Spectra: A Love Warrior Leading With Relationship Over Rhetoric

Feminist Rag Award NEW_Spectra Speaks

Love warrior and leader Spectra goes by the mantra ‘Love is my revolution’, which is evident in her honest, articulate, thoughtful, insightful, love-infused, vibrant critical writing and audience engagement.  Spectra’s words speak directly to my heart and often so perfectly articulate many thoughts I have swimming around in my head.  She teaches me much and pushes me to keep checking my white privilege.

Spectra is an award-winning Queer Nigerian Afrofeminist Writer and Media Activist. Social Entrepreneur Nurturing Principled Diaspora and Women’s Philanthropy in Media and Tech. Self-Care and Self-Love Evangelist. Idealist Warrior Woman. Big Dreamer. Big Thinker. Big Doer, Too.  She publishes social commentary about gender, sexuality, diaspora communities, and movement-building through the lens of “Love” and media psychology. (from here.)

From my decolonist feminist lens, I really appreciate Spectra’s view of western feminism and how she describes her afrofeminism:

I always get the question, “Why do you call yourself an afrofeminist?” to which I usually answer, “I don’t really… I just am.” And then the annoyed inquirer probes further, “Well what is it? What is afrofeminism?” And that’s the problem I’ve always had with western feminism — there’s too much emphasis on the what – the exhausting jargon-ridden definitions, and the why — the constant reiterations of problems, including whose fault it is, and not nearly enough on the how. [YEAH!]

I was never indoctrinated into western feminism via thick gender studies textbooks or “critical readings” — and I prefer it that way. My ideals — which can certainly be described as feminist, progressive, radical etc. — come from my mother’s wisdom, solidarity with African women, including women of the Global South and other self-identified women of color, my personal values, and common sense. For me, the personal just isn’t political; the political should be personalized. (more here. )

Check out Spectra’s podcast about “African women in the Diaspora using new media and technology to subvert and influence mainstream narratives about Africa: African Women Storytellers in the Digital Agehere.

On feminism and the War on Women, Spectra says:

I ask you to consider, is the women’s movement making a stand, or falling into pieces?  Are we uniting through our differences so that we can be stronger?  Or reaching for something way less grand, with way less hands, hoping that our “good intentions” will pay off if we just wait a little longer?  Which members of this army — of our family — are missing?  Where are the voices of low income women of color?  Where are the voices of transgender women?  Where is the rest of our family?

If I’ve learned anything about real-life revolutions it’s that they sometimes can take on the form of the war you’re fighting.  it’s that it matters less what you’re fighting for, but who is fighting with you.

The War on Women needs to mean more than reproductive justice for middle class white women.  The War on Women needs to mean more than the debate over abortion and birth control.  The War on Women must mean to us the impact of racism on women of color and our sons.  The War on Women must mean to us the impact of racism, sexism, and homophobia on transgender women of color.  The War on Women must mean to us the impact of un-checked privilege and ignorance within our movement.

The War between Women is real.  And until we can be brave enough to face the truth – that we have to END the war over who counts as “women” amongst ourselves we are NOT united. (more here.)

I also really love the Spectra-ism of “Relationship over rhetoric.”  Her writing revolves around relationship in that she is inviting, engaging, and embraces her whole humanity, talks Real Talk and creates a safe, respectful space for others to do the same.  Relationships are really everything, aren’t they?  They are where things go horribly wrong and where injustice stems from, and they are where healing and the RIGHT things can happen, if we ALL work at it.  Respect for all Beings starts and stops with the relationships we have with eachother and all other living beings around us.

Thank you so much Spectra for being in this world and sharing your voice, it is so valued and your heart and Spirit so strong and pure, you’re a real inspiration to fellow love warriors.  You are a warm and mighty love-filled gust of wind beneath my feminist wings!

Follow and engage with Spectra and her Facebook community here.

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