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Interview with Katie - The woman behind the what about us campaign!

One of my favourite things in the world is the amount of incredible women deciding to do things about shit. I wish we didn't have to, don't get me wrong, but it never stops inspiring me and amazing me how women decide to DO something about things that are just not ok. 

Katie started a petition (signed it here if you haven't) to make the government commit to testing for cervical cell changes, regardless of the HPV result, a cause really close to her heart. 

I am all in for demanding better and almost 12000 by the time I press publish agree too! Make sure you do too!

What is the "what about us" campaign? And why it is important?

I started the campaign to promote my petition against changes to cervical screening. Under the new screening programme, samples will only be checked for abnormal cells if they first have a positive HPV result. HPV negative women will not be tested for abnormal cells, and recalled for their smear test in 3 years. Last year before these changes rolled out, I was HPV negative with a tumour - so you can imagine how I feel about the changes to screening! Since starting the petition I have heard from a number of women with similar stories and concerns but also around other issues with screening, such as women no longer being offered smear tests after 70 and women under 25 with symptoms being dismissed by their GPs.

I realised there are so many issues around all three screenings - cervical, breast and bowel. "No screening is perfect" is not what you want to hear as a narrowly-dodged-death cancer survivor or family members of those in similar/worse situations. I aim to expand What About Us to include issues around of these issues as they are all under the same screening committee. 

Who is Katie, the person behind it?

A 26 year old Yorkshire lass that has been living in London for seven years now! 

As well as signing the petition and sharing, what else can we do?

Have open conversations about womens' health! It's so common to have treatment for abnormal cells, but no one seems to talk about it. When I found out I was having LLETZ treatment (that diagnosed my cancer), multiple people said things to me like "Oh, my sister/mum/aunt had that - it's nothing, 10 years ago and she has kids now!". It seems to be such a common thing, but people don't seem to speak about it. Also, please get in touch if you have any relevant stories to share around cervical, breast or bowel screening! 

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And now our identical questionnaire!

 

What is Feminism for you?

I think Caitlin Moran puts it perfectly as "the belief that women should be as free as men, however nuts, dim, deluded, badly dressed, fat, receding, lazy and smug they might be".

Which "everyday sexism" really bothers you?

I find a lot of men assume that if the first date went well, women automatically want to marry them and everything is now on their terms.. It infuriates me!

Do you remember when you started identifying as a Feminist and why?

It's always been a part of me but I'd say I wasn't proudly identifying as a feminist until I moved to London. Especially after #MeToo - now it's acceptable to openly talk about rape culture  

Who is your biggest feminist role model?

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez - she is incredible!

What is your favourite Feminist quote?

Women may be the one group that grows more radical with age

What is your feminist recommendation?

What is your feminist call of action to whoever is reading?

Check and sign the petition today and help me make a positive change for women! :) 

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