Friday, October 4, 2013

What is Your Community?

What is feminism? What is a feminist community?  Do you identify as a feminist? I proudly identify as a feminist, and would only be where I am today because of the incredible feminist communities that have supported me along the way.  Interestingly, the Feminist Majority Foundation bases its namesake in the fact the majority of United States population identifies as a feminist.

The beauty and the downfall of feminism is that it allows itself to multiple interpretations.  My personal definition of feminism seeks to end all forms of oppression and discrimination.  Feminism uses gender and sex as a foundational analysis to understand discrimination. Additionally, once such discrimination is fully understood, feminism requires action to end said discrimination.  However, feminism does not just advocate to end sexism or achieve gender equality.  Feminism seeks to end racism, ablelism, ageism, heterosexism, classism, etc.   Feminism creates a world of new possibility and equality for all.   What is your personal definition of feminism?

From my perspective a feminist community is a compassionate, safe space where one can be their authentic self.   People share their vulnerabilities with each other.  But moreover, we help create growth solutions together.  We challenge and support each other in our personal journeys, as well as our quest to make society more equal for all.  People from diverse backgrounds and of all genders feel welcome to learn together.  People do not feel judged or guilty for being who they are. Feminist communities listen to each other, and also discuss divergent viewpoints in a constructive manner.   What is your feminist community?  Or, if you don’t identify as a feminist, what is your community where you feel supported by others who share your values?

Participating in feminist communities has been instrumental in my personal and professional growth.  Fortunately, a strong feminist community is thriving in our nation’s capital.  Click here to see a list of women’s organizations in DC you can join and please feel free to suggest others.  If you don’t live in DC, many of these organizations have chapters in cities around the country so check out if there is one near you. I am honored to have been selected to participate in the 2013 FemFuture retreat and look forward to creating a new feminist community soon!

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