Resolving in the New Year
Many of us make New Year’s Resolutions, sometimes based on personal appearance or professional goals. And while improving our health and happiness are always important (although I emphasize health—not trying to fit into narrow concepts of beauty), what if we also made resolutions to help those around us?
Helping with charities, for example, doesn’t mean we give up all our fun and free time or donate lots of money. One of my resolutions is to become more involved beyond the holiday season, which includes checking out how I can be a part of a larger initiative or organization. While some charities may not appear to directly link to feminism, many social justice interests assist in issues important to women!
Huff Post Women recently reported on Charity Navigator’s rating of the 11 Best Charities of 2014, which can help point us in the right direction for social causes of interest, including the Equal Justice Initiative and branches of Habit for Humanity and food banks.
After learning about different charities, check out what local branches may be near you and how you can get involved at your own pace and interest! There are even some organizations associated with campus clubs to make it easier to be involved and socialize with peers.
And of course, when contemplating other life-changing resolutions, check out ideas like the following: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michelle-renee/5-life-changing-new-years-resolutions_b_6385646.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000046
But before we can truly recharge and begin our new year, it is important to reflect on what happened in 2014. While many frustrating setbacks occurred and it often appears that people’s needs extend beyond our capability to help, let’s check out some positive moments in feminism from last year.
Along with the awesomeness that is Malala Yousafzai and her Nobel Peace Prize and Emma Watson and her He for She campaign, other strong young feminists have worked tirelessly in 2014 and will continue to rock the world in 2015: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/womens-blog/2014/dec/18/year-of-brave-youg-inspirational-feminist-role-models
Besides the prolific feminists (based in the UK) that are mentioned in The Guardian, many feminists have also rocked our world in America and beyond.
Along with these specific feminists, Elizabeth Plank reports on the some of the greatest moments in feminism from last year: http://mic.com/articles/105102/the-39-most-iconic-feminist-moments-of-2014
Reminding us of various feminist responses from pop culture icons as well as political and social media activism, it certainly gives me hope for the impact we can make for 2015!
Along with feminist progress in these arenas, Ms. Magazine reports on expanded gender depictions within advertising:
While advertising is clearly aimed at the buying of products, the fact that these companies are beginning to take notice of expanding notions of what it means to be a “girl” or “woman” can hopefully continue into 2015. With their success, not only can that lead to depictions beyond stereotypes and gender binaries, but it will also hopefully lead to more female workers in the making and producing of such work.
While this is certainly an optimistic review of 2014, the hope and confidence these stories provide can energize us to continue our work in 2015. May our resolutions of feminist activism make this year better than ever!