Meet the Clitbait Team: an interview with Laila Ghaffar, co-founder
Name, Pronouns and Role:
Laila Ghaffar (she her), Co-founder
I get mistaken for other ethnicities ALL the time. It got so bad that I started a (now inactive) blog called ‘Are you Mexican’ because that’s what I would get asked on an almost weekly basis.
What does intersectional feminism mean to you?
To me, intersectional feminism is inherently about creating space. Space for marginalised communities to express their truths without fear of being silenced or shamed. It’s also about considering and approaching a single topic from multiple angles, there is never only one way to understand an issue and its consequences.
What is your favourite thing about Clitbait?
There are so many things, I can’t choose just one! Clitbait has provided such a loving and encouraging virtual community. Offline it has created a community of people who I’m so proud to call my friends. They constantly inspire me and challenge me to think differently. I’ve learned more than I could have imagined from all the people through Clitbait. And creating this magic site is what cemented the foundation of my friendship with Lilah. I feel very lucky to share such a special community and space with someone as generous, compassionate and bright as her.
What inspires you?
Again this is a BIG question! I’m really inspired by creative expression. So things like literature, music, food, cinema but perhaps most significantly visual art. I love how art has the potential to be so ambiguous, and is therefore able to capture the essence of any given emotion. It is a sentiment I take a lot of comfort in: that there is no feeling, circumstance or opinion that cannot be expressed through visual art. I’m also really inspired by different languages, and how language creates culture and meaning. And to round-up, I’m going to have to conclude with women. Collective female resilience, grace and courage is a daily inspiration.
What things do you do outside Clitbait that you are proud of?
I’ve recently started writing poetry to work through overwhelming feelings. It has always been an art form that has felt very rigid to me; strict and totally inaccessible. But lately it’s been the only way I want to express myself. I read one out to a friend the other night (something I swore I would never do) and it felt very cathartic!
A guilty feminist confession?
I’m a feminist but I attach considerable meaning and importance to my physical, exterior being. It’s very difficult to train your brain to think otherwise, especially with the conditioning that girls receive from a young age. But I’m working through it, baby steps!
A personal feminist triumphs?
I can be quite blunt and outspoken, which tends to throw some people off because women aren’t supposed to be direct. I used to feel really guilty about it, and would go to great lengths to apologise for it. I’ve only recently stopped doing that because it’s not worth worrying about or suppressing my natural instincts for.