Feminisms Roundtable: Women of Color in Solidarity 01/29 7 pm EST

Feminisms Roundtable: Women of Color in Solidarity 01/29 by At the Edge An Afrofuturist Salon | Women Podcasts.

In this virtual roundtable organized by me, Kathryn Buford, and Suey Park, we invited Kathryn-Headshot-Small-2-221x300Park_Suey_Crop2women of color to discuss coming together to consider #solidarity and feminisms across communities of color, as well as recent issues and challenges we face as women of color dealing with racism, colorism, classism, sexism, heterosexism/homophobia, and transphobia.  What does solidarity mean to us, and what does feminism mean to us? How do we build a united front ready and able to support each other across cultural communities?

Kathryn is a writer, and sociology PhD student at University of Maryland, College Park. Her current research explores social entrepreneurship, women’s art and emancipatory knowledge across the African diaspora.

Suey Park is a free-lance writer from Chicago who now lives in Colorado. She is the organizer behind the Twitter hashtag #NotYourAsianSidekick.

Cherie Ann Turpin is a writer and an Associate Professor in the Department of English at the University of the District of Columbia.smiling


38 thoughts on “Feminisms Roundtable: Women of Color in Solidarity 01/29 7 pm EST

  1. Such a great conversation! As a woman who has never found a whole group to be a part of the question of femininity is yet another circle that I seem to not be “whole” in. Does it make me less of a feminist because I wear high heeled shoes daily? Does it make me less of an advocate of woman’s rights because I gloss my lips? As an openly lesbian woman I know all to well the perils not “fitting in” and hearing the criteria of what it looks like to be or not to be a feminist is really discouraging.

      • At some point later in the discussion, the issue of people automatically believing that their experience is more valid was raised. It was said that they try to determine what valid topics of discussion are in the area of feminism. I think this is an interesting point, but it was brought up in the context of racial relations. While may be true that white women assume that their experience is more valid than those of women of different ethnic and racial backgrounds, I think that this is less of a race issue and more part of the human condition. For example, one of the women in the discussion (specifically the one who brings up make-up and high heels and what not, and essentially states that feminists shouldn’t wear make up or heels because, in her eyes, it is an attempt to appeal to men’s idea of what a woman should be) seems to be trying to force her definition of feminism on the other people in the discussion for a good period of the show. In terms of “empowered” porn stars, and “empowered” sex workers, I would be inclined to agree with her, that it is not empowerment, but conforming to a male’s idea of women, but openness to different viewpoints is fundamental in trying to build solidarity among any group of people, and she seems to be somewhat aggressively pushing her point of view for at least half of the discussion.
        The discussion on ‘feminist porn’ and the misrepresentation of the black female in erotica held many parallels with the ‘oppositional gaze’ essay that we were told to read. With the woman who said she worked with ‘sex workers’ being the holder of the critical gaze that leads to more relevant media.
        On the question “what should we do in order to build a more united front?” I would say getting the word out. I would say that much of the oppression of females and sexism is more of a subconscious set of beliefs ingrained in people from birth by a patriarchal society around them than an active desire to hold women down. With a clearer idea of the issues at hand, people are more able to act on them.

    • And yes it is important that we not limit possibilities or demand conformity–defeats the whole purpose of liberation.

      • Monique Taylor
        This subject is so broad. It cant be covered in a 2 hour session. One of the speakers to night i totally disagreed with.She seemed very judge mental. I believe that women are so diverse for so many reasons. Our up bringing, education, surroundings,religion (or lack their of ) we can not be defined by how we present. Just because a woman has a weave and wears tight or revealing clothes does not mean she is not for the good of all women. She may be miss guided. Her up bringing may have emphasized these qualities. I was brought up to think that a woman would not get a man if she could not cook or clean. I can do both of these things and still do not have a man.Yet, I have met couples and the woman does not cook or clean but, she is married. What’s wrong with this picture. Also, I find solidarity a hard concept, because, women are so judge mental of each other. I find that most judge mental people are insecure in their looks and abilities. Sometimes I want to be sexy an show off my assets (legs and booty) and get a many/ pedi so what. Sometimes I want to wear sweat pants and a sweat shirt with no make-up and what? We can not have solidarity until we stop judging each other. come on ladies prude or prostitute we are all women and do what we do for our reasons. Maybe talking to one another will open up doors and channels to not judge but understand and accept.

        MT class 391/392

        Monique Taylor
        I know what is wrong with this picture should have had a question mark behind it. Forgive me, and any other grammatical errors i mad in my response. I have been up since 6:00 am and it is now 10:40 pm, I’m exhausted. Peace and love.

  2. I enjoyed listening to this discussion, however, I did not hear a clear sign of “what’s next” in the conversation. One participant said that through reaching out, education and networking are a few ways to continue the movement and the conversation. In my opinion, from my limited readings so far, and listening to the conversation that has already been happening for a few decades. I think one thing that needs to happen is utilizing social media to help define terms such as #solidarity or #feminism. I pulled out a Webster’s dictionary to define feminism and it states, “the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.” While there has been advances in each of those fields we know that this society is still sadly patriarchal.

    I also believe that women should try to cross the race lines with their white counterparts and engage in this type of discussion. Such as blacks experienced in the Civil Rights movement when white people supported and joined that cause. Someone said that feminism is an individual experience so why not include other women, despite their upbringing or race?

    On the conversation about Beyonce and if she is a feminist, I disagree with I think it was Scottie who said that she is conforming to men’s lust. I don’t think Beyonce is conforming to anything she is simply singing, performing and making a lot of money. I also don’t see a problem with her wearing the type of clothes, hairstyles, etc that she wants to wear. How can you take the lady out of being a woman? Is Beyonce to dress in a nun’s robe to be a feminist and be non-conforming? This goes back to feminism being an individual experience. I also don’t like the cheap shot mentioned that Beyonce is “denying her blackness.” That is a completely different discussion in which we have to define what is “blackness”?

    How does one express and articulate feminism yet also be provocative was a question raised. I think that again is an individual experience.

    The sex workers discussion was really good I personally would like to hear more about that industry and the unfortunate mistreatment of women of color. Sex sells and I know a few men who have gone that route in order to survive and make some type of living. Ideally I’m sure it is not their preferred profession, male or female but as said this reflects society as a whole. 391/392 class.

  3. I enjoyed listening to the ladies discuss their different point of views dealing with issues that are not discussed in the public eye. It was enlightening to see that women of different nationalities, ages, and backgrounds can come together to discuss something we all have in common.

  4. Interesting conversations, I have never really thought about Feminism since I’m a guy. Since i start taking Professor Turpin’s class I started to look around at how women present themselves in T.V shows, movies, and in public. I’m starting to see that a lot of women are very strong & independent. I’m seeing more and more women Becoming Leaders and taking control over the things around them. Yet always showing how Beautiful they are.

    • As a side note to this – I, too, have started to look at how women are portrayed in various forms of media since i started taking Ms.Turpin’s class, and when you look at things less for pure entertainment value and more to see how various groups are represented, the portrayal of women in television and movies (even many current movies) generally has them taking a back seat, their identities as human beings viewed as less important than the vessels they inhabit. Even media that doesn’t place the emphasis on physical appearance will often place the emphasis on the perceived fragility of woman. This is taught to children from an early age; in fairy tales, the woman is the princess, helpless, and trapped in the tower, waiting for prince charming to come rescue her. This is unfortunate. Did anyone see the soda stream commercial with Scarlett Johanson that aired during the superbowl? I’m not sure i spelled her name properly, but that’s irrelevant to the point i wish to make. The commercial makes the emphasis on women being perceived as a decoration rather than a person so clear that i don’t even need to explain it. Its so far from subtle it’s not even funny – one viewing of a critical and/or analytical nature is enough to leave anyone who cares about women’s rights and gender equality, even in the slightest, disgusted. I’m surprised there hasn’t been more notable reaction to this among the general population.

  5. I believe this is good topic to discuss on. Females should have the right to potray themselves as they like. Even though this is having an effect on younger females because they grow up having a away of thinking that this is how they should carry themselves seeing that the people/celebrities are doing the same thing. And it really shouldn’t be like this.

  6. I listened to the round table discussion and I found a few things interesting. I never really understood what the term feminist meant or even bothered to look into it. I always assumed it had to do with women and some form of politics. Like tooandrew I found the part when the women shared that she found that black feminist issues go ignored by white feminist or often denounced as being not a feminist issue. I can see where there could be a break in solidarity/unity here. Ones issues are formed around ones experience and yes as women we can relate on some issues but because of our different races I can see minorities experiencing things that Whites do not. I also found what the women who said she was an adult entertainer story to be interesting. She said produceres who claim to be feminist even often portray Blacks in a negative light when it comes to making adult films. Often times portraying these women in a negative light. I feel that if i were more knowledgeable on the issues presented or had a solid idea about the whole feminist movement I would be able to provide better insight. I hope to be well abreast upon completing Dr. Turpins Sex &Gender clas Iged 391-392 5:30pm wednesday spring semester 2014 whole

  7. Being a male student from a different part of the world (Nepal, South East Asia), prior to this round table discussion, I was not aware of some of the terminologies and concepts discussed in this discussion. So, first of all I would like to thank Dr. Turpin for exposing us to this great discussion focused on feminism, solidarity and empowerment of women in general. As I heard on the radio, different individual had slightly different way of defining feminist. For instance, one of them said “being feminist to me is to develop to the best of my ability without being discriminated or differentiated from a male colleague at my work place”, someone else mentioned “feminist to me is doing what I want to do” and I don’t recall her name but she pointed out Beyonce as an example of a feminist who does what she wants to do. On the other hand, I believe it was Scotty, the representative from Afro-erotica who disagreed with the concept of Beyonce being a feminist. According to her, Beyonce wears provocative wardrobe and exposes her “butt” in her performance which is need of a men’s lust and that’s not what a feminist does. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines feminism as “the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities and also organized activity in support of women’s rights and interest”. I tend to agree with Scotty because Beyonce’s exposure of her sexy body is not an empowerment of women rather it’s to get attention of the crowd to sell her music justifying the concept of sex sells. Beyonce does provide what men’s lust need. To promote feminism and empower women, one should stand for women’s right which should be as equal as men’s right and I don’t see how Beyonce does this. Moreover, I also heard someone saying that some society views a feminist as being a lesbian as a result female call themselves womanist and then she went on saying that a feminist can also get married, have children, and live a normal life. I don’t see how being a feminist is relevant to being a lesbian. Feminist to me is a female activist who fights for women’s right, who defines solidarity by viewing all women equal, and works in the best interests of the women all around.
    Moreover, during the discussion someone mentioned “TWERKING”. She said “Twerking by a black female is viewed as the expression of heightened sexuality whereas twerking by a white female is viewed as an amusement and something cute and funny”. She pointed out Miley Cyrus’s twerking as an example. I also think that the society we live in views expression of same behavior differently when it comes to “BLACK & WHITE”.
    Furthermore, another topic that caught my attention was the discussion about sex workers. Why does someone become a sex worker? Is it a choice or is it because they don’t have any other option? Everyone on the panel had similar answers to this question. Scotty mentioned “female become a sex worker because they lack marketing skills desired by the employers”. Dr. Turpin mentioned about economy and how the minimum wage jobs do not pay for education and is not enough to feed family which forces them to become a sex worker. Someone else gave an example of a student who couldn’t pay for her books and tuition fee by working at McDonald but when she became a stripper she could take care of herself and her education. I have similar view on this. I do think that being a sex worker is not something that anyone is proud of. I had seen a documentary few months ago that was based on the life of prostitutes. The story behind most of them becoming a sex worker was their inability to afford the cost of living. Not everyone is privileged to go to college, get good education and land a great job that pays very well. Poverty is the primary factor for someone to become a sex worker and forces them to sell their body to the men who views women as nothing but an object of pleasure. However, there is an exception to pretty much everything, not everyone becomes a porn start because they did not have any other way to provide for themselves or their family. There are some people who become a porn star because they want to, it’s their choice. An excellent example of this is Montana Fishburne daughter of the actor Laurence Fishburne who decided to become a porn star regardless of hers belonging from a wealthy family.
    Finally, this was a great discussion and very informative for me. I would like to thank all the participants for providing their opinion and expertise on the topics discussed.

    Vicky Mishra
    IGED 391/392

  8. I’ve never entertained the thought of feminism because I felt like it not only create these feuds amongst women, but also society as a whole. I’ve always been one to profess that women need to have equal rights, socially, educationally, financially, sexually, etc. but I’ve never felt the need to attach that word to who I am. I’ve even been called a feminist a couple of times and always wondered, “How can I be considered a feminist if I’m simply speaking from the viewpoint of being a woman?” It’s almost similar to race…I speak from the viewpoint of being African American, does that mean I’m pro-black? I speak from the viewpoint of being a human, does that make me a humanist? I would choose the latter over the former.
    I feel like the more titles we add on to ourselves, the more we complicate life and suffer from identity issues which affects the way we connect with one another as human beings. Everyone is going to have their own opinions, perspective, and definitions to accommodate their individual lives; It is evident in this discussion. Each woman had their own definition, there was no right or wrong answer. I believe when a woman makes a decision for herself without any patriarchal influence, she is expressing femininity. But, in the same token, we are naturally influenced by others, men included. To pretend that we aren’t, we would be lieing to ourselves. Just like language, this word “Feminist” or “Feminism” is constantly evolving. Time, language, and people change. To expect one answer to this word, filled with much impact by the way, isn’t realistic.
    If we’re saying Beyonce “objectifies herself to appeal to men’s lust” isn’t that HER choice? Many of us objectify ourselves to appeal to other women and just human beings in general, so what would be the difference? Would it be better if she was appealing to women? In the 19th century and early on, women weren’t allowed to be sexual in public, let alone make her own decisions in regards to education, miscellaneous activities, etc. Now that we have the CHOICE to do as we wish, we are being labeled and still being told what to do? I can’t believe we live in a type of society that once oppressed women’s sexuality, opinion, and individuality, only to live in a new age that does the very same things the oppressors once did and still are doing…I just don’t get it. It almost frustrates me. When is this idea of togetherness going to come into play? Many young women in today’s generation use their titles as feminist to command the stage, which has only caused many arguments and further more jeopardizes our humanhood. I would like to think we will oneday have solidarity, but some of us have tuned out and aren’t actively listening anymore because we have other women, our own species, telling us what NOT to do and we have the patriarchal society telling us what TO do. I just feel like, women should be able to do what they want without men or women tailoring our person. We’ve had enough of that already! Let us be.
    Women are just as sexual as men.Period. No, ALL of our value isn’t in between our legs, but we can’t say that what’s in between our legs has no value at all.
    The feminist movement should be about educating and supporting. If a woman chooses to do the opposite of what she’s been taught, that’s HER decision. She has that right as a woman and as a human being. It doesn’t matter if it’s a African American, Asian, Native, or Latina woman of color, if we simply removed the finger pointing, listen, and quit tearing each other down, we will grow in full force! We will gain solidarity, simply by removing ourselves of judgement, and be there to help any way we can.
    Our first job should be to listen, educate, and support as oppose to judging and lecturing. How much growth should we expect to get from that? Very little or none. In order to be a power force we must first agree to disagree.

  9. I really enjoyed the discussion and found many things to be interesting. The term of feminist does need to be understood that it embodies not just a certain group or class of females, but all. Women are all different however, we all have an urgency of requiring the equality of others and to be equal to men. We are so often judged by traditional values while our other talents or attributes often times are unnoticed. This conversation was really eye opening to various aspects of the female.

  10. I really enjoyed this blog talk, I felt like the women touched upon some very key issues that women of color have to deal with. The host put it simply, “To express ourselves as a full human being”. I think that is at the root of any extroverted or introverted feminist. Honestly, I have to say that until women of color cease their love affair with European culture their struggle will continue. The European male mind does not see his women as equal, let alone a woman of color. They believe women came from man therefore women will always be secondary. Women of color need to go back to their original culture where the women held value and represented the true nature of this planet.

    • Malcolm, I have to say I disagree with you here. Would you actually have us believe that sexism did not/does not exist in “original culture”? And which ones? Africans are not monolith–and neither can be said about Asian cultures. I’m glad you responded with honesty, however, and I appreciate your contribution–this will help me work on building our class discussions to haggle out these issues. This one will be one of the first ones next week when we discuss Foucault’s History of Sexuality Vol. 1.

  11. I commend all the guest speakers and the host Dr. Turpine on a job well done explaining feminism. Whenever “the great winds of change blew” there was change and it spread around the world. It was started by a voice;people who have seen unjust practices, racism and sexism then decided to scream literally for it to end. Take for example Martin Luther King in the “civil rights movement” and died fighting, Nelson Mandela who fought “apartheid” and spent 28 years in jail, the list goes on and on.

    You ladies are doing just that…….causing a dent in the way women are perceived in today’s world. I was impressed that many women of all races, ages and professions joined the conversation on feminism. Ms. Scottie creator of “afro erotica”, explains feminism really well. She mentioned that “a woman can be sexual, a sexual viable partner and not be a slut or being quilty because of the number of men that she has had, not selling herself for money but being an empowered woman who refuses to conform to what men want or desire”.

    Women have to be accountable for their actions and the way that they portray themselves in public. Anything a woman does that is sexual today in the media is referred to as feminist. Beyoncé and Miley Cyrus stars who brand themselves in a sexual way are said to be feminist. To be honest I am put off when I see too many of these artists in near naked music videos and I feel like it targets the male audience. It makes me question the motives of producers and mangers who brand these stars. To get money from men who in todays economic status have more money than women.It boils down to plain out right greed by our super stars to get more and more money and fame knowing this fact at play.

    I feel that as a woman married to a white man. Yes, as a black women I have had white or black men say “black women are good at sex”. Every time I have been confronted with such “ignorance” I have chosen to educate the person with such lured comments. Woman are viewed in certain ways but we are not the same. As Sue Ann said ” we should not jump into the band wagon and blend inn”. As a student pursuing a degree after 15years, I seek to attain financial independence and also develop a career outside the home. In conclusion, women have many circumstances that bring them down in attaining their feminist right of existence and merely reduced to fighting to survive. We need to have more of these conversations and help us find solutions to break out of our bondages therefore emerging as truly inspirational feminists.

  12. feminism…female liberation, equality, expression, anti-patriarchy?, values, accountability, embrace female sexuality, empowerment, non-conformity,

    • Henry, you need to write a response with complete sentences and detailed commentary in order to receive credit.

  13. I learned from Suey Lee and her perspective on asain women,getting eyelid surgery trying to be more westernized.Also about on television how asain women are sexually orientized.I remember watching full metal jacket and a couple of japenese t.v shows see her point. I believe the same can be said for latina women. If you have ever seen the t.v shows on hispanic catered channels you wouldnt be able to not see it.
    I noticed When talking about women getting into sex work everyone had conflicting views. Some said that they had no other way some thought otherwise. I personally dont know half way myself on that. I believe it just depends on the film.

  14. Listening to the radio show was nice but it left me wondering how to be right in a feminists eyes…how can I be a woman and still be a feminist what if the ways in which Beyonce was being described was a version of feminism to me? I know that not everything is appealing to everyone, but I also thought that feminism is a womens right to have a choice in choose what/how she wants to do.. but then again is was nice to be able to compare different viewpoints. I do agree with some things though.

  15. Oh, the irony. Had it been a roundtable or even a casual group conversation with only men talking about issues pertaining to manhood, they would have most likely agreed with each other in the majority of aspects. Conversely, women tend to express different opinions even when it comes to womanhood – and that is my biggest problem with women in general; feminist or not.
    “Womanism”, used by one of the guests, describes quite well my opinion on the subject. When I think of feminism/women’s right, I do not think of ethnicity at all because even though it seems as if white women from higher social classes have it better/easier, I strongly believe that they still have it just as bad as any other women – only in different aspects. For example, a white rich girl/woman who happens to be overweight is subjected to harsh judgment. Christina Aguilera was heavily criticized for and looked down on gaining weight; Kelly Osbourne (who used to be obese) was one of the women who bashed Aguilera. Not to mention Adele, who will always be fat before being the successful and wonderful singer that she is. My point being is that these white women deal with the same prejudice that Mindy Kaling or Gabourey Sidibe.
    “Womanism” and feminism would be finally understood if we, as women from a western culture, stop thinking that we are free to do “whatever we want”. We have this false sense that a lot of things changed, but somehow the patriarchal ideology still has control over us. Like many women from other cultures, our worth is based on our family/husband; perhaps, the concepts of arranged marriage or dowry are not part of the western culture, but women who are single, divorced or choose to raise a family without a man seem not to have any value for society. When it comes to rape, it happens regardless of race, ethnicity or social class. In all cultures women are controlled by their body, either sexually or reproductively and also underestimated – that is the standard.
    The subjects that stood out for me concern clothing, sensuality, Miley Cyrus vs Beyoncé, and also porn/prostitution industry. I dare say that when it comes to clothing and accessories (fashion) it clearly divides women – even the ones who consider themselves feminist. It seems so, because it is perfectly okay to wear make-up, high heels, buy expensive outfits or purses etc… as long as those who are not into fashion remain unjudged. After all, the fashion industry itself was invented and is controlled by men. So, for me, it is kind of weird that a lot of so-called feminists cannot live without their shoe/purse collection or cannot go to an Award party without wearing an expensive dress designed by a man. It is just an opposing idea to me. Moreover, fashion and etiquette even goes against women in the work realm. Men can wear the same old suit every single day whereas women have to have different outfits. Imagine going to work wearing a skirt and high heels in extreme low temperatures. In a sense, fashion makes it hard for women.
    Clothing is also linked to sexuality/sensuality. Many women expose their bodies to express their sexuality. Is it normal? Absolutely. However, one must not forget the fact that in our generation exposing the body has become a dogma, that is, to get attention and be recognized (unfortunately) women have to show their bits. On the other hand, sensuality is relative. A lot of men like women showing their cleavage or wearing shorts, but a lot of men may not find it attractive. I have many male handsome friends who are turned on by intelligent women. Still, exposing oneself is a choice, but wearing make-up, high heels etc… should not be viewed solely as personal choice. After all, men are not allowed to go into establishments without a shirt or wearing shorts – they must be fully dressed. Women on the other hand…
    This brings me to the “feminists” Miley & Beyoncé. I think they both consider themselves feminists for the wrong reasons. Miley because she is expressing it through her work rather than herself; Beyoncé because (I could be wrong on that one) she thinks she is changing the present situation of women with her work as well. Unlike what they might think, their message is that women still succeed entirely with their body. The only difference regarding both artists is that one is being bashed for exploring her sexuality publicly, but is not married. The other is being applauded for exposing her sensuality and sexuality on TV with her HUSBAND by her side. So, which of the two feminists is sending the wrong message? Does Miley have no value as an artist or as a woman because she is exposing herself on her own, without the support of a husband? Well, she is family oriented – she only does not have a boyfriend or husband. Not to mention that those who hate her tongue act are the ones who have bowed to KISS’s singer Gene Simmons and his tongue act since the 70’s.
    Now, when it comes to the porn/prostitution industry it infuriates me how women are extremely depreciated and humiliated – especially by other women. It is important to keep in mind that when it comes to prostitution, the majority are forced into it; either by social and/or family circumstances or human trafficking. Some of them certainly chose this life thus they should be respected just as the next woman. Some choose to be a mother, others choose to be a wife so why in the hell should prostitutes constantly be under fire? If it was a choice, it should be respected period. Men who provide sexual services do not have their motives questioned. The same goes to the porn industry. You do not have to like it. If those women choose to do that it is none of anybody’s business, and they clearly should not be underestimated or denigrated. What they do is not worse than what men who create atomic bombs or biological weapons do. In conclusion, if it comes to choice, these women should be respected as any other. That is exactly where the ideas of “womanism” and humanism lie.

    Camila Fraiz
    ENG 468 – Tue/Thu 7pm

  16. Social Media has away to create interesting topics. The roundtable discussion started out as a Twitter question and now it formed into a discussion for women and to hear their thoughts were a learning experience to know how feminism play a part in their life along with how viewed by society if you are women feminist.
    The roundtable discussion this evening discussing feminism as it pertain to women of all races was a very interesting topic. In the discussion I was able to learn what does Feminism and solidarity mean? My senior year of high school I was reintroduced to the term feminism and how it plays apart in society. At first I was not interested about feminism because as a guy my attitude consisted of men having the dominant control and women who try to challenge men are proving to be the exception from allowing men to have power over them. Although, men have more power, women feel they should be equal to men. For Example, when women suffrage was created, it gave women the opportunity to vote. It allowed women to have the opportunity like white men at that time who were rich and had to power to vote. Although, women were able to vote it was limited to them because all women were not white and working at that time. In other words, although women want to be equal to men that will never happen because women are looked at differently than men. Men have control and can deal with situations, women are softer and not able to be as strong like men.
    One thing I learned about feminism from this discussion is, feminism can start at an early age starting from 14. It is amazing that at 14 as a young teen you are able to discover your skills and values. Ms. Turpin knew was able to discover feminism at 14 but with that clarity came a lot of complications. For example, as an adult she is very accomplished but every women dream is to have a family. And, although she has success and reached her educational goals she still at times rethink about things like not being married. In my opinion, being accomplish and knowing what you stand for is great but if you began to rethink issues regarding your life than maybe being assertive is not the right rode to be a part of. Lastly, I agree that feminism is about life experiences and women should be treated as humans and not feel they are in a box. Although, that is true, some women feel okay being in a box because they have the mind set as long as a man is taking care of me and I am benefiting it is okay to follow his rules. On the other hand, you have some women who do not agree with that.
    What interested me in this discussion is the break down explaining how Beyoncé is a brand and not a feminist. Beyoncé lives in the public eye and known as a music sensation too many people, also looked at as a sex symbol. Beyoncé is looked at by men and women for her unique clothing styles, hair styles, and her appearance. For Example, Beyoncé gives great performances so I heard but right after she is praised for her performance my friends go right in to discuss her clothing how you were able to see her body from her bottom to her breast. Again, she is a brand and a sex symbol but if she is only being viewed for her body and not her worth is she really an example for women, including being a mom to her daughter Blu Ivy. On the other hand, the people who write her music are appealing to her audience because of the brand she has become.
    I disagree that women of color have to join the porn industry because times are hard. It is a choice they subjected themselves to. Although, the money is great, I learned that black women are paid less than white women and they both do the exact same scene. We can argue that women want to be equal to men but in the porn industry women aren’t equal to each other. Also, women are being dehumanize when sleeping with all different men for sex. It seems to me that as a society we are condoning this. Honestly, women want to be respected but when they disrespect themselves how do they expect to be respected by others.

  17. After listening to this roundtable titled “Women of Color in Solidarity” by self-proclaimed feminists, I felt like one word kept echoing throughout the two hour discussion. All of the females kept bringing up the word respect. Almost everybody had a different meaning for what it meant to be respected, but it was sought by all. Equal pay for both women and men defined respect for one female. Being accepted by men “just for whom you are” was another definition. Another female panelist stated that she didn’t want to be judge at all, not by her physical assets, cooking, or by men in general. A self-labeled feminist stated that she should not be judged by men for being a feminist. I honest believe this is a problem because women who usually claim themselves as feminist goes above and beyond to prove their point. However as long as the world continues to live as a patriarchal society, women will still be consider unequal. I’m not justifying that this is a right way to think or rules to live by, but feminist women can’t expect the world to change overnight. Something that was mention in the roundtable was that there were a lot of women who lived life as a feminist. However, it was also stated that these women don’t embrace the feminist term. It is kind of understandable, because according to society norms either you conform or you’re an outsider. However, one of the biggest hypocrisy to be associated with feminism is women dressing sexy and provocative. This might get under the skin of a lot of women, but I believe dressing provocative put women more at risk of receiving unwanted attention. By no means should women accept this unwanted attention as the norm; however the psyches of people cannot be guaranteed. Solidarity was also another term that kept being mentioned throughout the discussion. Finally admitted by one of the feminist, more women must come together and support each other. If there is miscommunication amongst feminist, about what it means to be a feminist, then of course what it means to be a feminist would be misrepresented. That’s why I believe it’s paramount to the feminist movement to continue to mentor young women.

    Frontier Capstone 1/2

  18. Liya Okoro
    The discussion was very interesting. Important points mentioned by all participants about what Feminist and solidarity means. Prior to this discussion I did not have much knowledge about these issues. I learned a lot from the discussion; however, I did not hear clear explanation, especially about feminism. Moreover, I disagree with the idea that was mentioned by one of the participant about “provocative wear and exposing self does not empower women or does not make women to be a feminist.” If it is a woman choice to dress or act in a certain way for any of her reasons, that has nothing to do with not being a Feminist, as long as she is not forced because she is a woman.
    Liya Okoro
    IGED 391/392

  19. Feminism is a sociopolitical matter. I see a conflict between the meshing of individualized and collective matters. Many of the matters discussed were individualized, but I noticed that there’s a mutual consensus of a demand for equal human rights. Some of the most important points made were about embracing one’s own sexuality and taking accountability for their actions and identity.

  20. After listening to the radio show, I was left with an appreciation and dislike for Scottie Lowe. I can appreciate her boldness in expressing her thoughts, ideas and opinions in such a manner that offends and sometimes angers her audience. However, I do not understand nor agree with how a woman of her position that has a websites that promotes love for both sexes, yet she opposes interracial relationships. Love is colorblind and does not discriminate. Love is free spirited and goes wherever the wind takes it. Love has no boundaries.
    Nonetheless, the show was entertaining, elevating and informative. Even when there were moments of pause, it allowed me to reflect on what had been said and prepare for what was forthcoming.

  21. Overall this discussion really raised a lot of beaming issues that women face today and questions that many young girls might have. The subtopic that resonated with me was what does feminism mean to us? Personally I never really thought specifically what being a feminist meant to me, I just considered myself a feminist based on the traits my mother bestowed on me as a child and as I grew older and understood what I feminist meant I never considered myself nothing else. As an international student from Kingston, Jamaica and studying here in the states have resulted in me question myself several times because of the expectation or label associated with being a feminist; especially here in the US. Cherie-Ann Turpin touched on some of these labels in the discussion when she spoke about feminists having a certain look, and I can definitely relate. Because like Dr. Turpin I wear hair weaves occasionally and I don’t dress a certain way, but does these labels make you less of a feminist because of what is received by society. I believe however, this is a result of the media because of the stereotypical representation that is portrayed for feminists; natural hair with an afro, beads etc. But I agree with the speaker that stated feminism is equal access to whatever is out there no limitation of gender but women should be judged on their intellects and what we bring to the table.

    IGED 391/392-02

  22. It is basically a belief that we are all equal in front of God. However, there have been so many revolutionary changes in the civilization and we have yet to find the basic answers to the simplest questions despite all our belief. Man and woman, the two constituent of civilization have evolved in a way that man has taken control over the present world and women have fallen behind. It isn’t a very pleasant condition where one gender is given priority over the other. This discussion over Solidarity and Feminism gives a place where one can give an opinion, however, the opinion is based on how we feel and could be biased since we might have experienced where being a woman have had a disadvantage.
    I am a woman myself and I do not agree that women are considered to be the secondary sex because of men or any party. The reason for need of trends such as solidarity or feminism is because of inability of women to be united and help each other out. Solidarity generally is the union of any particular group to make a stand and fight for their belief. Feminism is just putting women together and giving them equal rights as men on social, political, religious and any other aspects there is. The key piece we have to realize it that when solidarity and feminism come together, it is such a bad combination because the worst enemy women could have is women herself. I have experienced it so many times that my appearance or what I wear had no problem on men however it was a hail marry test for women. I have never seen bunch of men fighting for their rights or saying they should be treated equally or given benefits that women get. It is always us women who find that our rights are not equal to men’s or we have to be treated as equally as men. In the conversation, we heard many big names and singers who reflected feminism or stood against it by either exposing themselves or by twerking. If a woman is making a living by singing and performing in stage, I don’t see anything wrong with it as long as it doesn’t have anything to do with me. Women who are prostitutes or sex slaves have their choice too. We should not misuse the word empowerment by assuming that women adopt prostitution just because they do not have choice. Being a prostitute isn’t a terrible thing. I have seen many women being prostitutes who do not want work hard and want to make money very easily. This is an era where a woman is more concerned about buying a fancy phone than buy a book for her or get a diaper for her child. This is a very materialistic world and who are in the driving seat when it comes to such luxuries, women apparently. I have really got along with men more than women without having them taking my advantage. I do not necessarily agree with the viewpoint that women need empowerment because men have taken benefit of women. The way I have understood is, men don’t care about anything. Otherwise, why would it be women who have fallen behind men despite having more population than men? It is always us women who talk about being united and we pull each other’s leg. For me, all these solidarity and feminism theory does not necessarily mean anything unless we grab the opportunities and stop bragging about it.

    Rojina Parajuli
    IGED 391/392

  23. The discussion was very interesting topic and I really enjoy the blog talk. During the discussion someone mentioned “TWERKING”. She said “Twerking by a black female is viewed as the expression of heightened sexuality whereas twerking by a white female is viewed as an amusement and something cute and funny”. She pointed out Miley Cyrus’s twerking as an example. It’s true that for the most part, black women are judged more harshly for outward displays of sexuality, which reinforce racist stereotypes about black people being innately animalistic, uncivilized, unintelligent, and deserving of their lower social status. White women can often imitate tropes of black sexuality and “shake off” the essentializing that comes with them, presenting their sexualized performances as “just for fun”.
    According to Scott, in the discussion she mentions that Beyonce wears provocative wardrobe and exposes her “butt” in her performance which is need of a men’s lust and that’s not what a feminist does. I agree with that but I don’t blame Beyonce, as an individual, for doing this because I know that she’s on business that needs to sell products. Empowerment is a very, very trendy product right now. Perhaps that’s why so many pop stars are throwing the word “feminist” around. Feminism shouldn’t be a trend, because trends die very quickly. It’s a system of critique. We can’t lose sight of that. When people like Selena Gomez, Miley Cyrus, and Beyoncé start talking about feminism, we should all be afraid. In an ideal world, it would be great if they were actually interested in feminism, but in reality, they’re business women. Why would they need feminism if they already made it to the top with patriarchy? They would go for any trend, and feminism, unfortunately, is a trend now. It’s about being sexy and available. It’s about twerking in front of a camera. It’s about feeling individually empowered, which is not what feminism was primarily designed to do. Feminism is not supposed to cater to the most elite, privileged women.
    Jenny Sailo
    IGED 391/392 Wednesday

  24. This discussion touched on some familiar yet complex points for me. The examples each panelist gave about their experience with, and definition of feminism gives credence the notion that as women, we cannot advance an agenda or develop schemas to address issues that affect women globally without engaging in discussions that are both equitable and inclusive. I was pleased to hear commentary on the conditions that occlude women’s ability to embrace their own feminism, because those problems can occur–despite popular opinion–regardless of class. Poverty may be a common precursor for women in impoverished countries to engage in prostitution as a way of earning more money rather than working in food service or a sweatshop, while in another part of the world a woman is starving herself and augmenting her breasts to adhere to her culture’s standard of beauty because thin, attractive women tend to earn considerably more during their lives where she comes from. The umbrella both issues fall under, however, are the same; both choices are affected by the cultural hegemony of the patriarchal societies in which they live. That means both are likely to contend with the commodification of their bodies at opposite ends of the class spectrum. When we as women continue to make these connections and examine these simlarities we step over the boundaries race, class, and sexuality and move toward solidarity.

  25. It is a very interesting blog. I enjoyed all the conversations.At the same time it is new information for me about feminism. during the discussion scottie mentioned that feminism defined as being respect, freedom, equal opportunity. It is true that specially in developing counters, were I grow up working women were routinely paid lower salaries than men and denied opportunities to advance, as employers.They remains at home full load of housekeeping and child care. I do believe in equal employment opportunity and treating someone the same. I disagree on the conversation about Beyonce, her wearing styles,I think she just making money and get attention and being famous, she is not about feminism.
    kefllyesusse eiyirusalem
    IGED 391/392

  26. I don’t really have anything deep to add to the conversation that already hasn’t been said. I think this round table discussion illustrates perfectly the problem with “solidarity” within the feminist movement. There is no agreed upon definition of what feminism is, what it should look like, talk like, behave like. Feminism, to me, seems to be a spectrum.

    One thing I can agree with is there has to be some accountability as a feminist. Feminism is built on the premises of respect and equality, therefore one must be accountable for actions that may be viewed as counter-productive to the cause. Too often I find women will cry “I’m a feminist!” so as to not face the responsibilities or criticisms for their actions. That is not to say that we should belittle or slut-shame these individuals either. I believe we should use those uncomfortable moments as an opportunity to educate these persons from a place of love, and also to understand their motivations. Sometimes certain thought processes or actions are due to a lack of choice. The discussion about sex workers and slavery in sex work highlighted this.

    Overall I thought the discussion was very informative, if a little charged at times, but I feel that feminism is something that should constantly be discussed and worked at until the goal of solidarity is reached.

    A.B. 391/392-468

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s