We Should All Pass The Mic

We Should All Pass The Mic

We Should All Pass The Mic

by Mandu Reid 

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Some have hailed the Covid-19 crisis as ‘a great leveller.’ I thought this was nonsense from the beginning. Instead, I see this virus and the havoc it has reaped as ‘a great revealer’. It has brought into even sharper focus how deeply unequal our society is. It’s forced us to recognise how interconnected we all are and how vulnerable our whole society is when those who need support most are denied it, and denied a voice.

Would our health and care systems (overwhelmingly staffed by women) be so depleted and ill-equipped to deal with this virus if our political institutions had prioritised social infrastructure before now? Would women be in so much danger from abuse during lockdown if our government had taken steps to tackle violence against women and girls? Would so many people be in such a precarious financial situation if this country had a welfare system that worked and better rights for those in insecure employment? We can be confident they would not.

Crises also present opportunities. Opportunities to confront and address entrenched social problems and inequalities and take corrective action.

In order to do that, though, we have to be willing to listen, reflect, and make space for voices and perspectives that have previously been excluded. 

As the leader of the Women’s Equality Party, I am the first person of colour to lead a national political party in British history and the first out bisexual woman to do so. I see diversity as a vital starting point for a healthy political system. My feminism - and therefore my politics - recognises and celebrates the fact that women are not a monolith. We all have different experiences, different priorities, different struggles, different triumphs and, of course, differences of opinion. But I passionately believe that if we listen to each other and seek to understand, we can learn from each other.

There’s this trend at the moment - you’ve probably come across it - where someone says something they deem to be profound or definitive, something that they feel wins an argument; they make their point and then they drop the mic. Well I don’t think that’s what we should be doing. We should be opening up conversations, not closing them down.

We shouldn’t be dropping the mic, we should be passing it.

In that spirit, I am so excited to introduce this new blog series. Listening and learning should be a staple of politics: listening to people and communities who are too often overlooked and ignored; learning from brilliant people both inside and outside of our own circles; and providing platforms for experts and campaigners who are doing the vital groundwork to make our country more equal.

We’ve all seen moments of extraordinary generosity, courage and community spirit since this crisis started. As a result, I hope we have a greater understanding of the fact that our collective light shines brightest when we celebrate each other, support each other and lift each other up.

I know from experience that campaigning for a more equal world often feels lonely and daunting. I hope this blog can serve as a reminder of just how many formidable, insightful brilliant people are united in that cause. 

So, let’s pass the mic and listen to what needs to be said.

 

With warmth and solidarity, 

Mandu Reid.

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If you would like to contribute to Pass The Mic, please send a brief pitch and bio to press@womensequality.org.uk and we will be in touch!

  
        
  

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