This week we had our first event for the Jar Belles – a t-shirt making night, covering what feminism means to us. It was a great success (and not just because everyone loved my veggie chilli)! We all gathered around the table with our fabric pens, glitter and ideas. The wine and biscuits were flowing and there was a great collaboration of ideas, some of which we had already discussed at our meetings and some of which concerned brand new issues that we can’t wait to touch on in future meetings and events.
Until I joined the group, I’m ashamed to admit that I hadn’t given feminism much thought for a good few years. I actually wondered if there was still a need for it. I’m not a big news reader, I don’t often surf the Internet (except for funny cat videos, obviously) and I can’t even begin to understand Twitter. I hadn’t realised just how deeply sexism is ingrained into our everyday lives and we don’t even question it. Then it was a matter of once you realise it’s there, what do you do about it? When JM asked me to join a new feminist group, I was all over it! I’m still learning and the amount we discuss each week (about things I often don’t know much about) is astounding. I love every minute of it, and more and more often I find myself noticing situations I normally would have ignored and I’m glad, because that’s not who I want to be.
The topics we had covered inspired me to make an equality themed t-shirt (albeit not very well). Others in the group designed t-shirts involving a diverse range of issues including: famous feminists and why they’re awesome, fighting patriarchal society, an end to page 3 (something we Jar Bellians feel very strongly about), equality, calling out rape culture, and simply, that women are lovely. I think we all agree it was a breath of fresh air to talk and work with like-minded people. It was a chance for someone like me to learn more about feminism and why groups such as ours are needed! I feel there are so many of us out there who feel as I did. I don’t want to be antagonistic (I’m still going to be, anyway) but YOU ARE WRONG! If anything the situation is getting worse, issues go ignored and unnoticed exactly because of, “There is no longer a need for feminism” – what a crock of shit!
I’m going to, God forbid, share my opinion. We need to take action. For all the women who have been sexually abused, for all of the women who have been overlooked for a job because one day they may want to have children (a womb is biological, not a choice, dickheads) and for all the women who deal with day-to-day oppression. For those who are heckled in the street, who are pressured into being a size zero and who notice a colleague receiving a higher salary because of what he’s got between his legs. How are we supposed to just shrug and go, OK? How are we supposed to let all of this slide, just because some men will complain that, for the first time, they’ll have to play on an even field?
WE NEED FEMINISM.
Here are a few of the issues we want to deal with through the Jar Belles, can you guess what each of the t-shirts represents?
The final result! We had such a great time, and I for one can’t wait to see what else is planned.
– Ally Rickell
P.S I had to include a close-up of the most beautifully drawn vagina I have ever seen. Well done, Kasia.