The final profile in our Women's Month series lets us in on what she wants
Photographs: Neo Baepi
Blessed with strong female role models in her life, Alyx Carolus is inspired by her mother, grandmother and godmother, a filmmaker who has been in a wheelchair since the 90s as a result of taxi violence.
“She’s gone through so much and is still an incredible, kind, sensitive human being who also knows her worth, and doesn’t cheat herself out of what she deserves. She walks into this world with a certain sense of importance about her work, and the work she does with other people.”
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What is the first thing that you would change about the way women are treated?
First of all, resources! Like, can we start with that? I think a lot of young women have dreams and aspirations but they don’t have the resources or the avenues to start doing anything about that. I think that we have this idea that one day is enough, but it needs to be a sustainable plan over a long period of time to see change. Young girls are rarely protected – our little girls are the future, but they’re being killed. We need to start allocating resources and changing legislature about crimes against women. Start there. Let us feel safe for a little bit. I don’t know what that feels like, and I’m 25-years-old.
What is one thing that you want to make absolutely sure that little girls know?
I think it starts with self-esteem, but feeling worthy and feeling special and feeling needed. We come into school and yes we make friends, but as we get older it becomes about competition and pitting each other against one another, when we don’t need to. We don’t all have to be friends but I want her to know that her voice is worthy and matters, and that she matters. I think that that’s something that we forget to tell little girls: that they can speak up and that they will be heard, and that they’ll be taken seriously. Because I think we have this idea that young women don’t know what they want, when they do. They’ve got a very good idea of what they want for their own lives. You’ve just got to listen.
Have you seen attitudes to women changing during your lifetime?
For sure. It started off in my own house: I could see that I had to do certain things that perhaps my uncle didn’t have to do, or that male family members didn’t have to do. I saw how I was treated at school: certain rules didn’t seem to apply to men that applied to me. I might not have had the feminist language yet, but I knew it was wrong. I’d grown up in a household where fairness was the theme. If my mom did something, I helped her with it because we were a team. Soon, when I moved back home to PE, I started to see that this was not how everybody worked.
How do you define a woman?
A woman is someone who calls themself a woman. I’ve had to make some steps learning about the gender binary, and what it means – Googling, because I believe that if you want to find out something, you can actually go and teach yourself. It’s not always on other people, specifically other women to teach you about what these concepts mean. I’ve learned so much about identity and how people choose to portray themselves, and how you need to respect that. My simple definition is that a woman is anyone who calls themself a woman. That’s it!