"Feminism For Real" diablog group summary


I think the length of our blog entries really reflect how engaging this text was/is, regardless of how we may agree or disagree with some parts of it. The big thing that came up in our diablog was the amount of discomfort experienced while reading it. However, another important point, brought up early, in our diablog is the value in the tensions and contradictions of feminism(s). It's important to recognize why these sites of tension and contradictions emerge because it pays tribute to what Yee points our attention to "....what has led to the existence of "feminism" in the first place, and where feminism exists today" (13, emphasis mine). The book was/is a great way to turn the tables and to force those involved in feminist academia to experience the discomfort that we sometimes unknowingly inflict onto those that we are trying to form alliances with.

Additionally, in "deconstructing" the academic industrial complex of feminism we also have to recognize the possibilities in creating alliances and bridging spaces. There are a myriad of possibilities and the author's in this piece speak well to it when they say the work is not a "slam" on academic feminism, but rather a truth-telling of who and what gets lost in the schism. The authors are also right when they say that minority groups aren't always appreciated in the feminist community, especially because many academic feminists prioritize issues. Latoya Peterson's description of how someone can feel alienated from studying feminism touches on this as well. Having to worry about so many hopes and goals for the movement can take away from what issues are more personal to ourselves. Many academic feminists have different foci than Indigenous feminists, which causes them to feel separated from the movement. Although we should still maintain a connection between feminists, we don't have to "hold hands" and be an all-encompassing sisterhood.

This collection also gave us a good opportunity to revisit some of the themes we've touched on in class--the questions of what is who/ what is a feminist, and if the "feminist" identity exists. Or, "Why should I be shut down because I am an academic feminist? I don't have much experience to draw on, so why can't I try to learn about what other feminists deal with? I acknowledge that I can't fully comprehend the difficulties of oppression, and I don't think I ever will. However, I want to contribute something to the movement, and without any prior experiences, I turn to academia to give me the tools to do so" (laurenw127). During our class presentation it was brought up that motherhood, in relation to academia, was not mentioned. Parenting wasn't talked about specifically in the book and I thought it was something that definitely should have been included more. If I were going to write an essay to be included in "Feminism for Real" I think it would have something to do with how difficult it is for young moms to finish college.

In the end: Are we really listening to the book? We acknowledge our privilege but then we jump back into rationalizing our schooling in academic feminism. So then is this the appropriate reaction? Is this another instance in which the privileged listen to the concerns of minorities but then continue to ultimately do what is best for themselves?

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