Stacy is a parent, actor, feminist and member of the Women's Equality Party who is passionate about intersectional feminism
Until we are free of the discrimination that comes from not looking like or being like someone else then none of us are safe and none of us are really free. The same is true for inclusion, if the world that you are in does not include everyone then it isn’t the full world, it’s a bit of the world that isn’t fully representative or a safe, happy and fair environment for everyone.
Stacy is aware she has an intolerance of the intolerant and struggles to understand the opposing point of view on inclusion. To her, as well as it being the right thing to do to from a self-interest point of view, she feels it is more interesting, easier and for businesses more successful to have a diverse workforce.
Freedom of speech is protected by law up to the point where it veers into hate speech, although these checks are not perfect as neither misogyny or catcalling are currently classed as a hate crime. Freedom of speech is not about bullying, hounding people or being blatantly biased, which is a huge problem within our media and those feeding off this make up part of the problem. This bias can be seen in the way women are portrayed and the stories that make headlines; with Sarah Everard an attractive white female making the news but not black females who had disappeared around the same time. It needs to become socially unacceptable that women are vilified and often blamed for unsolicited advances and sexual assaults. We are still basing a woman’s value purely on looks and the attention they receive and the cumulative impact of being demeaned, belittled, and judged impacts on pay, work life and mental/physical health.
Many of us when challenged on our privilege try to defend ourselves but forget how fortunate we were to be born with it, having had opportunity from birth. It can be uncomfortable to realise the things you have benefited from over the years and can be hard to break down as no one is saying you didn’t work hard for them, but instead that doors others may have struggled through, would have opened immediately for you. Stacy says provided you are committed to breaking down those barriers that made others’ lives so much harder than your own, then no one is accusing you of anything and you do not need to feel defensive. Often the difference of privilege can be down to networking, learning about opportunities via the people you know, whereas others would not have known these opportunities existed, let along where to find them – something that keeps the divide constantly active.
Many people have a belief in a meritocracy and that they are the ones that did the best within it, so it can be really painful for them to be told the world they think they live in does not exist. Stacy uses UK politics as an example, asking ‘are the best people in our government and ruling the country always middle aged, wealthy white males? The voices we hear, representations in our politics are overwhelmingly the same voice and same class we have always heard. Breaking the meritocracy undermines the society we thought we lived in and some people’s self-worth, which can be tied up in a feeling of nationalism. Our biases become almost self-fulfilling, with societies conditioning affecting us all and requiring a lot of unpicking as this starts from childhood often with stereotypical boys’ and girls’ toys/colours.
SEE Change Happen
Women's Equality Party