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Come talk about the action – and inaction – of feminism

a bitch project

Please join these participatory discussions about how—and whether—feminism can become a transformative, justice-centered movement for social change.

  • How can we drive attention to the power, privilege, and marginalization that continue to play out in feminist communities, and how can those of us with power and privilege become genuine and effective allies to those without it?
  • How can we collectively create a feminist/media/justice movement that doesn't rely on white supremacy, class privilege, and economic exploitation?
  • Can the idea of feminism shift to foreground an uncompromising, transformative commitment to systemic social change, or is it time to evolve to new language?

Below are the places/dates I've scheduled so far (these conversations are being organized in conjunction with my Bitch fundraising/outreach travels):

Detroit: Sunday, May 4, from 2:00-4:00PM, co-organized with Detroit Feminists at The TrumbullPlex

Minneapolis: Saturday, May 10, from 4:00-6:00PM at Amazon Bookstore (not affiliated with the evil that is amazon.com), 4755 Chicago Ave

Madison: Wednesday, May 14, from 6:00-8:00PM at Room of One's Own Feminist Bookstore, 307 W. Johnson

Milwaukee: Sunday, May 18, from 3:00-5:00PM at Broad Vocabulary Feminist Bookstore, 2241 S. Kinnickinnic Ave

Other cities to come...

Please note: I'm not calling this "A Bitch Project" because I consider Bitch to be an authoritative voice on these critical issues, but because I think it's imperative that we address them at Bitch openly and collectively, using our own power and privilege responsibly. I'm hoping these discussions will inform and guide our upcoming organizational visioning/refounding process, so as part of these discussions, I'm hoping to hear from folks how we at Bitch can more effectively build community around our work, be more accountable, and push to transform feminism into a justice-centered movement.

...

I'd like to acknowledge and thank the following folks whose work and/or direct feedback helped shape this project so far: Jessica Hoffmann, Jocelyn Burrell, Jess Hauser, Kelli Foster, my co-workers at Bitch, Adele Nieves and the Detroit Feminists, INCITE! organizers, and the blogs of Brownfemipower, Sudy, Blackamazon, Aaminah, Nadia, Feministe, and Racialicious. The question in the subtitle, "What is your feminism for and why does it matter?" came directly from Jessica Hoffmann's "On Prisons, Borders, Safety, and Privilege: An open letter to white feminists," which I strongly encourage everyone to read in preparation for these discussions.

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Comments

7 comments have been made. Post a comment.

Bring this to D.C.!

Bring this to D.C.!

i definitely will --

hopefully this fall!

This should be a nationwide, perhaps worldwide discussion

While economics in-general won't make it possible for this to travel everywhere, perhaps something along the lines of a virtual dialogue (like an online chat session) can be established at a website, message board, or even interpersonal elsewhere such as libraries, community centers and/or schools facilitated by volunteers (Bitch readers and/or activists)? This type of discussion shouldn't be "confined" to a small number of inner cities, so to speak. There are small-town/rural folks like me whose voices should be encouraged to be included here. For the record, many of these areas are conservative demographically, but do include folks like me who are even more marginalized, stigmatized, and even "in the closet" because we have no other choice but to be in order for us to get by with our daily lives. You think Feminism is a word many feminists are uncomfortable with now? Try living in a small town or a rural area where the word is truly as obscene as any of those other so-called "seven dirty words."

you are absolutely right and this is absolutely the intent

i totally hear you, and assure you that this is an important part of the plan. i apologize for not being more clear in the first place.

a project like this has been on my mind for a while now, and it's now finally possible because for the first time at bitch, we're able to look forward and do some visioning (rather than crisis-fundraise [thanks everyone!! please keep the support coming!!]). it's absolutely my intent to make it as wide and inclusive as possible, but i first wanted to have some face-to-face discussions with folks to get it off the ground, getting more folks' input before we go any further.

so the first step for me is doing some traveling and -- and not just to the "usual suspects," but to smaller towns and rural areas, because you're absolutely right -- it's not even the same discussion in many respects. to that end, if there are places you (or anyone) think i should be going, by all means, please let me know.

and i am hoping a result of this will be some sort of collaborative/collective multimedia (ongoing) project, so
i'm also in the process of working with our web folks to see about incorporating some sort of structure to support this -- and virtual discussions. the potential is there -- we just have to find a way to make it work (and find funding, too, which is also something we're working on but can use any assistance out there).

but please, keep ideas like this coming. and feel free to email me directly if you prefer -- debbie(at)b-word(dot)org.

thanks for the input.

lesbians rule

dear sister booniesgrrl,
in a gas station run-down unisex bathroom in Hobart Indiana i saw the following graffiti, as best i can recall it:

Christians Suck.
Lesbians Rule.

i had a vision of my sister feminist surrounded by the Unconscious hate-filled standard-christian-dogma-lovers i know from my family and friends.

truth is on your side.

please tell me what graffiti to leave next time, for encouragemnts sake.

i will not kill until the Equivalent of Jesus Christ Himself tells me to.

I'm there!

This is such a very important discussion. Glad that you're going to be in Detroit. This should be a national discussion.

-Erika
www.erikageiss.com
Musings from the Mitten: a blog
www.thewahmmagazine.com

amazon.com

please elaborate on the comment about amazon.com being evil. i sell used books on amazon so that i am less than totally useless to my wife and am very interested in every perspective on them. feminists have more Imagination per pound than any other human grouping i am aware of, so i have been paying attention for 38 years. thank you.