Daisy Buchanan: An interview with Guardian columnist and author

Witty author and Guardian columnist Daisy Buchanan’s new book ‘How to Be A Grown-Up’ comes out this April.

The perfect pick-me-up for anyone muddling through their twenties, the books is packed with humour and candour. In an exclusive interview, the ONE reached out to Daisy to hear what she has to say about her new book and the feminist movement.

What’s your new book, ‘How to Be a Grown-Up’ all about?

It’s a (hopefully!) fun, funny and extremely honest book about everything I messed up, struggled with and learned during my twenties, and it’s there to provide a big dollop of self confidence for anyone who feels like some parts of life are a bit of a struggle – you got this!

What does feminism mean to you?

Very simply, gender equality – for women and men to enjoy all of the same human rights and opportunities.

Is feminism still as needed as it was a hundred years ago?

Mary Beard often says people ask her which historical era she’d like to live in, and she says (I paraphrase) “Are you crazy? I’m a woman, I wouldn’t want to be alive at any time but now!” Feminism is still needed and still necessary, but we’ve definitely benefitted from the movement in the last hundred years.

Can men identify as ‘feminists’ or should they identify as ‘allies’ because they haven’t had the same first-hand experience that women have in the fight for gender equality?

I don’t know. I think any man who wants to identify as a feminist should be celebrated – hooray, they’re on our side! They’re not afraid to use the label, and that’s ACE! But I am aware of men co-opting feminism and not being feminist – not listening to women, or insisting they know all about feminism and using their ‘knowledge’ to speak over women. If a man wanted to be feminist in principle but call himself an ally I’ll be fine with that.

Do you think that men identifying as ‘allies’ excludes them from a movement that’s meant to take into account men’s issues as well as women’s issues?

The patriarchy hurts everyone, men and women, but I think that if men want to call themselves allies while fighting the feminist fight, it’s good for the movement and for everyone. It doesn’t matter what they call themselves.

Do you think that modern-day feminism is inclusive of all the different gender inequality issues that women experience all over the world?

No – I think that we all need to try harder and do better. Intersectionality needs to be at the centre of the conversation at the moment, and it isn’t. There’s a big problem with privilege. I am ENORMOUSLY privileged. I know that there are lots of voices like mine, and ours get heard. I think that we have a responsibility to be honest about that privilege, and step back, shut up and listen to the voices that don’t get the attention that they should receive. Then we must promote them using the platforms we have.

Feminism has become a fashion statement, and in a way I think this is wonderful because it encourages people to find out more about it and embrace what it stands for. However, it can feel incredibly superficial, and I don’t think it prompts people to action. Wearing a feminist t shirt means nothing if you’re not going to follow through with feminist acts.

Be sure to look out for Daisy’s book, which will hit the shop floors in April. On behalf of everyone at the ONE we would like to extend our sincerest thanks to Daisy for her cooperation and words, we wish her the utmost success with her book launch.

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