Would you consider yourself a feminist? What lead you to this decision?
Years ago I felt uncomfortable describing myself this way I feel that the word had become hijacked and that by being a “feminist” somehow equaled being a man-hater. Now I realise it’s not that at all and YES I’m a feminist. If feminism means to believe in equal rights for women politically, socially and economically then YES that’s me.
What is your standpoint on the benefits of gender equality?
It astounds me that women continue to have to fight for equality. Having kids has made me appreciate the importance and benefits of gender equality because I have a son and a daughter. The idea that our little girl should somehow not be given the same rights or opportunities as our little boy is baffling. It’s made me even more passionate in the push for gender equality especially in education, career and pay. If Grace wants to be a farmer, mechanic, builder or race car driver then she should absolutely feel comfortable doing so.
Do you believe that a significant shift has been made in the way in which the media portray women?
Absolutely. And although “advertising” is different to “news” I would hope that in some small way we can contribute to gender equality by showing succeeding in typically male dominated industries. I heard my journalism idol Pip Courtney speak at a function recently and she said when she is interview a farming couple she insists the woman farmer speaks on camera and shares her story. She said it’s important women and girls see her speaking and it’s important for men to see that women are equally as important in the agriculture sector.
There are lots of female empowerment campaigns, how does that make you feel?
I love any campaign that inspires women to push further, be better and support each other. I also love campaigns that show women that they have a choice. And that choice might be to be a stay at home mother. A good campaign should show a woman that she can decide her future no matter what that is. You can be a feminist and also choose to love cooking, sewing and running a home.
There is a debate that it is not possible to be a feminist and love fashion at the same time, we don’t agree; what do you think?
Ah yes this has been interesting. I think it’s easy for women to pick apart others who aren’t the “same kind of feminist” but isn’t fashion all about celebrating your own style? The most fashionable people I know don’t just follow trends, they forge their own way, mixing “trendy” pieces with individual statement pieces. I think having the choice to wear what you want HOW you want is feminism. I support women who are comfortable enough in their own skin to show as much of it as they like.
Thanks to Katie for contributing to our Power of femininity campaign xx