Yesterday I celebrated International Women’s Day with my class of first graders. We watched a video that gave students some background knowledge of the holiday, including social injustices women faced and how women fought for gender equality. We watched a news clip of a 9 year old girl who wrote a letter to NBA Steph Curry asking why his shoes weren’t available for girls and discussed the power of writing a letter. Then we shared several stories and wrote about women who inspire us, including Mae Jamison, Simone Biles, Hillary Clinton, Malala, Beatrix Potter, Helen Keller, Rosa Parks, the list goes on! I was so impressed with the ideas they came up with. I felt so empowered teaching young ones about gender equality that I wanted the feeling to keep going.
I would definitely consider myself a feminist. If you’re not going to fight for your rights, then who will? Celebrating International Women’s Day inspired me to search for fun feminist shirts to wear for the remainder of March, which is Women’s History Month. As I looked at cute t-shirts with funny sayings about a woman’s place in the resistance or fight the patriarchy, I started questioning…who made these clothes? What if these shirts made to empowered women are actually made by oppressed or disadvantaged women?
I read an interesting related article on the Good on You app titled She for She- Why Fast Fashion is a Feminist Issue. The article details how millions of people in garment factories in Asia work long hours with minimal pay, in dangerous conditions to make cheap garments for people in first world countries. About 80% of these workers are women. The people who make fast fashion garments work in conditions with low access to water, poor ventilation, and chemical exposure. Workers are prone to illness, malnutrition, and abuse. So if my goal is to empower women with the words on my t-shirt, shouldn’t I also be worried about empowering the women who made my t-shirt?
If you feel inspired by Women’s History Month and want to show it, here are a list of garments and accessories I have found that you can feel confident wearing, knowing that no woman (or man or child) was harmed making it: