"The women of Bikini Kill let guitarist Billy Karren be in their feminist punk band, but only if he's willing to just "do some shit." Being a feminist dude is like that. We may ask you to "do some shit" for the band, but you don't get to be Kathleen Hannah."--@heatherurehere

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Much to Think About: A Bit of a Rant

The last few days have brought some revelations for me, as a man who identifies as a feminist. Mostly, I'm recognizing how complex feminism really can be, and how intersectionality, while an easily thrown-around buzzword (with some great meaning) is really a conceptual puzzle all to itself. How do we talk about gender without talking about race, class, sexuality, able-bodied-ness, and the like? I mean, we do manage to talk about these things as sorta-separate, with a nod to the fact that (as I see it), they are all intertwined, but it remains true that we are always already leaving something out. How can we be inclusive, rather than just paying lip service to various people and viewpoints? Where do we start, and how do we go on, this way?

I know, I know, there is no other place to start but from where we are, but at the moment if feels overwhelming. I have a harder and harder time writing anything about gender because I don't want to leave out anything else. Maybe that's good. But it means I'm writing less and less.

I'm curious if anybody else feels this way, and what are some ways of going on to do good work regardless? My intuition is that perhaps I've been living within the words of it all for too long, and that maybe I need to get myself to some meetings and interact with other people in the world in other ways, that doing so would help me to bear the complexities. But that seems even more overwhelming, because it's sometimes hard to even have a conversation with people who haven't begun to grasp the ways in which all of these things are interrelated.

Any other suggestions would be much appreciated.
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