Feminist Resolutions for 2021
By Jasmine Ramze Rezaee
As a very difficult year draws to a close, it is more important than ever to be kind to each other – and ourselves. Carving the time to engage in some positive, aspirational New Year’s resolutions will hopefully set the tone for behaviours and thoughts rooted in self-acceptance, compassion and community.
As the pandemic clearly demonstrates, community health is an enormous factor in personal emotional health, psychological well-being and the quality of one’s interpersonal relationships. We look toward 2021 with hope, but also the somber recognition there are still tough times ahead.
1. Accept Change
Art by Fran Murphy
I will accept change. Accepting change means letting go of plans I may have had. Accepting change means acknowledging the future is not fully in my control, despite my best efforts. Accepting change means letting go of the person I intended to be and embrace – with kindness – the person I am in this moment.
Resolution: I will try to go with the ebb and flow of life.
2. Grieve Loss
Art by Frizz Kid @HanaShafi
Grieving is part of healing. It is okay to grieve loss – of loved ones, of plans, of hopes, of even parts of who I thought I was going or wanted to be. I will take time to process my feelings. I trust I will come out of this process.
Resolution: I will not deny my sadness in the journey of healing.
3. Honour Ancestors
Art by Louisa Bertman
I will honour my ancestors by learning their stories, wisdom and practices. Embracing ancestral knowledge and teachings will allow me to more fully embrace myself, accept my past and celebrate my future.
Resolution: I will learn about my ancestors.
4. Radical Empathy
Art by @blessthemessy
I will accept others for who they are; I will accept myself for who I am. I will refrain from judging others for their choices or life path; I will refrain from judging myself for my choices or my path. Life is a journey, and I will meet others where they are at.
Resolution: I will accept more freely and judge less.
5. Intersectional Feminism
Art by Harini Rajagopalan
We will not achieve gender equality in Canada without achieving racial justice and genuine reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.
I will strive to make my feminism inclusive. I understand that people have different experiences from me. I will make space to listen and learn. My feminism must recognize the heightened inequities experienced by identities at the margins of class, race, ability, nationality, religion, status, sexuality and gender. My feminism must understand that our struggles are interconnected.
Resolution: I will actively commit to be an intersectional feminist.
6. Build Community
Art by Ashley Lukashevsky
I will support my community by checking in on my neighbours. I will financially support charities if I have the capacity to do so. I will help family and community members where possible. Whether it is a small act of checking in on someone who never asks for help or organizing a food drive, there are many ways I can support my community.
Resolution: I will support my community through my thoughts, actions and wallet.
7. Challenge Racism
Art by Shehzil Mailk
I will challenge racism. Challenging racism may mean supporting others to create the space they need to have conversations that support growth and healing. Challenging racism may mean supporting Black and Indigenous leadership. Challenging racism may mean speaking out against micro-aggressions when I see them. Challenging racism means educating myself, listening to others and recognizing I have work to do. It means stepping back when needed.
Resolution: I will challenge racism by learning from others and engaging in meaningful acts of allyship.
8. Reduce Consumption
Art by Isha Sadhguru
I will reduce wasteful consumption. I do not need external things to feel happy. It is good to exercise mindfulness when consuming, and ask myself, do I need this or do I want this?
Resolution: I will consume less so I waste less.
9. Embrace Learning
Art by Louisa Bertman
I will take the time to learn. Whether it is one new recipe, a whole new language, or mastering something I gave up on, I will commit to learning. I recognize it can be time consuming to learn but I will prioritize learning over more passive activities. I know I can learn.
Resolution: I will commit to learning something new.
10. Lead with Compassion
Art by Jaime Jacob
Given all the challenges presented by the pandemic, it is more important than ever to lead with compassion.
I will lead with compassion by considering the consequences of my actions, taking the time to listen, and care for others through my actions and words. Whatever my role in society or family, I can demonstrate compassion by not jumping to conclusions and being fully present. I will commit to speaking up with compassion wherever I can and make room for others to do the same.
Resolution: I will lead with compassion.
Jasmine Ramze Rezaee is the Director of Advocacy and Communications at YWCA Toronto.