Intersectional Feminist Spaces 101 and 201

Crossknit is the online moniker of a “calligrapher, crossfitter, editor, graphic designer, knitter, lawyer, seamstress and spinner” who has written two amazing posts guiding the new (and not so new) to navigating the pitfalls and subtleties of intersectional feminist spaces — that is, feminist spaces that recognise that racism is always present alongside misogyny, as well as other systems of oppression based around dis/ability, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, etc., etc.

How to survive in intersectional feminist spaces 101 was written in January 2017, and covers:

  • Getting corrected.
  • It’s not about you.
  • Derailing.
  • Being called out.
  • Lived experience > theoretical knowledge.
  • Do your own research.
  • Privilege.
  • Racists with black friends.
  • Listening / being with discomfort.
  • Dis/courtesy.
  • Useful vocabulary

So you think you know a thing: Feministing 201 was written a few weeks later, and covers:

  • Some things are not for you.
  • Don’t say this!
  • Burden of education.
  • Centering marginalised voices.
  • Shame.
  • Ally cookies.
  • Being the teachable moment.

They are both awesome — not only informative, but also sassy and amusing. If you are looking for an introduction or a refresher on being involved in the struggle for social justice, I highly recommend them.

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bell hooks: read her work

I hope you’ve heard of bell hooks. She is a USian black woman, a Buddhist, an artist, an acclaimed feminist theorist, cultural critic, and writer. Her work is focused around understanding the ways in which systems of exploitation and oppression intersect, and ending them through education and relationship.

In my opinion, the best way to get to know bell hooks is through her writing. She has written for 40 years on the interplay of racism and sexism in daily life. Highlights of her work, for me, include Feminism is for Everybody, We Real Cool: Black Men and Masculinity, Teaching to Transgress: Education As The Practice Of Freedom, and All About Love, but every single one of her works is worth reading, with care and attention.

You can also see her in action by looking up “bell hooks” on Youtube. There are many videos of her giving lectures, seminars and interviews.

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