I believe that to some degree, I was a feminist from a very young age. I grew up in Zimbabwe and something that I remember clearly is that me and many other young girls resisted the ideals that the culture restlessly encoded within us. The idea that boys had more value than girls. Older women had succumbed to this idea, but we still refused to believe that we had to answer to our husbands, that boys were smarter than girls or that we had to stay faithful in marriages with unfaithful men. We questioned this, our young and unconditioned minds rebelled against these ideologies. I believe that to some extent every woman is born a feminist. Meaning that when we are young girls we regard ourselves as equal to boys. It should be common sense to a young mind that there is no superiority between the two sexes. At some point, through the conditioning of a patriarchal society, me and so many other Zimbabwean girls found ourselves inducted into this state of mind. I had become complicit and I had taken societies misogynistic values as truth, as many girls do. But when did this change? What was I exposed to that brought back the young girl in me who demanded equality?
A personal note from E, reflecting on Kylie Jenner’s pregnancy.
On February 1, 2018, Kylie Jenner gave birth to her daughter. On February 4, she released this video, “To Our Daughter,” documenting the private journey of her pregnancy, breaking the months’ long silence re: the mystery of her motherhood status.
Directed by Tyler Ross, with music by Jacob Wilkinson-Smith, the video is sentimental, vulnerable, soft. It’s low-fi enough to illicit nostalgia for old home-video, and its emotional arc is complete with dialogue from friends and family. In 11 minutes, we see Kylie’s interactions over the last nine months with her family and doctors; we learn about her food cravings and changing body; we see her experience her daughter’s heart beat; and ultimately, we hear the sounds of her daughter coming into the world. The sheer degree of raw intimacy exhibited in this video, seemingly unfiltered and unedited, is incredibly human.
I’m keenly aware that many in the feminist community will roll their eyes at this announcement. It’s very on-brand to bash the Kardashian / Jenner empire, and Kylie Jenner is no exception, being a particularly contentious public figure. In our corner of the world, she is known for her frequent cultural appropriation, extortionately priced make-up, and the commodification of her mega-celebrity status. For those who don’t watch the carefully-curated programming produced by her family, Keeping Up With the Kardashians, (and the various television offshoots, mobile apps, social media updates, etc), we learn of her personal happenings secondhand. We read ironic tweets. We see endless think pieces speculating on her cultural influence, critiquing her choices while devouring / ridiculing / worshiping whatever scrap she has thrown the public. Society’s appetite for Kardashian / Jenner inside scoop and propensity for criticism is ravenous, all-consuming, and frankly dehumanizing.
Yeah guys, I get it, 24K Magic is a great dance song and every time it comes on, you know everyone is going to get turnt. No disrespect to Bruno Mars, but really?
For those of you not lame enough to pay attention to outdated award shows, on Sunday night Bruno Mars won the Grammy for Album of the Year against stiff competition. Smart money was on Kendrick Lamar who, at this point, is owed several more accolades. DAMN was one of the best albums of 2017, and after his shameful snub to Faux-Country-Ivanka in 2015, we all thought this year would be the year.
But no, 24K Magic was a solid album. I mean, I preferred it when it was released in the 80’s and called Off The Wall, but no it’s cool. It’s totally fine. It’s fine.
The concept of ‘fast fashion’ encourages, like so many things in modern society, disposability; you could walk into a charity shop today and find last month’s trends hung up on the rails. We have created an accelerated demand for fashion that is wasteful, environmentally destructive and socially damaging. This is why I choose to buy as many of my clothes and accessories from charity shops or thrift stores. After several years of doing this, the majority of my wardrobe is thrifted, gifted or vintaged and the practice not only cleans a tiny spec of my conscience, but has encouraged me to diversify my style and feel more confident in what I choose to wear.
Charity shops offer cheap clothes and a philanthropic, non-consumerist shopping experience. Even if you regret buying an item, you donated to charity and can just take it to another shop to be re-sold or gift it to a friend—win, win! And the benefits do not stop there: charity shops provide a far more laidback shopping experience than the glossy-floored, glassy-walled, high street stores. The clothing is often not sorted by size, but colour or product; this allows you to forget, more than in most clothes shops, our socialised ideas of fashion and beauty that relate largely to body type. No longer are you comparing your changing room reflection to the hip shopping assistants or the docile mannequins; you’re not shopping for ‘petite’, ‘curve’ or ‘tall’, instead you’re free to try on clothes at your leisure, the primary qualification being how they make you feel.
P writes about her experience of genderfluid identity.
In June I, very slyly, came out as Genderfluid in a piece which was published on Boshemia Blog as part of the “Letters to June” series.
In the millennial age, a range of newly accepted sexualities and gender identities are becoming more widely accepted, but from my experience, I have found that there seems to still be quite a bit of misunderstanding surrounding what it means to be Genderfluid. Many people I speak with seem to be under the impression that this is a form of Trans, or that it is synonymous with Non-Binary. In this piece, I’m going to do my very best to dispel assumptions about what it means to be Genderfluid, and clarify what exactly Genderfluidity is.Continue reading “An Identity in Flux // Notes on Genderfluidity”→