All my life I’ve written, and I’ve loved writing. When I was little I wanted to be an author, and I remember nearly peeing myself when a cherished author at the time, Jean Ure, responded to my email and gave me tips on how to be like her; how to become an author. Since that day, I’ve never finished a book, a screenplay, or anything that would remotely classify me as an author.
Something that’s also happened since those childlike, utopian days is the rise of writers like Mindy Kaling, Lena Dunham, Roxane Gay, Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Jenny Lawson, Caitlin Moran, Laura Bates and the wonderful Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. These are largely, but not all, feminist writers and big believers in essays and articles and pieces of feminist writings. The rise of these women has in some ways allowed for feminism to be cool, to be relaxed and funny, and easy to digest.
Feminism is massive, and no two people see eye to eye on every single matter under the umbrella of its gender equality beliefs. People are still very much scared of the F word; while Justin Trudeau believes it should be as normal as declaring a religion or political belief, David Cameron struggles to use the term without clarifying that he prefers equality between people rather than a dirty word like feminism.
At its heart, feminism is equality between genders. Simple as.
These women that I talk about, I don’t call them authors, but writers. I’ve been writing on my own film blog since 2012 but lack motivation, and I have written for a young women’s blog not dissimilar to this one about mental health and women in the movies. I was always looking for somewhere new to write and only recently realised I could just make a new home for my writing on my own, or better yet, I could create a new platform for girls like myself, and join the expanding voice for young women online.
I had a very movie-like moment in November last year, where I realised I wanted to be a writer, and on that same bus ride into city centre, I came up with Anthem, and I knew a few great women who could help me out.
I went to an all-girls school, and growing up surrounded by 1000 other girls I soon learned to rely on the support of other girls. By sixth form, most of us had stopped trying to impress boys by being ‘gamer-girls’ or those kind of girls ‘who just got on better with guys’. By sixth form, we had learned that feminism was actually pretty cool, and that if Beyoncé could pull it off, so could we. Girl power was it. Two years in that little old common room and I’ve seen girls pierce their friends ears, girls wash their friends hair, girls give out tampons and pads like they have unlimited supplies. I’ve seen girls cry endlessly, girls making their sad or poorly friends’ cups of coffee or tea and letting them sleep on their lap, and I’ve seen girls gorge themselves on Domino’s more times than I have legitimately had roast dinners. I can only speak for the girls I knew then, but the support system within that sixth form common room was immense, and powerful.
Feminism is about equality of the sexes, I know, yet on a smaller level, this site is for the lesser known, less frequently heard voice of young women and what they care about. Feminism is something that will appear frequently on this site (it being something these women care about and are concerned with on a daily basis), but it is not here to push you away, it is here to invite you in for a cup of tea and a chat. We’re here to make feminism accessible, that’s the goal.
So welcome to ANTHEM, the voice of young women you know (or wish you knew). If you want to find out more about the beautiful people I’ve got helping me out, please look at the About page to meet me, Jess, Sian, Sophy and Maxene (the original five!). I’m excited to show you just how talented they are, and I hope you love it just as much as I do.
Words by Briony Brake