Guess what I finally got my hands on today? My author copy of Living While Feminist, the book I have a story in. I’m currently sipping on some bubbles and cradling it in my hands because I’m a published author! Everything was delayed with the publication and printing over lockdown (it was supposed to come out in March 2020), but finally this powerful little book is out in the world and you can buy the ebook here.
But before you go and do that, I want to tell you about my story, and what it means to me. In fact, I did a reading of it, so perhaps it’s easiest to have a listen to this short extract:
That’s the start of the story (called “The Most Beautiful Boy The World Has Ever Seen”), and it’s about something as seemingly innocuous as hair. It may seem a small thing, but while feminism can be about the big issues, it’s also about the little things. Because the little things – like words people say, or looks they give you – have power. They accumulate. Until they are bigger, and become more immovable and impossible things.
This cyclical experience of mine (described in my story), got me thinking about how your upbringing or how you are parented influences your views on the spaces that women occupy in this world. I had never considered my parents feminists, but they must have done something in the way they brought me up that made me believe that all humans deserved the same opportunities and the same freedoms. Because some people, strangely, do not believe that.
I’m fully aware that my upbringing comes from a place of privilege, and that this played a large role in forming my mindset. The same applies to my education, specifically certain teachers, who opened my eyes to injustices of all kinds, and explained that there could be a better way.
Living While Feminist features stories from a broad range of South African writers and covers topics such as skin, hair, sex, health, safety and parenting. It also includes essays on race, state violence and power, and feminist resistance. A portion of the proceeds goes to the Rape Crisis Centre in Cape Town, to support the vital work they do there.
My story is about becoming a woman, losing a mother and raising a daughter. I hope you enjoy it, along with all the insightful stories in there. We need to share these stories, if we are to work towards a more just society, and a better world – for all.