I was at a conference this week for work and there were a number of speeches but one really got me engaged and has left me thinking ever since.
The talk was about perception of women and in particular, when it comes to recruiting women to join the army. A female Officer stood in front of the crowd and delivered a thought-provoking speech through the use of examples and the overall message was that women are more than capable to do what men do. We are just as strong, we are just as intelligent and a man shouldn’t decide what we can/can’t do.
Now I don’t really identify too much with the word feminist. I’m all for equal rights, humanity and empowering my fellow females because we do live in a world where sadly some people, albeit a minority, believe women should be in the kitchen and playing the supporting role. I believe the word feminist means a lot of different things to different people which is maybe why it doesn’t strike a cord with me as much.
The Officer spoke about a young girl called Jade Hameister and admittedly, I hadn’t heard of her before. For those that don’t know, Jade is a sixteen year old teen who is from Melbourne, Australia. She has just successfully completed the Polar Hat Trick which involves skiing to the North Pole, skating across Greenland’s largest ice cap and then skiing down to the South Pole. By completing this challenge, she has become the youngest person to conquer the challenge which makes it even more special and that little bit more inspiring.After hearing about her, I was already in awe of her physical and mental capacity which is so impressive in someone so young.
The Officer continued talking about Jade and some of the challenges she faced before she left. Challenges from men who quite clearly live in the wrong century and have ridiculously ignorant opinions. Jade did an inspirational TEDx talk in Melbourne and there was some comments online from men saying ‘good for you sweetie, maybe you could find a successful husband and make him a sandwich’.
What the actual fudge?! This woman has completed something that is considered almost impossible but insanely amazing for her age and there are people slamming their sexist and horrendously ignorant comments upon her? I honestly was left reeling by it!
I made you a sandwich
This is why I love Jade. Once she has skied down to the South Pole, she took a picture of the sandwich she had made for the person who had sent her that comment and invited them to ski down and eat it. What a brilliant response from someone who is quite clearly being the bigger person and ignoring anything negative coming her way. You can see the picture below of her holding the sandwich- absolute legend in my eyes.
I think this is where recognising eachother and talking about our achievements is so important. In a world where people still feel they can’t make their own sandwiches and need a woman to do so for them, we need to back eachother up. People who are stuck in those mindsets won’t change but we should be hearing and seeing less of the negativity and more about women inspiring others and talking about their achievements.
Congratulations Jade- you’re a wonderful example of exactly what women are capable of and why it’s important to stand up against ignorance. Anyone wanting to learn more about Jade can do so by visiting her website.
*Photos not my own!*