Feminism can be a dirty word. For many people, it conjures up an image of an angry, man-hating woman determined to take over a world where woman can reign supreme.

Even when people do not feel so apprehensive about the word, they can still find it hard to identify with something that, on the face of it, favours only white middle class women.

I discovered feminism in my thirties and quickly realised that my own negative preconceptions of the movement were wildly inaccurate.

Feminism is now most definitely focused on equality for all and makes a concerted effort to ensure that it covers all social classes, races, the LGBTQ+ community, all abilities and men.

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It is not perfect - nothing is - it is a work in progress, and people can have different opinions at times, but it is a noble goal that I am proud to be working towards.

Living the life of a stay at home mum, with play dates and tidying up after others my primary activities, I felt like I had the brain capacity to do something to dispel the myths around feminism.

After discussing the matter with friends and family, I found that they simply did not have the luxury of time to learn about feminism, but they were interested.

In order to help, I organised an event in February 2019 called 'Demystifying Feminism'.

The event saw a panel of women discuss the reasons why they believe we need feminism and what we can do to work towards gender equality.

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One of my speakers was Rachel Blake, who volunteered to be on the panel following a request I put out on a local community Facebook page.

When we met, we agreed we wanted to do more than this single event and hence together we have set up Witney Feminist Community.

The aim of the group is to bring together like-minded people, but more importantly to get out into the surrounding area and help make positive changes to gender equality.

We will be putting on events similar to 'Demystifying Feminism' to inform and facilitate discussion regarding feminist issues.

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As mentioned above, feminism is an inclusive space, so one of our upcoming events is going to be focussed on hearing from people from all backgrounds.

We will learn what it is like to live as a person of colour, LGBTQ+, disabled, or anything other than the straight middle class white woman or man.

We will ask how we can adjust our language and behaviours to make our community more inclusive.

As a mother of a pre-school child, I am particularly interested in how we bring our children up.

We should not limit the choices for both girls and boys simply because of expectations of what men and women traditionally do.

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As an organisation, we are keen to talk to schools and assist in any way we can, through promoting gender equality for our children.

This is so the next generation grows up unconstrained by the binary notions of man and woman.

To complement our intended work with schools, during the summer holidays we will be holding 'feminist playgroups'.

This will be a carefully curated space with gender neutral activities and books.

We hope that parents will also be able to have discussions around how to be feminist parents and what we can do together to make change.

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To keep up to date with our event and activities, we have a closed Facebook group called 'Witney Feminist Community', which you are welcome to join.

If Facebook is not your thing, but you would like to know more, please email Rachel or myself at witneyfeminists@gmail.com.