I recently had someone send message me on twitter sharing a YouTube link. Naturally I clicked it. Cause I thought “Hey this could be porn!?” (Just kidding Grandpa) What happened next was… my life changed. It wasn’t just anyone who sent me a link. It was my new favourite feminist I just didn’t know until 30 seconds into the video. What Orlaith Hendron had sent me was a TEDTalk she slayed at a Tedx event entitled “Demand More”. You will never look at self-tanner or your politics the same again. Orlaith is a bright mind, a sister to all women and a gifted speaker. Change your life by clicking play below
Orlaith Hendron is a 31 year old inspiration from Belfast Ireland. Who has used her degree in Political Science to build networks engaging communities and advocating on their behalf for a little over a decade. Orlaith was kind enough to take the time to answer some interview questions on her gorgeous politics. I dare you to not be moved and inspired!
Orlaith, what do you think the single most important issue facing women today is? What do you think the solution to this issue is?
Sexual Harassment and Violence. It’s actually disgusting how much rape and violence there is towards women. What’s even more disgusting is that there are still men out there who think it’s ok and that’s because of the silence around the subject. People laugh at rape jokes. Hollywood insists on putting rape scenes in movies that are graphic. It’s not taken seriously enough and its seen as a women’s problem when actually the problem of rape is a mans one…women are just the pawns. Men should be absolutely ashamed that women have to live in fear, decent men should be absolutely disgusted that the perceived natural state of a man is rapist…and that’s true. Women are told to get home safe. Watch their drinks. Don’t go out at night. Don’t kiss strangers. Don’t get drunk. Don’t get raped…and the only reason this is the case is because any man “could” be a rapist…if it could be any man then it might as well be every man and I find it unbelievable that the masses of decent non-rapist men out there aren’t doing more about it. They are being branded rapist because of other men…but the silence continues and it’s left to women to stand up for men. I don’t believe for a second all men are rapists, a very small fraction of men are, and it’s all tied up in entitlement and patriarchy but what society does is treat men like they are dumb animals who can’t do anything but succumb to their baser needs. I don’t buy that. Men are intelligent, sentient, enlightened beings that are capable of rational thought. Capable of empathy. Capable of anything…why then do we all seem to accept this idea that men can’t help but rape women and women should be the ones trying not to get raped. Wise the fuck up people, we need to put the responsibility of rape back onto men!
What are somethings women can do to help promote equality everyday?
Well I think people, not just women, should promote equality every day. We should all be calling out the bullshit we see every day. If you see someone being harassed, step in and get their back. If someone makes a rape joke, don’t fucking laugh, rape is never funny and make that person telling the joke realise that it’s not the sort of joke you tell in our company.
Do the things you want to do, so many women hold back because they don’t think they can do the things they want, give it a try. If you fail try again if you don’t like it try something else.
Take up public space, try to get the confidence to walk with your head up and don’t bend and sway around people as you walk…you have a right to be there.
If you’re in a position of power as a woman, whether you like it or not, it’s your responsibility to share that. Whether that’s through talking about it. Through inviting other women in. Through mentoring. Whatever you’re most comfortable, but if you’re gaining head way in any field as a woman, then you’re gaining head way for all of us and you have to let the world know what you’re doing. Even if that’s just the world around you. Tell your friends, tell your family, blog about it. Speak up for others.
Be yourself – not the self others tell you you should be.
Believe in your own bravery – whatever you’re doing and where ever you are, as a woman you’re being brave. Whether you know it or not. Believe in that bravery and build on it.
Love yourself – forget about anyone else for a moment and think about you, think about who you are without all the voices in your head, magazines, papers, tv, movies, family, partners, kids, colleagues, strip them all away in your head and think about who you truly are, if you don’t love her, you’ll never be happy.
Thank you for sharing your passion and inspiring us Orlaith.
You can connect with Orlaith on Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/orlaith.hendronImages:
And via twitter @ orlaith_hendron
Image courtesy of Orlaith Hendron