by Latoya Peterson
A couple nights ago, I put “Take Off Your Cool” on repeat, grabbed a glass of wine, and my copy of When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost and tried to figure out why I had ever chosen to take on the mantle of “feminist.”
What is the point of identifying as a feminist? Why do I choose to do this?
Re-reading Chickenheads helped me to discover I want to help people. I want things to change. I want to use progressive tools to get there. I do not want to be held back by the people who are supposedly my “sisters.” Chickenheads resonates in me so strongly because I see so many girls that I know in Morgan’s prose. I see so many women I know in that prose. That novel contains the me that I didn’t find in mainstream feminism.
But feminism isn’t just about me. There needs to be more. If I only look at the lives of my friends, I can see that the concepts feminism tackles needs a lot of updating to help them as well. Feminism needs to recognize Asian American women, Latinas, Mulimahs. It needs to recognize lesbians and queer identified women. It needs to discuss ability and sexuality and freedom. It needs to discuss complexion and racial divisions and international perspectives. It needs to encompass love and both sides of the beauty debate.
If feminism is going to claim to be for all women, it needs to be about all women. I’m not sure mainstream feminism is there yet.
However, I have chosen to stay.
My preferred label is hip-hop feminist. Those will be the texts I start with, the ideas I build upon, the blueprints that I expand in order to create a feminism that is rooted in thought, challenge, and action. That is the kind of feminism I want.
And I believe, in order to get it, I will have to work on creating it.
So, I will start here. On this blog. With a continuing conversation about feminism and what we want to see happen.
So, I open the floor to you.
What kind of feminism do you want to see? And what tools will we use to create it?
About This BlogRacialicious is a blog about the intersection of race and pop culture. Check out our daily updates on the latest celebrity gaffes, our no-holds-barred critique of questionable media representations, and of course, the inevitable
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Latoya Peterson (DC) is the Owner and Editor (not the Founder!) of Racialicious, Arturo García (San Diego) is the Managing Editor, Andrea Plaid (NYC) is the Associate Editor. You can email us at email@example.com.
The founders of Racialicious are Carmen Sognonvi and Jen Chau. They are no longer with the blog. Carmen now runs Urban Martial Arts with her husband and blogs about local business. Jen can still be found at Swirl or on her personal blog. Please do not send them emails here, they are no longer affiliated with this blog.
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