Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinené, authors of Slay In Your Lane, share their thoughts on feminism, and what it means to be a woman in 2018.
If you could change one thing about how society views the feminist movement, what would it be?
YA: It would be for society to view it as it is. The characterisation of feminism as a movement dedicated to ‘misandry’ or fixed on ‘female supremacy’ only seeks to derail crucial conversation. We are far too busy focusing on how we can stamp out violence against women, sexual assault and rape, FGM, body shaming, period shaming, poverty, underrepresentation, underpaying and the various other issues that continue to affect women worldwide to focus our efforts on man hating.
If society saw feminism for what it is, those opposed to achieving equality would not be able to hide behind the stigma of a historically misunderstood ‘dirty word’. Saying ‘I’m not a feminist’ would no longer mean ‘I don’t hate men’ in mainstream discourse. Rather, it simply would mean you are unapologetically uninterested in women and men existing with the same privileges whilst on this planet.
What does it mean to be a woman in 2018?
EU: Being a woman in 2018 is about developing an unwavering sense of self. We are bombarded with multiple implicit and explicit messages of who we should and shouldn’t be as women, on how we are meant to look and behave. Navigating through these impossible standards can often rapidly alter our self-confidence and aspirations.
Growing up I had so many ideas about what type of woman I wanted to be, I would stay up day dreaming about what I’d be like and of course what I’d wear! Now I’m 25, it’s never been clearer to me what this all actually means in practice. For me being a woman in 2018 is an ongoing personal journey of actively challenging the historical social constructs that are insidiously woven into the fabric of society. It’s about figuring out who I am separate to these external expectations, discovering an authentic self and using my voice to help other women and my community.
Ultimately, the outcome is an unwavering sense of self that equips you with the self-assurance to be intentional and unapologetic about what you want from life and, most importantly, what you deserve.
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