So 2017… bit of a clusterfuck.
We have a US President, who is accused of sexual assault (among maaaaaany other problematic things), a whole litany of sexual assault charges against power players the world over, an all time high of food bank usage in the UK and… honestly way too many other shit storms to count.
2018 couldn’t come any sooner right?
In the world of history, 2018 is an incredibly exciting year because it’s the centenary of women starting to get the vote; cue TONS of amazing exhibitions, books and events all about women’s history.
But here’s the thing that makes 2018 all the more exciting:
2018 isn’t just the year to celebrate history…it’s the year to make history.
So how can we make history in 2018? Well there’s two main ways:
1. Celebrating forgotten history:
Arguably the lions share of recorded history is about white men. Now don’t get me wrong, white men are (mainly) fine, but they aren’t the only people.
You cannot be what you cannot see; without knowing where we’re from and how we came to be, there’s no way that we can ever truly reach equality.
So then, it’s amazing that in 2018 the story of thousands of women who struggled for equal voting rights is going to be told and celebrated.
Their struggle will be introduced to countless people who had no idea of the work that went into getting the vote. Thousands of little girls and boys will get a new inspiration and that in turn will show them how possible it is to make change in their own lives.
Now imagine that nugget of historic inspiration x100.
That’s the goal.
Because there are millions of stories just waiting to be told. Forgotten history that gives roots to communities across the world
So what can we do to make this happen?
- Get involved: If you have a local museum, get stuck in and make shit happen!You can write to them directly or do an open letter explaining how essential (and good for business…) diversifying their output is.
- Team Up: If you’re part of a local group (e.g. LGBT service) then contact your local museum and work with them to get minority history on their agenda and in their collection.
- Hit the books: Contact your local library and see what local history they have. Trawl through their archives and books and see if you can work together to arrange talks and events around minority and forgotten history.
- Speak out: We have never had a bigger platform to speak out on than right now. And that platform, is of course the internet. If you know about an amazing chapter in history, then say something! Spread the word on your social platforms; I guarantee people would rather read your post on ass kicking history than your second cousins rant about their ex.
Step number 2 on making history in 2018…
2. GET OUT THERE
2018 is going to be full of more hurdles; more Trump, more horrifying assault charges, more cuts to benefits and rights, all around: more shit.
Now we can run away from this OR we can look to history and channel our inner Emmeline Pankhurst’s, Millicent Fawcett’s and Josephine Butler’s.
Personally I’m team carry on the legacy and do some ass kicking.
Josephine Butler is a great example of a kickass lady to channel this 2018.
Josephine led a huge campaign against the 1864 Contagious Dieseases Act (a law that allowed any woman to be subject to a forced internal examination that was likened to rape)
She banded together with other campaigners, wrote, spoke and marched against the act. It was a long journey, but they won. Not only scrapping the act but also paving the way for future women’s rights campaigns (e.g. suffrage)
As we enter another year of of fighting for female sexual rights, I can’t think of a better lady to inspire; showing that no matter how long or hard our fight; it can be won.
So what can we do to make this happen?
- Boots on the ground: Look out for protests and campaigns that need support (or start your own…) follow campaign groups on social media for up to date information on their plans.
- Take to the internet and spread the word: sign petitions, write to your MP, start conversations and make yourself heard! Not everyone can physically go out and protest so the internet is a great way for all voices to be heard!
- Get out in your area: Be it by joining a political party you believe in or a volunteering at a local women’s shelter. Your time and energy will make a difference.