My spoken-word career began (and promptly ended) at a high school writing club meeting. I was 14 years old — a self-confessed introvert who struggled with public speaking. So when my club moderator told us that we’d have to write a poem and perform it in front of the entire class, I was scared. I ended up performing a piece called “Sitting alone at a lunch table” (cringe) and hating myself afterward for exposing my own truth.
Simple conversations with friends and family were also mini struggles because I always found it hard to speak up. When I was still discovering the wonders of feminism, I would always hesitate to point out issues with my brother and male cousin during casual family lunches for fear of being accused of promoting my “feminist agenda.” They always argued that there’s a double standard in society, and our conversations would end up as long discussions that ultimately went around in circles. At one point, I decided not to waste my time, eventually choosing not to speak up at all.
We now live in a world where people aren’t afraid to show off their interests and beliefs, parading them around like they’re this season’s hottest fashion item. We even see feminist statements on fast fashion T-shirts and fashion week catwalks (remember that spring/summer 15 Chanel show?).