- The Dress;
- socks on leggings on tights on tights, and I was still cold;
- my Johnstons of Elgin lambswool Stewart tartan scarf that, despite living in Glasgow for 5 years, came from the Battle of Culloden visitor centre on a holiday after I’d left Scotland;
- ancient Topshop tartan shirt that I just can’t quite get rid of;
- Mum’s belt;
- wellies, because the mud today was Biblical.
I’ve come over a bit Bay City Roller today. I’m dressed like my mother circa 1974, and I don’t care. In fact, it seems quite appropriate on International Women’s Day. I’m actually in my pyjamas now. I took a muddy boot to the belly (M assured me it was accidental), so the Dress went in the washing machine when we got home, and is currently on a radiator.
We left York today, and headed for the hills. Much as I love York and how it doesn’t feel as city-grimy as Leeds, sometimes you just need to leave and breathe different air. We walked along the banks of the Derwent from Kirkham Priory. The light was just magnificent, really clear and refreshing. There’s something about this time of year, when the life begins to return to the land but there’s still a wee bite in the air. I was going to say this is my favourite time of year, but I say that about whatever season we’re in; I’m a live-for-the-time-you’re-in kind of girl. It is the most invigorating of them, though. I was stood in a field with my eyes closed, feeling the wind on my face and the sun on my eyelids, and I could feel the happiness bubbling up through me.
I’ve been trying to plan how I would write about International Women’s Day all day, and to be honest I’m still not sure.
I thought about writing a list of amazing women and the effect they have, but every woman is amazing in her own way. Take my mum: single mother, truly indomitable in spirit and winner of the Guardian cryptic crossword competition. She’s wonderful, and she’s one of many. So I’m going to write about what it is to be a woman in this world.
This is the most exciting time to be a woman. The world is changing, has been changing for a while, and everything we do to make it more a more gender equal place changes it a bit more. You can call us feminists, equalists, whatever, but the goal is the same: gender equality inherent to the society we live in. There is a way to go- there is still a heck of a gender pay gap and even my 10 year old sister has experienced sexism- but there’s no reason dreams cannot be realised.
We’re starting to reclaim that ‘feminist’ label, and movements like No More Page 3 are starting to make serious waves in the world. My definition of feminism is one of equality and fairness, judging people for who they are and what they’ve done, not what they have in their pants. It’s not an exclusively female thing either: men can be feminists too. (Actually, I once fell violently in love with a man who told me he was a feminist.) I’ve seen some quite virulent anti-feminism in social media which is sad, but I don’t think people truly are anti-feminist, just uneducated.
I’d like to think in maybe 20 years, it won’t be International Women’s Day, but International People Day. That doesn’t seem wholly unreasonable does it?
Anyway, the day and what it stands for really ties in with Womankind and the work they do. If you want to put your money behind a pro-equality cause, go to justgiving.com/caitlinsdress. Together, we’ve raised £145 (thank you thank you thank you) but let’s just raise a bit more.
Today has been a day for change and progress- for example, Clare’s Law came in today- and if we all pull together, we can speed the change up.
I’ve got one more picture for you, of me skidding in the mud but salvaging a pose from it. Consummate professional, as always.