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Dear Amy,

I am new to feminism and there is a lot I need to learn. At my school there never were any feminists that spoke out, now that I do I am getting singled out to explain and often defend these beliefs. Since people found out that I am feminist they make sexist comments to see how I respond and start debates to discuss my views.

Recently more people in my year group have agreed with my views and help me in defending them when I need to. The problem is that a teacher has asked me to write a speech for the class on "The importance of feminism" I know I should try to use points on how feminism has changed things in our lives and show how important effects these have had, but I'm not sure where to start. Could you please send me some ideas and points? It would be very much appreciated.

Many thanks,

A Newcomer to Feminism, 16


It's great that you are leading the way for feminism in your community.

Based on my own experiences, I think it's really important to not just react to what people are saying. I think that people will continually try to egg you on or get a rise out of you and it's important to hear them and be responsible to your opinions without just reacting. I have been more persuasive when I can do so quietly or more one-on-one.

In terms of how feminism has changed our lives, it's both big and small, noticeable and mundane. For instance, women and girls in sports; men helping with raising kids; and just our attitudes about what is possible and how much responsibility we have to make that happen.

I hope that helps.

-- Amy