There’s many a woman we ought to collectively thank for their work in saying f**k off to a society that perpetuates rape culture. Since the dawn of life-as-we-know-it, women have fallen victim to the acts and desires of men and only through powerhouse women can we start to see a change in the world that too many women are accustomed to.
Gina Martin is one of those powerhouse women.
In 2017, Gina was attending a music festival in London when a man with a group of his mates took a photo up her skirt - a term referred to as “upskirting.” After managing to get his phone to show as evidence, reporting this to authorities immediately, AND calling on multiple witnesses, she discovered...nothing could be done. Yeah. This incredibly intrusive attack on a woman wasn’t actually illegal in the UK, and from that point on you could argue that the course of Gina’s life changed forever.
Gina decided enough is enough, and set out to fight to make upskirting illegal in the UK - and she succeeded. Through the sheer power of will, petitions, and shouting loudly, the good news is violators that upskirt women can face up to two years in prison in the UK, all thanks to Gina Martin.
You go, girl.
Fighting Sexism, Gender Norms, and a Male-Dominated Society
Empowered by her win for women, activism is now a pillar in Gina’s life. She uses her voice and her internal power to lend a hand to women’s voices around the world. Like many activists before her, she sees the power in numbers and education and has set out to help other women become empowered powerhouse activists such as herself.
By 27, Gina had written a women’s guide to activism titled, “Be the Change”. Her book, as well as her social media, help women channel the experiences that they may not have the tools to deal with by empowering them to enact change in the world they see around them.
It's easy for women as a group to become desensitised to similar 'non-physical' violations by men, and we know that an incredibly high proportion of such violations go unchallenged, unacknowledged and unchanged.
But Gina has lit a fire beneath us, and proven that we as women CAN fight back in a powerful way against these societal norms that victimise and scar us. Her personal experience led her to lead women in a way that society needed. Ultra-fragile men should fear her - and they do. Despite continuous vulgar threats by men following her drive to change the law, she continues to show up for us.
In 2019, Gina was recognised at the Stylist Remarkable Women Awards as "an incredible force and a true change-maker" for her efforts with upskirting and continued commitment to women empowerment and gender equality.
It’s through the dedication of women like Gina that we can all be inspired to stand up for ourselves and our fellow sisters against institutional bias towards men. A law is just a law and they can be changed. It can be discouraging at first but when we band together and demand respect and change from institutions around the world, change can happen.
It’s thanks to bad ass women like Gina that we can recognise our power and put it to work. Thank you, Gina.