Mary McGill is a writer, scholar and activist who works in communications. She is also the founder of Fanny.ie. Her favourite Mary, aside from herself and two fine former Irish presidents, is Mary Wollstonecraft, whose assertion, “I do not wish women to have power over men; but over themselves’ are the words she lives by.
Because I am a Girl I ask …why do people still use the term ‘girl’ as a pejorative? There is nothing shameful about femininity or identifying as a girl.
Because I am a Girl I believe … that an equal world would be a better world for everyone.
Because I am a Girl I hope … I can keep my pledge to myself to stop saying ‘sorry’ for things I shouldn’t have to apologise for and to save my niceness for people who are worthy of it.
Because I am a Girl I wonder … ‘what a world without gender would look like?’
Because I am a Girl I dream … of a world better than the one we have. It is a dream I believe can come true if enough people demand it and work hard to make it happen.
Because I am a Girl I remember … reading Naomi Wolf’s ‘The Beauty Myth’ aged 19. It was my gateway into feminism and the discovery of a whole new vocabulary that enabled me to – finally – express what I had always felt but could never verbalize.
Because I am a Girl I like … many, many things which aren’t reflected in advertising’s daft representations of the female species. Amazingly, girl’s lives aren’t all about yogurt, chocolate, shoes, boy band members or whatever ‘guilty pleasure’ is being peddled this week.
Because I am a Girl I dislike … feeling afraid when I walk home alone late at night, sadly knowing it is a fear shared by girls and women across borders and cultures.
Because I am a Girl I feel … that girls shouldn’t have their opportunities and talents diminished or limited for any reason, including their gender.
Because I am a Girl I celebrate… all the girls and women who have bravely fought and continue to fight for equality and freedom across the globe. They are the embodiment of hope.