It’s a great time to be a feminist! Since the 19th century, feminists have campaigned for women’s rights and they continue to push forward to this day while making waves in political, economic and social spheres.
The feminist movement has become more and more intersectional, inclusive, and understanding of different struggles of women everywhere. Inclusivity needs to be at the heart of any successful feminist movement. Here are 5 ways to upgrade your feminism and become more inclusive in your daily life in 2020:
Learn about the importance of intersectionality
To make your feminism more inclusive it is paramount that your feminism is intersectional. At its core, intersectionality is all about recognizing that different identities and social factors intersect to make complex systems of oppression and discrimination. Feminism needs to be inclusive of everyone, but most importantly the voices of people of colour, the LGTBQ+ community and other minority individuals/identities.
Choose your words wisely
Another important step to making your feminism more inclusive is paying attention to the language you use because language matters. Actively avoid using language that reinforces the gender binary and communicate in a way that is empowering and provides agency to the actor. This is important because there’s no denying the power of words - words convey sentiment and ultimately shape how people are perceived.
Acknowledge your privilege by sharing power
It is simply not enough to acknowledge your privilege without taking action! Those in privileged positions can use this to draw attention to issues of consequence for those who do not enjoy the same privilege. Share your power by taking a step back to allow marginalized voices to be centered at the forefronts of these conversations.
Make yourself uncomfortable
Don’t become complacent with your knowledge - never stop learning, reading, sharing and growing! Knowledge is power! Use it to reflect inwards and be critical about your own growth and the world around you. Most importantly, listen to underprivileged groups when they share their knowledge even if what they are saying is making you uncomfortable. Progress has never come out of people staying in their comfort zone. It is time to listen and learn from people whose perspectives are different from our own by having tough conversations.
Accountability starts with you
To create a culture of accountability, you need to model the behaviors that you want to see in your relationships, at work, and in the broader world. Hold yourself accountable for your words and actions and the effects that they may have out in the world. Strive to hold others accountable for their actions as well. So that one day, feminist accountability is no longer apolitical aspiration but an everyday practice.