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Celebrating Bermudian women

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Tierrai Tull is an undergraduate at the University of Toronto & University College London

International Women’s Day is a global day recognising and celebrating the achievements of women. A phenomenal day indeed. Our lives as 21st-century women are not accidental. It’s the result of excruciating pain and progress.

As we go throughout today, we must acknowledge the work of women before us and those those who continue to work today.

Women have been, and continue to be, subject to various forms of discrimination and objectification. Yet recent waves of antifeminism undermine women and men everywhere. A movement for women is not a movement against men.

The #MeToo movement includes men, and the feminist movement acknowledges the role patriarchy plays in the struggles of men. The perception that women’s liberation fundamentally marginalises men or threatens their masculinity is disturbing yet pervasive in Bermuda.

Still, I am constantly in awe of how gracefully Bermudian women carry a complicated history. They should not have to, but they do. I have frequent outbursts that prevent me from expressing my frustrations. But older Bermudian women usually have mastered this aura of grace, sternness and love. They show me what it means to be a woman in Bermuda: communally focused, unapologetic and bold.

Some of my favourite local heroes are:

• The Bermudian women who populate Facebook comment sections supporting young people doing practically anything good

• The Bermudian women who stop you on the street to tell you “how much you’ve grown” as you stand there, puzzled, smiling and looking at a complete stranger (“You don’t know me, but I know you,” they would say. Gosh, I love that.)

• The Bermudian women who risk their lives during political protests

• The Bermudian women who embrace feminist ideology

• The Bermudian women who refuse to live in shadows of politeness

• The ones who correct you when you mispronounce their name

• The women who keep their name when ordering coffee

Today is about you. The ones who make our day with their sass. The treasures of our time.

I’m also thinking about my ancestors who worked hard to advance feminist goals. They are the reason we can achieve or choose not to. Regardless of your perception of the feminist movement, a woman’s right to vote, be educated, own property — and more — came from a feminist.

Today is about them.

• Tierrai Tull is an undergraduate at the University of Toronto & University College London

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Published March 08, 2023 at 8:00 am (Updated March 08, 2023 at 9:42 am)

Celebrating Bermudian women

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