Sunday, 11 October 2015




I was first introduced to #emilymatters at a women in politics conference hosted by the Sikh network. During which I heard Kate Willoughby recite a speech from the play "To Freedom's cause" spoken by the character of Emily Davison and publicise #emilymatters. Both of with, I felt, had extra emphasis on the idea that the fight is far from over and this is my belief why...

As a political science and social policy student I spend everyday immersed in the history of politics and society and all of its influences and foundations but I am yet to hear the history of the Suffragette movement be mentioned. I hear the word feminist used on a daily basis but only to describe a perspective, not once have we investigated the origins of the word or the women who made people speak and understand it. I also never learnt about this at all whilst studying history at high school but at least I know all about the Romans and the impact of the coalition government. This is why #emilymatters ...

#emilymatters because when I tell people I'm studying political science they look me up and down and say "what's the point in that?" Or my personal favourite "where's that going to get you?" As if just because I'm a woman from a working class family I have no use or purpose in the political world when in reality politics is involved in everything, right down to their reasoning for limiting me based on my background. #emilymatters because after seeing Teresa May present an incredible argument in Parliament I could not wait to see the positive press she would receive the next day, only to see articles about the inappropriate colour of her suit with not a single mention of her strength and power the day before.

#emilymatters because when I was a child I was continuously called "bossy" because I always had my own opinion and I knew how to voice it. I was called "bossy" or "loud" because I loved to be the director of the shows we could put on and refused to be told what to do. If I didn't want to do something I couldn't be forced into it. In everybody's eyes, except my Momma's, this was a negative thing. Thankfully my Mom instilled it in me that it's something to be proud of, a confidence boost that stayed with me and that has quite genuinely motivated me for the whole of my life. It's so important that this education begins in the home, I was just so lucky to have never been without it.
I recently witnessed a young boy at my place of work saying that "all girls are bossy, they should just do whatever boys tell them to." The fact that this isn't a rare occurrence for me to come across at work clearly displays the need for education that this is never okay to think and the empowerment of young girls to be noticed by both boys and girls as "leaders" and "confident" people is a prime example of why #emilymatters.

#emilymatters because people ask me whether I have a boyfriend before they ask me what my aspirations are. Yet my brother is always asked "how's college?" Or "any idea what you want to do at uni yet?" But if we ignore our genders we are both very academic students with a thirst for change and the desire to be part of that change in anyway possible. So why should the difference in the way I'm approached and spoke to be based on the fact that I have a pair of breasts and a menstrual cycle?

#emilymatters because people assume that I'm from a working class family so I must be a mad labour supporter and hate Thatcher. When actually the second assumption could not be further from the truth. Neither could people's belief that everything she ever did wrong in their eyes was because "she's a bird." Similarly, #emilymatters because I shouldn't have to tolerate being called "somebody's bird" or anybody's "other half" ever again in my living life. Ever.

#emilymatters because I see a future when children ask "who are the suffragette's?" And "what did they even do?" But they will know the entire family history of the Kardashians and why they're famous.

And most importantly of all I could not escape mentions of steak and blowjob day earlier this year, despite numerous attempts, yet I have seen nothing about the fact that today is Emily Davison's birthday. Moreover, when people see the name Emily Davidson people google her as they have no idea who she is. Education is key and we are responsible for making sure their sacrifices and their lost lives were not for nothing. We have to show that together we are not prepared to let these revolutionary people be nothing more than a page in a history book. The fight isn't over, it's far from over and if I didn't quite convince you that the women's movement needs to keep moving then please watch this trailer for the new film Suffragette and tell me that we can justify stepping back to stop the fight...

This amongst so many other reasons is why #emilymatters now and always...

Love Liv x

1 comment:

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