I grew up in a ‘bubble’. A bubble I shared with powerful, successful women.
The analogy of the ‘bubble’ tends to be employed to describe being sheltered and can be viewed as a negative thing. For me, however, it was an empowering experience.
Yes, my bubble enclosed me, and yes, my bubble sheltered me — but this bubble of mine allowed me to see a world where women were equal to men and taught me that women can do and be whatever we want. We are an unstoppable force!
I attended an all-girls inner-city public school, where academia, sport and everything in between, were treated with equal importance. My mother could be described as the bread-winner of our family, while my father deliberately pursued employment that allowed him to take more time off so that he could help out at home. My mother created a book club, filled with influential and important women, whose partners, like my father, have taken a step back from their careers to allow for their wives to pursue theirs. Members of this book club include the head of emergency in a large metropolitan hospital, a high achieving woman working in the global oil industry, and the CEO of a leading research hospital. These are the women I interacted with in my everyday life, and this is the environment I was consumed in, five days a week at school.
I knew sexism existed, but I did not fully understand it until I left my bubble and moved away to university. I found myself in a world where I interacted with boys who used vocabulary and held ingrained ideas that startled me. This was a world where boys’ college sporting matches nearly always had more supporters than girls’. This was a world where ingrained forms of casual sexism occur every day.
But despite this, the values I learnt in my bubble still guide me.
The women I grew up around have taught me how to be a feminist. From a young age, they taught me that the word feminism is not something to be afraid of, but rather, an empowering label. I am a proud feminist who doesn’t care what people say about me. I am a proud feminist who doesn’t care if people don’t agree with my views. I know we are all born equal. These women, in my bubble of love, taught me how to champion our cause.