Hannah Witton is a 20-something-year-old vlogger, author, Youtuber, podcaster and respected writer on the subject of topics from feminism to relationships, sexuality to gender. Here, Hannah answers our ‘what it means to be a woman in 2018’ Q&A, to mark 100 years of suffrage; the Representation of the People Act 1918 was passed on 6 February 1918.
Hannah Witton Q&A
It’s been 100 years since (some) women were granted the right to vote in the UK – how far do you think women have come in the last century?
So much has changed in the last century, especially in terms of legal changes. The right to vote, reproductive rights, the Pill, Equal Pay Act, divorce, rape in marriage. Women have more freedoms and more independence. The last century also saw a huge shift in redefining gender roles – what it means to be a woman, what are feminine traits, characteristics, interests and behaviours?
What does it mean to be a woman in 2018?
The wonderful thing about broadening the definition of woman is that it allows more space for women who have previously felt alienated or excluded by more rigid definitions. In 2018, for me being a woman means being a trailblazer, carving my own path and supporting other women along the way, especially those belonging to other marginalised groups.
What do women still need to achieve?
A 50/50 Parliament would be really nice. But I don’t see that as something women need to achieve, it’s something our society and country needs to achieve.
Your personal proudest achievement?
My proudest achievement is my book baby, “Doing It!”, published last year. It’s an advice book for young adults all about sex and relationships filled with information and personal stories.
If you could teach young women one thing about being a woman it would be…
There’s no one way to be a woman so don’t judge other people if they don’t fit into the boxes you’ve created in your head. It’s time to get a bigger box.
And if you could teach young men one thing…
Same thing. There are many different ways to be a man. You can be strong, you can like sport, you can like musicals, you can cry, you can be a supportive friend, you can be smart and you’re still a man. So again, don’t judge people and get a bigger box.
Complete the following: In the next 100 years, I hope women will…
Feel accomplished and feel safe.