Suprise Egg: The Grief Toy Inside

“Some people commit suicide after someone close to them goes, others turn to religion, and there are those who sit in the kitchen all night and don’t even wait for the sun to rise.” – E. Keret , Surprise Egg 

It’s been four months since my mother passed away and I remember feeling like the husband in Keret’s short story. Why didn’t I take her to hospital? Would she still be alive if we had been talking that day?

My mother was eight months pregnant when she passed, with no prior history of illness. She’d never been to hospital, except to give birth and at the start of this pregnancy.

Everyone was getting ready to go out when she started fitting on the sofa, I was upstairs writing before I came down. My dad, trying to stop her jaws from locking, had his fingers in her mouth. She had also wet herself. Later I realised that her water had broken.

The next moments are a blur, waiting for the ambulance felt like hours. I remember everything in slow motion, paramedics taking her to the ambulance, cleaning blood from the corridor and then waiting in the special room. She had died on her way to hospital, but they managed to resuscitate her back to life.

There was a Ghanaian nurse waiting with me and my siblings, she was very nice. She told us about her family, hugged us. Nurses came and went and I gave them the thumbs up as if to ask if everything was OK. They nodded and I can’t remember ever feeling so happy in my life. I hugged the nurse.

Everything after that moved slowly again. The doctors sat me down to tell me that my mum was on her last breaths.

My mum’s friends had started coming in thinking that she had given birth. Then the doctors and nurses sat down with my siblings to explain what had happened and I remember just staring at their bloody shoes and blood on the bottom of their trousers.  They told us that it had nothing to do with the pregnancy, it was something that would have happened anyways. I knew they were trying to make us feel better. Last night I read my mother’s post-mortem report and her death was pregnancy related. But I respect their decision for the way they treated us and the kindness they showed at her funeral and life after.

The children (myself included) weren’t allowed to see her when the machine was switched off. My father, her friends and the imam prayed around her.

My brother heard the doctors saying ‘she asked for her kids,’ I’ll let him believe that. We stayed in hospital all night, everyone came. I didn’t want to see my mother once they had cleaned her because I was scared she would look different to what I remembered her as. I am so happy that I did get to see her, it was the first time I cried that day. She looked so peaceful and beautiful as if she were asleep. I’d never seen her look so beautiful and with so much noor in her face. I remember saying sorry in her ear and praying that she be rewarded for every hardship we had put her through.

My mother was one of those people whom everyone loved, her smile was infectious. After she passed, my neighbour told me that my mother had given her disabled child a smile that she would never forget. She loved everyone and everyone loved her. Her death made me realise how many people she had touched and the support network she had built for her children.

She was kept at St. Thomas for nearly a month being examined, which was distressing. We buried her abroad, she was my grandparent’s only daughter (and were now left with one child). Leaving her behind was hard.

Home feels empty. Sort of like a room being emptied of its furniture, it feels cold and her absence echoes everywhere. At the start I stayed online, researching about the stages of grief, reading about other people’s loss. Just to prepare you: grief doesn’t come in stages, one doesn’t come after the other leaves. You feel all these emotions at the same time, anger, sadness, isolation.

You physically don’t feel the same. Your heart hurts and you can’t sleep. You go over everything you said or should have said to her. Whenever you see a date, it reminds you of her. She was doing this in May, she was still alive when I sent that email – everything reminds you of her.

The way I am dealing with her death is working. Taking a year out of uni was never an option, what would I do? Stay in my room crying and never wanting to leave. I worked the next day. I don’t think about my mother because I know I will be sad and I can’t take anymore sadness. I don’t know how to describe it. I wake up early and sleep late so that when I do go to bed I am too tired to think about her.

My mum was my best friend, we were close in age (she was 38 when she passed) and I feel like a part of me is missing. I remember listening to Joe Biden talk about the death of his wife and child, “for the first time in my life, I understood how someone could consciously decide to commit suicide.” My mother was my rock, everything I did was to make her proud – so not having her makes everything seem pointless. 

Like I mentioned before, or maybe not, I spent the first few months reading other people’s stories of coping, but mostly about near deaths – anything I could find to help me understand what she was feeling/seeing when she passed.

 Like Keret says, some people turn to religion which is true for me. Losing a parent at such a young age and in an incident that could have been prevented eats away at you. We will always question the existence (or non) of life after death. But knowing that my mother is in a better place than me (probably thinking ‘I can’t believe I lived in Souf Landan’) makes the burden less heavy to bear.

Stock image

Trump Has Planted Seeds Of Fear

Now, in his presidency, he will watch them germinate.

Wherever you lie on the political continuum, the last year in American politics has been far from normal.

The titles of Republican and Democrat were often abandoned by the US population in favour of a far more person-centric election, arguably less political and more personal than any other election since the country’s founding. Mrs. Clinton’s standpoint was not traditionally Democratic, and Mr Trump was to the right of your average Republican.

And there was nothing anyone could do about it.

So, we watched, and we waited and eventually we saw the hysterical rise of a reality television star and entrepreneur from laughing stock to legitimacy.

Despite the early dismissal of the now President-Elect as someone who could never head the American Executive branch, Donald Trump made promises of ‘draining the swamp’ to create a truly Great America and spouted his opinions – bigly.

It is difficult to fathom why the American electorate chose a candidate with absolutely no political experience or arguably any legitimate viewpoints at all. However, if we were to pinpoint a specific reason as to why Mr. Trump will soon be the ‘Leader of the Free World’, we may be able to hazard a guess.

Fear.

The man dubbed as racist, sexist, ableist and homophobic from the get-go, went down a treat, particularly with Conservative Americans. Despite his outlandish claims to build a wall, or his idea to ban Muslims from entering the country, it seemed these statements were tapping deep into the American psyche, capitalising on the agitation present within the Land of the Free – the idea that American jobs were being taken from American workers.

For people of colour and indeed all minority groups not only in America but around the world, we believed America would take yet another step in world progression, to try to make the world a better place for all. Barack Obama’s election in 2008 had brought many to tears of joy– an example of overcoming prejudices and proof that a first world power no longer relied upon the white cultural hegemony it used to build the country. Yet, as Van Jones so aptly put it, following the election results in early November, the election of Trump was a whitelash against a country that had ‘endured’ progression for the last eight years and now preferred to return to something which reconciled their views. And now – POC must face the consequences.

At first voters tried to pass off selecting such a candidate as the removal of the political elite, then Trump’s amazing business acumen (bearing in mind the President-Elect has filed for bankruptcy three times) and finally as Mrs. Clinton’s alleged criminality. However, as people of colour, minorities considered as subnormal to the standard narrative for years, we can see past the façade of ‘Making America Great Again’, particularly as arguably it was never that great to begin with.

Fear was planted in this election. The fear of the ‘other’. The type of fear that quite frankly belongs in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. Yet, it resurfaced anyway. And why? Because it never left. It was just waiting to be reignited all over again.

In this election, the America that believes in working hard to earn and maintain the best possible life for yourself and your nuclear family, decided that anyone who was not white, straight or able-bodied had no place in this so-called ‘greatest country on Earth’.

The right-wing media perpetuated, and continues to spoon-feed the electorate the claim that any person of colour is automatically feckless, violent, even ‘Anti-American’. Thus, conservative paternalism is necessary – a strong government that will make the right…or should I say white decisions. The decisions that will benefit John Doe from the back and beyond of the country. John Doe, who has no political awareness himself, John Doe who claims that minorities can sometimes be accepted because ‘he knew an alright “coloured” guy once’ but John Doe who states diversity of religion and culture is overall completely averse to American life. This is why hate crimes, steeply on the rise since the election, can continue to take place.

America is an individualist state. Since its liberation from British rule, it has prided itself on this fact. But in its individualism, it has, overall, been ignorant to the cries of the oppressed, the pleas from other countries around the world, indeed the initial jibes about the country’s stupidity.

Racism, sexism, ableism and homophobia have never gone away. It wasn’t too long ago that slavery was still a reality, that women did not have suffrage, that disabled people were shunned from society and that homosexuality was a crime. Yet, despite the steps we have taken to tackle these issues, there is still a strand of society that chooses to hold onto hatred. The same society that propelled Mr. Trump to success through vitriolic attacks on people of colour and other minority groups.

People of colour voted for Trump. LGBTQ+ voted for Trump. Women voted for Trump. And this is an opinion they are entitled to, no matter how much others, including myself, may disagree. They, just like the others on a different side of the coin, considered the facts of the election and exercised their 1st and 15th Amendment democratic rights to have their say. However, when a voter fails to consider the whole picture, rather, falling victim to the sensationalism all too present within society; this is a serious issue.

Trump planted the seeds of fear during his campaign. Now, during his term, however long that may be, he will watch them germinate. With vows to “drain the swamp” of ‘undesirables’, it is difficult to say what will happen next for the American people. But despite being 4,000 miles away, it is inevitable the repercussions will be felt on British shores.

Although it would be easy to remain negative, there is still hope. A large percentage of the older generation voted Trump. This may mean, in the nicest way possible, that these opinions are on their way out. Other statistical information, whilst slightly less encouraging, provides a bigger picture of where education must now overcome ignorance. The electoral picture may have been different if thousands were not disenfranchised for a criminal record – it just so happens that African-Americans are more likely to be prosecuted. And Mrs. Clinton would have been successful if it had not been for the Electoral College system.

This time around, progression was on the ballot, justice was on the ballot, equality was on the ballot. Fear and hatred won this time. But, perhaps, with more campaigning and education, and more initiatives – such as I Rise – providing a voice for the marginalised, one day, the arc of history we so observantly watch may just bend towards justice.

rebekah

Rebekah Evans is a first year English Literature student at King’s College, London. She writes comment pieces.

Photo: Reuters/Nick Oxford

Not A Token

Token. Token Token Token.

When I hear the word token, or think about it even, I think of something cheap. Something that can be exchanged for something else. A replacement. However, I am fully aware that my identity, the very person I am, will be the token of many.

I am not a token woman. Growing up being the only girl in my immediate family (I’ve got two younger brothers), getting your own way was sometimes quite difficult. I remember being very ambitious and needy – and still unapologetically am. I remember trying to break the rules, be me, and expect everyone to accept me for it. I remember when my grandmother expressed her disgust to my mum when she saw me playing football with my brothers. “WHAT IS THIS? WHAT IS SHE DOING? GIRLS DO NOT PLAY FOOTBALL!!!”. I still laugh at this. I was always very competitive. I wanted to do everything. Be the best. Slay it all. And for then everyone to say, “look she’s done it!”. I admit that I’m still like this, but I’m not a glory-hunter.

IMG_0777.JPG

You see, I’ve always wanted to make a name for myself. I’ve always sought opportunities to shine, create my own path, and allow others to embark on the journey with me. But this hasn’t been easy. It had to begin with a single idea – to accept that I am a feminist.

At 16, I hated the word feminist, although I was always always pro-women. I thought that Margaret Thatcher was a great woman (oh my god how on earth could I?! I have since had a dramatic change). I believed that women had already been granted equal rights with men. I used to think “well, we’ve already had a woman Prime Minister, women can vote, we can drive cars, we can become CEO’s – so why are they complaining? What else do they want?” I think that these thoughts were perpetuated by the fact that my school, an all-girls Muslim school, was a very anti-feminist environment. Feminism was seen as the great evil – something exclusive to Western women. Surely Muslim women cannot be feminists right?

I believe in intersectional feminism. My feminism is 100% intersectional. When I came across kick-ass activists on Twitter near my 18th birthday – I thought “oh god look at these women!”. They were immediately inspirational to me. And even though my school led everyone to believe that feminism was bullshit, I thought “you know what, fuck it”. I’m so tired of confining myself, I’m so tired of pleasing people. Fuck it, I’m a feminist. Yes, you heard it. I’M A FEMINIST.

I remember at that moment my disgust at even contemplating that feminism was wrong. I thought “how can I be pro-women if I don’t believe in feminism”. I had been misinformed, and quite stupid too. I saw the disgusting misogyny, sexism and grave inequality in this country and everywhere else I went – and although my friends expressed surprise and concern at my decision, I did not care. If I am to to speak about women’s rights, I must also speak about feminism.

I am NOT a token woman. Apart from being a feminist, I am also a Muslim woman, living in the West. I proudly wear my Hijab everywhere I go, therefore inevitably becoming a part of my identity. I am aware that society expects me to conform to the whims of men, to get married early, not to have a career path, and perhaps not even go to university. Shocking right? The stares I attract when I’m reading a book on public transport is quite staggering. Do they think that I cannot speak English? Do they think that I am uneducated?

Well guess what society? I am literate, go to university, can speak three languages fluently – currently learning a fourth one. I am BRITISH. I’m a radio presenter. I hold different committee positions for societies. I’m also a Spokesperson for a new national campaign, and am an activist for a political party. I do all of these things whist being a young Black Muslim woman. You didn’t see that coming did you?

IMG_1788.JPG

I do not think that people, or even society realises how difficult it is to go against certain aspects of your own culture, whilst trying to fit into the West simultaneously. I come from a culture which believes that women should be accompanied whilst travelling, that they should marry young, be a good housewife, and most of all, be a devout Muslim woman. I’m fairly certain that I can be a devout Muslim woman whilst disagreeing entirely with the above statements right? I don’t believe that a woman needs to be married to be ‘successful’, I don’t believe that men need to follow where women go, I don’t believe that women should be confined to the role that is a housewife. If the latter is your choice, that is completely fine with me.

I hate the notion of women being forced to become different to themselves just because men say so. Or society says so. Or maybe even their culture dictates it. This is especially true of Muslim women, everywhere they are, not just in the West. I hate the fact that women being constantly targeted by men when it comes to ‘advice’. An example of this is the case with Nour Tagouri – an Arab-American Muslim woman journalist who took the decision to be featured in Playboy. Whilst I will never contemplate appearing on such a magazine, I support her with the fact that it was completely her own choice to be featured in the magazine – despite its horrendous publications. Perhaps what made me angry was the sudden outpour of Muslim men and ‘Haram police’ uploading videos on YouTube essentially lecturing her what to do, hiding their bigotry under the banner of ‘advice’. To put it politely, this is complete bullshit. Muslim women do not need the ‘advice’ of Muslim men, especially when they promote some very sexist content online that degrade women. What is wrong with you? What’s worse, what they are screaming out isn’t even advice, it is demands. They are literally demanding women what they should do with their lives.

I have come to realise that powerful Muslim women, those who have actually made a name for themselves are constantly subject to scrutiny, intimidation, degradation, abuse and ultimately, harassment. This worried me a lot at the beginning, but if I don’t do anything for women like myself – who will do it for me? “But this girl, is she even a Muslim?”, “how can she not wear a Hijab?”. “Oh my god she is wearing too much makeup!”. Well men, God has told you to a) lower your gaze, and b) you are not infallible either. I find it absolutely baffling that some men who lecture Muslim women to wear the Hijab have time to tweet photos of Kim Kardashian, then expect the Virgin Mary to appear in front of them if the woman is a Muslim. Most horrifyingly, the abuse also comes from women too, not just men.

The reason why I wanted to start I Rise was to foster a community of strong, independent women who can think for and empower themselves, and support each other whilst doing it. Don’t ever let anyone tokenise your achievements in life, ever. Know your worth because you are way to good for that.

 

picture1

Rahma Hussein is a second year History student at King’s College, London. 

Cover photo: poster at Girlcon 2016.

1984 And The Poppy

When I was younger, November was the month of the remembrance. That is still the same, but what I remember is not.

At school, we would always do the two-minute silence out of respect for the fallen. These fallen dead were British soldiers; British and white. Yet, whilst I knew to pay respect for these soldiers and wear my poppy, I didn’t realise that November was also the month of the Sikh Genocide.

Although my dad was in India when the genocide occurred and we lost family members, while I was growing up we never discussed it in my house. It was only as I got older that it became something which we could talk about.

The 31st October to 4th November marks the Sikh Genocide. It took place mostly in northern India, particularly the Punjab and Delhi, following the assassination of PM Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards in 1984. The assassination of Gandhi came as a direct consequence of her military attack on the holiest of Sikh places, the Sri Harmandir Sahib, or Golden Temple, as it is more commonly referred to, in June 1984. To understand what this meant, imagine tanks rolling into the Vatican or Mecca, firing upon them, and then the reaction to this.

Although I am referring to it as genocide, it is an ‘unofficial’ one, commonly referred to by the communalist Indian press as riots rather than genocide. Whilst the Sikh people remember 1984 as genocide, it is not officially recognised as such by the UN.

We are now in the second phase of remembering the genocide, with survivors and contemporaries joined by the next generation, inheritors of the trauma.

For the Sikhs living and growing up in Britain, it has become even more painful. It had never occurred to me that Britain could have played even a minor role in 1984 before the archives were opened in 2014. Recent news suggests just that.

A 2014 review into the actions of the British government found that they had limited involvement. However, this review only looked at the actions in helping plan an attack on Harmandir Sahib in June, not the genocide that occurred in November.

Whilst this is still shocking, what is more worrying is that the government has now removed files relating to British involvement in India in 1984. It becomes even murkier when some of these files relate to sales of arms and India receiving advice (and maybe more) from the SAS to set up their own national guard.

As a British Sikh, it seemed inconceivable to me that my government could have knowingly helped to attack such a holy place, particularly given the historically high status of Sikhs in the Indian Army of the British Empire. Even in that hierarchal relationship, there seemed to be some elements of genuine respect.

Before I knew this, not only was I British, but I wanted to be British. I never contemplated that being Sikh and being British were two clashing identities. But how can I willingly support the British army when they may have helped to attack one of the holiest places of my religion, and that is not to mention the atrocities that the British government have committed in other parts of the world.

I never saw the poppy as a conflict of interests. It signified the efforts of soldiers who fought in both world wars, and I had to wear it. It was just a part of being British, everyone did it; everyone does it. But it does symbolise the British army and by wearing the poppy, you recognise and support the actions of British army, including the actions you disagree with.

Why should I support the poppy, and all it stands for? Increasingly, the poppy represents a nationalistic symbol of white Britain, prioritising the remembrance of British dead of thousands of others. Who can honestly say that they remember the 1.5 million of soldiers from the Indian subcontinent who fought in the First World War? All in all, more than 1/6th of the soldiers fighting for the British Empire in the First World came from the Indian Army, more than all the other dominions of the empire combined, yet you probably don’t hear or think about them about them because they’re not white.

Now, as a British Sikh, I see less and less reason to support the poppy. The poppy represents what I don’t want to remember. Rather than wearing a poppy because everyone does, I choose not too because the poppy isn’t a symbol of the kind of Britain that I want to be part of and can respect. This past year has shown how much our actions have consequences. Wearing a poppy is an action that I choose not to take.

Sources:

http://www.tom-watson.com/amritsar_attack

http://www.sikhsforjustice.org/?q=content/know-the-facts

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-33317368

http://www.1914-1918.net/faq.htm

 

picture1

Isha Sohal is a third year history student at King’s College, London

Image: The Khanda Poppy Project

I Have a Colour TV But I See No Colour

Growing up, I longed to see a character on TV just like me. Whenever I watched my favourite shows on Disney Channel, I pined for a tanned little girl with curly brown hair and brown eyes. But I could never find one.

Whilst shows like Wizards of Waverly Place, The Suite Life of Zack & Cody and Hannah Montana often piqued my interest, I felt as if I was unable to relate to their experiences, and not just because they were wizards, or living in a hotel or a famous pop star living a double life. No. I felt a disconnect purely due to my failure to see anyone who replicated the scenes of diversity I had always taken to be normal in my childhood.

As a child, I had very little knowledge of the concept of race. I knew my mother was chocolate-brown and my father was pink-vanilla, but the colour of someone’s skin never crossed my mind or influenced any of my decisions. And rightly so. Yet, I cannot help but wonder how children of colour would feel if they did see someone on the TV screen who struggled to comb their hair in the morning, or wore a hijab or enjoyed eating cultural food, or indeed many of the other experiences that are relegated to simply inhabiting a subnormal narrative.

This is an idea which unfortunately does not stagnate in childhood. It translates, albeit subtly, to adult television and film. Minority characters are seen on-screen, but far too often they are simply the vacuous best friend, providing a quirky sub-narrative whilst the protagonist is otherwise engaged and then often disappearing from the storyline entirely, after production have ticked their racial minority box.

Whilst white is the norm, minority groups often find themselves relegated to just that: a minority, a background, a token, a quota. If this was indeed how life actually worked, I doubt there would be a problem. But the truth of the matter is, the stories of people of colour are equally important to that of their Caucasian counterparts. Despite this, when we compare the screen time of these actors, directly contrasted, it simply doesn’t add up to a well-rounded portrayal of the realities of society.

Racial depiction often proves to be far down the pecking order in our list of priorities. We’d rather just binge-watch the latest Netflix series and then get on with our day. Besides, we tell ourselves, race portrayal shouldn’t have an impact in the media, characters are characters and we connect with their stories, not their colour. But when we erase or whitewash minority groups, we simultaneously erase their narratives, their stories, and the opportunity for education. And with a poll from the Independent stating that 78% of respondents of all ethnic backgrounds believe that the media’s portrayal of minorities encourages discrimination, representation is clearly an issue on the brains of many, but on the lips of few.

Education is important. It allows us insight into cultures we may have no prior working knowledge of, preventing offence and ignorance. When I saw the episode of That’s So Raven… in my childhood that addressed discrimination in the workplace, I became aware these issues were real, more real than anything I’d ever been taught at school. When I was older, Scandal’s Olivia Pope and How to Get Away with Murder’s Annalise Keating taught me that it’s okay to be a powerful woman of colour, speak your mind and get exactly what you want. And transphobia on Orange is the New Black, showed it was all too real for minorities to contribute to a suppressive ideology.

Now, people of colour are coming to the fore. Zendaya’s K.C. Undercover and Disney’s Doc McStuffins provide diversity for children, inspiring them to pursue certain career paths and imparting a boost in self-confidence. Grey’s Anatomy, Black-ish, Empire and The Get-Down promote a myriad of races and sexualities, emblematic of society, a society that is real and a society we strive for.

The importance of balancing the character with their culture is important. Representing a person of colour accurately in TV and film is not simply about throwing in a comment or two, a veiled reference to their heritage. It’s about multi-dimensional representation, full character development and an equal footing to their compeers.

So how about we try considering the minority narrative? I’m not talking about getting rid of white people from the mass media, that would be entirely inaccurate within itself, something that would do more harm than good. But casting well-rounded minorities shouldn’t simply be a result of societal backlash or improving the bottom line of networks; it should be a natural thought, entirely engrained into the fibres of Hollywood and similar production powerhouses. Only then can we take steps towards a revolutionary and yet entirely normal portrayal of society.

rebekah

Rebekah Evans is a first year English Literature student at King’s College, London. She writes comment pieces.

Image: Chanicka Culcleasure from Fly-Moon music video

‘Take Up Space’

I don’t explicitly apologise for the opinions I hold, the way I look, or how I choose to carry myself. However, my actions implicitly reveal that I am constantly apologetic.
Yet, my actions prove that I am constantly apologetic.

Instead of asserting myself in essays, my opinion is tentatively expressed. During debates I am too preoccupied with whether anyone will agree with me to speak up,or what I want to say will be deemed too radical, too stupid, too insignificant. That bright, blue dress that I admired and bought is still neatly, folded away in the depth of my wardrobe, unworn.  I am worried it’s too bold, too short.   I am constantly, carving away any accomplishments of mine as undeserving.

Various studies prove that women underestimate their abilities and performance, whilst men overestimate them – even when the quality of performance is identical. Low-self confidence is indicative of a culture, which thrives on making women feel inadequate. From a young age girls are inundated with admonitions relating to their bodies, opinions, and tastes; they are constantly made to feel that they are not good enough, or that they must alter various aspects in order to align themselves with the rigid, and narrow representation of what an ‘ideal’ woman must be. The assertive woman is derided for being ‘bossy’, whilst confidence is unattractive and synonymous with ‘arrogance’. Our society forces women to tread carefully for fear of over-stepping the mark, encouraging a damaging culture of low-self confidence.

Women’s bodies and lives have become a battlefield; personal preferences tussle with societal expectations.  About a year ago, I watched Vanessa Kinsule perform her poem ‘Take up Space’ for a BBC series titled ‘Women who spit’, in which female poets expressed their thoughts on varying issues concerning women.  Her words ‘Take up Space’ spoken confidently and unabashedly whilst striding around the streets of London, have lingered in my mind since.  Often the space that women occupy, physically and metaphorically is restricted.  There is a consistent lack of women occupying the top jobs, as CEO’S and company directors. Even when it comes to running the country, there are currently only 191 female MP’s, out of a total of 650 members of Parliament.  The space available for women is limited – which is even more surprising considering women are more than half of the population.

It was refreshing and empowering to hear Vanessa Kinsule pronounce ‘don’t wait for permission and approval…take up space’. It’s about discarding the rules that control so much of female lives on appearance, sexuality, and confidence.  It’s about stepping outside that small space, in which women are hedged, and exercising freedom and being confident to do so.  It’s a reminder to not shrink away from wearing what you want, saying how you feel and being confident in yourself.  It is about taking up space, and reveling in it. As for me, I think it’s about time I dig out that that blue dress and wear it with pride.

aisha

Aisha Mazhar is a first year history student at King’s College, London. She describes herself as an intersectional feminist and socialist.