50 days ago I started the 100 day project. Every day I have asked a question to stimulate conversation concerning feminism.
Why am I doing this?
Most importantly, I am doing this because equality doesn’t cut it. Men and women are fundamentally different. The differences must be recognised and celebrated before we can all live with mutual understanding and respect. This is not a battle of the sexes nor another campaign telling us we are all the same. Instead, this is a call to celebrate our differences and understand them better.
I’m also doing it for fairly selfish reasons - I feel like I need to have this conversation. I believe in doing not talking - this feels like a good way to move into the doing space, even just a smidgen. It feels a bit scary, and I believe in facing my fears.
I feel like we must do something because I’m scared of what I see and hear around me and I want to contribute to making this complex mess clearer. One example for me is; I don’t understand why women and men I love and respect proudly announce they are not feminists. I want to understand this better and hopefully help others to do the same. A second example for me is looking at feminism through the lens of science. This has taught me a lot in a short space of time. I want to do more of this and again, hopefully bring others along on the journey.
We are now on day 50 and I'd like to share what I have learned so far. For readers who have already been engaging in this project and also those of you who are new to this I would encourage you to share what you have learned. I've learned a lot about dispatching something daily and feeling accountable to ship every day but there's lot's of good stuff out there on this topic already. What I'd like to focus on is what I've learned about the content - the conversation.
This conversation matters to everyone.
No matter age, gender or background everyone we’ve encountered has at least one reason as to why this conversation matters to them. We now see this conversation is not a conversation for one type of person, one group, nor is it a conversation for one gender or segment of society, this conversation is a conversation for humanity - it’s clear the need for equivalism is above and beyond the sum of its parts.
We created this conversation because we thought it was important from the very beginning, but now you are showing us how real the need is. This is what drives us now and is the main reason why we will continue to question and converse - you matter, we all matter, to all of us. Why do these questions matter to you?
Talking over Typing
Curiously few people type their thoughts for all to see, maybe that’s not so curious after all. It’s difficult to know how our individual feelings and thoughts will be received by the many. Although, we’ve learned through private messages and many many conversations with you, that even those who hold back from digitally engaging, also have a world of words within them.
We are really trying to understand how to increase the level of public conversation. Is it about creating a safer space? Is it about providing the ability to be anonymous? We don't know. What do you think?
We all feel stupid (we feel it too)
“I’m not educated enough”
“I don’t know the history”
“I don’t want to offend or say the wrong thing”
“Nobody cares what I think”
One of the strongest and most common reasons we hear, as to why people hold back their comments and answers, is; ‘I feel stupid’. We’ve learned that these questions often have a way of making us feel we are not good enough, not informed or educated enough to answer, to have an opinion.., but then.., who is? Is there a right answer or a more correct opinion..? I don’t think so, if we all felt the same and had the same thoughts, the world would be a very dull place. What can we do to help all of us understand we are all feeling the same? How do we become more brave?
Of course, thank you to those of you who have engaged, for being courageous enough to put your feelings and thoughts out there, in the many ways you have - you’re making this conversation happen.
Assumptions are everywhere.
Whether it be the meaning behind individual words, the interpretation of a question, the reasoning behind an answer, there has been from the start, a consistent novelty and surprise. We have assumed some questions would have little variety in their answers, that people would feel in a similar way about particular topics, or particular questions would or wouldn’t gain much engagement. We’ve learned that in every corner of this conversation there has been huge variety combating our assumptions and those of others - human beings are amazing.
So there we have it. We have 50 days to go and we want to ask YOUR questions and hear YOUR opinions. You can follow on instagram here and I also tweet the questions.
We are not quite sure where it's going but we intend to host an event at the end of the 100 days and we are working on a website to open the conversation up and share the data we've gathered. If you'd like to be involved or help please get in touch.
Chris and I have curated these questions together with the help from others. He has been sharing them on his facebook page too. I'll end with a little poem from Chris and I.
We are one male and one female.
We are one extrovert and one introvert.
We are one coffee drinker and one drinker of tea.
We are one Scot and one Englishman.
We are one scientist and one designer.
We are one MAC and one PC
We are one son and one daughter.
We are one sister and one brother.
We are one X and one Y.
We are equivalent.
We are equivalists.