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