Rosie Ward – Rosie Volunteer
What is IWD to you?
It’s a time to stop and and reflect and feel thankful. I’m thinking about all the work that has been done; the years and years of feminist activism that’s come before our own and how far we have come. I’m also taking stock of all the work that is yet to be done and mindful of the voices which still aren’t championed in the ways. But instead of thinking about all of the things that we don’t have, although important for feminists to do, IWD is about looking back on all the things we have done and celebrate what we’ve achieved.
People hold back from joining collectives because they worry they aren’t ‘feminist enough’. Thoughts?
Any feminist group or collective is has everyone from A-Z in terms of where they are on their feminist journey. You don’t need ‘know enough’ or be desperately woke because the space is about coming together, connecting with like-minded people and learning from each other.
We can get wrapped up in the activism and forget that feminism at it’s core is about collectivism and community and finding joy in the sisterhood. Be brave, everyone’s there for the same reasons. And if you’re worried, listen to Lemonade before you get there.
What’s your advice to your younger self?
One word: intersectionality.
The most important thing you can do is understand your position in the movement and society. As a brown woman, it was hard doing a gender degree and having 90% of the theorists and heroes presented to me be white women. I didn’t realise that at the time, I didn’t think to to say “well, where’s me, where’s the representation?” There are so many other powerful people to draw from; black women, queer women, women who have disabilities. I wish that I had searched out these diverse, intersectional voices earlier.
My advice would be to look at who you’re reading and admiring and if it’s overwhelmingly white, check yourself and get some different voices in there. Read some Audre Lorde, listen to Sojourner Truth’s speech. Seek out intersectional voices and different identities throughout the movement.
Audre Lorde. Image: Dagmar Schultz
Who are you vibing at the moment?
Jameela Jamil is doing great work, she owns her mistakes and is a great example of using our mistakes to grow. Ilana Glazer because she’s just hilarious and of course Zadie Smith.
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.