Today we are interviewing Hazel, blogger and Instagrammer, podcast host, mum of twins and passionate intersectional feminist. The internet is this amazing place where you are giving the possibility to find gems like her! I agree with pretty much everything she says so our debates would probably be just endless nodding and agreement. It is really exciting for me getting to know more and being able to shout about her journey and her feminist thoughts today.
What is Feminist Fact Club?
Feminist Fact Club is like fight club… but with facts! Knowledge is power and I’m here to help empower feminists with facts, info & resources to get out there and smash that damn patriarchy! Also, it’s a place of unyielding positivity and support for feminists. Especially feminists who are raising feminists, because that’s a tough job!
When did you become "Mum of snots" and how did it lead to where you are?
My original blog name was Mother Of Snot. I wanted to write about the experience of becoming a mum from the perspective of a person who happens to be a feminist. I wanted to create a community around that because sharing stories really helps people to feel less alone. I have 3-year-old twin boys and it’s an intense ride (sometimes intensely wonderful and sometimes intensely difficult).
Once I got going though, my energy just flowed naturally into the more feminist side of things. I’ve learned so much from feminists online and I wanted to be a part of that for other people. Especially feminist mums, out there wondering WTF is going on with the world! So I changed my blog name to Feminist Fact Club and I haven’t looked back!
What is your biggest challenge as a feminist mum?
I’d say there are two main challenges…
1: Unconscious bias
2: Advertising / Media / Society
Unconscious bias is everywhere. Even in the home of a raging feminist (that’s me!). I do my best to be unbiased, but we’ve all been raised in this patriarchy and sometimes some horrible gender stereotypes creep in without me noticing.
Then there’s advertising / the media and society as a whole. No matter how hard I work inside my home to teach my boys how to respect women, understand consent, express their emotions and look up to role models of all genders, once they step outside our door (or turn on a screen), there’s a tsunami of gender stereotypes and restrictions just waiting to crash down on them. All I can do is teach them as best I can and hope they can ‘swim’ their way past the bullsh*t!
Why should people follow @feminist_fact_clun and subscribe to your podcast and blog?
My podcast and blog are all about equipping and empowering feminists to get out there and do their thing. It’s a community where everyone is welcome, supported and loved, even when we’re all coming from different perspectives and experiences. I also like to do things with humour too, because even though the topics are serious, we don’t always have to be.
So, if you want to talk fact-based feminism and have a good old laugh while you’re at it, follow my blog / insta account, like, comment, share, tag your friends, hell get a tattoo of one of my designs on your forehead… every little helps!
And now that we know a bit more about her, let's see what she has to say in our "one-fit-all" questionnaire
What is Feminism for you?
Feminism is the fight for the political, economic and social equality of the sexes. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. When we say equality, it’s not about treating everybody the same, because we’re not all the same. It’s about making sure that nobody’s differences prevent them from reaching that equality. It’s about creating equal access for everyone to thrive.
Also, something different about modern feminism is that we’re no longer just trying to achieve equal rights to men within a man-made system. Modern feminism is about building entirely new structures that work for everyone.
Which “everyday sexism” really bothers you?
Stereotypes, in general, bother me. It’s not just the limitations that they place on us (“a woman shouldn’t ____” or “A real man has to ______” etc). But also because when people aren’t conscious about stereotypes, they tend to believe them to be a biological fact, which is dangerous and harmful to everyone.
For example, the stereotype that tells us men can’t/don’t have emotions leads to terrible suffering and much higher suicide rates in men. Then there's the stereotype that women are too emotional to be effective leaders. That led a lot of people to vote Trump over Clinton, and look at the damage that’s caused.
We’re bombarded with messages all day long that reinforce those gender stereotypes. I suppose you could say the everyday sexism that bothers me the most is people limiting everyone’s behaviour based on stereotypes forced on us within our culture. (maybe that’s more macro than micro, but it exists on all levels!)
Do you remember when you started identifying as a Feminist and why?
I’m the classic case of a life long feminist who has only started to claim it in recent years. When I was younger I totally bought into the idea of feminists being angry, unattractive women burning bras. When I think about it, I would quite happily burn my bra today because that thing is as uncomfortable as hell! So to answer your question… maybe about 20 years ago.
Who is your biggest feminist role model?
All of them! Ranging from my mum who reinvented herself and built her own business when I was a teenager, to Roxane Gay for being so unapologetically human on her feminist journey, to Chimamanda Adichie for her confidence, eloquence and oh la la her style… But maybe the top queen would have to be Ruth Bader Ginsburg for her incredible work in human rights policies for women, and her official status as a ‘flaming feminist’.
What is your favourite Feminist quote?
Lately, I’ve been pondering over Virginia Woolf’s famous quote “For most of history, Anonymous was a woman”. It makes me stop and think about our unconscious bias and how deep it runs. They believe now that the earliest cave paintings were actually done by women, not men (because of the physiology of the handprints). That’s how long we’ve been dismissing women’s work and giving the credit to men. Literally thousands of years of building up gender stereotypes. No wonder today there are sexist, prejudice people in the world.
What is your proudest feminist victory?
I’ve just started Dressember this year for the first time. Wearing a dress every day for the month of December, to raise awareness and funds to help fight against human trafficking (71% of trafficking victims are women and girls).And if you want to get involved to do it yourself, the website is www.dressember.org
What is your feminist recommendation?
BOOK: Mary Beard ‘Women & Power’ - for a quick, interesting and super easily digestible read. And I’ve just got ‘Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race’ by Reni Eddo-Lodge for Christmas because everyone needs to learn more about white privilege, especially feminists who are white, like me.
TV SHOW: Derry Girls or Russian Doll - Both written by women & starring women. And wowsers can you tell! Fascinating, complex, funny and interesting characters. Amazing writing. Amazing storytelling. They’re both on Netflix. If you haven’t watched them a thousand times already, I can highly recommend them!
FILM: t’s been an age since I’ve watched a film. Here’s a blast from the past… how about Whale Rider from New Zealand? A little girl challenging her culture’s sexist traditions and following her own heart! It was gorgeous and heartbreaking.
Sorry, I wish I had something more modern!
What is your feminist call of action to whoever is reading?
Get Involved!! You don’t have to be a great public figure with a huge platform to make a difference. Feminism can be in everything, from teaching little boys about consent to supporting women-led businesses to telling cranky olde uncle George that his thoughts on how “Me Too has gone too far” are not welcome at your dinner table! Just get involved in whatever way you can, and don’t let anyone make you feel silly or dramatic. Equality is neither of those things!
Hazel is the founder of https://feministfactclub.com and the host of the podcast hairy feminist.