When I got word that Felicity Jones would become the face of our winter issue, and that we’d be interviewing her about her remarkable performance as Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg—otherwise known as the Notorious RBG—in On the Basis of Sex, it felt appropriate to examine how the fight for gender parity has evolved this year.
There’s never been a day in my life where I didn’t feel like a feminist. It was through my older sister and her sisterly wisdom that I began to recognize that my views aligned with feminist ideologies that work to advance the status of women in society as equal, autonomous beings. And it was through her teachings that I also learned about the negative connotation the term carries. The undesirable comments I’d hear never held me back from wanting to think independently about what’s expected of me as a woman. My beliefs, values, and how I viewed gender, race, and power have always been rooted in equality for all. Any alternative way of thinking would be a complete betrayal of how I needed to grow as a human being, and as a modern woman.
In more ways than one, 2018 has been the year of the woman. Across different industries, high-profile testimonials—and some lesser-known ones as well—have reignited the dialogue about women’s issues. Some of these include sexual discrimination, pay equity, and a safe work environment. While there have been varying outcomes from women coming forward to tell their stories (some triumphant, others disappointing), the bottom line is that there is a shift toward women being heard. And even though the demonization of those who stand up to fearlessly speak still endures in some corners, the greater level of support for them feels unprecedented.
As I’ve mentioned in a previous letter, women have always been powerful, but this year feels important and significant in that the daring displays of bravery are not being treated as some act of unfounded anger, but rather as a move toward progress and equality. I’m excited to see what the new year will bring, and enthusiastic about where the conversation is going. For now, I encourage everyone to keep listening.
Photography by Justin Aranha.