links below and gain an understanding of feminism and why children like Blondy must be educated about it.
Kimberle Crenshaw – @sandylocks
https://filia.org.uk/podcasts/2019/11/4/filia-meets-women-defend-rojava Podcast re Syrian women
https://filia.org.uk/podcasts/2018/7/24/gail-dines-culture-reframedd (Re Porn) @CultureReframed