One of the most difficult parts of my own feminist journey has centred around the inevitable and yet disturbing gap I see between what I believe in and the way I live. In other words, it is one thing to strongly believe in gender justice and feminist politics, and to advocate for both, and another thing to always live according to them. Whether in relationships, friendships, or even just everyday situations, more often than not I find myself acting or thinking in ways that go against what I believe feminism should be. And of course once I interrogate these situations, I understand why – and more often than it, it is because of the way we are socialised into our respective genders. But why is it so difficult to move past this when it comes to gender? ….
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Neo-Colonialism and it’s Discontents: A blog by Sara Salem on Postcolonialism, Marxism, feminism and other conspiracies. twitter: @saramsalem
3 thoughts on “The personal is political – living feminist politics by @saramsalem”
The issue I have is that I continually try to live by my beliefs, and it gets me into alot of trouble with men- including my own father who has since disowned me because I confronted him on all the sexually inappropriate shit he said to me as a child. In the past, I was homeless for many years. The abuse of my female friends was too much to bear. It seemed that male dominance was (even more) prevalent in street culture. I would, routinely, get myself into trouble with potential rapists and male abusers for both standing up for other women, and myself. I’ve lost lots of male friends, and even some female friends, due to my constant speaking out against male dominance/abuse/sexual tyranny. I’ve been a bystander, I’ve intervened on attacks or attempts to rape- I’ve put myself in the line of fire effectively, for many years now with really no plans to stop. But, if someone were to write a book on what its like to be actively engaged in your feminism, they need to dedicate a whole chapter to the loneliness that comes with it. We must also (never) forget how dangerous men can be both present day and historically. There are so many times where I could have been killed for what I did..and many women (and men) know this when they witness shady behavior. Most people turn a blind eye. I hope that we can continue to be engaged in our own liberation because NO ONE is going to do it for us but ourselves. I promote self protection at all times, but sometimes too- you gotta shake shit up. It makes all of our jobs as feminists alot easier if we continue to stand up against a patriarchal culture, a rape culture, a male dominated society… It takes courage. You have to cultivate courage, and you do so by practice.
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