What you should have read recently

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

"Everyone wanted to know how a girl from a family of nine siblings in a town of barely a 1,000 people could have carried a baby to term without anyone finding out, if indeed her pregnancy was the secret the community claimed it to be.

Questions were asked about what kind of society made a bright girl feel unable to ask for help or undeserving of support at what must have been the most frightening time of her life."

The politics of black hair - Emma Dabiri  

"It can feel pretty frustrating that white supremacy has bequeathed a legacy in which, for many black women, simply wearing our hair in its own natural state can become a complex and politicised act. At the same time - despite the connection between said supremacy and the relationship that many black women have to our hair - most white people demonstrate absolutely no idea about the everyday maintenance of Afro hair, let alone its politics."

"There’s an air of superiority from those who busily seek to ruin and silence other feminists: “We’re doing it right; she’s doing it wrong.” By pointing our fingers elsewhere we keep ourselves safe from attack. It seems pretty clear, though, which white feminists are using valuable ideas like intersectionality to advance their own careers and gain popularity, without an ounce of interest in movements towards ending oppression and with little understanding of structural inequality."

"In a recent study of Black women’s leadership Ngunjiri, Gramby-Sobukwe, and Williams-Gegner note that “early preaching Black women were radical in their commitment to consistent egalitarianism and social justice within the Black church and community as well as society at large” and refer to them as “tempered radicals”... "

What is subversivism? - Julia Serano

"Subversivism is the practice of extolling certain gender and sexual expressions and identities simply because they are unconventional or nonconforming. In the parlance of subversivism, these atypical genders and sexualities are “good” because they “transgress” or “subvert” oppressive binary gender norms. The justification for the practice of subversivism has evolved out of a particular reading (although some would call it a misreading) of the work of various influential queer theorists over the last decade and a half."

"I also needed to read Introverts in the Church and Quiet as a way of explaining my discomfort in church. So much of my church experience had been shaped by the expectations and standards set by extroverts. We were always doing more stuff, meeting more people, attending more events, speaking in front of more people. The introvert in me just couldn’t keep up. Church felt like hard work, sucking the life out of me rather than renewing, strengthening, and, the favorite word of extrovert church leaders, “equipping” me."

Are you being TOO sex-positive? - Be Young & Shut Up

"Sex positivity is well-meaning, and a lot of its practices have helped to make people more comfortable with their sexuality. But its execution is flawed. Many are excluded or harmed by the community’s practices of the philosophy, and even the pure philosophy itself. Its monolithic identity means that if you take issue with sex positivity, you’re the stuffy patriarch enemy. The problems are such that sex-negative feminism has become a legitimate movement that, while it has its own serious problems, is just about as respectful of people’s sexual choices as sex positivity is."

"Since going back to work I’ve learnt that sometimes I have to let go. I’ve learnt that sometimes it’s enough just to do my best. I’ve learnt that tending to my happiness and sanity is important. And I’ve learnt that immersing myself in the world that exists beyond the periphery of my motherhood experience, is key to my family’s happiness. I’m grateful that most of the time work keeps me sane."

"However, after watching that amazing conversation between bell hooks and Melissa Harris Perry, I realised I desperately needed to find a feminism that reflected my specific experiences of being a black woman in Britain and navigating through issues of ‘black identity’, ‘black womanhood’, dual cultural identity among other issues. Black British Feminism."

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