Sarah Waldron is a journalist, blogger and gal about town. She is a contributor to The Cork Independent, where she writes a weekly fashion column. Sarah also has a blog, The Licentiate where she jots down various personal style musings.
Sarah recently returned from London Fashion Week, which she describes as intimidating and exhilarating all at once. In her spare time, she likes to read, cook and dream about purchasing ridiculously priced art and pairs of shoes.
Here she talks feminism, careers and skinny jeans…
Because I am a Girl I ask … when ‘feminist’ will stop being a dirty word for some people. I know a few women (and many men) who would be reluctant to describe themselves as feminist because they equate feminism with being anti-men. I say that if you want the opportunity to make your own choices and have your voice heard, then you are already a feminist.
Because I am a Girl I believe … that real gender equality will not be realised in my lifetime. But I won’t stop trying to help it along anyway.
Because I am a Girl I hope … that being a WAG will stop being seen as a viable career choice for young women and just be something that happens because your boyfriend or husband plays football.
Because I am a Girl I wonder … when Ireland is going to have its first Female Taoiseach. In a time where more women are breaking into more male dominated industries, politics seems relatively untouched by women. There are now more female doctors, more female architects, more female CEO’s. There’s still a huge gender imbalance in politics. Why is that?
Because I am a Girl I dream of … education for girls that operates on a par with education for boys, across the board, worldwide. Not only should every girl in every country get an education, she should be entitled to an education without sexual discrimination, which is easier said than done. Every girl should get the opportunity to do Home Economics and Woodwork.
Because I am a Girl I remember … that a ‘careers expert’ once recommended to me that I become a nurse or a teacher when I left school. I later found out that he recommended these occupations to all the girls who wanted financially uncertain creative careers. His justification was that we had plenty of time to be a writer when we married men that could finance our ‘hobbies’. And this was in 2004!
Because I am a Girl I like … hanging out with my female friends, who are all smart, self-sufficient, talented, funny, interesting, focused, well-travelled and fiercely ambitious. Just like my male ones.
Because I am a Girl I dislike … being touched inappropriately in bars and nightclubs because of what I wear. They’re skinny jeans, not an invitation for sexual harassment. No-one has the right to touch another person without their permission, under any circumstance. Even if you really do like their bum.
Because I am a Girl I feel … no different than a man, it’s just other people who feel differently about me. I was lucky to be brought up in a family of headstrong Alpha females who taught me that, whether you run a business or take care of a family, your prerogative is to do the best that you can do and to always stay true to yourself. One of my grandmothers was the first in her family to go on to further education and ran several successful enterprises when it was unusual for a woman to do so. The other left school at twelve and was a homemaker all her life. Both of them were equally inspiring because of their self-belief and pragmatism.
Because I am a Girl I … feel compelled to live my life as best as I can – because there are so many women out there who don’t get the chance.
– Sarah Waldron