Stories of Girls’ Resistance

From singular acts to sustained protest:

Defining girls resistance

From singular acts to sustained protest:

Defining girls resistance

Resistance takes many shapes and forms. From standing on the corner with five people and a couple of signs to joining or leading the masses; from surviving her own girlhood to bringing the next generation into the world; from fighting grand injustice to simply living life on her terms. Resistance is an act of defiance in the home where she starts to find her voice and validate her power.

First acts of resistance lead to second and third acts building over time, to the moments where girls are sparking, leading and sustaining movements. Resistance is all of this and everything in between, defined and redefined over lifetimes. Throughout it all, the intention is always the same: to create change for ourselves and those around us. To imagine, and therefore inhabit, a different kind of world.

To me, resistance, it’s very contextual and often times you’ll hear people and like I used to say this shit too – I used to say shit like well, you know “if I was a slave and that would have you know, I would have so and so” or “if I was enslaved and blah, blah, blah”. The one thing that blew my mind during Black Panther and when Kill Monger was, “bury me at Sea with my ancestors, who knew death was better than bondage or whatever”, literally you’re only here because of the people who didn’t jump off the ship dude, so shut the fuck up! That doesn’t make biological sense to me? Right? And so, those ancestors that jumped off, they’re amazing and that’s dope, but the people who stayed on the ship and came to the colonised place and got off and lived and survived are literally why you are here today. Right? And so that’s a form of resistance in different ways, right? And so, resistance looks like jumping off the ship or it looks like getting off that ship and fucking living and so, to me, that’s how I kind of think about resistance in general because it looks different for different people

United States of America

Resistance has taken a new shape to me. I have a completely different perspective on life, especially after my friend’s passing. She honestly lived a very full life. Anything that she wanted to do, she did. Without thinking or restrictions. She did things her way. I feel like that has given me – inspired me to live the same way we’re if you want to do something, you do something. If you feel passionately about something you do it to the best of your ability. That’s what fuels my resistance and if you’re going to fight you fight with all your might. You fight with all your tools. Which is why before I didn’t use my art form as anything more than a beautification process. But now I’m using it to challenge social issues. Providing help to communities through the form of both beautification and learning.


For me, any step, whether it’s in a word, me saying no, choosing to tweet, walking the streets, any steps taken to deny the oppressor, that’s resistance. Ophelia shared with me this poem by June Jordan. She says ‘I’m a menace to my enemies’. I think of resistance as that.


The pen is my activism’s first weapon. I have written novels, short stories, and blogs. For me, writing is the best form of expression. I used to write to truly express what I was feeling, my problems, my desires, and everything. But now, in activism, I write to give visibility to queer women. There is no space for us. Especially in Africa, where no piece expresses how we love each other or talks about our stories, our experiences, or our feelings. Writing has become a militant act.

Côte d’Ivoire

This is the earliest I can remember it. I think my first act of resistance… I don’t know if it counts as one, but when my brothers who, they’re both considerably older, like 13, 14 years older than me. I told them, I want to learn how to box and they were like, all right, one, two and I was punching, I was kicking. I was doing things. My momma got so mad. She got so mad and she was like, girls not supposed to be doing that. I was like, but I want to do it and I did it.

United States of America

Everything that I have around. The only thing that we know, I know how to do on instinct. This is a very hard question because I’m not sure if I can define this. I’m not sure if I can answer this in any specific way. It’s something about who I am, how I evolved. It’s something that I believe in both concept and practice. Since the moment I became aware of life and death, people and relationships and everything, I experienced injustice. I can see the power imbalance in both the society where men are dominating in almost everything and telling women what to wear, what to do, etc. Then besides this patriarchal oppression I was able to suddenly experience colonial oppression. Ultimately experiencing both on a systematic level from a very early age, my understanding that resistance is part of what I am, it’s not something that I do to claim it’s important. I naturally started doing this without knowing that this is resistance, and it started to grow and move from a —- place to another, it started to take different structured forms. It became a little bit collective.

Occupied Palestine

Resistance is something we do in our everyday lives… when we simply speak to our family members, teach our own relatives, brothers and sisters that we are, in fact, primarily people, personalities, individuals, and only then women, men, mothers, and so on. When we educate children – this is also resistance.