If you live in Los Angeles, please join the Make/shift Collective, me, and lots of others for a film/video screening followed by a participatory discussion about contemporary feminisms, privilege, power, difference, and so much more...
Longtime Bitch contributor Jake Anderson-Minshall and Rebecca Nay are co-hosting a new radio show called Gender Blender, which aired this week on KBOO, our local community radio station here in Portland.
Long before I was aware of concepts like oppression and feminism, I learned about animal rights.
started as love. I've had a deep love for animals for as long as I can
remember, often preferring their company to that of humans. Growing up
I could spend hours -- probably days -- sitting in the cornfields
talking to mice, playing in the snow with my dog, or visiting the toads
and turtles near my grandparents' summer trailer.
Thank you, TrumbullPlex folx, for letting us use your space for Sunday's discussion. Thank you, Adele, Clara, and Jess for making the event happen here, and for getting the word out (and special thanks to Clara for the tour and history of the TrumbullPlex, a radical housing collective in the Woodbridge neighborhood of Detroit). And a huge thank you to everyone who attended. I didn't count, but I think between 20 and 25 people came. I felt honored to be in the presence of so many people committed to honesty, sincerity, openness, and creating a safe space to share what are sometimes difficult and differing perspectives.
What that means is that right now I need to listen to peoplewhoknowmorethanme: to their analysis, to their experiences, to their strategies (not that I'm expecting anyone to hand me the answers on a silver platter, or that I think it's up to other people to tell me all about what's wrong with the world I live in, or that I plan to rely on others to do my intellectual heavy lifting, or that...yeah, you get the picture). And I'm eager to read what the carnival brings forth.
But if I just want to listen, why the hell am I talking?
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?
I don't know what I should be doing or saying publicly about everything that's happening. Some voices in my head tell me to be quiet and make space; others tell me to stand up and scream. Some voices tell me it's pointless to try to do anything; others tell me I need to do anything and everything possible. Some voices tell me to focus on positive change; others tell me to keep fighting...
I haven't posted about either WAM or the rest of my trip east because, frankly, I haven't had time — I got back to Portland with a teetering pile of pre-production work about to fall off my already stacked-sky-high plate, and I'm still slogging through it. But I have been reading what others out there have had to say about their conference experiences, and it's a combination of unsurprising, enlightening, and depressing.
Among the postconference musings I read today were those of Blackamazon, one of which has started something of a...situation with Seal Press. Namely, the musing — which came at the end of a long and sort-of-unrelated-to-said-musing post — was "Fuck Seal Press," and the situation was that the ladies at Seal jumped in to defend themselves, with less than satisfactory results. And when I say "less than satisfactory," I mean for everyone.
A lot of discussion about WAM! is going on. Some of it's in public blogs, like here, and here, here, here, and here. (I know, that's a lazy way of linking, but I'm tired....) Also here. (OK, I promise I'll stop that.)
A lot of the discussion is also happening over email, and so it's not public. I've participated in some of this email discussion, but in the interest of being open about my perceptions, I'd like to mention some of the things I've written about in emails…
This was my first WAM! experience, so I have no direct points of comparison. In all honesty, I've outright avoided WAM! up until this year. Here's why...