Sanduni Hewa Katupothage – Rosie Volunteer
What does IWD mean to you?
It’s about reflection. This year I’m thinking a lot about inclusivity; its history and future in the feminist movement and what it’s really about. I’m trying to find out more about the women who have been historically sidelined and learn more about their work and influence.
Do you have any IWD rituals?
I make a point of actually vocalising my appreciation for the women in my life. IWD feels a bit like Galentine’s day – it’s about celebrating the gals. Sometimes we forget to do that, even if it’s in the back of our minds all the time.
Just to say hey, I really love you, thanks for everything that you do for me and teach me and for being by me, the world is tough but I see you and everything you do to make it better.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – Vanity Fair
How do you keep up your energy to fight the good feminist fight?
It can be easily to get overwhelmed sometimes. We’re constantly having to think critically about the structures we live within and how we can best challenge them, which is incredibly important, but it can be really exhausting. It feels like the list of issues to know about just gets longer and longer!
I’m trying to challenge my idea of productivity. Taking a break from social media helps. It can be easily to lose sight of who you are outside of what you’re doing for the cause. It’s important to retreat and give yourself the space to do whatever it is you’re inclined to do.
I’ve taken up sewing, I’m going to make a quilt then I want to make a telescope because I love space. It makes me feel small and part of something much bigger which takes the pressure off. These things are as important to do for yourself as reading all the books and going to all the events. They’re a whole other way of putting things into perspective and resetting yourself.
Rosa Parks: Universal History Archive
What do you wish you knew earlier in your feminism?
That you don’t have to be ‘doing the most’ to be a ‘real feminist’. We live in a society that revolves around being exception and achieving; the people seen to be doing receive praise. Our culture says that those who are the loudest and shiniest are the most valuable.
We need to embrace our mediocrity and mortality and focus on what we have control over, rather than pursuing greatness. Look inward. You are powerful and no one can take that from you. They can’t take your values, they can’t take your spark.
Who are your feminist heroes?
Rosa Parks because she’s a quiet hero. AOC because she’s just a boss – the woman of the moment, every moment.
Sophie Bliss is the Editor of Rosie.
On IWD, she’s appreciating her queens, reading stuff for the soul and giving to orgs doing fiercely feminist things.