Tasha is my sister, not really, but she might as well be. I met this beautiful woman at the University of Westminster and funnily enough it was quite late in to my time there. But we clicked immediately, shared similar dreams in terms of traveling and development etc., so let’s get in to episode 13!
(LJS) Hey girl! Thank you so much for taking part in this!
(NA) Hey bubbles. Not a problem at all!
(LJS) What does being a 21st century woman mean to you?
(NA) Being a 21st century woman, to me, means I am able to do whatever I want, wherever I want, with whomever I want and not face comments of judgement from anyone. She is strong, perseverant and does not let negativity stop her from achieving any sort of goal she may have. It is about creating your own path without the influences of externals and being truly happy in what you are doing.
(LJS) Yes!! What barriers have you faced as a woman today?
(NA) I’m proud of myself, my accomplishments and my character but very often that has clashed with male pride and ego. I was in a relationship from a young age and that was when I quickly became aware of many barriers. I was told to dress modestly, to not associate myself with certain people because of their “reputation”, I was spoken down to and all this because “a woman should listen, obey and not question the male”. But, I’m grateful for all that happened as it taught me to stand up for myself and identify similar situations amongst friends and family.
(LJS) Abusive control is nasty, but these are the experiences that strengthen us. I’m so sorry you had to go through that. Do you recognize yourself as a feminist? If so, what type of feminist are you?
(NA) Yes, yes, and yes! I believe in equality for all regardless of sex, social class, ethnicity, religious background etc. Personally, I research more on “non-western” feminism simply because I want a different perspective and I feel like this is more easily found in diverse cultures. What’s sad about society today Laila, is that so many people use it as a man-hating ideology and to justify acts which go against its basic core values. Therefore, I guess I’m the type of feminist that wants to educate others.
(LJS) I completely get you. Feminism has been used as a tool and an excuse for misandry and that is not okay. But yes, I’m very in to “non-western” feminist studies too, especially intersectional and pan-African feminism. When did you first recognize the fact that gender inequality exists?
(NA) Honestly it’s just ridiculous. To be honest, those are the people that shouldn’t claim that they are feminists. It’s putting such a negative connotation on the justice we’re in search for. In primary school, I always remember girls never being allowed near the boys when playing football in case we hurt ourselves or God-forbid, disturbed the boys. I also remember a young boy who always wanted to play with the skipping ropes and the girls but it wasn’t the “manly” thing to do.
(LJS) It’s so sad how inequality basically exists at all ages. Schools and educational institutions are not doing enough to stand against gender inequality. Anyway, when you’re faced with barriers because of your gender, how do you overcome them?
(NA) I ignore the comments because I’ve come the realization that sexism still exits in our society and until we raise our children differently, this won’t change. Be great, but be great for yourself. Ladies, we will not be stopped because of our gender!
(LJS) Yes girl! Rise above always! What is your greatest achievement so far?
(NA) I went from being emotionally unstable and questioning myself at all times to being strong, independent and driven. So, my greatest achievement is being the person I am today. I am happy because I am a woman.
(LJS) I’m honestly so proud to have you in my life. What does “The Future Is Female” mean to you?
To me, the Future is Female means all women coming together to achieve gender equality. It means we unapologetically support each other in our endeavors and choices.
Natasha is a 21-year-old International Relations and Arabic student in London. She is currently the President of the African Caribbean Society and the Vice-President of the Diaspora Society at the University of Westminster. She aspires to fulfill her masters in London and start a project to help sexually and emotionally abused women in Mozambique.