I get many emails especially from young women asking about feminism, and who inspired my feminism.
In another post I quoted the poet Jessica Horn about her mothers influence on her feminism. And personally, her words resonate.
I was raised by a woman that I have come to recognise as a revolutionary mother, who used the act of mothering as a process of education and aﬃrmation for the minds and sensibilities of her children. From this upbringing I learned that the real catalyst for liberation is neither force nor discourse, but the revolutionary power of love.
However, people wondering who inspired my feminism are not looking for my mother.
Truth is, it was a man that made me realise that I already was a feminist. He was my professor in ‘Gender and Popular Media’ in university in Sweden, I believe the year was 2001, I was in my early 20s and in need of a devoted feminist like him to utter the magic words.
But anyway, people are not looking for him either.
They are looking for these women and for feminists such as Angela Davis, Amina Mama, Simone de Beavouir, bell hooks, Shirin Ebadi, Anais Nin, Ifi Amadiume, Gloria Steinem, Oyeronke Oyewumi and Ntozake Shange and many more.
One of the prominent black feminists is the legendary poet and author Ntozake Shange and I’ve just watched this discussion with her and Michaela Angela Davis. The women speak of of Shange’s ‘for colored girls’ who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuff, its adaptation into the film For Colored Girls, black feminism and plenty more recently at The Brooklyn Museum in New York. Shange has suffered a stroke and her speech is uneven but it’s so worth watching anyway. Read the rest and watch the clips @ Parlour
In conclusion, it’s not ‘who’ as much as ‘what’ because feminism is not about ‘you’ as much as it’s about ‘all of us’ and about critically engaging with patriarchy as a system that oppresses ‘all of us’.
I just want to say I looked the word ‘patriarchy’ up, because I thought it was a great use of that word, and I found a great definition on wiki! I was totally intrigued because it really brings the big picture into focus. And is partly why, I find it interesting that your professor was one of the people who inspired you toward feminism. I mean, I have the view that most professors in practice attempt to impart the views of Aristotle or Herodotus. I think mostly, the professors, school teachers, politicians etc, are the primary authority figures trying to propagate gender bias.
Anyways, university days must been great, still! It was actually my high school driving instructor (also my social studies teacher) that inspired me just before Uni. Use to drive him around to the local markets, shopping center, etc, to get his Main Squeeze little nic nacs, instead of driving around the course. She was his inspiration for just about everything! I never got into any real accidents, well, just one small accident, but just a little fender bender! Not since then.
Sorry to have a slight tendency toward guy views, just I know that woman is truly the driving force for most things. If women do not agree with something collectively, it will not happen! I think that’s why women were kept out of many organizations. We would not have all these wars if women were involved in the thought process. I mean only a woman can really create life. Then maybe she should be the only one who can take a life. Only she knows how hard it was to make that life! Anyways, checking some of those vids out.
thanks! teachers in life, whether academic, spiritual or parental are a true blessing
You’re welcome. I just got an invite to one of Ntozake’s events on March 28th!
Where? Assuming in the US..very lucky, enjoy!
It’s today! I’ll be in and out the US. Thanks!
She had a stroke?
all black men enemies should suffer the same light fate. Excuse me while I let the Bros know the good news.
wow! I am hoping the comment above is a joke!! I am feeling RAGE!
I am also glad you used the word “patriarchy” I am getting it all now.
Interesting, very interesting.
I am understanding!
I know – it’s shocking that you can hate a cause so much you wish someone ill fate!
Thanks for the comment my love x