Listen to the minorities, they are telling you something important

Doing my bit to Inject feminism into daily conversations with other men (people!) I have been more and more aware of how controversial my enlighten views on feminism seem to be. Luckily I have recently been surrounding myself with people who are equally enlighten in their views. Rebecca posted on her facebook wall something which is linkbaity but I clicked and read/watched for about 30mins solid. The 39 most iconic feminist moments of 2014, will have you almost in tears and punching the sky in a FTW style.

Some of the best parts for me include…

Mo’ne Davis made everyone want to “throw like a girl.”

When the 13-year-old Davis led her team to the Little League World Series, it’s safe to say she captivated the nation. Poised and confident, Davis was an instant role model for millions of little girls — and boys — and also was the first Little Leaguer to grace a Sports Illustrated cover. To top it off, she was also recently named Sports Illustrated Kid‘s “SportsKid of the Year.” You go, girl.

Beyoncé danced in front of the world — and a gigantic feminist banner.

…Beyoncé’s 16-minute performance was quite literally a sight for sore eyes. The world’s biggest diva proved feminism wasn’t just accessible, it was cool. As Time remarked, the entire show was about women’s empowerment.

Aziz Ansari broke down feminism for dudes.

During his appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman in October, Aziz Ansari made some crucial points about feminism to an otherwise pretty mainstream late night audience. “If you look up feminism in the dictionary, it just means that men and women have equal rights,” he said. “And I feel like everyone here believes men and women have equal rights. But I think the reason people don’t clap is that word is so weirdly used in our culture.”

Aziz Ansari is exactly the point of view enlighten man should be thinking. That is what everyman can do to help the movement of diversity and equal rights for all.  And further to that, the words play deconstruction is great.

Ansari’s message was clear — feminism is not about pitting men and women against each other. “If you believe that men and women have equal rights, if someone asks if you’re feminist, you have to say yes because that is how words work,” he said. “You can’t be like, ‘Oh yeah, I’m a doctor that primarily does diseases of the skin.’ Oh, so you’re a dermatologist? ‘Oh no, that’s way too aggressive of a word! No no, not at all, not at all.'”

Whats also interesting for me is continued rise of black women. Outside of the Beyonce’s, Olivia Pope’s, Lupita Nyong’s, etc. You have Roxane Gay, Shonda Rhimes and so many many more strong black women standing for their rights and doing the right thing.

Women stood at the front lines of Ferguson.

Despite reports of women being silenced or interrupted by male activists, women made sure their voices were part of the growing chorus of dissent coming out of Ferguson, Missouri. “Historically, women have always been leading,” protester Thenjiwe McHarris told MSNBC. “A lot of times women are often unseen leaders because women are all just doing it — we’re all just doing the work.” In addition to helping lead marches and chants, women like Jamilah Lemieux from Ebony also fearlessly reported on events from the ground. Although police Officer Darren Wilson was ultimately not charged in the killing of Michael Brown, the conversation about racial justice will continue, with women as some of its most invaluable warriors.

Absolutely the protest/rally I was a part of last week was arranged and put together by black women wanting to show their support from Manchester. This is why I was so upset when it got hijacked by other organisations.

Looking at the battlegrounds of #Blacklivesmatter, its easy to look at it and think, “well theres little I can do…?

But just like feminism, we need support from all sides. You don’t have to be Black to understand or at the very least listen…!

When a woman tells you something is sexist, believe her.

When a black person tells you something is racist, believe them.

Don’t be an online bystander in the face of sexism.

Don’t be an online bystander in the face of racism..

I find the link between feminism and racism far too obvious in my mind but so many people don’t get it. Its about being who you are and not an idealised version which the media and society want you to fit into. Being a woman like being black is not something you can just tone or up/down to fit in with the patriarchy.

I could be talking about another race, age, LGBTQ, Disabled, etc, etc people. We should never have to apologize for who we are

On the last train home to Manchester last night from Newcastle, I was on a very very busy train between Newcastle and Darlington. I did have to throw somebody out of my table seat but he was pretty understanding in the end. His friend was less understanding but by the time the train started moving, he started talking to me. Now to be fair it was 10:15pm on a Saturday night so there was a lot of alcohol involved. but he started talking to me about racism.

I don’t see colour…” So I engaged and carefully suggested maybe he does and actually it might be better if he did? (wasn’t going to bring up the fact he was talking about it with the only black man on a predominately white train) might be counter to his argument). Anyway the guy who I throw out of the seat, standing next to me. Could hear the conversation and seemed a lot more sober, and interjected about the doctor whom saved his daughter who was black. As you can imagine the conversation went on quite a bit but the crux came down to not or seeing colour.

My thoughts is you need to see diversity before you can respect it and do something about it. Pretending we are all born equal is not a mistake. Yes we should/must strive for equality and also celebrate diversity but we are a long long way from either right now.

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.

4 thoughts on “Listen to the minorities, they are telling you something important”

Comments are closed.