At what point in your life did you consider yourself a feminist? Was it an event or a process?
I am Polish, and was brought up in Poland, which is a very patriarchal society, so I never learned about feminism until I moved to the UK. I moved to London in order to study, and I went into a Psychology course, but soon discovered feminist writing in the critical psychology class, and could not stop reading them since. It felt like a whole new world opened up to me all of a sudden, and my life finally started to mak sense. I wrote my dissertation on young women's perceptions of feminism, and then jumped into feminist activism soon after graduating, and have never stopped since.
Who most influenced your awareness of your feminism?
The first feminist book that I read back to back was The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf, and I am forever grateful to her for opening up this world to me. She writes in a very clear fashion, which helped me understand some of the basic concepts of feminism and sparked my interested, pushing me to want to read and discover more. I have since developed a passion for women's history, and the feminist who is responsible for that is Gerda Lerner, the woman who introduced women's history as an academic subject in the US.
In what ways has your feminism informed your life choices?
I live and breathe feminism now, and everything that I do is informed by it. I am setting up a feminist business, write feminist blogs and do feminist activism on a daily basis. But most importantly, I would say that feminism has saved my life, quite literally. At the lowest point in my life, after I was drugged and possibly raped (will probably never know for sure, as I don't remember), and could have fallen into depression or worse, knowing feminism gave me the tools to deal with the situation in a productive way and turned me into an activist instead.
In what ways do you share your feminism with others?
I write blogs, organise actions and events, speak publically at demos, and help run a few feminist organisations. At the moment, I am also trying to set up a feminist café, which would be a space for feminists to hand out and organise meetings and events, but also one that would help encourage the general public to understand more about feminism, and that way to deal with some of the stereotypes that still persist around the concept. It would also be a space for women to network, talk, organise and inspire each other.
Describe your vision of a feminist world.
A feminist world would be one where women would enjoy all of the same freedoms, rights and opportunities that men do, without being judged for making the choices they want to make. But it would also be a world of generally greater equality for all, where everyone could enjoy the same opportunities to live a full life, regardless of where they come from, what gender or skin colour they are.
How I Define Feminism:
My favourite definition of feminism is - it is the radical notion that women are people (Marie Shear).
I have been a feminist activist for quite a few years now and have joined, and helped organise many campaigns and organisations in that time. Over the last year and a half, I have been working on opening a feminist coffee shop in London, Angels & Witches, as well as working with a bunch of wonderful women on other feminist spaces projects, including the Feminist Library, Rooms of our Own and Reclaim Holloway, which have all struggled to either keep alive or open new feminist spaces in the age of austerity. My journey of setting up Angels & Witches has taken me to unexpected places, and through that I have started blogging, documenting the process, writing about the ups and downs of starting one's first, ethical, feminist business, hoping that it could be an inspiration for other women, activists and entrepreneurs.