“We live in a world of crisis – a world governed by politics of domination, one in which the belief in a notion of superior and inferior, and its concomitant ideology – that the superior should rule over the inferior – effects the lives of all people everywhere, whether poor or privileged, literate or illiterate.
Systematic dehumanization, worldwide famine, ecological devastation, industrial contamination, and the possibility of nuclear destruction are realities which remind us daily that we are in crisis…..
Feminism, as liberation struggle, must exist apart from and as a part of the larger struggle to eradicate domination in all its forms….the separation of grassroots ways of sharing feminist thinking across kitchen(table)s from the sphere where much of that thinking is generated [read institutionalised], the academy, undermines feminist movement.
It would further feminist movement if new feminist thinking could be once again shared in small group contexts, integrating critical analysis with discussion of personal experience(s).
It would be useful to promote anew the small group setting as an arena of education for critical consciousness, so that women, men (& trans folk) might come together in neighbourhoods and communities to discuss feminist concerns….It is in this commitment to feminist principles in our words and deeds that the hope of a feminist revolution lies.
Working collectively to confront difference, to expand our awareness of sex (gender), race and class as interlocking systems of domination, of the ways we reinforce and perpetuate these structures, is the context in which we learn the true meaning of solidarity.
True politicization – coming to critical consciousness – is a difficult “trying” process, one that demands that we give up set ways of thinking and being, that we shift our paradigms, that we open ourselves to the unknown, the unfamiliar.
Undergoing this process, we learn what it means to struggle and in this effort we experience the dignity and integrity of being that comes with revolutionary change.
If we do not change our consciousness, we cannot change our actions or demand change from others.
Our renewed commitment to a rigorous process of education for critical consciousness will determine the shape and direction of future feminist movement……
Feminist focus on men: a comment
…now we can acknowledge that the reconstruction and transformation of male behaviour, of masculinity is a necessary and essential part of feminist revolution. Yet critical awareness of the necessity for such work has not led to the production of a significant body of feminist scholarship that fully addresses these issues. Much of the small body of work on men has been done by men…..
(yet) just as love relationships between females and males are a space where feminist struggle to make a context for dialogue can take place, feminist teaching and scholarship can also and must necessarily be a space for dialogue….it is in that space that we can engage in constructive confrontation and critique…..
Blogger’s note: these teachings are symbolic of the great work that has been done and that is still ahead of us in healing not only ourselves, but the world, and in liberating not only ourselves, and ALL Afrikans, but ALL people. The bigger point of sharing teachings that have transformed not just me, but many others is simple: to reconnect, relocate and rebuild (our) communities with (big) love en more bredrin en dadas in solidarity….afrika moja!
The longing to tell one’s story and the process of telling is symbolically a gesture of longing to recover the past in such a way that one experiences both a sense of reunion and a sense of release…..
Bell hooks is a name that comes from my family. It is the name of my great-grandmother on my mother’s side…claiming this name was a way to link my voice to an ancestral legacy of woman speaking – of woman power.
[between the lines: molisa nyakale is also a name that comes from my family. It is the name of my great-great-great-grandmother on my father’s side, and a mark-er of my true true home….claiming this name was also a way to link my voice to an ancestral legacy of wom(b)an speaking]
When I first used this name with poetry, no one ever questioned this use of a pseudonym, perhaps because the realm of imaginative writing is deemed more private than social….after years of being told that I said the wrong things, of being punished, I had to struggle to find my own voice, to feel that I could speak without being punished…
in using the pseudonym, I consciously sought to make a separation between ideas and identity so that I could be open to challenge and change.
Though by no means a solution to this problem, a pseudonym certainly creates a distance between the published work and the author….longing to shift attention away from personality, from self to ideas, informed my use of a pseudonym…the point of the pseudonym was not to mask, to hide my identity but rather to shift the focus, to make it less relevant
Excerpts from Talking Balk: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black
In honour of the legacy of tajudeen abdul raheem (en many many ancestors who dedicated their lives to the liberation of all afrikan peoples)
this post is dedicated to bredrin and dadas in solidarity…nakupenda. bless those who work for truth, justice, reconciliation & peace.