Happy International Women's Day lovely readers! I wish that I could tell you how happy I am at how far we've come since I wrote a "how far we've come" post last year, but I can't, and so instead, I'm going to talk about modern feminism. As Becky astutely pointed out, there's no International Men's Day - but why? Because, I think, women's rights still need to be foregrounded (70% of rape cases in Britain still end without conviction, for example) and because feminism is still relevant.
So, what makes a modern feminist icon?
I can think of a lot of women I'd highlight in this regard, personally, but the one person (or, in this case, character) whom I like to use as my personal icon for what a modern feminist should be is Lillie O'Rauke, a character from ITV's (sadly cancelled) comedy drama 'Married Single Other', a genuinely feminist fairytale.
A lot of things about the character of Lillie are clearly flawed: no character is ever perfect - but, as a modern feminist, I think she's pretty much perfect. She works at a women's shelter and believes passionately in protecting women who are suffering. But, she's also a good mother, and she seems to have made all of her choices herself.
She's never married, when we first meet her, despite having been with her partner, Eddie, for sixteen years, and fifteen proposals. She sees marriages destroy love too often, and claims that she doesn't "need a piece of paper" to show Eddie that she loves him. But, when it becomes clear that he genuinely wants to be married to her, and she begins to see flaws in her opinions, she's willing to let them change.
But, the thing that really clinches it for me is one of her monologues. She declares that "I know people don't tend to anymore, but when I was younger I liked to believe that things could change" - something I think we all should. She cares, and she fights for what she believes in, rather than standing back and letting things happen to her:
When I was young, I believed that things could be changed, and so I chained myself to things that I wasn't allowed to chain myself to. You know, all the usual cliches: unfair taxes, smoking, or carelessly placed nuclear weapons. But none with violence. I only hit men who hit women.
Who is your feminist icon this International Women's Day?