Response to ‘Rebranding Feminism’
Lynn Cicada responds to the article Rebranding Feminism.
Rather than a feminist, I have come to think of myself as someone who cares
very much about Human Rights. There are several reasons. First, I, as a
disabled woman am usually not included by feminists at all. I am just as
likely to be patted (literally) on the head and called “Honey” at a feminist
conference as anywhere else. No one at feminist conferences speaks of the
struggles disabled women have in getting jobs, health care adequate for
their needs, sex education of girls with disabilities, (yes, we like it too)
or getting information relevant to all women, including us, into media we
can access, such as sign language videos, Braille, large print, or on
I also find a lack of concern for girls and women of my income class. We
cannot even afford to Get to feminist conferences, because we have to work,
etc. We can’t afford the restaurants feminists of the middle class gather
in to debate the issues.
A third frustration with almost all political “Movements” for me is just
their NARROWNESS! We have to get big enough inside our heads and hearts to
know that the veiled women of Iran who have learned the Qur`an and are
challenging legal decisions Under Islamic law which unfairly benefit men ARE
feminists. They are working from Inside their religion For Women’s rights.
Lesbian separatists who take time and space away from men to heal may be
doing the same, working For women’s rights.
Tibetan nuns caring for orphaned children and the survival of their culture
may Also be working For the rights of girls and women Within their culture.
Some women can work alongside men, some cannot. So some work for the
benefit of all people with AIDS, including the special concerns and symptoms
of women with AIDS, while other women prefer to work on issues which are
Women’s issues, such as abortion rights.
When I enter a conference I say to myself, ok, where are the poor women, the
disabled women, the old and the young women, the women of color, the
lesbians, and are prostitutes welcome? By who is missing, (often all of
these groups) I can usually predict how the conference will go and what will
There is SO much which needs doing in our world for the preservation of All
Life, (and Women are the authors of human life in my tradition) that I
salute Anybody who is Doing Anything to benefit women and girls, whether men
also reap benefits or not.
Feminism to me is about making the world a better place in which to live as
a female. And there are so very many ways of doing this that I dare not
presume to judge who is a Feminist and who is not.
There are doll designers making active, strong, and happy dolls for little
girls to play with. Their are women fighting for divorce and property
rights given them in the Qur`an. There are women raising children to be
more flexible about what a woman’s or a man’s work is. There are women working
for the protection of sex workers. There are women breaking the “glass
ceiling” and fighting for equal pay for equal work. There are women
fighting for their cultural identities and the right to be strong women
Within those identities.. Some women work to change things within their
particular cultures which are violent or oppressive to girls and women. All
of them are contributing to our betterment as women.
The Earth to me is Female. Doesn’t treating women like things go right
along with treating our only Home and Ultimate provider like a thing too?
So I am thankful to women who work for the well-being of Earth as well.
Thank you, Ms. Redfern, for making the effort each month to forward your site’s updates and for making your site screen reader friendly to disabled women like me!