Today, I have attended a fantastic event 'Shelf'. It was not private, it was not public, it was communal. Not only did I broaden my horizons about women, men and ‘people gloriously unburdened by gender’, as wittily described by Cinnamon, but I also learnt that feminism is not about protesting or fighting the world, it’s about being kind. Thank you, Kat Albiston, for opening my mind.
Nowadays, many of us have the privilege to have constant access to almost anything and thus need to be very selective about the type of information they choose to consume. Luckily, we have launched a feminist platform, which allows my best friend and I to meet incredible people. Such instance was at the ‘Shelf’ event, organised in collaboration with the Feminist Library, featuring the work of beautifully talented students at the University of the Arts London. Not only did I discover the amazing work of new feminist talents, but I also opened my eyes a little wider about the theme of gender and identity. The one lesson I learnt at ‘Shelf’ is to “ask your pronouns”.
The most significant moment of the night of the 5th of March was the spoken word performance given by the incredible Kat Albiston. When I listened to their words, I had to hold my best friend’s hand and was so close to crying that I had to look down. Not that tears are anything bad, I just did not want to show my feelings as I was brought up in a way I am ashamed to. But Kat’s speech was incredible. It was inspiring, it was moving, it was personal. They talked about feminism and all the prejudice that surrounds it. A very important point they mentioned was, that you cannot change anybody else, leave alone the world, but what you can do is change yourself.
Kat invited us to be kinder. To be more understanding and loving towards one another. I cannot make a big difference unless I start with the small steps. And, I guess, that’s what I needed to hear. I felt restricted and bound by the concept of calling myself a feminist. I had a set of beliefs in my head that I thought were expected from me. Only after listening to Kat, I realised that it was all wrong. You need to do absolutely nothing. Just be myself. Be kind, be nice, be all the things you want others to be. Being kind and the universe will send you back these positive vibes.
Being kind is all the difference in the world you can make. And it is not just feminism but any type of change you want to enable. Start with yourself and act in a way you’d like others to act towards you. Treat them with love, respect and understanding. Only then, you can make a real change.