‘White Women Have A Responsibility To De-Centre Themselves From The Feminist Conversation’

Scarlett Curtis explains why her activism is centered around collating the work of all women...

Scarlett Curtis

by Georgia Aspinall |

‘The only version of feminism I believe in is an intersectional feminism,’ says Scarlett Curtis, curator of Feminists Don't Wear Pink (and Other Lies): Amazing Women on what the F-word Means to Them, ‘I think white women have a responsibility to de-centre themselves from the feminist conversation and centre it around those who’s marginalisation is not solely based on gender.’

For Scarlett, this meant collating 52 essays from women around the world, from Hollywood actresses to teen activists to create the Sunday Times Bestseller she authored. As an Instagram celebrity with near 60,000 followers, she has a platform to share her voice. But as a white woman, she experiences a level of privilege that means her voice is heard where others are ignored.

That’s why Scarlett uses her privilege to share the experiences of others, which she has done not only with Feminist’s Don’t Wear Pink but also as a UN Ambassador for Girl Up- a campaign to promote ‘health, safety, education and leadership of girls in developing countries’. Currently, she’s working with Nimco Ali on her campaign to end FGM, something she says will take up her immediate and future plans as an activist.

Working with others is where she feels most comfortable, it seems, as her work centres on incorporating more women into feminism every day. Over the course of her journey with activism, she says she has ‘learnt that teenage girls are the future of feminism and their passion, energy and intelligence is going to save the world.’

As a result, she created the The Pink Protest group. In early 2017, she had previously been living in New York for two and a half years watching the 2016 US Election play out first hand. Arriving back in the UK, she was inspired by the grassroots activism she had been involved in, in turn creating a community of activists hoping to create real change in British parliament. And she’s succeeded.

‘The Pink Protest has helped to change two laws around gender-based discrimination in the UK,’ she tells me, ‘that’s been a seriously incredible thing to be a part of.’ It’s not the best thing about her work though, that would be when she gets to meet the women her work has empowered face-to-face.

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‘My favourite thing is when someone comes up to me who was moved by one of the essays in Feminist’s Don’t Wear Pink,’ she says, ‘because we can both fan-girl together about how amazing all the contributors are.’

‘Getting 52 very busy women to meet a deadline’ was the greatest challenge she faced in curating the book, but the passion and inspiration in all of those essays proved the feat worthwhile. At least, the reviews would say so- and that best seller list

Scarlett is one of our 10 Women Who’ve Changed The Conversation This Year. To mark International Women’s Day, Grazia and The Female Lead Have teamed up to celebrate the heroines who’ve made a difference to our everyday lives - even if you don’t know their name yet. We’ll be featuring a different amazing woman from the list every day online, and check out Grazia magazine on Tuesday 5th March for our list in full…

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