We cannot expect poor women feeding their families on food stamps to have the same priorities as female lawyers hoping to become partners in law firms. We cannot expect working-class women concerned with getting paid sick leave to have the same priorities as college professors. We cannot expect women who face both sex discrimination and race discrimination to develop the same priorities as women who face only sex discrimination. … There has never been a single, unified feminist agenda. We see feminism as an outlook that is ever being reinvented by new groups of women. Feminism necessarily changes as the world women inhabit changes.
—Dorothy Sue Cobble, Linda Gordon, and Astrid Henry, Feminism Unfinished
(via Now You See Me)
Intersectionality is not optional. It is not something you can take off and put back on again at will, when you feel like it. An intersectional lens should inform any critical evaluation of a subject, because these connections are key to understanding the web of oppression that weighs down on us all. These interconnections, too, are very weblike in their nature, because when you tweak one string, all the rest vibrate with it. There is no way to separate these things out from each other.
People complain that people keep dragging ‘side issues’ into ‘their movement’ and they don’t understand that these issues are the movement. Because a movement that commits oppression in the name of liberation is not a good movement, to put it bluntly. We are more vocal about these issues because we have learned the cost of shutting up, because we constantly have to remind people, because the minute we stop, everything returns to the way it was, the status quo is reestablished, and the real structural and institutional problems that create inequality go, once again, uninterrogated.
This is all connected. To misquote Patrick Henry for a moment, give me intersectionality, or give me death. This is not hyperbole: The current system, as it stands, is killing me. It is killing my people. It is killing the people I work in solidarity with. It is killing you. If you do not give me intersectionality, if you will not commit to being intersectional in your deeds, your thinking, your doing, all the time, no matter how you identify your politics, you are killing me.
—Intersectionality Is Not Optional
The problem with gender is that it prescribes how we should be rather than recognizing how we are. Imagine how much happier we would be, how much freer to be our individual selves, if we didn’t have the weight of gender expectations.
—Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists
(via knowledge equals black power)
My feminism has nothing to do with men. It is not defined as “equality for all genders”. It isn’t even about equality. I don’t want to be equal with men because I don’t like or want this patriarchy men have. My feminism is about liberation for all women, and an end of the oppression of all women, including women of color, immigrants, lesbians, and trans women. It is about equity- doing what is necessary to ensure everyone has a quality standard of life, has their human rights respected, and is free from oppression. I am not into definitions of feminism that are aimed at making feminism appear non-threatening to men. It IS threatening to them, and it should be.
—Havlová commenting on this article
(via the bad dominicana)
Some people might claim that my mother has no idea how systems of oppression work. Some might also claim that her focus on survival means she has internalized the system’s logic so that she oppresses herself. But get this: my mom has a different—but extremely deep—understanding of how systems of oppression work. She interacts with them daily, fighting to survive despite structural disadvantages. Working class laborers don’t need a physician to know that they’re straining their bodies or an economist to know that they’re being exploited. Most of the time they don’t even need organizers writing articles about “the struggle” to know that it’s there and it’s theirs. The lived experience of these oppressions is not only real, it’s indispensable. No movement is legitimate without it. We don’t do justice to mothers like mine when we alienate them by privileging analytical understandings of systems of oppression.
–Ngoc Loan Tran, “My Movement Mom”
(via Learning Everyday…)
This is a thing that seems like it could be cool, but it also intimidates the hell out of me. Feminism and failure and fearlessness are all things I care about on both intellectual and personal levels. Note the Audre Lorde quote art in my bedroom: “I am deliberate and afraid of nothing.” #goals
But roundtables sound like I definitely need to speak, potentially in the presence of people who seem way cooler/more up on their shit than me. Networking sounds like small talk and questions I have trouble answering, like “what inspires me” and “what am I about”. But I sorta want to get off of the #nonewfriends train I’ve been riding recently…