Tag Archives: Feminism

Climate Warriors

01climate-change-portraits“For us it’s not the issue of regulation. It’s the issue of survival.” — Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim –

07climate-change-portraits“If I were a young person, I would start to ask my government very seriously,‘Why didn’t you listen?’ I would start to look at companies and corporations and ask, ‘What did you do when you knew?’”  Farhana Yamin–

Feminism is having a moment — and, increasingly, a multicultural one.

These things are seasonal, with seasons being marked by generations rather than in quarter years. Feminism and civil rights and all manner of movement towards an eventuality where we will be able to take for granted our common humanity, consigning no one to the margins, waxes and wanes, falling fallow in the winter of our collective lives only to surge forth again at the start of spring. It’s a perpetual cycling in which we continue to spiral upward, in fits and starts, to higher levels of human consciousness, and higher levels of manifest human possibility.

Young and very visible women,  like Jennifer Lawrence, Lena Dunham and Amy Schumer are using their considerable platforms to break silence with the many invisible ways in which sexism permeates the culture. They are working at the level of culture creation, which after every legal battle has been fault, is where the battle will ultimately be won. We can make the world different only when we change our hearts and minds.

Of course, hearts and minds follow experience, which is why it is essential that we see the faces, and hear the voices of women — and women of color in particular, without whose voices we cannot claim to be engaged in a serious conversation about making change in any corner of our world.

When I opened my computer on November 30, 2015, intent on doing a little procrastinating (ahem, I mean, warm-up for my writing day), I felt vindicated by Vogue.com’s piece,  Climate Warriors,  which centered women of all races, nationalities and economic circumstances in the essential conversation about climate change which, let’s face it, is really a conversation about humanity’s continued survival on Earth, a conversation whose public face is too often male, and  privileged and white — a kind of myopia we can no longer afford. The next leg of the human journey requires that we engage with the all-of-us, wherever it is that we come from, whatever the color of our skin, whatever our sex, whatever level of economic opportunity we enjoy. 


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Balenciaga, Antony
& My New Creed:
Meaning Is The New Normal

Balenciaga Future FeminismI’m a big fan of The House of Givenchy and I’m also a died in the wool feminist, so imagine my delight when a little over two weeks ago the world of high fashion collided with a very modern feminism at the Givenchy Paris Runway show. Instead of laying the usual casting information or breakdown of the looks on the seats, the mad scientists of Givenchy — Creative Director Riccardo Tisci and team — laid a single sturdy piece of card stock scribbled with a Future Feminism “manifesto” written by the transgender singer Antony, of Antony and The Johnsons, who also performed at the show.

I alighted upon feminism in college, where I spent hours over bagels on Sunday mornings at my friend Stacey’s off-campus house founding our campus’ now 20-year old Women’s Center. From the start, we were interested in gender and race and class and sexuality. Even back then, when I was a young woman with barely a toe in the world, I understood that feminism wasn’t just about women; it was about the world we inherited, and the world we would leave behind. When I read Monica Sjoo’s book The Great Cosmic Mother: Rediscovering The Religion Of The World I began to get some meat  around those ideas. Antony’s Future Feminism manifesto is Sjoo light. It’s her complex and heavily researched ideas boiled down for the busy masses. As much as I love a great philosophical treatise, what I love even more is seeing grand ideas trot down from the ivory tower (or burst out of this or that ghetto as the case may be), and infuse themselves into the actual world where the lot of us live.


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Weird Week In Feminist History

Sheryl Sandberg, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler

It’s been a weird week or two in feminist history. First Sheryl Sandberg gets (forgive the anti-feminist language, but it seems apt) bitch-slapped in the media for daring to speak feminism from accomplished heights, then Taylor Swift calls out Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, feminists if I’ve ever seen one, for supposedly not helping other women by honoring Swift with a joke at the Golden Globes. Of course, Swift came off like a petulant child, and Fey and Poehler handled her hurt feelings such good-humored grace that no real harm was done. Unfortunately, the attacks on Sandberg may leave a more lasting mark.


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March 2013:
Fertile Ground

Family On The Lawn

Spring is about fertile ground. The season begins at the Spring Equinox on March 21st (one of two days, the other being the Fall Equinox, when the the hours of daylight equal the hours of night), but we’ll be celebrating all month long.

In the Wicca tradition, the Spring Equinox is celebrated with the holiday of Ostara, a word that’s believed to derive from the Germanic word Eostre, from which derives the word Easter, the Christian holiday of the Resurrection. Spring is also home the Jewish holiday of Passover, commemorating the Exodus of the Jews out of bondage in Israel.

Back in my New York days, the early days of spring were among my favorite, precisely because they hinted at things to come. The daffodils would pop their heads, up through the little squares of soil around the trees that dotted my sidewalk. I’d get a fresh burst of energy, as if, like the daffodils, I could sense the coming light.

Spring is a time of renewal and new possibilities, literally and metaphorically. It’s when we sow seeds in the ground rather than the greenhouse — and it’s a good time to sow new seeds in our minds.


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