I was not born a Feminist

Art of two women pressing their palms against one another in front of a rainbow, and the words 'we are all sisters'
Art by Betsy Cola


Dear Reader,

I was not born a feminist. Ten years ago when I was still in school, I believed that “we are only as disempowered as we think we are”. I wasn’t a feminist because I had tons of internalised misogyny and privilege, because I was comfortable with the status quo.

And then, I graduated from secondary school and moved on to study literature. I can pinpoint the exact moment the understanding in my brain shifted to those afternoons spent in class learning and unlearning the places of women in text, to the voice of Ms Rehana—firm and gentle and always asking us “why”.

Why are women represented this way? Why should they be?

I think Ms Rehana made feminists out of all of her students then. Had I not sat in her classes, I’m not sure if I would have opened myself to these important and necessary conversations. That’s why we must continue to talk about what matters to us, to listen to different perspectives, and to always invite new people to join the conversation.

‘Meeting in the Middle’, our annual conversation as part of International Women's Day, invites you. What started as a panel about being women writers in 2017 has since become a women-led dialogue that aims to discuss anything that matters, focusing on the intersection of identities, expertise and literature.

This year, let’s talk about the intersection of the climate crisis and literature. Five years ago, I wasn’t concerned about the climate crisis. I didn’t really think about it because since it seemed to be happening over there, to other people, because I had tons of misconceptions and privilege, because I was comfortable with the status quo. You can see a pattern here...

Whether you’re someone who is new to the conversation, someone who knows all about it, or a curious reader, I hope you’ll join us at The Moon on 28th March. Together with our writers and thinkers, I look forward to having an open conversation on our frustrations, anxieties and hope for what we can do, in our own capacities and at our own intersections.

We must continue to ask “why”.

Peace and love,

(From March 7, 2020)