What is feminism for real?

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Feminism For Real: Deconstructing the Academic Industrial Complex

What is feminism?

One answer (articulated in mainstream platforms): Feminism is political, social and economic equality for women!

Another response will include the evolution of feminism in the last century. In some cases, the response will include the elimination of kyriarchy, the intersection of oppressive structures, of various bodies. This goes beyond the notion that only people that self-identify as women or are perceived to be women are oppressed. There is no one form of feminism.

Asking “what is feminism for real” is not a self-indulgent exercise — not when lives are at stake. Rather, it is a responsibility that we share in distributing knowledge, narratives and community resilience. Oppressed communities struggle with feminism while remaining engaged in the movement. The contradiction(s) experienced between theory and practice is a reality that produces outrage, motivation and disappointment (among countless other emotions).

In an effort to document diverse experiences and openly discuss this contradiction, Jessica Yee, a self-identified Two Spirit multi-racial Indigenous hip-hop feminist reproductive justice freedom fighter, edited Feminism For Real: Deconstructing the Academic Industrial Complex of Feminism, an anthology of brilliant and honest essays that examine the complexity of issues surrounding indigenous people, people of color in feminist spaces.

Confronting the sometimes uncomfortable questions feminism has made us ask about what’s going on FOR REAL paved the many paths that brought the contributors of this book together to share their sometimes uncomfortable truths, not just about feminism, but about who they are and where they are coming from.

How is the anti-sexual violence movement integrating feminism, and not perpetuating oppression, into this work, professional and personal relationships, agencies, campuses, communities and across transnational borders?

Livia Rojas, MSSW, is the Training and Resource Coordinator in the Campus Program at the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CALCASA) where she provides training and technical assistance to recipients of the Department of Justice (DOJ), Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) Grant to Reduce Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking on college and university campuses across the United States and territories. Livia has eleven years of working to advance human rights and student organizing through practice and research.

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