Twitter is where all the cool feminists are!

12 Nov


Lilipop speaking!

The Twitter Youth Feminist Army is a network of young people who met thought twitter and support each other in their journey to feminism. The TYFA has many members who have interests in most areas of feminism, different political and religious views, currently ranges in age from 14-27 and has members all over Great Britain!

Those are the facts. Luckily life is more than facts and many people are very passionate about the Twitter Youth Feminist Army. To me it is a life line to like minded people, who share my views and values. It is an intersectional feminist group who are inclusive to all and help encourage good values. It is a place to learn and to teach, to share and to experience. The TYFA has made me question some of my very basic beliefs and constants. Most importantly, the TYFA shows people that feminism is far from dead and show a different type of feminist that is so often stereotyped. I think I may currently be the second youngest member of the Twitter Youth Feminist Army and I have found each and every person I have met through the group a supportive and I know I will be an active and supportive member for many years to come!

Some other members of the Twitter Youth Feminist Army have given me some of their views on the TYFA. Here is what Tilly (@tillyjean_) from Sussex has to say:

“The Twitter Youth Feminist Army makes me gutted to be growing older! Having only discovered and become active with feminism aged 19, I’m seriously impressed at girls in their early teens understanding it, seeking it out, being vocal, getting involved, and most importantly making a difference. The patriarchy is, in my opinion and experience, probably most damaging to girls as they grow up, girls your age, and it makes me so pleased to see you resisting. Had I known at your age what you know, my life would have been so different. The Twitter Youth Feminist Army is admirable, and I hope they never stop fighting!”

Another view on the Twitter Youth Feminist Army is from Cat (@lumosbluebell) in Aberdeenshire:

“… Being 15 myself, I replied to the Tweet (about patriarchy demeaning young women) saying how much I could relate to it, and was immediately inundated with replies from girls my age and successful women in much the same situation of reliability.

The girls who were my own age were shockingly intelligent, aware and extremely passionate about feminism – just as I was. This was something I had literally never experienced before – I had done a class talk on feminism at the beginning of the year and was met mostly with blank faces and extreme confusion. Within a few days, there was a small network of us – young feminists who were able to bond over their strong dislike of sexism and blatant disregard for anyone who said otherwise.

To begin with, there were only a few of us, but we slowly grew in size, and we continue to do so now. Every day there is something that makes us all feel a shared sense of loathing towards misogyny/the patriarchy/sexism, but as long as we can rant at each other about it it’s all good! Just today, for example, a guy in my class said women couldn’t possibly be as successful as men because – and I quote – “They gossip too much”. Needless to say, I shouted at him about gender stereotypes and misogyny before returning to my Twitter newsfeed with a contented sigh, unable to repress myself from grinning as I saw my fellow Armettes(??) being angry about much the same things as me.

The thing is, something that began for just us has re-empowered, as it were, other, older feminists whose ideas and passion on the subject had been dulled by many women vehemently rejecting the feminist culture with a sneer and not even attempting to try and understand it. To them, we are the rebranding feminism needs, the breath of fresh air they have been yearning for for years.

We have shown them that feminism is far from dead – rather, alive and thriving.

*bows and exits stage left*”

Of course the Twitter Youth Feminist Army is also part of the wider feminist community from which we first learnt our patriarchy smashing skills!

The next part is from TYFA’s close friend Stilli (@stillicides):

“Ah, the Twitter Youth Feminist Army. For such a young group – I was there a month or so ago when the term was coined! – they certainly seem to have bonded and become effective really quickly! It’s *brilliant* seeing young women being so politically engaged and so willing to challenge and to learn. They’ve done so much more than I did (or could) as a teen. I’ve been told stories about these teens challenging grown men who are harrassing women – that’s almost incomprehensible to me. So it’s patronising, but I’m so, so proud of these ladies.

I feel like I’ve helped them learn things, but I also know that I’ve learnt from them. It is *fantastic* having a younger voice in our community, and (to be cliched for a moment) them being able to tell us what young people actually care about is immensely valuable.

Welcoming them into our twitter community of feminists has been an absolute joy. Never thought I’d consider a bunch of 15 year olds my friends – but here I am, with a group of young, engaged, brave women, how could I *not* be their friend? If this is the future of feminism, bring it on.”

The Twitter Youth Feminist Army is open to everyone and anyone with a twitter account. For more details or just for a chat about feminism or the Twitter Youth Feminist Army there are contact details for the TYFA on the Contact Us page. I know that it would be wonderful to speak to you!

Feminist Love,
Lilipop

24 Responses to “Twitter is where all the cool feminists are!”

  1. M.K. Hajdin November 13, 2012 at 12:05 am #

    Lovely idea. Too bad it has to shut out anyone older than 27, because of course young people only want to listen to each other, not be exposed to dangerous ideas of obsolete old people. Older people are so uncool. Let’s disrespect and marginalize them. Especially if they’re female.

    • jellypopblogger November 13, 2012 at 1:11 am #

      Actually, 27 is the age of our oldest member currently. We would welcome any members younger and older than 27. In the Twitter Youth Feminist Army we know that we learn a lot from our elders and we all enjoy talking and learning from feminists older than ourselves. We also, however, like talking and sharing experiences with our peers.

    • Cat (@stillicides) November 13, 2012 at 2:08 am #

      Having interacted extensively with this group on twitter, I have to object to this comment.

      #tyfa allows ‘young’ feminists (more on that in a bit) to talk to each other in a non-threatening environment. I do think this is important – because someone new to feminism simply isn’t ready for some of the discussions we have. I think that sometimes it is easier to learn from your peers – and in this case that is *not* about age, but about experience with feminism.

      The most extensive interactions I’ve seen with #tyfa have been between the creators of the term and older women – I don’t know exact agest, but >35, with grown up children etc. They have asked questions, been open to being challenged, and been genuinely happy to learn.

      Yes, there are some children in this group. And yes, children do need to be talked to differently than adults – and sometimes they can teach each other more easily. But the group is absolutely reaching out to mature feminists for education, both as a group and individually.

      As for the term ‘youth’ in the title. The group was founded by a 15 year old. I don’t know what her initial intention was – whether she planned it to be just for young-in-age feminists or something else – but it is very clear to me that it is a group that is for people ‘young’ in feminism – people who are just starting on their feminist journey.

      I was in discussion with a member today about the age range, as I’m younger than many members, and she said that basically if you felt you wanted to be in #tyfa then you were more than welcome, regardless of age.

      To put it in non-aged terms, I think of the group as a Feminism-101 group. They’re getting input, education, and challenges from us. They’re also learning from each other, and learning how to challenge each other in a safe environment.

      There is *nothing* in this post that suggests that they think older people are uncool, or shouldn’t be listened to, or are obsolete, or any of the rest of what you’re saying. If you want to discuss/debate with them, by all means, but do it in good faith rather than using strawmen.

      Especially considering that you are talking to a child here – the author of this post is 14 – the tone you’re using is unacceptable. Regardless of whether you agree with their point or not, using the tone and language you have with a child is tantamount to bullying.

  2. Cat (@stillicides) November 13, 2012 at 5:03 am #

    The thing is, something that began for just us has re-empowered, as it were, other, older feminists whose ideas and passion on the subject had been dulled by many women vehemently rejecting the feminist culture with a sneer and not even attempting to try and understand it. To them, we are the rebranding feminism needs, the breath of fresh air they have been yearning for for years.

    We have shown them that feminism is far from dead – rather, alive and thriving.

    • Cat (@stillicides) November 13, 2012 at 5:06 am #

      Doh, obviously this comment didn’t get posted properly, feel free not to let it (or this!) through the queue =]

  3. Cat (@stillicides) November 13, 2012 at 5:05 am #

    Aw, it’s so nice to see this blog! I love that you have a network of young feminists – including older women! – to support and help each other, while also reaching out to us oldies to learn from us. Hell, see my comment, you know I have nowt but love for you.

    I do, however, take exception to the following paragraph:

    ‘The thing is, something that began for just us has re-empowered, as it were, other, older feminists whose ideas and passion on the subject had been dulled by many women vehemently rejecting the feminist culture with a sneer and not even attempting to try and understand it. To them, we are the rebranding feminism needs, the breath of fresh air they have been yearning for for years.

    We have shown them that feminism is far from dead – rather, alive and thriving.’

    I think this is doing a massive disservice to feminism as it stands. I think you ladies are lovely, but to imply that you have single-handedly proven that feminism isn’t dead is… Eh. I don’t think it’s true, at all. Our ideas, our PASSION, have not been dulled in any way, and it’s unfair to say that they have. We already knew that feminism isn’t dead – we ourselves are passionate, politically engaged feminists; that was true long before you came along.

    Honestly, I think this point is very poorly expressed because it attempts to speak on behalf of older feminists, and completely misrepresents what we value you for. Yes, you’re a breath of fresh air – but not because you have changed our *own* passion or beliefs. The reason I think you’re so valuable, and love you so much, is because many young people think that feminism is irrelevent to their lives. You are proving *them* wrong, not us. As young people (well, not all of you, obviously, but many of you =]) you are best placed to reach out to other young people. As a group of women going through Feminism 101, you are best placed to create a safe space where you all can learn and support each other – and reach to us for education *together*, which is far less intimidating than reaching out individually.

    Of course you inspire me and I’ve learnt from you – your inspiration comes because you give me hope that younger women are politically engaged and can be reached out to. I’ve learnt from you because you’ve helped me see where I’ve been patronising much more easily, and helped me learn how to more effectively reach out, and that young people are worth talking to (no offence!). I’ve learnt that it’s never too late or too early to draw people to feminism, which definitely gives me hope/

    I know this probably sounds very critical. The piece as a whole I love, and I adore the #tyfa and everything you do, and plan to do. But this paragraph is very, very unfair to and massively mis-represents the previous generation, as it were, of feminists.

    Does this make sense? It’s 5am, I dunno how clear I’m being here!

    • Cat November 13, 2012 at 9:59 am #

      Yes, I totally get and agree with you! I was writing that bit in a hurry as I was being shoved out the door, I knew what I was TRYING to say but my brain wouldn’t make the words write themselves in the right way. Sorry, you know I didn’t mean it in the way you (and possibly others) have perceived it, thank you for calling me up on it and I’ll be sure to take more time to clarify what I’m saying in the future. Stupid Catriona is stupid.

      Awesome blog post though, Lili! Ridiculously proud of you and the tyfa right now. Xx

    • Cat November 13, 2012 at 3:39 pm #

      Hi, I’m the one who wrote that paragraph, and I understand what you’re saying completely – what you’re saying is exactly the point I was trying to get across, but I wrote it in such a rush that some of the finer details were lost in transmission from my thoughts to the keyboard. I didn’t want to be critical of ANYONE, and I’m so sorry I came across in the wrong way. I was trying to say that, from what I’ve observed, people were simply finding young people who aren’t intimidated by feminism and who embrace it wholeheartedly refreshing to see – I wasn’t trying to suggest that the efforts of older feminists are now meaningless and that we are superior in any way, not at all. I just came across in the wrong way when in fact no harm was meant and what you have just said is in fact my intended point. Again, I’m so sorry.

      This is amazing, though, Lili, my stupid comments aside. I’m so proud of you and the #tyfa!xxx

      • Cat (@stillicides) November 13, 2012 at 7:00 pm #

        I thought that might’ve been how you meant it, just wanted to raise it as a discussion point. Thanks for apologising sweet pea, but you don’t need to feel bad or anything – making wee mistakes happens to us all, especially when in a bit of a rush.

        ALSO, incidentally, we have the same name! *catriona fist bump*

      • jellypopblogger November 13, 2012 at 7:06 pm #

        Both of you having the same name is very confusing! I thought you were the same person at first! I am glad that this is resolved.

      • Stilli (@stillicides) November 13, 2012 at 8:15 pm #

        Fff everyone’s a critic! I go by Stilli on twitter, I’ll change it so I go by that here too.

  4. The Barrow-wight (@vogelbeere) November 13, 2012 at 7:43 am #

    I am very pleased to see Twitter Youth Feminist Army, because I thought everyone under 30 had no clue about feminism. Most of the people I know over 30 are all “yes of course I’m a feminist” because they have experienced plenty of sexism. it’s the post-Thatcher generation we were worried about.

    Congratulations on getting something organised so quickly, especially as some of the TYFA are isolated voices.

  5. Thinkingwomanstrumpet November 13, 2012 at 9:47 am #

    Great to see young women recognising power of Twitter to raise awareness of feminism, particularly from age of 14. impressive and reassuring.

  6. Katie November 13, 2012 at 10:03 pm #

    Nice work Lili ;) Xxx Very inspiring

    • jellypopblogger November 13, 2012 at 10:41 pm #

      Thanks Katie! I think the post is my best writing :-/ I’m not very good! As for the TYFA it was a group of us creating the group together. They have helped me so much in my journey to Feminism and i couldnt have done it without them!

  7. sakthi November 16, 2012 at 5:04 pm #

    I’m so thrilled to see this! As a 28 year old who feels increasingly uncool, partly due to having ‘boring’ feminist views, I’m so glad to have come across the cool kids talking about feminism being cool (and also a tiny bit extra pleased to read the very eloquent views of an Aberdeenshire quine!) Let it be known that I have regained faith in the future of feminism! Well done TYFA peeps, keep it coming!

  8. Susan November 22, 2012 at 10:08 am #

    Brill read young women and teenage girls becoming proud feminists is great! You’ve done an amazing thing Lilipop in setting this movement up and you’ll inspire lots of girls as you clearly already are doing! You should be proud to have started the group and are already helping other girls learn about feminism.

    • jellypopblogger November 22, 2012 at 11:54 pm #

      Thanks Susan! It’s was not just me who set it up though, it was a group of us on twitter. We are always growing and changing though! If you want to see more blogs by TYFA members, there are links on the Contact Us page :-)

  9. franchie January 7, 2013 at 6:27 pm #

    Right now, I don’t understand feminism, i need to read more about it. So far, what I don’t understand is that people are not being sexist when they say there is a difference between boys and girls (of course, because there is!) And they say it is sexist to say that men are less caring, but then again we are making ourselves different and sexist by breaking us away from men by having this discussion and making only women interested…..so then women become more thoughtful, whereas men become less thoughtful…. and we divide!
    And I’ve heard that women were born to nurture and men were born to protect. That’s separation even more…but maybe it’s true? Because women have those capabilities to have children and men are generally taller and (not stronger than women and some women like guns and fighting too) But men were not born to have children, this was no-one’s decision, but i believe men and women were created separately for a reason, which is to protect and to nurture/breed the babies…. which is why couples have always been around and it’s because we need the other gender to be able to breed and survive our human race of the people who fight for what they think is right and we bring up our children to believe what we want them to believe….. Well, we used to when the world wasnt over crowded! But we really do need men and women to be different, or else things will break apart! For example, if everyone wanted babies, no-one would protect the families. If everyone wanted war, then no-one would bring care! So, if there aren’t enough people to protect, then people will suffer. If there aren’t enough people to care then people will suffer, Of course we can make exceptions to those who find out after following their hearts and find out they are the opposite, then i guess it is okay for the few! But we should be happy with who we are born as. That is why on average there are the same amount of men than there are women! ;) (In my opinion—for the whole thing! I’d like to hear what you think!)….and I haven’t read up on it yet….I should’ve done that first….but what I said kind off just came out and I spent too much time on it, so I’m not going to scribble it out and write it later after more research! Its good to know first thoughts anyway! 

    • lauracannotdraw January 7, 2013 at 6:56 pm #

      Okay. Feminism is the radical notion that women should be completely equal to men in all aspects of life, be that social, political, economic, et cetera. Woah, I know, revolutionary. We are feminists because we want to be paid the same wage for the same work as our male counterparts. We are feminists because we want to be able to pursue our careers should we so chose without hitting the glass ceiling, being denied promotion or being stuck in part time work because we are women of child bearing age and employers are concerned we’re going to disappear on maternity leave. We are feminists because we want to be properly represented in government (only 25% of MPs in the UK are women) and on the boards of FTSE 100 companies (where the percentage is even lower.)
      It’s really a very simple concept. Do you believe that women should have absolute equal rights to men in absolutely everything and shouldn’t be denied anything based on the fact we’re women (or identify as a woman in the case of trans-women)? Yes? Then you my friend are a feminist.

      • franchie January 7, 2013 at 7:34 pm #

        Ohhhhh!!! Thank you very much!!! :) But…. what if we were absolutely equal to men? What would happen then? We are trying to be equal to them…. but they aren’t trying to be equal to us, I’m never sure about anything I say…… but if we try and be equal to them we would encourage all women to come up to more ‘manly’ roles. So there would not be any women left to care! And there is no such thing a mascism! Well if there is it’s not popular! So men and women would be at war!!! But…. no wait…. I might be changing my mind…. yes, I heartily didn’t agree with feminism…. but now…..Yes, because it’s easier for men to ‘become like women’ like they can come ‘down’ to the household baby career person when it is sooo much harder for a woman to be part of government! And they work their buts of for it! And people don’t really know who they are still! Compared to the men! Although….. From deep in my heart, I don’t know why… So please tell me why or why not, I don’t believe that men could be more ‘motherly’ if you get what I mean? Because I think it is quite important for babies and children to have this motherly care.

  10. Eliza Brierly May 2, 2013 at 9:24 am #

    Hi Franchie,

    As an older feminist, it’s so nice to see younger feminists, and to see people engage with feminism for the first time. The discussion as to whether women are naturally or innately better at being caregivers, compared to men, is on-going within feminism, so it’s great to see this being aired here!

    Whether or not women are naturally better at caring than men, I think that probably most feminists would agree that the current division of (unpaid and unvalued) care work (though also hugely important and necessary) into ‘women’s work’ and (paid and high-status) public/professional jobs (like in government, law, medicine etc) into ‘men’s work’, can only lead to unequal sex and gender roles throughout society; if this continues, men will always have the majority of the public and political power, while women will always be lower paid and under-represented in public life.

    Men (and women) benefit hugely from women’s unpaid or low paid care – but if it is mostly women doing the majority of the caring and nurturing (not just of children, but of husbands, parents, the elderly, the sick etc), and not receiving the same quality of care back in return from men – then how can that be fair for women’s personal aspirations, careers and success?

    Although caring, nurturing and housework seem like private and personal roles, like everything (as well as fat and body image, perhaps?) the personal is also political.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. A brief introduction. « Musings of 16 year old Cat - November 15, 2012

    [...] have my first blog post a cookin’, but in the meantime you might want to take a look at this, a fab piece by my friend Lili who is a member of the [...]

  2. It’s tough to be cool and not a sexist. « talatyaq - November 16, 2012

    [...] can read a little more about them here. THIS is how change is made, peer-to-peer. Have a read, let your heart swell with joy and get young [...]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,942 other followers

%d bloggers like this: