Tag Archives: feminism

The Latoya Tour: “Ain’t I a Woman” In Brooklyn

If you’re in the area tonight, please check out Latoya–who’s teaming up with Elizabeth Mendez Berry–refusing the silence about race, feminism, and activism. :-)

Galapagos Art Space
16 Main Street
Brooklyn, NY

Ain’t I A Woman: Women of Color Speak On Activism
April 11th, 2011, 6PM – 12AM
Mixer 6PM ** Panel 7-9PM ** Party 9-12AM

Long after Sojourner Truth pondered the question – “Aint I A Woman?” we continue to face a white supremacist culture that undermines women of color, young women, undocumented immigrants, and the LGBTQ community. We’re convening this panel to ignite a discourse about the experiences of women of color in the feminist movement and beyond. On this night, six outstanding feminists and activists will go head-to-head to discuss race in the feminist movement today.

We know that the movements to eradicate racism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia and sexism are inextricably connected. We reject the silencing and subjugation of women of color and aim to create a safe and courageous space to raise our voices, confront tensions, celebrate our triumphs, create collective solutions and share our stories. Through this sharing, we can create a united front so that, instead of surviving through silence, there can be a dialogue on how to battle institutionalized oppression.

Speaking our truth is crucial to our survival. By gathering together and learning from our shared and individual tales of love and struggle, we will each emerge with new perspectives that will enable us to engender the change we envision for the world.

In the words of bell hooks, “There can be no feminist revolution without an end to racism, classism, ageism…”

Round One: Latoya Peterson, Founder of Racialicious
Elizabeth Mendez Berry, Journalist

Round Two: Lori Adelman, Program Associate at International Women’s Health Coalition
Aimee Thorne-Thomsen, Reproductive Rights Activist

Round Three: Jessie Daniels, PhD, Author and Sociology Professor at Hunter College
Anna Holmes, Jezebel Founding Editor

Music by DJ Lobotomy Copter throughout the night, http://on.fb.me/gRnBsN

**$10 Suggested Donation (but no one turned away for lack of funds)
**We encourage live tweeting during the event using the hastag, #AIAW

** For more info, contact Morgane at refusethesilence@gmail.com with the subject line: “Ain’t I A Woman”

Price: $10 to help us cover reservation costs, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Quoted: Houria Bouteldja on “White Women and the Privilege of Solidarity”

In 2007, women from the Movement of the Indigenous of the Republic took part in the annual 8th of March demonstration in support of women’s struggles. At that time, the American campaign against Iran had begun. We decided to march behind a banner that’s message was “No feminism without anti-imperialism”. We were all wearing Palestinian kaffiyehs and handing out flyers in support of three resistant Iraqi women taken prisoner by the Americans. When we arrived, the organizers of the official procession started chanting slogans in support of Iranian women. We found these slogans extremely shocking given the ideological offensive against Iran at that time. Why the Iranians, the Algerians and not the Palestinians and the Iraqis? Why such selective choices? To thwart these slogans, we decided to express our solidarity not with Third World women but rather with Western women. And so we chanted:

Solidarity with Swedish women!

Solidarity with Italian women!

Solidarity with German women!

Solidarity with English women!

Solidarity with French women!

Solidarity with American women!

Which meant: why should you, white women, have the privilege of solidarity? You are also battered, raped, you are also subject to men’s violence, you are also underpaid, despised, your bodies are also instrumentalized…

I can tell you that they looked at us as if we were from outer space. What we were saying seemed surreal, inconceivable. It was like the 4th dimension.  It wasn’t so much the fact that we reminded them of their situation as Western women that shocked them. It was more the fact that African and Arabo-Muslim women had dared symbolically subvert a relationship of domination and had established themselves as patrons. In other words, with this skillful rhetorical turn, we showed them that they de facto had a superior status to our own. We found their looks of disbelief quite entertaining.

Another example: After a solidarity trip to Palestine, a friend was telling me how the French women had asked the Palestinian women if they used birth control. According to my friend, the Palestinian women couldn’t understand such a question given how important the demographic issue is in Palestine. They were coming from a completely different perspective. For many Palestinian women, having children is an act of resistance against the ethnic cleansing policies of the Israeli state.

There you have two examples that illustrate our situation as racialized women, that help understand what is at stake and envisage a way to fight colonialist and Eurocentric feminism.

— Houria Bouteldja, spokeswoman for the PIR (La Indigènes de la République) speaking at the 4th International Congress of Islamic Feminism, in Madrid, 22 October 2010

(Hat Tip to Huimin)

Conversations with Other Women [Travel Updates]

by Latoya Peterson


Four more events coming up for me, and one for the fabulous Andrea Plaid.

Campus Progress Presents New Models in Media and Activism (Latoya/DC)

Friday, March 25, 2011

6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Center for American Progress
1333 H St NW, 10th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20005
Featured Speakers

Amanda Terkel, Latoya Peterson, Amy Austin & Melinda Wittstock

Panelists Amy Austin, publisher of the Washington City Paper; Latoya Peterson, editor of Racialicious.com; Melinda Wittstock, Founder, CEO and Bureau Chief of Capitol News Connection; and Amanda Terkel, senior politics reporter at The Huffington Post will talk about some of the cutting-edge work in media and activism they are doing and discuss how to use new (and old) technology to help women craft new and different kinds of messages. The discussion will be followed by a happy hour at The Laughing Man Tavern:

Laughing Man Tavern
1306 G Street NW
Washington, DC 20005

The panel is part of WAM! It Yourself, a do-it-yourself decentralized version of the annual Women, Action & the Media (WAM!) conference.

Price: Free with RSVP!

WAM! NYC Presents WAM It Yourself Conference for Feminist Media Makers (Andrea/NYC)

WAM lt Yourself Conference for
Feminist Media Makers
Saturday, March 26, 9AM – 5PM
Hive 55 (55 Broad St) in lower Manhattan

Sorry — this event is completely sold-out! But please join us for Friday’s Happy Hour (details above) and Sunday’s Brunch (details below), and follow us live on twitter: #wamnyc

Featured panels this year include:

* Feminist perspectives in progressive publications
* Social media for activism
* “Beats outside the box”—economy, immigration, labor, education
* Feminist blogging
* Pitching and getting published

Confirmed speakers: Amanda Marcotte (Pandagon/RH Reality Check), Irin Carmon (Jezebel), Jessica Bennett (Newsweek), Sarah Seltzer (Alternet), Emily May (Hollaback), Andrea Plaid (Racialicious), Janna Zinzi (Swirl PR), Julianne Escobedo Shepherd (Alternet), Kathryn Joyce (Religion Dispatches), Dana Goldstein, Bryce Covert (New Deal 2.0), Michelle Chen (ColorLines), Lauren Kelley (Alternet), Megan Carpentier (Raw Story), Jennifer LaFleur (ProPublica), Sarah Laskow (The Media Consortium), Jenn Pozner (Women in Media & News), Lori Adelman (Feministing), Jen Nedeau (Time Magazine), Deanna Zandt and more great speakers coming!

Follow this event live via Twitter at #wamnyc!

Price: Sold out, but come chill at brunch or happy hour, or follow Andrea on Twitter for the dish. Continue reading

The R Goes (Back) to Harvard: Feminist Coming Out Day 2011

By Sexual Correspondent Andrea (AJ) Plaid

I swear the Owner/Editrix is keeping us at the Crimson this month.

First, Latoya participated in a Social Activism panel hosted by the Harvard Black Law Student Association.

On Thursday, March 10–to celebrate Feminist Coming Out Day–I will join Lori Adelman from FeministingLena Chen from the Ch!cktionary, and Sady Doyle from Tiger Beatdown for a panel discussion on activism and the feminist blogosphere sponsored by the .

Our panel is actually a two-parter:  the other panel–with , Julie Zeilinger (The F-Bomb)Cherie Hannouche from the Daily Femme, and Anna North (Jezebel), and Chloe Angyal (Feministing)–will talk about feminist blogging as a career.

Please join all of us at Harvard College’s Ticknor Lounge (in Boylston Hall) from 7-8:30PM for an engaging evening of figuring out where feminism is, how to go from here, and how to do what we love–and stand up for what we believe in–and get paid for it.

The best part: the panel is free and open to the public!  So, if you’re in the Boston area, I’d love to meet and chat with you. For more information, check here.

On Being Feminism’s “Ms. Nigga”

Like, late night I’m on a first class flight
The only brother in sight the flight attendant catch fright
I sit down in my seat, 2C
She approach officially talkin about, “Excuse me”
Her lips curl up into a tight space
Cause she don’t believe that I’m in the right place
Showed her my boarding pass, and then she sort of gasped
All embarrassed put an extra lime on my water glass
An hour later here she comes by walkin past
“I hate to be a pest but my son would love your autograph”
(Wowwww.. Mr. Nigga I love you, I have all your albums!..) […]

For us especially, us most especially
A Mr Nigga VIP jail cell just for me
“If I knew you were coming I’d have baked a cake”
Just got some shoe-polish, painted my face
They say they want you successful, but then they make it stressful
You start keepin pace, they start changin up the tempo

—“Mr. Nigga,” Mos Def featuring Q-Tip


Recently, I was invited to speak at a major feminist event.

It was for a cause I cared deeply about, and I would share the stage with some of the best recognized figures in feminism.

And yet…I hesitated.

Less than three years ago, I would have jumped at this opportunity, delighted to be invited, honored to be included, proud to make my contribution. But that was then.

Now, I read the email with a healthy dose of suspicion.  Why did they want to invite me? They mentioned receiving my name on referral from another marquee named feminist, which made me wonder why the referral was needed.  Did they really need more speakers at this late date? Or did they need to add some color to yet another stage that was sure to be full of white women?

I also instantly felt guilty.  Was I projecting? Over reacting? After all, this was a short notice event. Isn’t the cause more important than my waffling feelings about mainstream, movement oriented feminism? Why was I instantly suspicious of their intent? Can’t I give people the benefit of the doubt for once?

The emotional see-saw over my decisions to participate in feminist focused events has been my constant companion for close to a year or so now, but it took on a new dimension when Jessica Valenti decided to leave Feministing.  That night, I was at a cocktail meetup, when one of my friends grabbed my hand and asked if I heard the news.  I’m a lot more removed from the blogosphere at large these days (our transformation is all consuming at the moment) so I hadn’t seen or heard about the post.  My friend, who is another African American woman, told me to take a look as soon as I got home.  “Basically,” she said, “it was all about her this whole time -she got hers so fuck us!”

So Jessica Valenti’s official departure from Feministing (and Renee’s subsequent response) is why I was actually spurred to write this post, but the problem goes back far longer than just that.

Continue reading

Quoted: Nawal El Saadawi on the U.S. Role in Egypt’s Revolution

TR: What role would you like the U.S. to play?

NS: I don’t expect the power or support or interference of anyone, of any government. We here in Egypt are fed up with U.S. colonialism. Obama is a pragmatic person and thinking of the interests of his country; I understand this. But now he is confused: One minute he supports Mubarak, one minute he doesn’t; one moment he is afraid of the Muslim Brotherhood, the next he is not. Now I believe in the people of Egypt only, I depend on the people of Egypt only.

~~Excerpted from interview with Rebecca Walker at The Root. Read the rest here.

Image Credit: myhero.com

Femme-fights: ‘Feminists, Womanists’ Battle Across Racial Lines

by Guest Contributor Ope Bukola, originally published at Zora & Alice

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post that discussed the problem I feel feminism poses for a lot of women, among them black women.

An argument that played out this past weekend  in the “lady blogosphere”  offered a good example of the problem. It started last week when,  in  The Guardian, Womanist Musings‘ Renee Martin wrote a piece titled “I’m not a feminist (and there is no but).” Renee was responding to an article by Chloe Angyal, a writer for Feministing, in which Chloe argued that young women should boldly proclaim themselves as feminist. Renee’s post rejected what she describes as a “white feminist movement”, represented by  college “women’s studies” curricula and by blogs like Feministing, which do a poor job of representing women of color.

So far, so good – a friendly, if somewhat esoteric, disagreement between two women who both clearly care about the status of women. Things got really interesting when the mega-blog Jezebel picked up Renee’s article and criticized her for ignoring the women of color write for the publications she disparages.  The comment threads quickly devolved into an “us vs. them” with readers mostly divided along black and white racial lines. One commenter wrote what I felt before I even clicked the link to the Jezebel post: “My urge to comment swelled when I first read the post, and then I thought to myself, “Self, take cover and just wait for the shitstorm.” Continue reading

Quoted: Menda Francois on Nicki Minaj and Feminist Contradictions in Hardcore Female Rap

Nicki Minaj w Champange Bottle

As much potential as there is for female empowerment in hardcore rap through women rappers’ embrace of the erotic, given the restrictive conventions of the genre, which force female artists to straddle identities of heterosexist sexiness and simultaneous masculinity, its full potential is rarely ever realized. In Minaj’s embrace of Lil Kim’s pussy power politics, she is also inevitably embracing, regardless of her actual intent and/or acceptance of rejection of the label, a controversial and rather contradictory ideology of feminism. […]

Implicit in Minaj’s Signification onto the male narrative is a strategic process of identity construction, relying primarily on the male narrative and male voice to help shape the hardcore female rapper’s public image. Essentially, by engaging in dialogue with the male narrative, Minaj is aligning herself with male rappers and creating her identity as one of (pseudo)masculinity, an asset valuable to her role as a hardcore female rapper. It is within this genre that femcees operate as performers of gender and are most harshly judged by an injurious rubric of masculinity. These women are forced to negotiate “androgynous” identities as visually feminine, yet rhetorically masculine artists. […]
In hardcore female rap, femcees are constant performers of masculinity who, between their Signifyin(g) on male [sexual] discourse and (re) appropriating sexist and misogynistic language, negotiate a treacherous space where a thin line exists between the subversion of male dominance via gender performance and affirmation of its patriarchal norms. […]

If Minaj were genuinely interested in ascribing true power to her role as a woman and rejecting female rappers’ traditional dependence on the male voice for expression and validation, she would have drawn parallels between herself and powerful public female figures to construct her version of the new-age around the way girl. Continue reading