Feminist Solidarity & Active Anti-Racism
Updated: Jul 12, 2020
Empowered women are something else, aren't we?
Gloria Steinem and Dorothy Pitman Hughes by Dan Wynn for Esquire in 1971
I pride myself in being a Feminist — always working to be a better intersectional feminist — someone who continues to fight the good fight on all issues of importance especially human rights, and I have learned a ton over the last week+ and will continue to do so as I dig deeper and work harder to fight the long game against racism.
I’ve been thinking a lot about Feminist Solidarity during the most recent #BlackLivesMatter revolution which was in part jumpstarted due to the murder of George Floyd, because if there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that empowered women are a force to be reckoned with, especially when we combine efforts. And as I’ve continued to diversify my feed and what I consume, I continue to be inundated with the shared strength, resilience, needle moving actions and raw realism-meets-optimism unfolding. And it’s incredible and momentous and it gives me hope — much like this photo and the original message behind it.
This iconic photo captures Gloria Steinem and Dorothy Pitman Hughes — activists, and the founders of @Ms_Magazine— taken by Dan Wynn for Esquire in 1971, with a raised fist salute to demonstrate feminist solidarity.
This photo gives me all the feels, and perfectly captures the power of women, how far we’ve come and still have to go, and how we are going to get through this together as mothers, sisters, friends and empowered women. Do you feel it too?
The picture below is the re-staging of the original photo, of these same women in their 70s, continuing to demonstrate that activism has no age.
“We must have difficult conversations, and it’s also important to talk about the learning, growing, friendship and joy that come from having them...So it’s important to say that in real life, neither Dorothy nor I would give up – or be the same without – our nearly half-century of shared hopes, differences, laughter and friendship,” said Steinem.
Pitman-Hughes and Steinem reunited in 2014 to recreate the influential image
photo by Daniel Bagan
As a feminist, and as a mom — a title I take very seriously — I feel an enormous responsibility to be a good human and to raise good humans. It’s a huge undertaking, but that’s why parenting isn’t for everyone, and it’s what we sign up for when we decide to create life and raise kids. Of course we are all doing the best we can, but I think we can all agree that we need to do more in the diversity, inclusion and anti-racism category.
So what can we do right now when so many are hurting, and have been for so long?
With just a few clicks you can find a tremendous number of actionable resources available to do better — I also saved some accounts and links on my profile for reference — because anti-racism takes ACTION.
Also, on the whole I think it can be boiled down quite simply, into the following three areas:
EDUCATION. Never stop learning. Never stop seeking understanding. Have the hard conversations about issues of race. When feelings of defensiveness and anger arise, dig deeper and find out why you feel that way. Self check your own privilege and what that actually means and how it might be affecting POC every day. Keep reading, and growing and seeking answers and talk to people about complex human rights issues that matter to them.
EMPATHY. We all need more empathy, and this is an area we can never stop growing in. Once you actually take time to feel how someone else feels and respect that — even if you disagree with their life or life choices — we humanize our differences. Diversify your reading list with diverse authors. Travel more. Follow people on social media who are different then you and read their stories and try to understand how they feel. There are 3 types of empathy: Cognitive, Emotional, and Compassionate — Find ways to improve in all three. Remember, we are all a product of our experiences and how we were raised, and we all likely have some un-learning to do.#WeAllNeedTherapy
ACTION. Arm yourself with education and empathy so that you’re compelled to take action in areas that map with your true north and ability to actually help.
Education + Empathy + Action + Repeat.
Over, and over again.
Raise them kind.