2020: not just a new year but a whole new decade. Standing facing this decade, does it look exciting, terrifying, joyful, or disheartening?
It is hard not to shrink away from the next ten years, with its potential to completely alter you, your life, and the whole world. But I want to encourage a positive attitude towards change, which anyone who knows me will tell you I find very difficult indeed.
Change, for feminists, is integral. It is what we are fighting for. Without change nothing can improve. A whistle-stop tour of the last 100 years is a shining endorsement for change:
- 1922: The Law of Property Act allowed both husband and wife to inherit property equally
- 1928: Women in UK received the vote on the same terms as men
- 1970: The Equal Pay Act prohibited difference in pay based on sex
- 1976: The Race Relations Act prevented discrimination on the grounds of race
- 2017: Women’s March and protests by over 5 million people in 81 countries: the largest single-day protest
- 2018: Ireland votes to legalise abortion
Human beings are capable of learning and developing. Whilst it might be shocking and scary to be in the 2020s, for the welfare of humankind, I think it is best to be as far away from the 1920s as possible!
There are still many changes which will be made – over the next decade what incredible events might happen?
- The illegalisation of street harassment? https://www.change.org/p/make-street-harassment-illegal-in-the-uk
- The long-term curbing of climate change? https://www.earthday.org/campaign/act-on-climate-change/
- The recognition and understanding of all genders and sexualities? https://www.stonewall.org.uk/help-advice/glossary-terms
For individuals, changes and advances are not only important, but inevitable. You will grow, learn, adapt, and experience so much over the next ten years. If you are uninspired for New Year’s Resolutions here are some suggestions:
- Stop eating red meat. (If you are already pescatarian go veggie, if veggie try going vegan…)
- Read/watch the News at least once a week – knowledge really is power; you will be far better equipped to make changes if you know the state of the world.
- Start yoga (or Zumba, or football, or running, or dancing, or anything physical you like!)
- Ask your friends for 5 book or film recommendations (you will learn more about that person, and hopefully enjoy something new)
- Put social media time caps on your phone (you won’t miss too much in a tech-free hour or two!)
- Be kind to yourself – this one is hard, but self-love might just be thing that changes you the most, and for the best.
Even if it takes you until next September to try any of these, or if your resolution is something completely different, there is no shame in trying and certainly no shame in trying again.
If you feel intimidated by the year ahead, or full of January blues, you are not alone. Take it day by day. The seasons, just like everything else, will change and there will be spring again.