Wearing your politics on your sleeve can be hard if you’re not in an explicitly feminist setting. Annika Spalding mulls over the challenge
It wasn’t until I started working for a women’s organisation that I realised I was a feminist. I’d done my research for my interview, answered all the questions correctly, got the job but hadn’t really considered what it meant to be signing up to a feminist organisation.
I was fascinated, intrigued by this new world where what I said and thought really did matter. I found that the feelings of injustice and inequality were not mine alone. I walked proud and tall, having felt empowered by my induction and then went onto empower others. For the first time I could remember, I found somewhere I could settle in, kick off my shoes and say: “Hey Sisters, I’m home.” I felt I belonged.
Marches, newsletters, articles, training and discussions about domestic violence – I was able to participate in it all by sitting in the office with my work colleagues. When I’d receive a new case, we’d all be on the same page in regards to supporting the woman and keeping her safe. We’d all believe her, because that was what women deserve; not to have their experiences of domestic abuse and sexual violence questioned or torn apart. I felt like I was part of a bigger team, one which was actively making a difference, and I loved that sense of belonging. I felt like I was home.
Then, three years on I handed in my notice and left for a different role in a different setting with a completely different focus. I felt like I was ready to apply my skills and my knowledge to something new and gain experiences elsewhere.
Photograph of graffiti in Texas taken by Flickr user Rich Anderson. Shared on Flickr under a Creative Commons license