Meet the CB team: Beth Simpson
Name and role:
Beth Simpson, Society and Community Editor
I am a distant relative of Eurovision song contest contestant, Engelbert Humperdink, dubbed the “King of Romance” (must run in the family…)
What does intersectional feminism mean to you?
Intersectional feminism is about deconstructing and challenging the exclusionary history of a movement which has privileged the outlooks and needs of a minority of women. As one such woman, it encourages to me to place myself in this history and hold myself accountable to any ways in which I would unconsciously and unknowingly perpetuate it. Intersectionality is about unravelling rigidly defined identity categories in order recognise the foundational humanity of people. It is a turn in identity politics which is premised on our differences, recognising the disparity of conditions within which people live, and how people experience multiple oppressions and liberations which interact with each other to form their specific circumstances. It is through this claim of difference that I believe intersectionality allows us to connect with one another. It encourages relationships between people that admit, ‘I cannot know what your life is like but I will listen and support you in any way that I can’. In making this claim it overcomes the fundamental issue in feminism of ‘speaking for’ another woman. Intersectionality takes the focus away from the exclusionary category of ‘woman’ to explore the intricacies of the lives of all womxn. It allows people to stand side by side, holding hands and expressing their voices, with no preconceived value or framework placed on their words.
What is your favourite thing about Clitbait?
My favourite thing about Clitbait is the intention of openness and honesty behind the creation of the site. I first met Laila and Lilah, the founders of Clitbait, at an event they had co-organised in which people gathered in a circle and wrote letters to their past selves around the themes of bodies, sex and relationships. During the hours of this workshop a space was created, free from judgement, in which people could discuss their personal triumphs, mistakes and insecurities. I was able to express moments of my life which had broken me and those which had put me back together again, with a group of people I had never met before. Everything I said was received with acceptance and tenderness. Since, I have come to know and value Clitbait as a platform in which my experience in this circle can be developed. The ‘Dear Past Me’ section invites everybody to share in this practice, allowing people to reflect on and amend moments in their past which they have been unable to accept. Clitbait gives people a space to speak, whether it be contributing to broad political conversations or disentangling aspects of oneself which have been neglected. I see Clitbait as a place of catharsis in which the words of everybody are valued and celebrated.
What inspires you?
The things that inspire me the most are the tiny idiosyncrasies of life that catch my attention on a given day. Light that casts a fascinating shadow, seeing two people look at each other and feeling a sense of connection radiating between them, a turn of phrase which almost perfectly sums up a feeling I have experienced. These things inspire me because they remind me to slow down, in order to observe and really think about the people and the world to which I am connected. They are the things which are always there if you allow them to be, not needing to be forced or sought after. When I notice them, they remind me that a sense of childlike wonder exists and can be tapped into. I feel like any of the massive-overwhelming-holy-shit moments of inspiration that I have are foregrounded and enabled by my noticing of these tiny moments.
What things do you do outside of Clitbait that you are proud of?
Outside of Clitbait I love to sing jazz! I am proud of the confidence I have been able to find in the past few years developing my voice and singing for people to hear and enjoy. I am proud of my studies and the way I have been able to tailor them to address questions of feminism and decolonialism in inquisitive and respectful ways. I am proud of the ways I am able to connect with people on personal levels through the voluntary work I have done- really developing a love for hearing peoples stories and helping them find their voices.
A guilty feminist confession?
I am a feminist but one more than 1 occasion I have caught myself being actively jealous of Emma Stone (an actor) in Crazy, Stupid Love (a movie) because she gets to (fictionally) fall in love with Ryan Gosling (another actor)…
A personal feminist triumph?
Making the menopausal women in my family laugh about the menopause through a funny poem I wrote! I spent a few weeks at home during the summer and the hot topic cropped up a lot… People were feeling frustrated and fed up with their bodies. So I decided to write a poem and perform it for them, the message of which being: yes your body is heating up but THINK OF THE WISDOM IT CARRIES. One day all of the women in my family gathered together. We read the poem and laughed and talked about it and made things feel light. This was a personal feminist triumph for me because I was able to bring a group of wonderful women together and (though in a very silly way, but often I think that is the best way?) help them remember their beauty and wonderfulness.