My current situation. My library didn’t have either of these, but I was able to purchase them online. First editions, both of them. #bestillmyheart
The most general statement of our politics at the present time would be that we are actively committed to struggling against racial, sexual, heterosexual, and class oppression, and see as our particular task the development of integrated analysis and practice based upon the fact that the major systems of oppression are interlocking. The synthesis of these oppressions creates the conditions of our lives. As Black women we see Black feminism as the logical political movement to combat the manifold and simultaneous oppressions that all women of color face.
Combahee River Collective Statement, 1977
“I am a feminist, and what that means to me is much the same as the meaning of the fact that I am Black: it means that I must undertake to love myself and to respect myself as though my very life depends upon self-love and self-respect.”
— June Jordan.
“Those of us who stand outside the circle of this society’s definition of acceptable women; those of us who have been forged in the crucibles of difference; those of us who are poor, who are lesbians, who are black, who are older, know that survival is not an academic skill. It is learning how to stand alone, unpopular and sometimes reviled, and how to make common cause with those other identified as outside the structures, in order to define and seek a world in which we can call all flourish. It is learning how to take our differences and make them strengths. For the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house. They may allow us temporarily to beat him at his own game, but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change. And this fact is only threatening to those women who still define the master’s house as their only source of support.” –Audre Lorde
If you are silencing marginalized (Black) students in your classrooms, and grading them based on stereotypes and not the quality of their work, Guess what? You’re not a feminist!
Newsflash: Not everyone teaching Women’s Studies is a feminist, nor are they all interested in equality for everyone. This isn’t new information, but it hurts, physically, to see instructors who claim to be feminists hurt our students this way.
Thankfully, there are those of us who don’t mind calling this shit out when we see it, and who do our very level best to ensure that ALL students have a voice in our classrooms.
- Speak up, stand up for myself and others, and always ask questions
- Read black and other women of color feminist zines
- Educate myself, and inform others about why feminism is relevant
- Smash the patriarchy
- DIY, recycle, and buy local
- Be a riot grrrl
- Fight all oppression I encounter
- Participate in consciousness-raising
- Combat rape culture
- Support my local women’s basketball and other women’s sports teams
- Love my body and encourage others to love theirs
- Boycott, resist, and protest when the situation calls for it
- Maintain awareness of the ways race, class, gender, and sexuality intersect
- Analyze my motivations and be proud of my choices
- Volunteer at a domestic violence shelter or as a clinic escort
- Validate my fears and feelings
- Listen, support, and love
I will also be continuing my work as a board member at our local Pride community center, in hopes of smashing the male-centered ideologies that have permeated our local LGBT community.