Yeah that’s right people. I can just see some of you shaking your head at this opening statement and I can almost hear your remarks.
“I thought only crazy white women were feminists?” “Que le paso a la hermana? Now she really lost it!”
But take a close look around and you will find that the women’s movement is on the rise. Actually, it has never stopped and I’m not referring to some first, second, third wave feminist b.s. either. There are and have always been continuous discussions, work, programs, projects, and theorizing in our communities centered on women’s issues and lives. Whether it’s a Panocha Platica (yeah I said it without flinching) to an indigenous woman centered group, feminista talk and action is everywhere y que bueno.
All I have to say is that I’m a Xicana feminist y que! Xicana and not Chicana because I’m consciente and connected to the fact that not only am I from indigenous roots, but I continue those traditions, practices, and ceremonies in my life. The “X” symbolizing a relentless micro-resistance to the conquistadores changing indigenous languages at their and for their convenience. It’s a way of paying respect to las que siguen luchando, mis abuelitos y los antepasados. QEPD.
Feminist. Not feminist-aligned or advocate of, just straight out feminista. The way I’ve been trying to explain to my students that by utilizing the word, we claim, not reclaim the term and the philosophy because it has always belonged to us. We’re on the move for a re-cooptation of the word by women who rightfully can lay claim to it. Me, the light brown, but brown-skinned woman who has the privileged space (but damn it’s about time!) to speak these words and share these thoughts with other women of color, queer women, and white women allies (or so I think?) in a class residing in absolute white space.
We’ve been engaging all semester long, for weeks now, on what it means to be a feminist and how feminism and being feminist has impacted every one of us. But what I want to shout is how can we get to that point if many of us cannot even utter the “F” word in public, not even in private?
This is the thought that plagues my mind. If we state that feminism has indeed impacted our work and life but yet cannot lay claim to it, then how are we reifying its stigma? Can we simultaneously disconnect from being a feminist while reaping from its beneficial impacts on our bodies and minds? Como?
But I understand you mis hermanas for I feel your pain as well – the pain of having been excluded from a discussion that we actually started. You (white feminists who continue to dominate and throw the reverse racism card in our faces every damned chance you get) say we’re at the table now… yes, maybe so. That is, the table in the other room intended for the Others. But what I say to you is that we are present, always have been and we’re not leaving or raising the white flag.
Las feministas están presente!
A note to mis hermanos and confused hermanas that continue to think that feminist means a man-hating-military-boot-Black-clothes-no-bra-wearing-White-middle-class-loca – well you’re wrong.
To be feminist is to be critical, aware, eyes wide open, viva…
To be feminist is to understand that there’s a lot of work that needs (has) to be done.
To be feminist is to strive to end all forms of oppression as hooks taught us long ago.
If you care about the treatment of my female body, if you understand how it has been mistreated, regulated, violated, and commercialized by an oppressive controlling society, then you are a feminista as well.
Feminista – el respeto para la madre tierra, la mujer y todo tipo de humano.
Feminista es reconocer que yo soy tu otro yo.
#lablogadora #feminista #feminist #Xicana