16yr old feminista

We recently asked you ‘What advice/comment on feminism would you tell your 16 yr old self?’

Here is what you said:

  • Be true to yourself, question everything, and keep doing what you’re doing; above all else have confidence in yourself.
  • Be sceptical of what non feminists say feminism is, check it out for yourself and prepare to be surprised
  • Seriously, though, young women need to think about feminism in terms of power, not only opportunity
  • I’d tell my 16-yr old self that being a girl isn’t important; it’s the person you are that counts.
  • I’d emphasise that sameness is not the route to equality Celebrate the difference & change society to suit equal & different
  • Not all feminists are lesbians. Course, the converse also applies: not all lesbians are feminists!
  • I’d say: be proud of being a feminist, think positive, go with your gut feeling on things, be aware of your own privilege/s
  • No matter how brilliant, hardworking etc. you are you are still a woman, you cannot opt out of gender discrimination
  • Stay true to yourself, don’t let yourself be dictated by ANYONE, don’t be afraid to always question things you feel are wrong
  • Just because there aren’t many women in an arena (be it art or business) doesn’t mean they can’t or won’t do the job
  • Hard not to write platitudes in 140, but if you believe equality is in everyone’s interest then you’re a feminist.
  • Body image… How you look is only one of the many vast ways you interact with the world and no more valuable than others. Aim for the healthiest body and mind u can… Not the often unhealthy idealized one and don’t see the alternative as misery…
  • Also not to be intimidated speaking out in mixed groups… I noticed when I came to college loads of girls were shyer in front of boys. Think it held them back in lectures and in extra curricular activities- societies etc… Also not to be critical of other women’s choices and behaviours… Girls who want to encompass traditional female roles should be just as valued and supported as girls constantly pushing boundaries… Feminism needs to be about choice and diversity
  • Please for the love of god – tell them that feminism does not require that you hate men or grow your body hair – oh hammer home the concept of many feminisms as opposed to one militant doctrine. and GOOD LUCK X
  • Also (re. feminism), think there are 3 important principles to always remember: equality, solidarity & human rights
  • Look beyond gender and treat people as people. And never whatsoever be afraid to ask questions.
  • Feminism, starts at least from a position of acknowledgement… Being able to recognise certain structures and questioning them… Especially with music etc… x
  • Define yourself, be yourself at all times, know you are capable of anything you aspire to. Always ask not what you know but how you know it and ask who has an interest in you thinking or being in certain ways….the answers to those questions will reveal underlying dynamics that may work to restrict you. ALWAYS believe in yourself and live to your own principles. Always speak up for what you believe is right, even if you are the only voice. Remember women who campaigned and died for the freedoms and opportunities we now have and campaign for those who still do not have them. Be united with other girls and women and don’t put them down, disunity feeds female disadvantage.
  • Keep not giving a shit who other people want you to be. Be focused and rely on reason and logic, not weltschmerz and anger…
  • Learn to drive…give yourself choices.
  • Don’t get preggos yall
  • Yes you will turn 7 pirouettes and they will never take that away from you, it’s gender neutral 🙂
  • Don’t settle for mediocrity, if you can dream it, you can achieve it…
  • Feminism to me means equality while observing difference. Exciting times to be a woman.
  • Time to share the problem which is worrying you. Take great care with whom you share it.
  • Feminism is about making choices that are right for you, not choices that other people think are right for you.
  • At 11 I accidentally wrote a feminist analysis of a little princess, by 16 I was vehemently pro-choice, I’m not sure how. Boys were friends not eye candy. I had standards in relationships particularly personal relationships that are higher than I have today and a bright optimism and confidence. I was different and I didn’t care. I look at my niece just turned 16 and see a lot of the same. My advice to her would be don’t lose that sparkle or edge and don’t let anyone take bits away from you no matter who you are. Be who you were born to be and don’t let others put barriers in your way. Enjoy growing up and take each opportunity as it comes. Try for anything and everything because you never know what might happen. You don’t need a label other people may label you but you don’t have to label yourself. If you find a label you like well then. Feminism is a big word you don’t need a dictionary definition to be one you can define it yourself.
  • Tell them to call teachers out. One asked us to name our least favourite body part and other gave out CURA literature.
  • Flip, my advice to my 16 year old self would be don’t obsess about boys who are doing all the cool stuff you wish you were doing – bloody well get out there and do it yourself!
  • Stop staring blindly at what everyone else is doing; boys and girls! Everyone is so focused on them selves so don’t worry about what people might say/think! Just do what you want and speak up for yourself! Be funny and opinionated; there was never the space in school that age for enough girls to be opinionated (and listened to) and to be funny as heck.
  • I’d also like to give my 16 year old self a pat on the back for being gloriously, freakishly androgynous and not succumbing to the ‘OMG, are my boobs big enough? Am I thin enough?’ pop culture.
    Yes, I’m being slightly arrogant, but IMO more women should be just a little bit arrogant. I hate how low self esteem seems to be mandatory in this culture.
  • Not that androgyny is better than other self expressions, but I think it was an achievement that I never fell into that trap…


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