A letter from an activist to her pre feminist self

Dear Pre-Feminist Self,

At the moment you’re in a really awkward stage. You’re using foundation that a friend left at your house in a desperate bid to hid your pustules. You’re passionate, about something, but you’re not sure what. You’ve just stopped calling yourself a ‘non-conformist’ and your friends have breathed a sigh of relief that they can stop rolling their eyes quite so hard.

I wish I could tell you that you’ll get less awkward soon. The thing is that you really won’t. You’ll be 21 and you’ll be walking around with ash in your hair and every time you think of something vaguely witty to say you’ll get tongue-tied.

Here’s the beautiful thing:

You’ll be cool with that.

Feminism won’t be a cure all for your problems – but it will teach you how to stand your ground. You will start to understand why things seem so unfair, and you’ll realize what you need to do to fight back. You will realize that you’re more than a number on the scales, more than a uterus, more than a canvas for that horribly mismatched foundation.

And yeah, you’ll get really mad at times. Like when a pharmacist glares at you for buying emergency contraception, or you’re told you’re “too feminine” to be taken seriously, or people discuss your body as if it’s a car that needs work. But you’ll be able to deal with this bullshit so much better because you know that it is bullshit.

So don’t worry. You’re going to find an outlet for your passion. You’re going to learn a lot. You’re going to do a lot. You’re going to meet amazing people. You’re going to like yourself. Maybe not the ash in your hair, but that’s rather secondary in the scheme of things.

In sisterhood.


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