A simple image, yet it was something that grabbed my attention instantly—it was stuck onto a dingy lamppost somewhere between the Haggerston canal and Dalston junction. My memory fails me as to where exactly I took this picture so long ago (as you can probably tell by the snapchat format, a dying app), still, I come back to this image constantly. It's saved on my phone as well as my laptop, in which I can count on one hand the pictures I have.
I have a vague idea of what pulls me to it so strongly, what about the image and its message speaks to me personally. It's only recently becoming something addressed in the mainstream media, the notion of gender roles and what it means to be male or female. An even newer aspect of this topic involves people denouncing either of the two society assigned genders. I don't pretend to be an expert on either of these ideas and I can only speak from my own experience on this small piece of land we occupy in this thing we call the universe, but I think the more we talk about it, dissect it, treat it with respect; the more liberating and honest for everyone it will be.
I don't consider myself a very feminine woman although I have my 'princess' moments as my friends like to call it, I've always carried myself in a more masculine manner. From a young age, I enjoyed playing with the boys as much as I liked to play with the girls. I like to say I was versatile, or an all-rounder as my report cards claimed. I fucking hated that non-word. Even now I am just as comfortable talking to one of my close male friends as I am talking to my close female friends. Albeit I have surrounded myself in my adult life with like-minded people, people that don't necessarily believe in these assigned roles we're given at birth, reaffirmed throughout our lives by societies expectations. I find myself in a moment in my life where I am very confident in the person I am become, my body, mind and soul. I know that this is a true blessing and I have not gotten here by myself.
There isn't a pinpoint moment in which I can say that everything changed or that there was this huge epiphany. I gradually stopped caring about what people thought about me or what I looked and sounded like. I came to think I like myself enough for everyone and more. I have my days where I am less confident, especially when it comes to my career and life direction. But I am so happy with the person I am, the morals I hold and that I am continually consciously trying to better myself every day. The catalyst of this was letting go of all the preconceived ideas I had about what being a 'woman' was. I have been fortunate enough to witness a kind of revolution and form a part of it too. It's a revolution in its early phases, but a small liberation of the chains that contain us, humans, as this cardboard cut out versions that have been decided for us from before our births.
Feminism is a huge part of this movement and has to be credited. There are misunderstandings of what feminism really means, what women are trying to achieve not only for ourselves but for humanity in general. It's this wild belief that women are EQUAL to men.