My full-length interview with Chally, who talks about her love of sci-fi, why it's problematic to have feminist "icons," her experience as a teen in social justice movement, and of course, the internet! (The post title is tongue-in-cheek, by the way, she's anything but, as you'll see.)
Truth time for y'all about me: I'm at a point in my identity and activism where in many spaces I no longer feel comfortable just saying that I'm a feminist by itself without adding a few words before or after. I say I'm an Indigenous feminist. I say I'm a hip-hop feminist, a reproductive justice feminist. Like many folks, I feel like I've been burned out by the mainstream usage and representation of feminism and I'm not making any apologies for what I call myself and I will talk more extensively about Indigenous/Native feminisms in another few posts.
However today I came across this blog post today on Girldrive called, "What's wrong with this feminist picture?" which detailed the absence of women of color in all the attention being paid by Newsweek and some other mainstream media to feminism as of late.
No surprise there. Look who controls the media, the power, privilege, etc.
What I did find interesting was that the author stated: "What really gets me is that the majority of young feminist activists do think of feminism in an intersectional way. Just look at the blogger rosters at blogs like Feministing, Feministe, or Racialicious. Just look at the staff at organizations like WIMN or INCITE! or the ladies in Girldrive. Young feminists are trying not to make the same mistake that some Second Wave white feminists made of being blind to race issues. "
While studying the Civil Rights Movement during college, somewhere along the way I heard about a young woman who, as one prof put it, "sat before Rosa Parks sat." However, this nameless woman was ultimately deemed "unfit" to serve as the test case to trigger the Montgomery boycott, which would precipitate the Movement. Why was she considered unfit? Well, as the story went, the young woman (actually a 15-year-old girl) became pregnant by an older, married man, and so the more reputable Rosa Parks took center stage. Read on to find out more about Claudette Colvin's "forgotten contribution."
A few years ago, I found a book-length literary magazine, Conditions:Five, amongst the discarded and donated books on the shelves in a local coffeehouse. I skimmed through it that day, just long enough to finish my cup of chai, before placing it back on the shelf. At the time, I had no idea that I'd held such a rich piece of history in my hands.
The leaders of the [women's suffrage] movement trembled on seeing a tall, gaunt black woman in a gray dress and white turban, surmounted with an uncouth sunbonnet, march deliberately into the church, walk with the air of a queen up the aisle, and take her seat upon the pulpit steps. A buzz of disapprobation was heard all over the house, and there fell on the listening ear, 'An abolition affair!" "Woman's rights and niggers!""I told you so!" "Go it, darkey!" . . Again and again, timorous and trembling ones came to me and said, with earnestness, "Don't let her speak, Mrs. Gage, it will ruin us. Every newspaper in the land will have our cause mixed up with abolition and niggers, and we shall be utterly denounced." My only answer was, "We shall see when the time comes."
--First-wave feminist Frances Gage, reflecting on the occasion of Sojourner Truth's "Ain't I a Woman?" speech