Welcome kittens and puppies, to The Feminist Rag, a News & Reviews blog about all things Feminist related (well, not ALL, just things I like and am interested in). There is a lot of action in Feminist and Feminist-like Lands across the world that gets my synapses poppin’, especially when I look at them from a DEcolonist point of view.
This is a clique-free blog that aims to bring to one place some of the diverse ideas and actions that make sense and are working out there from fierce minds & hearts so as to educate, inspire, connect, build on and use in our own lives and communities to make our world a better, more humane place. I also share about my personal experience with DEcolonization.
When all is said and done, I find human-to-human connecting, relating and learning from eachother to be far more interesting, powerful and enriching than debating “theories,” which is where Decolonization ultimately takes us — far away from ivory tower theories and back to being wholly, fully Human.
On the topic of colonist ivory towers and its “education” and pieces of paper that are supposed to validate people and their intellectual value, I got me one of those — I have a masters degree in counseling psychology, and I think our relationships are everything. So I usually look at things from a human and relational perspective, or how issue X,Y or Z impacts our humanness and relations with self and eachother. With that said, the smartest people I know happen to both be primary school dropouts – one dropped out of school in grade 5 and the other in grade 8, and both are truly brilliant geniuses. So I certainly do not privilege formal educational attainment and couldn’t care less if someone has seventeen PhD’s. I’m much more interested in people’s hearts and spirits and how they treat others.
In the cold, cruel, unforgiving colonist culture, People Who Do Good Things don’t get the appreciation they deserve, so this blog also serves as my platform to say Thank You to brave, inspirational people for doing what they do to make our world a better place. I link and review people inciting change, and give out fun Feminist Rag awards because nothin’ says fierce lovin’ like writing someone’s name in blood across a maxi pad! 😀 UPDATE on May 17, 2015: I decided to lay off the maxi pad/name-in-blood award theme and changed up the award design a bit because from a traditional indigenous perspective, menstruation is a powerful and sacred thing, so I want to respect it as such.
One Rule: Respect
Let’s be RESPECTFUL of one another. I love, admire and welcome passion and am pretty passionate myself, and with that I try to exercise Respect and basic human decency for others, and I expect and require the same. I know it’s a tall order in the dis-eased colonist culture where we’re all traumatized, wounded, and where Respect has become so corroded. This blog is a safe cyber space where I put the “U” back in hUman! As such, disrespectful comments will be deleted.
My Take on Feminism
I love some of the radical (and other) feminist thinkers I’ve come across (dead, alive, famous, infamous, not famous, published, unpublished, blogged, etc.); their work excites and inspires me and I feel such glee reading their thoughtful, brilliant, searing, and hilarious words. A lot of times though, I find radical feminism isn’t radical enough for me, it doesn’t always make sense, and it appears to still be a euro-centric, mostly white women’s movement, whether it’s liberal or socialist or Marxist or radical, whatever branch or wave. Feminism’s limitations, blindspots, and other hiccups lead me to zoom out, take a bird’s eye view of the situation, and look to DEcolonization. One person I fiercely respect and find absolutely brilliant is Native American activist and artist John Trudell, who explains how the colonist industrial ruling class (IRC) predatory energy mines minds and eats Spirits, and how to resist it:
I most identify, align with and desire Matriarchal Tribalism / Indigenous Matriarchy — I feel that elder female leadership is best and what I most want, within a tribal setting versus a me-me-me/individualist one (and not just any elder females, but those who make clear and coherent sense to the heart and spirit). Labels tend to drive me a little crazy in the head, which I have the colonist culture to thank for, with its relentless obsession with dividing, separating and labeling (end goal being conquering) every single aspect of Life. So I use some labels loosely, though I am 120% solid and confident in DEcolonization and Matriarchal Tribalism.
I believe that (re)learning & (re)connecting with our own Indigenous roots (which we all come from, whatever part of the world our ancestors come from) is where our Healing will be. MUCH work needs to be done to get there, which takes a lot of time, especially for those of us who’ve been colonized & domesticated longer than others.
For all of these reasons, I usually privilege and prioritize traditional Indigenous voices and perspectives (the kind not found in the ivory towers of academia), because quite simply, they just make the most sense. Also, because I live on stolen Native land, privileging Native people is the least I can do.
Why The ‘Feminist Rag’?
Calling this blog a feminist “rag” is a bit tongue-in-cheek because I don’t take all feminism seriously, and I find some feminist thought kinda silly and funny.
For example, the idea that penis-in-vagina sex (a.k.a. “PIV”) is inherently rapey and wrong and bad and something inflicted by the menz of The Patriarchy and must end. All I gotta say about this theory is that just because some women don’t like PIV sex, doesn’t make it unnatural or wrong or bad or rapey across the board of all humanity. We’re animals, not all that different than all other animals (except maybe a bit dumber – the more colonized we are, the less intelligent we are); penis-in-vagina sex has been happening between ALL mammals (and some non-mammals) since forever (of course some animals are more rapey (like adorable sea otters, did you know some males bite the females’ faces so hard during sex that they sometimes rip their noses off?!), while others mutually quite enjoy sex and have a lot of it); no human theories or mental gymnastics or fancy wording will undo this simple biological fact of Nature. DUH! If you don’t like pee-pee in wee-wee sex, don’t have it, The End. But don’t push this personal preference as a “politic” on other people who do like this kind of sex. It’s kinda like people who are against gay marriage or gays period — if you don’t like it, don’t do it, but don’t push your aversion (or outright phobia) on others.
It really is that simple, and feminism (and many other branches of philosophy) have an annoying habit of over-complicating a lot of shit. This is the foundation of academia — to dream up and endlessly debate and build upon theory after theory, further and further up hierarchies and away from on-the-ground, common sense Reality – common sense which isn’t so common in the colonist culture. I include myself here too of course, as my colonized mind has the over-thinking/heady dis-ease which I am working at undoing. Us Jews are known for being neurotic overthinkers, and though it’s sometimes hilarious to watch take place, it’s not so fun being the one in it. I like to laugh at myself though and try not to take myself too seriously all the time, but do take certain things very seriously, like how to be a better person and how to live a good life. A lifelong quest.
Remember: there are many awesome movers and shakers out there doing great work, but no one person has all the answers — we ALL hold pieces of The Puzzle and EVERYBODY has something unique to contribute to the world.
Welcome, Enjoy, & Be Inspired!
~ Franklin Kahn, Navajo ~
- I have a slightly neurotic habit of editing and tweaking my blog posts after publishing them, so if you happen to be re-reading one of my posts and think you’re imagining things that are no longer there, you’re probably not; chances are, I’ve made some minor changes here and there to this n’ that.
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