Allyana moved from New York City to Helsinki in 2010 and lives now in Roihuvuori. In Finland she has analyzed the level of safety a lot.
What makes a safe space safe?
In a safe space it is possible to bring up problems without the risk of becoming the problem yourself. We are all humans and no one can be perfect all the time. If a person brings up all the injustices, in the workplace for example, that person’s job and social life might be jeopardized.
Often people in Finland make a lot of assumptions about Allyana’s background. She has found herself in situations where she has had to explain colonialism in contexts that were about something entirely different. It is not enough to hire non-white people to work in an organization if they are not given decision-making power. An organization cannot say they support internationals, but then view those same internationals as only having knowledge and expertise in issues related to immigration, she explains.
Mental health in general is an important issue for Allyana during her campaign:
- There is a huge labor shortage. To study to become a psychotherapist in Finland can cost up to 60,000 euros. It’s also sad that qualifications from studies outside Finland are not recognized.
How about the dating scene in Finland, is it safe for women?
- The Finnish culture where we don’t know our neighbours is present also in dating. People don’t intervene even when someone is in danger.
Allyana has been in situations where she has been aggressively approached by men and not one bystander has cared. She describes:
- Together we can make safer spaces just by asking a simple question “are you okay?” once in a while, and by that showing we can see what is going on.
By reacting before something happens is a way of showing women that they deserve safe and non-aggressive spaces. Otherwise I may think that I am too dramatic”, Allyana Thomas explains. She summarizes: You don’t need to know a person to recognize her existence.
Allyana Thomas, 36 years old, Master of Social Sciences
Choose one or the other:
Cosy sauna / Drink on the terrace
Sigmund Freud / Stephen King
Shorter queue to the dentist / Appointment to the therapist the next day
Gyms for women only / Gender-neutral recruitment to the army
More sex education at schools / Smaller groups per teacher
A third legal gender / More money for the third sector
Intresserad av jämställdhet på svenska i Helsingfors? Dags att bli medlem i Svenska Kvinnoförbundet i Sörnäs! Följ länken Bli medlem i Svenska Kvinnoförbundet i Sörnäs.