The Quiet Feminist

Amazing women of the past

There are many women who have bravely fought for our rights especially here in New Zealand for hundreds of years. Their voices were heard loud and clear, and many continued in their work as activists, so that we could have what we have today. Kate Sheppard campaigned for two decadaes for our right to vote and in 1893, we became the first country in the world to allow women to vote.  It's a right we still have today, and women hold the majority of the votes (vs men), even if they choose not to use it. Women's suffrage in New Zealand - Wikipedia

Stories of Women's Activism

The stories of the women that came before us, make me appreciate where we are today. Here is a link to our stories Stories of women's activism - Suffrage 125 | NZHistory, New Zealand history online. There are many who have made their mark, and some that continue the fight for women's rights for equal pay, disparity of poverty and much more.

The Quiet Feminist

The quiet feminist is a term I started using recently. I don't exactly know where I got the term but for me it's exactly how I see myself. 

When I was writing this article and I googled quiet feminist for the first time, and saw a bevy of women noted as quiet feminists because they either wrote about it in popular fiction of the time, or as poetry. 

Julie Enszer in her article "Five Feminist Poems for National Poetry Month: “The Quiet Woman” by Genevieve Taggard" talks about how poetry and the written word gave women their voice in a time when their voices weren't heard; "...poetry demonstrates its capacities to give voice to women’s experiences and respond with power and defiance to the conditions of women’s lives." (Feminist Poetry Month: “The Quiet Woman” by Genevieve Taggard (msmagazine.com))

The Quiet Woman 
I will defy you down until my death
With cold body, indrawn breath;
Terrible and cruel I will move with you
Like a surly tiger. If you knew
Why I am shaken, if fond you could see
All the caged arrogance in me,
You would not lean so boyishly, so bold,
To kiss my body, quivering and cold.

“The Quiet Woman” is from Genevieve Taggard’s 1922 collection For Eager Lovers.

The Oxford Living Dictionary defines a “feminist” as a person who advocates for women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.

To me a quiet feminist is someone who make a decision about who she is, and what she supports. Instead of yelling it to the world, shaving her hair off and going radically against the grain of society, she quietly goes about changes in her own life, making decisions that impact those in her family including where she spends her dollars. Women hold the purse strings in families and are activity marketed to. Wine is a great example of this - wine is marketed heavily to women. Lotta Dan, wrote about this in her book The Wine O'Clock Myth and how companies directly market alcohol to women and the harm it is causing not only to the woman, but also her family. Here is an article on Stuff about it The Wine O'Clock Myth: 'I got hit with twisted lies' | Stuff.co.nz.

As women we have strength, however I wonder if we realise that we can use it to make changes for the good of others and that we don't have to burn our bras, or anything else that would put a target on us, especially in this day and age of the internet. An example of this could be, choosing not to support companies that minimise women's abilities or who don't have women in leadership, or who use sweat shops to produce their clothing (because women are usually the ones working in sweat shops), or it could be something else, that brings about a rise in your temperature because it impacts other women's lives or could impact you or future generations. 

The idea behind quiet feminism, is that you go about your life, creating small micro changes, and those changes as a collective create a new wave of feminism. 

Why Wild Women?

As women, we are everything to everyone, and no-one to ourselves at times. We care for people, even when we feel overwhelmed, exhausted, and completely at the end of our teether. We just keep getting up, and keep going, even when we should really stop and breathe. 

Where the Wild Women are is a collective of women, who have decided enough is enough, we are going to make time for ourselves. To find who we are again, and create the life and loves we desire and need. We do this by bringing women together from all walks of life, and doing fun, exciting, challenging and at times adventurous activities, that improve our self-esteem (because F$%k yeah, we can do it!!), self-confidence, and give us a chance to breathe, taking a moment for ourselves and our development. 

I'm not going to scream "I'm a feminist" at the top of my lungs, but I am going to laugh, talk and work my way through life, with an air of feminism, spending time with women from all walks of life, to appreciate each other's differences, and creating a sisterhood of understanding, without judgement or fear. 

That I can do! 

Rebecca Jenkins is the founder of Where the Wild Women Are. She has a background in psychology and human resources, and enjoys writing about topics from gardening to feminism.

If you would like to join Where the Wild Women are, you can join here >> Membership | Where the Wild Women are


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