Women, Feminism and Teenagers

It was International Women’s Day on Tuesday and I spent the whole day at the Southbank Centre in London for their Women of the World Festival (WOW London). And by “whole day” I mean whole day. Other than a 10 minute walk outside where I was catcalled by some guys in the skate park (you can’t make this shit up), I was surrounded by inspiring women and feminism from 10am til 11pm. What a day.

The beginning of the day was WOW’s WonderWomen event which I managed to score a press ticket to attend. One thousand secondary school girls between the ages of 11-18 spent the day hearing incredible women talk about their heroines; learning dance routines of Beyoncé songs; learning to sing Beyoncé songs and coming up with their own feminist playlist. I sat at the back and watched it all unfold (although I was totally dancing and singing along). It was such an overwhelming experience seeing these teenage girls celebrating women – I almost cried several times. Their enthusiasm and unfiltered screaming and clapping when hearing a slam poem about how women have power and can change the world; their insightful comments about the portrayal of women in music videos and how it affects them; the support they showed each other and the women who spoke on stage, was just incredible. It gave me so much hope.

One of my favourite speakers of the day was 17 year old Jessy McCabe (@jessy_mccabe), who noticed that there were no female composers on the Edexcel Music A Level syllabus and petitioned to get that changed. And guess what?! She won. Just goes to show that it doesn’t matter who you are, what your age – just one woman can make a difference. It made me feel so excited imagining what the impact of hearing her speak would have on the 11-18 year old girls in the audience.

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WonderWomen was just the start of WOW London, the festival is still going on until Sunday 13th March. I would definitely recommend heading down to the Southbank Centre. Even though a lot of the events are sold out there’s still loads of free stuff happening, especially Saturday and Sunday! My friend, Darcy Cole, just happened to also be hanging out at the Southbank Centre and so we met up and watched some talks and Gemma Cairney DJ and interview Sister Sledge! (WE ARE FAMILY!). It’s just such a great vibe in that space.

In the evening I saw Caitlin Moran! You may already know how much I love Caitlin Moran – we filmed a video together last year when she was on her paperback tour of How To Build A Girl and now she’s written a new book Moranifesto about politics. Jude Kelly (the founder of WOW London) chatted with Caitlin on stage about her book, politics and feminism and Caitlin also read out some excerpts from the book which were brilliant and I can’t wait to read the whole thing!

I had such an incredible International Women’s Day – I couldn’t think of a better way to spend it! I will most definitely be attending various events at WOW London this weekend so if you also happen to be there please say hello! Would love to hear all your thoughts on women, feminism and teenagers in the comments!

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4 thoughts on “Women, Feminism and Teenagers

  1. Thanks for blogging about this Hannah, sounds like a fantastic event! I think it’s fantastic that you and others are using YouTube and other social media to represent feminism in such a positive way. Your audiences can be so young and impressionable, its about time they had something relevant and worthwhile such as Feminism impressed upon them! A slightly older follower at the age of 28, it gives me hope for the current teenage generation but also their children, that they will be raised to question inequality etc.

    I recently overheard a group of girls in Superdrug criticising the fact that women’s products eg razors were more expensive than the mens version. I was so (internally) excited, and if I was so shy and socially awkward I would have grabbed them and shouted “YES! I’m so happy you are aware of and talking about these issues!”

    Haha anyway, again , thank you, I will stop rambling now! Jen x

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  2. This sounds like a positive experience to have! I’ve never been an activist or one to get enthusiastic over most things in life that are important and should be exciting to me (but just aren’t). I’m glad you’re passionate about these things, though! Passion is a positive feeling. I’m all for women living life on equal terms with men, and I’m happy to hear so many people are getting together to discuss this topic and work on change. ❤

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  3. Dear Hannah,
    I am absolutely jealous of seeing Caitlin Moran. I am such a big fan of her. I read her book How to built a Girl and will definitely read others. You, together will other beautiful (inside and outside) women, inspire me so much to speak what I really think and what I want to without a fear. Last summer I created a blog and from some time finally I found a courage to write about issues that really matters to me.

    Love, Liliann from
    lilianndehn.blogspot.com

    Like

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