Sian Ferguson

Feminist activist

Sian Ferguson is committed to the realisation of social justice within South African society, and focuses her energy on anti-rape and queer activism.

Her motto in life is simple: do no harm, but take no shit.

While studying at Rhodes University, Ferguson was the chairperson of Gender Action Project, a student organisation educating on issues of intersectional feminism and gender. She has also been involved with the Chapter 2.12 Initiative to address the way management on campuses handles sexual assault and rape complaints, an issue that has recently come to the fore at her alma mater.

Never afraid to speak her mind, 21-year-old Ferguson feels it’s unfortunate that women with a great deal of privilege tend to dominate feminism.

“As a working-class woman I struggled to identify with many aspects of mainstream feminism. This pushed me to think deeply and work with other marginalised members of the feminist community to offer our own insights and analysis, rather than accept the analyses offered by mainstream feminism. Black feminism and trans feminism also helped me explore my own privilege and try to support marginalised women who go through struggles quite different to my own,” she says.

Ferguson believes a large contributing factor to inequality and oppression is ignorance.

“We all have lived different experiences and we all have issues we’re ignorant about. That’s why it’s important for us to educate ourselves and one another.”

A prolific writer, Sian has written regularly for Everyday Feminism, Matador Network and Women 24 and has her own blog about feminist activism. — Linda Doke

Twitter: @sianfergs