Being a creative newly blind girl in my early teenage years I spent a long time on Youtube listening to a cast of interesting people like the Vlogbrothers and the FiveAwesomeGuys carry me through my hardships. Numerous surgeries passed and on every leave from school I would procrastinate practising my math homework with tea and Youtube, so naturally by my twenties I was well seasoned in the voices that shaped such a diverse and strong culture.
Recently I came across one strong lady Youtuber in particular whose voice quite literally makes me listen to a video a day, if not her entire uploads list, just because she is a calming and positive fixture in my life now. Beckie, or Becki0 as she is well known, talks with enthusiasm and passion about…everything. She wears the brightest, boldest, most badass lipstick of them all, and appreciates film and performance. She has been dealing with mental illness and a condition called trichotilomania for the greater part of her life. She vlogs about her struggles and her life in general, and she makes me happy.
Her adventure through mental illness is one that people can relate to, myself included. I find myself thinking about the hard times in my life where I have had to deal in a variety of ways, and wondering how I would feel in a situation close to hers. She inspires me to keep searching for answers, to ask questions, and to emrbrace myself. She inspires me and thousands of others to stand up for what I believe in.
I chose to write this about Beckie today because last week she posted a video about being sexually harassed while in line at a Tesco’s. I have had similar experiences (in both London on exchange but also here on the streets of Canada) and these experiences were un-asked for and treated with distaste on my part. I commonly experience the whistling from a passing car or yelling on the street, to yes being stared at while on the bus or in line somewhere. Is this because I was blessed with large breasts? Is it because I prefer lower cut clothing? Or is it because the men that have done such things are pigs? I’m guessing it is the third, because I refuse to blame myself.
Beckie has spoken out about victim blaming and sexual abuse on her social media and has been receiving uncalled for negativity that honestly blows me away. What if someone was staring at your SISTER’S cleavage? In an invasive manner? Your GIRLFRIEND’S? What if someone was at face-level with your package and refusing to look away? It is hollowing to know that I have to make similarities in order to be understood, when honestly it just is uncomfortable for any woman to feel objectified blatantly in public (or any time for that matter) when we all just live our lives next to each other, can we not just all co-exist?
Are we going to fix our world with hashtags? No. Are we going to make a difference with articles on a mediocre blog? No. Are we going to stand by and just let things happen? No. Be proud to be a woman, and if something like this experience, this objectification this blatant sexism happens to you or someone you know, stand up, because there is nothing more important than your own self.
That sounds a bit selfish now reading it back, but to be honest isn’t the number one priority to be safe? To be healthy? Happy?
Feminism isn’t about causing a riot or creating change, its about contributing to a greater collective of feminist acts that will eventually stream into the collective unconscious of us all, and seep into our everyday, and strengthen the bond between all humans, and bring us together, instead of spreading us all apart.
Thank you to Beckie, who talks in an open, eloquent, and passionate matter on all things but especially this.
Her youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/beckie0