Feminism like liberalism, socialism, activism...any "ism" is a guiding philosophy that allows people to agree upon a set of actions. Those actions, for them to have meaning have to be life changing. Those guiding philosophies create action that changes the world.
I write this to ask you to reflect on your core values. On clarifying them and making sure your core values match both your rhetoric and your actions. There becomes a kind of cognitive dissonance when you say one thing, but your action (or inaction) says something else and that is not growth my friend, that is delusion. Moving from Fear to Fuck It is about aligning those core values with action and clarifying what you stand for. That clarity is power. It is lightening in a bottle that writes from a place of: instead of complaining about white men talking over you in a meeting to stopping your husband, your father, your sons, brothers and boyfriends in their tracks when they do it. Your action garners respect when you take it. Asking someone to respect an action you haven't taken is self-defeating. When you see your values not being reflected, you shut down the behavior, you call it out, but more importantly, you draw a line in the sand that says: if you continue this behavior, you will lose access to me, my vision, my ideas, my body, my cooperation, all of me...you no longer tolerated your core values being dismissed. That is the point of power, not talking about how you should be treated, but teaching people how to treat you in real time by setting real boundaries and enacting consequences when those boundaries are crossed...everything else is bullshit that gets you no where except to this profound feeling of being disappeared. If you're feeling this way, it's because you talk a game you are not living.
The philosophy is not enough in and of itself. And often, the philosophy remains so intellectuall that it blinds the adherent to real steps they can take in their lives. And until a philosophy becomes a part of your core values driving your actions and decision making and what things you choose to stand for, they are either just "talk" or worse, a possible weapon of exclusion and oppression.
For example, RBG is not my hero. None of the icons of the feminist movement are my heroes. They were too busy sending us to the back of the marches from the beginning. You want to know what American feminist history has wrought for me and mine, read Paula Giddings, "When and Where I Enter..."
Black & brown women have been fighting a battle that the feminist movement has no interest or courage (or none that has been demonstrated bec it's not a priority) to engage in. We've never measured our worth by "getting all the rights a white man has" which is essentially what feminism is based on it's demands and historical actions.
Black & Brown women have been fighting for human rights from the very beginning from the antilynching movement, to the underground railroad, leading slave revolts, the labor movements in the 30s & 40s. Feminism likes to borrow black/brown/asian women while never serving those women of color taking an American asswhipping...
Assuming I am or referring to me as a feminist is more privileged white condescension; to use my humanity for the benefit of a movement that is by design oppressive to me. I've lost dear ones when their liberal privilege & racism were exposed & they failed to meet the challenge or even consider the possibility. We are where we are from that same self-involved neglect.
RBG is a feminist icon dedicated to upper middle class white women. A movement engaged in middle class white women getting as much privilege as white men = more white supremacy in heels & the backbone of much of the white liberal agenda which has nothing to do w/me nor has it ever done anything for me or the women I identify w/.. & that indifference allows black & brown lives to not matter...
RBG, like many liberal white women completely dismissed BLM (who still managed to give her a respectful tribute on their website) while all she could do was call Kaepernick dumb...all that brillant legal mind & that's the best she could do? contempt is classic intellectual white supremacy so nope
RBG became liberal by default, not by choice & was not keen on human rights for immigrants. So marching black people & mexican children in cages were clearly not her strong suit
Ask the Oneida Indians abt how helpful she was...they still don't have their land bec her arguments attempted to invalidate their claim bec they waited too long to pursue. Nevermind, Native Americans couldn't get into a courtroom until 1974 to remind America that they had broken their own laws.
Being middle of the road in a court of white supremacists facists does not make you progressive...it makes you a feminist doing what feminist to to stay in power: was maintain the liberal status quo which I find toxic at best and at its worst: racist, classist and unequivocally committed to white privilege at its core.
The women who help me get out the bed in the morning who were fighting during slavery, after slavery, straight through Jim Crow and responsible for catapulting the civil fights movement and creating the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party to hold the 1964 Democratic Convention accountable to the people who got yhem there: poor black people.
These women have been fighting, dying, being tortured and raped for fighting for human rights (not just theirs) long before women were asking men to gove them something...these women took it...these are my foremothers...
all this other stuff ain't got nothing with or for me...so unless RBG did more for me than these women, I simply don't see it. These women lived and died for me and every poor, working around the world to demand the full human rights and for a democracy to finally act like one.
So what are your core values? How will they change the way you interact today, right now? What are you willing to fight for and what are you willing to give up to get what you want?
is a Tony-winning producer/writer/actor & CEO of TheDreamUnLocked: Boutique Coaching for Actors, Writers & Dreamers