New feature: Are you feminist enough?

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.

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Photograph of graffiti in Texas taken by Flickr user Rich Anderson. Shared on Flickr under a Creative Commons license