#WomenWhoWrite: An excerpt from We by Gillian Anderson


‘Politics hates a vacuum. If it isn’t filled with hope, someone will fill it

with fear.’



Our current way of doing things – the ‘me culture’ – isn’t working.

The world we all share is more divided and unequal than ever.

Rates of anxiety, depression and self-harm among women are rocketing.

And the hard-fought-for rights that we, as women, thought we’d finally

won are once again under renewed attack.

Nearly 800 million people live in hunger and yet those with plenty

battle with obesity and depression.

Every minute one woman dies needlessly in childbirth, while elsewhere

in the world another woman spends thousands on cosmetic surgery

because she isn’t able to feel comfortable with how she’s ageing.

Violence against women is rising, yet at the same time refuge services

– especially for black and minority ethnic women – are being cut.1

The gap between rich and poor is widening, causing social division and

ill health,2 but instead of investment and redistribution we have cuts

and austerity.

Large swathes of humanity are threatened by climate change, yet our

governments fear tackling it lest they off end big business and consumers.


The list goes on and on, and every one of us knows that it’s crazy and it’s


Yet instead of joining together, we often find ourselves isolated and in

competition. Trying to put a positive gloss on our lives to disguise the huge

gap between how things look externally and how they feel inside. Not able

to lift our eyes to the horizon and deal with the bigger issues because we

each already have so much on our plate.

There is a different way of doing things. One that combines our own

emotional and spiritual healing with active engagement with the world

around us.

Our current political systems have failed us, but it’s not possible to heal

the divisions in our world without also healing the wounds which drive

them. We can’t heal our broken system by sitting in judgement. Within each

of us lie the seeds of intolerance and hate. If we simply declare others wrong

and ourselves right we deepen the divide. But, to remain silent is also not

an option – it leaves us complicit.

This path – of necessity – involves a lot of internal work but it is work

that will ultimately bring us together.

WE is a movement for change, a manifesto for a female-led revolution:

a quiet, peaceful about-face that doesn’t require the consent of those in

power. It just asks each of us, one woman at a time, to be the change and take

the journey from me to WE.

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