January Member of the Month
1. Name, age and what do you do with yourself?
Casey Burchell, 27. I work in marketing communications for a local government. Before this role, I did comms and campaigning in the sexual and reproductive health sector for a long time both here and in the UK.
2. Why did you join the Y and what do you like about it?
I only joined the Y recently, because I didn’t know you could be a member until now! I joined because I like the Y’s focus on young women; we’re too often left out of the conversation. While I’m still a young women I like the Y as a way of connecting to my community; when I'm old, I like the idea of supporting the next generation to also carve a space.
3. Do you call yourself a feminist?
Absolutely. I think I always have been but I didn’t start identifying as a feminist until I studied feminist politics at uni and found an out and proud feminist community.
The stigma associated with feminism saddens me but I think it’s mostly due to crap data - a lot of yuck people invest a lot into making feminism a dirty word. One of my favourite quotes on this issue is below (by a man called John Marcotte, who I don’t know much about but I love the quote).
4. If so, what is the most important issue facing you, your country and community at the moment from a feminist perspective?
Sex education - how shit it is and how much better it should and could be. I co-run a digital sex ed project called Bits and Bods, which we started to fill some of the (enormous and many) gaps that school sex ed leaves. The goal is to share very, very honest info about all things sex, puberty and bodies with teenage girls. We want to share facts but also break down the idea that this stuff should be secret. Sex ed has the capacity to make huge change in areas like violence against women, sexual health, reproductive decision making, LGBTI support and empowering teenage girls, trans and femmes to determine their sexuality. The more sex ed looks like Victoria’s respectful relationships, the better. The more we all share the “awkward” ohmygosh shit that happens to us to, the more we build community, the better.
As a personal feminism project, I’m working hard on ensuring I recognise my white, middle class, cis, hetero, able bodied privilege. It’s easy to think your own experience is the standard but all too often that means only listening to the most privileged feminists. I’m working on my intersectionality by seeking out books and articles by women of colour and trans writers.