Thursday, November 20, 2014

Practicing Feminism

How do I define feminism? How do I practice feminism?
My  working definition of feminism is that of bell hooks’ as “the eradication of all forms of oppressions which are not only limited to sexism, classism, racism…“

The way I practice feminism different daily depending on the space and place. At Colgate, I practice being a feminist by partaking and creating spaces to have conversations whose missions are to challenge the power hierarchies that exist on Colgate campus. The main space for these conversations is the Women Studies Department lounge through brown bags series, a feminist group called (Sisters of the Round Table)SORT and an LGBTQ and allies group called Advocates weekly meetings. Regardless of the topic at hand, these events attempt to create conversation to expand our understanding of the construction of gender roles, the effect of living in a capitalist society and how race, and class functions on this campus.  In SORT, one of the ways in which I practice my feminism is being conscious of the language that we use in the during these meetings spaces , of who is not part of the conversations and finding a way to further change our collective understanding of what it means being a feminist group on campus. Similar to SORT, in Advocates, I am oftentimes aware of the bodies that are not part of the conversation therefore I attempt to create a space to challenge our own understanding by looking at our intersectional identities. Therefore, I practice my feminism by engaging in conversations with whose goals are to create safe spaces to discuss and challenge the heteronormative, sexist, classist, racist, and privilege campus in which we live. Yet the most important ways I practice feminism is taking these conversations from these meetings to the classrooms and to my friends groups. Therefore, for me my practice of feminism encompasses the work of the collective and of the individual in order to eradicate all of forms of oppressions.  

-Stephanie Nabine

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