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Intersectionality, Allyship & Women's Leadership

Simmons College Workshop

Kim Katrin Milan

on 23 September 2015

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Transcript of Intersectionality, Allyship & Women's Leadership

Only a handful of people, including her mother, her boyfriend, and the school's principal, knew her burgeoning baby bump was in fact made from wire mesh and cotton quilting.
Her older brothers, the school's teachers and all the students aside from her best friend had been convinced she was pregnant - as had her boyfriend's parents.
Gaby said: 'At times, I just wanted to take it off and be done. I didn't want to go through this any more.'
She unveiled the truth - quite literally - on Wednesday, when she took off her fake bump in front of the entire student body at Toppenish High School in a presentation called 'stereotypes, rumours and statistics'.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1379460/High-school-student-17-pretends-pregnant-senior-project.html#ixzz2i6euNvox
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
The true story behind this photo is; there was an Ilnu Grandmother standing in front of the police line holding her rosary beads and Eagle Feather praying. The police pepper sprayed the Grandmother and the Eagle Feather and rosary fell to the ground... This young brave wombmyn then picked up the Eagle Feather and kneeled in front of the police line continuing to honour the Grandmother‘s prayer and was later arrested and held in custody until the next morning.

Written by: Eliza Knockwood
photo taken by Ossie Michelin
“Many white women have said to me, ‘We wanted black women and non-white women to join the movement,’ totally unaware of their perception that they somehow ‘own’ the movement, that they are the ‘hosts’ inviting us as ‘guests.”

bell hooks, “Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center”
“I had a boyfriend not so long ago who, whenever we got into an argument, would accuse me of “going soap opera.” “Here comes Telemundo!” he would shout. His (clearly gendered and vaguely racist) insult was supposed to make me feel like my anger wasn’t valid—that it was frivolous and silly, that I was being overly dramatic. This was his not-so-subtle way of trying to shut me up—by accusing me of being emotional. (Unlike men, whose anger is always logical, of course.) Unfortunately, calling me out like this often worked. It felt immobilizing to be called dramatic. Even if you know you’re being reasonable, we’ve internalized sexism so much, sometimes we even begin to doubt ourselves.”

from Jessica Valenti’s He’s a Stud, She’s a Slut and 49 Other Double Standards Every Woman Should Know.

“It is revolutionary for any trans person to choose to be seen and visible in a world that tells us we should not exist.”
Relationship investment advice! "In times of social turmoil, I can’t imagine anything more dangerous than possessing a few hundred ounces of gold. Really the only security is to be found in community: the gratitude, connections, and support of the people around you. If you have wealth now, I recommend, as your investment advisor, that you use it to enrich the people around you in lasting ways." (Sacred Economics) via Zainab Amadahy
my selfies are for the stretch mark queens, the hood rats with 5 kids, the eloquent ghetto poets who aint got a damn degree, and still manage to live out loud and say yes we survive in every single damn way… and look fucking good doing it. - Joy Kmt
my selfies are for the brown girls, fat girls, girls with scars that tell stories of resilience, the femmes that beat that face, girl with extensions hoping to heal years of violence and pain, dark girls who are told not to wear lipstick, fairies that mark that they aint from this plane, for every single one of us who need to take these pictures to remind ourselves that we are 'real'." - Imani Inami
Family come join us for the 1st Inaugural event of BeatBox Botanicals, Harriet's Apothecary, a village of Black women and trans healers coming together to nurture and cultivate your body’s intuitive wisdom. Come receive sliding scale, body affirming, love-drenched potions, prescriptions, and customized services to restore and expand your body’s abilities to heal and to love.

The intention of Harriet's Apothecary is to continue the rich healing legacy of Harriet Tubman. We intend to expand access to health and healing resources that support POC women and trans folks in their healing journeys and connect individuals and communities to accessible self and community based resources that are rooted in the wisdom of our bodies, our ancestors and our plant families.

This is an intentional space for self-identified POC/Indigenous/Mixed race women and Trans folk and the allies that love them.

What we need is to move away from dissension into recognition of the diversity of our realities and voices. Feminism should not be an individualised movement. It is not just about me and women like us. As a movement we need to adopt a “no woman gets left behind” policy. No woman is free until we are all free. This is not a naive fantasy but the bedrock of our movement. This is not difficult. All it requires is empathy. […] Activists, of any movement, must be self-critical and examine their own prejudices and privileges
"Every increment of consciousness, every step forward is a travesía, a crossing. I am again an alien in new territory. And again, and again. But if I escape conscious awareness, escape 'knowing," I won't be moving. Knowledge makes me more aware, it makes me more conscious. "Knowing" is painful because after "it" happens, I can't stay in the same place and be comfortable. I am no longer the same person I was before."

~Gloria Anzaldúa
The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence.
Another’s experience does not invalidate your own, but it should and necessarily does complicate your own.
Privilege happens at the expense of others.
Treat others the way that they want to be treated. Ask.
Imagine that your allyship card expires at the end of the day.
It is no one’s responsibility to educate you but your own.
Listen. Learn. Practice. Repeat.
Acknowledge Privilege. Dissolve Guilt.
Take up less space. Fall back.
Collect your folks.
Any knowledge that seeks to dismissed someone's lived experience is questionable.
Center. Listen/Receive. Acknowledge. Inquire. Move towards resolution. (C(L/R)AIM)
Strategies For Solidarity
How We Do
Strategies For Solidarity
Systemic Oppression
A few days ago in a parking lot in Lisbon wheelchair users and volunteers occupied all the available Non Disabled spaces to make a point to able body motorists what it is like to have "their" parking places unavailable to them.
On every wheelchair various notes were left like "be right back", "it only takes a moment", "I'm get something here", etc.
Combines social power, institutional power (policies & practices), cultural messages, and individual actions.
The reality is that fat people are often supported in hating their bodies, in starving themselves, in engaging in unsafe exercise, and in seeking out weight loss by any means necessary. A thin person who does these things is considered to be 'mentally ill'. A fat person who does these things is redeemed by them. This is why our culture has no concept of a fat person who also has an eating disorder. If you’re fat, it’s not an eating disorder — it’s a lifestyle change.
Lesley Kinzel
cultural fatphobia

I’d define cultural fatphobia as the norms, values and practices of a culture that devalue fat people, and value thin people as the norm.

Sex Work
The Gulabi Gang is an extraordinary women’s movement formed in 2006 by Sampat Pal Devi in the Banda District of Uttar Pradesh in Northern India. This region is one of the poorest districts in the country and is marked by a deeply patriarchal culture, rigid caste divisions, female illiteracy, domestic violence, child labour, child marraiges and dowry demands. The women’s group is popularly known as Gulabi or ‘Pink’ Gang because the members wear bright pink saris and wield bamboo sticks. Sampat says, “We are not a gang in the usual sense of the term, we are a gang for justice.”
Individually & Collectively Negotiate Shame
Women routinely have to spend more money, and more time, to make ourselves visually presentable and fit society’s basic expectations of grooming. And of course, women get caught in a very nasty double bind with all this. We’re valued for our looks, encouraged and indeed pressured to make ourselves beautiful and ornamental… and are then derided as shallow and vain for doing so. Men can't wear womyn's clothes because it is not desirable to wear femmeness unless you are making fun of it.
On Emergent Leadership & Resistance
Intersectionality, Allyship & Women's Leadership
Power & Privilege
Socio Political Context
On Emergent Leadership & Resistance
Embodying Allyship
Full transcript