People Celebrating Things Women Do (or Did)

11 April 2018

Written By: Melissa Fernandes (500759489)

I never really defined myself as a feminist before this year. It seems kind of bizarre thinking about that I wasn’t rooting for my own team. The idea of the man-hating, angry feminist was not an image that I identified with, but from discussing feminism in such an open way in this class made me realize that feminism is about sharing stories and voices that are often overlooked and underrepresented. It is also to be confident in the choices you make and being unapologetically yourself. Last night’s event at Glad Day Book Shop had me in awe at the multitude of mediums and stories shared by fellow women.

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Never had I ever been to an event where I was immersed in such provocative feminist stories. The idea that all these different forms of media, even the low budget pieces were able to communicate the complex and deep ideas about living queer was inspiring to watch.

I was opened to the idea of different types of feminism and a quote from Saba Mahmood really resonated with me and that is: “Not all women, not all people desire the same thing.” We all have our struggles and as people it is understanding that the cause that you’re fighting for is important but maybe not to everyone’s idea of an ideal life. In one of the films we watched in class Sisters in the Struggle, I was reminded of the ways feminism is embodied by different groups. There are different ideas of the ‘good life’ and that there exists inequality even amongst women; women of colour, women who identity as a part of the LGBTQ+ community, and the intersectionality between these groups that produce unfair circumstances.

I was really inspired by the work of Kativa Dogra, particularly when she was talking about the work that she does is just the minimum. She believes that what she is doing is what everyone should be doing, and that people should get angry and disheartened by the injustices in the world. I sometimes feel numb to hearing stories o the news because we are bombarded with sadness; the shock effect has worn off. I think that what she was saying about simply retweeting an activist is important, but we need to remember that that is barely one step towards creating social change. Social media and social justice media can only do so much. The idea of eliciting “moral shock” in people to move them to act is interesting but what is needed in the stories seen online is a critical perspective that challenges the audience to question the state of the world we live in and dream of a better one (Bociurkiw).

“Privilege is when you think something is not a problem because its not a problem to you personally.” I am thankful to be able to call myself a feminist and hope to see a world that creates spaces for conversations that people are afraid to have and supports people to be unapologetically themselves.


Sources Referenced

Bociurkiw, Marusya. “Big Affect: The Ephemeral Archive of Second-Wave Feminist Video Collectives in Canada.” Camera Obscura, vol. 31, no. 3, pp 5-12.

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