Girls About How They Became Feminists

A life 2022

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Girls About How They Became Feminists
Girls About How They Became Feminists

Video: Girls About How They Became Feminists

Video: Feminism is changing... for the worse! | Nina Gibson | [email protected] 2022, November

We are changing and starting to look at many issues differently. A few years ago, the feminist movement seemed to be something radical - but now many of us have reconsidered our views, saw an inner misogyny in our ideas about women and began to advocate for equality. We asked the girls we know about how their views have changed over time and how feminism has influenced their lives.


Sasha Suvorova

It is difficult to say at what point and because of what it all happened. This, of course, was the result of a long process, which, admittedly, has not yet been completed. However, I can say for sure that I now and I two or three years ago are completely different people.

I have never been homophobic, but I often allowed myself to discuss and condemn people I did not know for their appearance or choice of life partner. I was not a fitness fascist, but ten years ago I had a folder on my computer with photos of skinny models "for inspiration", I sat on all possible diets, and all trips to fitting rooms ended in tears. I was embarrassed to put on makeup, because I didn’t do it very well, my relatives said “What is it on your face?”, And in magazines they wrote that for bright lipstick you need a perfect face tone. Now I have a dozen red and dark lipsticks in my bathroom, I use them without powder, a layer of foundation and without regard to the opinions of others.

After years of trying to force myself to exercise, I chose what makes me feel better and lifts my spirits, and I stopped looking at food as my enemy. I still think badly about people, but more often than not, this is due to what they say and how they behave. I have not ceased to be interested in their appearance, but every day I see dozens of interesting and beautiful people around me. I never thought about equality until my own life experience showed me that each of us is still judged by gender, age and appearance.

Ten years ago, all words about self-love seemed to me to be a platitude from dubious psychological practices. Then it turned out that everything is very much connected: as soon as you choose what you want and need, those around you gradually begin to appreciate and respect your choice. You, in turn, respect other people's choices, whether they are about clothing, hair color, relationships, or life path.

On the one hand, it was the environment. Thanks to my work and social circle, over the past few years, there have been people around me who every day destroyed my stereotypes about bosses, women's team, women's friendship and friendship between men and women. On the other hand, the matter is trivial in growing up. My mother said that after 25 years she seemed to have a veil from her eyes, and she began to see and be aware of everything much brighter and clearer. I, in turn, was terribly afraid of my 30th birthday: at the age of 25 it seemed to me that without children and a powerful career, my life would not be successful. This summer I turned 31: there are still no children or a powerful career, but I have never felt better and stronger than now.


Anastasia Maksimova

columnist, translator

I would like to say that I have always been a feminist. But this is not true. Until the age of twenty, I adhered to moderately patriarchal views. When I was a child, I was never taught that I should grow up and get married, for example - I could do it, I could not do it, but marriage was not considered the ultimate goal of my existence.

Both parents convinced me that I should always have my own money and what I love to do. At the same time, the real picture of my family looked different: the housework that my mother did was not considered work, all decisions significant for the family were made by the father - he consulted with his wife, but the last word was always with him. He had real power.When there were conflicts, I always wondered why my mother would not file for divorce. Later I realized that she did not know how to manage her life on her own. Then for me it was the first important call.

It was not yet feminism, but rather a turn in the right direction. The process was already started - it just needed time and fertile soil. I was greatly influenced by my partner's worldview, who opened my eyes to such phenomena as the "glass ceiling", domestic violence and domestic sexism. This process is still ongoing for me. For example, not so long ago I learned to openly call myself a feminist, without any equivocations and attempts to choose another word, as if there is something shameful in the word “feminist”.

It took me a while to start speaking out loud. And - funny - to agree that I am a woman too. And when a person says: "All women are fools", and then adds: "Well, except for you, of course," do not feel secret pride (except for me!), But tell yourself that I was insulted, that there are no "except you "That" all the women "applies to you too, and if you keep silent, you will agree with this.

A very important thing that I have learned is to call a spade a spade and see everything as it is, without speculation and distortion. When a first-grader pulls a girl's hair and doesn't let her pass, it's not “he fell in love”, but violence against her. When society decides whether to give birth to you or to have an abortion, to raise children or build a career, to live with men, with women or with cats - this is all violence against your free will. I, like most women, still find it difficult to talk about it out loud. But I'm learning.


Tanya Paramzina

pr manager

I will not say that I had a sharp "conversion" to feminism. But gradually I realized that I share many of the ideas of the movement - although I am far from radical feminism and do not engage in activism. It's just that at some stage of growing up, I stopped tolerating some things. For example, she began to pay attention to advertising - how the female image is exploited and positioned in the mass media.

Once on one of the federal TV channels the heroine of a program about a healthy lifestyle advertised vitamins for hair and skin and said something like this: “As soon as I started to lose weight, the condition of my skin and hair worsened. In addition, the work environment became tense, and layoffs began. I was afraid that I would be cut too. I started taking vitamins, and, lo and behold, my hair, nails and skin were in order, and things went uphill at work. " I was stunned. What does that mean? So that you don't get laid off at work, be beautiful and take vitamins for this? Such a message from the TV screen sounds, to put it mildly, strange. But, what is most interesting, my loved ones also saw this ad, and they were not alarmed by anything. This is how stereotypes and patterns are laid in the minds of people, and then one cannot get rid of them.

In addition to the fact that I began to pay attention to the manifestations of sexual objectification, I began to watch videos with those who promote feminism. I was most influenced by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi with her flamboyant and poignant TED Talks, Emma Watson and her gender equality campaign HeForShe and, of course, one of the most influential popularizers, Beyoncé. All this influenced my outlook on life and helped me to look in a new way at the possibilities of my development (especially with regard to work) and understand what I want in my family life.


Ksenia Mardina


I started my own business - a startup about travel in South Africa - and suddenly realized that in a professional environment I was surrounded only by men. At first I liked it - sort of like the only girl, you can feel like a princess. And then my eyes started to open. At one of the startup events where I needed to perform on stage, a business coach asked me to wear "something shapeless."The argument was that at the last event, where I was in tight jeans, a short jacket and heels, the audience, which is 90% male, stopped listening to me as soon as I appeared on stage. I was indignant and put on a dress for my figure. As it turned out, everyone listened to me with equal attention - two months after the speech, I closed the first round of investments in my business.

I live in an English-speaking country: expressions like "jump into bed" when it comes to starting a new professional relationship are in the order of things here. This is again because the majority of entrepreneurs and investors are men. Once I was sitting at a meeting with three potential investors, the only woman in the room. And then one of them, describing the possibilities of our deal, says: "Well, if we jump into bed with you, we will greatly help the development of the business." At that moment I felt very uncomfortable, but I didn't say anything. I regret that I didn’t have the heart - I still have a complex that makes me afraid to seem like a “crazy feminist” and keep silent. I'm working on it.

This also affects relationships. I moved from Moscow to South Africa at the age of 21. South Africa is a former British and Dutch colony, so the white population here has fairly progressive ideas about gender roles (with the exception of the province, of course). I came with purely Russian views: a man always and in spite of everything must pay. A woman must endure unpleasant little things in a relationship "for the sake of marriage." As a result, four years later, when the relationship ended, I found myself in such a situation that I had no idea how much my life was worth - after all, my boyfriend paid for everything. Only six months or a year later, I realized how deeply I pushed my own "I", how much it spoiled our relationship and how the balance was disturbed due to the installation that a man should pay at all costs.

I build my new relationships on the principles of free will - this is the essence of feminism for me. A woman not only does not owe anything, but also does not expect from a man what he supposedly owes. Everything is negotiable and there are no gender roles. I realized that I was simply pleased to cook dinner for my boyfriend, and he was pleased to pay for me in restaurants - we discussed this after I paid, and he asked to leave this privilege for him. Thus, the most classic manifestations of gender roles, but performed of good will, bring us both much more pleasure.

In the work field, I had an interesting experience. I was looking for two new people to join the company and decided that I would definitely hire girls, because at that moment only guys were working for us. I found them, and one turned out to be a lesbian, and the other was a black African and a young mother. It would seem a triumph for the protector of minority rights. It was not so - both turned out to be terribly unprofessional, three months later I had to fire them. The lesson I learned is that you cannot arrange positive discrimination, because you can make the wrong choice and miss out on a good professional.

The biggest challenge is changing the attitudes of my family members. Parents and grandparents have lived all their lives with the idea that a woman is truly happy only in a family, and I still cannot change their idea of ​​life. They look at me with a sympathetic look, and they react skeptically to my stories about what an interesting life I have and how happy I am, suspecting a lie. But as soon as the guy appears - all the questions are only about him.

As for contemporary art and media, everything seems to be in order - I, of course, notice any violation of women's rights, but together with me it is noticed by another hundred thousand users who make a scandal before I have time to click on the Share button. But I can't read things like "Quiet Don" anymore - the attitude towards women there simply becomes bad.This must be the main change - all the women described in works created before the seventies of the last century are now terribly sorry.


Olga Galkina

PR & GR consultant

In general, at the end of 2016, conversations about how you got to feminism seem to me as pertinent as questions about how you matured to the idea that it is not good to steal silverware at a party. Apparently, I always shared the ideas of feminism, and always consistently did not support the carriers of the opposite point of view ("Ah-ah-ah! Baba is talking! What to do?"). It always seemed unfair to me that the unequal pay depending on the gender of the employee, the evaluative and sexist positions of some friends and business partners, who, being very intelligent people and effective professionals, allowed themselves, as the composer Sergei Troitsky would say, “rabid carts about chicks” and the like.

The fact that the ideas of feminism are a matter of the physical survival of my family, I realized when the biological father of my son, who had taken off almost all obligations to take care of him from three months, tried to take him hostage. The few men and the women around me who are solidly united are proof that these very ideas live and win. Girlfriends, police officers, women from social services, colleagues, shop assistants and simply unfamiliar to me personally, but no less valuable, network friends have actively demonstrated that we really can. Here I would like to thank each of them again. Of course, I have seen enough of various misogynistic atavisms, but their number is so insignificant that I simply would not want to spend editorial kilobytes on them. And, in the end, we remember that Themis is also a woman.


Anna Savina

chief editor of RUKI

For most of my life, I have given little thought to the problems of gender inequality. Feminism seemed outdated - I imagined angry women in black and white photographs from the 1960s protests. Feminists were considered caricatures who would not allow men to hold the door in front of them. But at the same time, I kept asking myself questions related to my gender, and could not find an answer to them. Why do I feel awkward and inappropriate when I take the initiative? Why are people all the time trying to teach me life and explain to me what I already know? Why in our society (it was especially felt at school) there is only one way to be beautiful and popular?

Several years ago I became friends with a girl, a foreign correspondent working in Moscow, who always said that she was a staunch feminist. It seemed radical then. During one of our conversations, she managed to formulate the essence of her beliefs in a very simple language: she said that feminism is about choice, self-respect and unwillingness to objectify oneself. I didn't need to explain anything else. Then, when I started reading more about the history of the feminist movement, I realized where my long-standing prejudices came from and why I was wrong.

Now I feel more confident, calmer and bolder than before. It is foolish to believe in ideology and think that they will solve all your problems, but it is clear that, for example, you should not worry if you do not meet some social expectations. It became easier for me to accept other people, I stopped considering women as rivals and judging them. With men, it has also become much easier: they do not have to demonstrate their convictions at every opportunity, like Justin Trudeau, and quote "The Second Sex", but if they react aggressively in a conversation about feminism or begin to defend "Domostroy", then this is no go.

The attitude towards art has also changed. I studied at the Faculty of Journalism of Moscow State University, studied the history of world literature and never noticed that almost all classical works were written by men. This fact completely changed my perception of literature.I am not suggesting that Tolstoy be burned, but now I am trying to read more books written by women - their opinion was considered insignificant for too long, and I do not want to repeat this delusion.

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