1. Feminism is plural and intersectional
Feminism is not only about gender. We see identity and experience as shaped by intersections between gender and other aspects of identity including class, race, ethnicity, sexual identity, age, ability, religion, and location. Not all women or gender-nonconforming people have the same experience or deal with the same difficulties. And so – folded into the global fabric of feminism – we have a dynamic and constantly evolving spectrum of feminisms.
* Social justice feminism * Ecological feminism * Anarcho-feminism * Radical feminism * Socialist feminism * Islamic feminisms * Catholic feminisms * Black feminisms * Queer feminisms * Liberal feminism
Read more about Intersectionality as one of JASS’ Big Ideas.
2. Feminism is global
Feminism is – and has always been – global. Western feminist history traces three different ‘waves’ of political struggle over the last 150 years. But many streams of women’s resistance from all over the world paint a far richer, more diverse history. While the word ‘feminism’ is relatively new, feminism is not. It is one of the longest social movements in history, stretching back in time and around the world. In many parts of the world, for instance, much feminism is shaped by decolonization and liberation struggles.
* Latin American feminisms * South Asian feminisms * Indigenous feminisms * African feminisms
All these feminisms challenge us to be more nuanced, to speak to the specific struggles of specific communities while not letting go of the common threads that unify us.
3. Feminism is visionary and transformative
Why do we believe this? Because, feminism:
● up-ends power relationships
● centers the lives and needs of those who are often at the margins
● integrates informal, reproductive, and care work in an understanding of economics
● challenges the ideas about gender, sex and sexuality that subordinate and control women, LGBTQI and others in order to uphold male supremacy
Transformative ways of doing and being, fed by feminism, include:
● For a democratic, egalitarian and feminist constitution
● Zapatistas Revolutionary Women’s Law
● We challenge the narrative of power – Excerpts from a thank you letter
Feminism is a place where you can dream a world that’s not been created.
4. Feminism is about power
Feminism goes further than other social justice ideologies because it ‘opens the door’ (to reveal inequality in the most private, intimate spaces), and ‘lifts the skirt’ (to look at power dynamics in the sphere of sexuality and sexual politics).
Maggie Mapondera, quoting Srilatha Batliwala
I want the authorities to understand that when we make demands we are not asking for charity. We are asking for justice, for our human rights. They are obliged to guarantee them, to respect them and abide by them.
Read more about Power as one of JASS’ Big Ideas.