Together: A Global and Interconnected Effort (Feminism Series Guest Post!)

Posted on May 19th, 2021 by

Today we welcome guest blogger Ashley Evans, the Library’s academic assistant, for the third and final post is a series on feminism resources. You can read her first post here and her second post here. (Please note that you will need your Gustavus user ID/password to access some of these materials.)

Book cover for Feminism without Borders:<br /> Decolonizing Theory, Practicing Solidarity by Chandra Talpade MohantyThus far in our series on feminism, we’ve looked at what feminism is and how it has been viewed and evolved over time. These are two very important concepts to look at to understand where we are now. What feminists are doing today, where the movement is taking us, and what impact and intersection there is globally are all topics that are yet to be explored here. In this brief look, I want to talk about feminism today and the ways I’ve encountered it and the idea of global feminism. I can’t speak on everything so, as always, I invite those interested to always further their own research.

Today you may see misleading messages in the news and on social media suggesting that racism, sexism, ableism, or homophobia are no longer a concern. Anyone who is affected by these issues can tell you this is false, and it is important to listen to them. 1st and 2nd wave feminism, as mentioned in the last post, fell short on the intersectional front of their movements. They often excluded certain groups of people from the fight based on race, gender, sexuality, etc. which led to many issues being ignored by feminists. The goal for today is include everyone’s struggle and branch out in a way that is both intersectional, inclusive, and fights for goals collectively. This may seem overwhelming, and it often is, but this is where the concept of global feminism comes into play.

Global feminism is an encompassing concept that says that, while we must be ‘sisters’ in our fight, pretending everyone’s struggle is homogeneous will harm the movement and, to fully be intersectional and progressive, we must listen to those who are marginalized for instruction. This is not to say we should always look to them to lead, but we must understand issues from their perspectives instead of assuming things and putting words into their mouths.

For me personally, as a white, cisgender woman, this means that I should take it upon myself to learn about issues plaguing people who are in some way different from myself. I will never say I know what it is like to be Indigenous, Black, disabled, transgender, etc. and to say that I do would not only harm them but cause me to remain unaware of their issues and the best ways I can be an ally to them. At this point, reflect on which cultures or identities you need to learn more about; who have you been subconsciously homogenizing?

We must work together. We must learn. We must teach. Together, uplifting others who uplift us in turn, is how things must be done to create the change this movement seeks to see in the world. Things may continue to look bleak as tragedies take center stage in our news feed, but there are people working every day to make it so that is no longer a reality. People are fighting, protesting, and doing what they can, in whatever way they can. Just because one person’s struggle is different or the activism they portray is different does not indicate a lesser status. If everyone does what they can and learns about those standing beside them, change can start to occur.

As always, a big thanks to everyone who has read this mini blog series on feminism. If you want to learn more and broaden your horizons, here are some of my recommendations:

 

 

 

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