The kernel of the idea for Taylor Hermione & Co came about in 2012; August 22nd to be exact. That week, Tea Party Republican Todd Akin made his now-infamous comment about ‘legitimate rape‘; Julian Assange was resisting extradition to Sweden to face sexual assault charges, and UK politician George Galloway stood up for him to say that the charges levelled at him were not of non-consenual sex, but merely ‘bad sexual etiquette‘.
Enough was enough. How could people be debating, in the 21st century, the science of pregnancy and the definition of rape? How were decision makers and media outlets so phenomenally uninformed on these issues? What could we do about it beyond simply taking to social media to express our disappointment and outrage?
The answer came easily: education. From a young age. To teach young people that girls and women aren’t sexual objects, to give them a clear working understanding of consent, to give them frank, unabashed information about sexuality, reproductive rights, LGBTI issues, and domestic violence, and to start conversations about what it is to be a feminist today.
Two years, a doctoral thesis and several country relocations later, we’re ready. We’ve started to run with this idea in earnest. We named ourselves after two of our favourite famous feminists—they’re maybe not the most nuanced or academic of feminists, but they totally get it. And they’re brilliant entry-points for young people to learn about the gender issues they face. We’ve sought the opinions of kids, educators and academics. The response has been overwhelming: we need this.
And we’re the people to do it. Nancy is a PhD in gender studies; Viv has experience in working with kids. We’re never going to stop caring about this.
And if not us, then who?
In our informal tea-and-cake workshops, we initiate conversations with young people about safe relationships, consent, and gender issues. Our small-group approach allows us to encourage more nuanced understandings. We talk to teenagers in their own language and invite them to continue the discussion with us and each other through social media.
We’re open to tailoring a workshop to your school’s specific needs.
If you’re interested in booking a workshop for your school, please contact us.