In celebration of International Women’s Month, I’ve decided to contribute to #HereWeAre. The hashtag #HereWeAre is in honour of Here We Are: Feminism For The Real World, an anthology featuring over 44 different voices sharing their stories of feminism. For more information about the book or to purchase a copy, click here. So, let’s talk feminism!
Why am I a feminist?
I have always considered myself to be a feminist. I went to an all-female school, and learned from an early age to always look to the women in a room to provide the solution for any problem. University really cemented my belief in the importance of feminism, especially when looking at how it intersects with queer and post-colonial theories.
A key part of feminism for me is checking my privilege – I am a white, able-bodied cis woman who lives in the UK. I could not in good conscious call myself a feminist if I tried to talk over women of colour, trans women, and disabled women. In my mind, if your feminism is not intersectional, it is nothing. There is no one way to experience womanhood, and no one way to talk about feminist issues.
I am currently reading This Bridge Called My Back, an anthology of radical feminist writing by women of colour. Edited by Cherrie Moraga and Gloria Anzaldua, this is an absolutely necessary collection that battles white feminism in all its forms.
Feminist Fight Club is another book that I have read recently that talks frankly about feminism. Although not as intersectional as This Bridge Called My Back, it gives extremely practical tips about how to combat common misogynistic attitudes in the workplace. It also really takes a look at how you react to sexism, and may be internalising harmful thoughts.
Finally, a book I received for Christmas and have been delighting in ever since: the Feminist Activity Book. This is a beautiful colouring book that educates, entertains, and most importantly, acts as an intersectional text. There is an A-Z of important feminist icons and issues. There are adorable buttons that scream feminist slogans. There’s a crossword of gynecological terms for you to learn. I ❤ this book!
Julia Serano: she is the author of one of the most important books about being trans: Whipping Girl. In this essential book (that I would highly recommend!), she
shares her powerful experiences and observations—both pre- and post-transition—to reveal the ways in which fear, suspicion, and dismissiveness toward femininity shape our societal attitudes toward trans women, as well as gender and sexuality as a whole.
Beyonce: I mean, she speaks for herself.
Gloria Anzaldua: she is another author who I love. Her most famous book is Borderlands/La Frontera. It talks about her experiences as a lesbian Chicana feminist, and how she intersects both geographical and intellectual borders. If you consider yourself a feminist, read this. Seriously.
Toni Morrison: author of feminist classics including Beloved, The Bluest Eye, and Sula, Toni Morrison is one of my favourites. She is never afraid to write hard-hitting and deeply necessary narratives, and was the first African-American woman to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature. She’s a true class act. (And she got the Medal of Freedom from Obama, for goodness sake!)
Who are your feminist icons? What feminist book should I read next? Let me know!
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