Feature Friday – SincerelyOlive_

Today we are featuring the intelligent and well-spoken women behind SincerelyOlive_. This account was one of the first feminist accounts I started following. The one thing I like most about her page is that she promotes beauty and body positivity for everyone. It is always so moving to other women lift and empower one another.

  1. Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?
    I am a Master’s student at the University of Toronto, studying Education Leadership and Policy. I am interested in the development and implementation processes of education policy. My graduate work has helped shape who I am and inspired me to work towards creating meaningful social change within the realm of education.
  2. Can you tell me about what prompted you to start?
    Last summer, I took a course centered around feminism. This course forced me to confront my own biases and challenged a lot of the ideas that I previously held regarding feminism. As I was gradually exposed to different feminist movements and theories, I started to notice the ways in which I experienced misogyny and sexism within my daily life.  This prompted me to think about how gender biases influenced the decisions I made, the type of clothes I wore, the way I behaved in different social environments, etc. It was through these realizations that I decided that I wanted to create a safe space for women to engage in dialogue about navigating what it means to be a woman in a society that relentlessly pressures us to be a certain way.
  3. What does it mean to you to be an activist?
    Activism for me is about challenging social and political norms, and persistently working to improve the inequalities that exist within society. There are different ways to engage in activism, whether that be through rallies, getting involved in a political movement, engaging in critical discourse surrounding the problematic aspects of society, etc.
  4. What personal experiences drew you to being a feminist and activist?
    Growing up, I was socialized to believe that my success as a woman would be determined by my children. In fact, not having children was never a thought that crossed my mind, it was non-negotiable. During my undergraduate degree, as I started to explore different career options, I realized that having children was not the only option for me as a woman. This realization is what initially drew me to learn more about the feminist movement. Since then, feminism has helped me learn to reject the social pressures that are placed on women and find value in the work that I do.
  5. What kind of feminist do you consider yourself? (I.E. Radial, intersectional, liberal, socialist)
    I consider myself an intersectional feminist. I think it’s important to acknowledge that at any given point, there are multiple levels of oppression that are operating simultaneously to disadvantage some and not others. Intersectional feminism is difficult because it challenges us to examine our privileges, and learn about issues and identities that do not necessarily impact us directly. However, these challenges are a critical part of activism. Intersectional feminism is not only about ending sexism; it’s about ending the interconnected systems of oppression that impact women in different ways.
  6. Have you ever experienced any threats because of what you’re doing?
    Fortunately, I have not personally experienced threats because of the work that I do. However, I have experienced some extremely negative and upsetting comments. While this can be hurtful, it only solidifies the importance of the work that I do. Feminism is not about taking things away from any one group of people, it’s about lifting women up and creating societies that value all humans as equals. If people are threatened by that work, it reiterates the need for more feminist centered education and the need for continued conversations about how we can create equal environments.
  7. What do you feel is your biggest focus?
    The main focus of my page is to share resources with other women. There is are so many people doing incredible work, whether that be through art, poetry, not-for-profit organizations, etc. In my experience, it’s easy to get stuck in a perpetual state of negativity, given the current political climate and the heartbreaking inequalities that exist within so many aspects of society. However, there are so many people that are doing such inspiring work to combat these inequalities. My biggest focus is to spread some of this work so that people can be reminded of some of the love and goodness that exists.
  8. If there was one feminist or activist resource that you wish everyone would read or view what would it be?
    BELL HOOKS BELL HOOKS BELL HOOKS. She is brilliant.
  9. Is there anyone or any group of people who inspires you or prods you to action?
    Michelle Obama.
  10. If you could change one thing about this world what would it be?
    This is a great question though I’m not sure I have an answer. Our societies face so many issues, it would be challenging to pick a single thing to change. A common theme throughout a lot of our conflicts seems to be people’s inability to accept each other’s differences. I think the world would be a more peaceful place if everyone engaged in the mindful practice of acceptance.

Much Love,
Ashley

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