Well, hello there, reader – allow me to introduce myself. I’m Seren Haf Morris, third year English Literature student/Welsh person/avid Drapers-goer. This past year I was UniSex editor, and while writing about all things sex was initially a little bit out of my comfort zone, I soon grew to love it. While with the UniSex section, I discovered that I love to write about gender, and my experience as a woman. Pretty much all of my articles were to do with something my friends and I were experiencing or had experienced, from dealing with labels and sexuality to double standards and sexual assault. While they all fell under the ‘sex’ umbrella, I realized what I really care about is women; I want to use this column to explore and celebrate female friendships and the women I admire. From this column you can expect chats with other women, (a little insight into what ‘girl talk’ really means, perhaps), reviews and discussions about work by female artists and writers, and commentary on progress in the fight for equality. Unsurprisingly, expect a lot of feminist content.
I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t always labeled myself a feminist. The word often had a multitude of negative connotations and it was far too easy to shy away from it, declaring yourself a proponent of equality, but not a feminist, oh no. Not a feminist. It was when I came to university that I began to fully understand what it means to be a feminist, at least for me personally. Especially in second year, I’ve found myself surrounded by female friends who love to support each other, rather than see each other as competition. I’ve had many discussions about shared experiences as women, and I’d love to share these conversations. These chats redefined ‘girl talk’ for me, and have made me think about what it really means to be a woman. Especially in this political climate with Trump taking us back half a century (at least) and Theresa May making it incredibly difficult to celebrate having a female Prime Minister.
Another element of this column will be my exploration into discovering female artists. I think I’ve often been guilty of not consciously seeking out work by women artists, because they’re not as prominent as men. (Why is that?) This year, I’d like to actively look for work by women; whether that’s in TV, film, theatre, music, fine art or literature. When analyzing these works of art, I’ll be holding them up to the light of the Bechdel test. To pass the Bechdel test, a work of fiction has to present two women discussing something other than men. Which is sort of what I want to prove with this article.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate men. Far from it. And yes, admittedly, women do discuss men. But we also discuss so much more than that. ‘Girl Talk’ isn’t just boys, and crushes and makeup. Though it can be. But it can be debates, disagreements, heart to hearts… We spend a lot of time talking about food, to be honest. ‘Girl Talk’ will hopefully highlight every element of being a woman, including the good, the bad and the ugly. But ultimately, it will be a platform to celebrate our fellow women, because we deserve to be celebrated.