What It Means To Be A Feminist
As we look forward and close out 2020, it’s a good idea to remind ourselves what it means to be a feminist. We’ve just gone through an election that repudiated Donald Trump’s misogyny, racism and ignorance yet left Mitch McConnell presiding over a Senate majority that refuses to take action in the midst of a dangerous global pandemic that disproportionately harms women and communities of color.
What are the values that continue to guide us in times like this? What principles and beliefs inform and strengthen us as we push for an intersectional feminist agenda?
Since our founding over 50 years ago, NOW has fought countless battles in the name of equity and inclusion for women and sought to build a society that welcomed and recognized our humanity. Our foundational issues – Racial Justice, Economic Justice, Ending Violence Against Women, Reproductive Freedom, Constitutional Equality, and LGBTQIA+ Rights- create the ecosystem of true equity and justice that guides and inspires our work.
As intersectional feminists we know that our diversity is our strength. We know that the structural systems of oppression in our society impact different communities in different ways. It is critical to reiterate that we stand with our LGBTQIA+ community, that we will continue to work towards centering their voices and experiences, and that they will always be heard at NOW.
We will not relent from this position.
NOW will also always lift up social justice activism—it’s in our DNA. The same can be said about Dr. Kimberlé Crenshaw, who coined the term “intersectionality” itself and who was profiled recently in the Guardian. The article describes her revelation as she witnessed Anita Hill’s testimony and saw anti-racist activists fighting against feminists supporting Anita Hill. That moment was an awakening for many as we strive today to work together and listen to one another in order to move forward.
In January, NOW will begin our 100 Days of a Feminist Agenda with Black Women’s Blueprint, a listening series dedicated to our six core issues. As a community we will listen and then come together to put our intersectional feminist agenda to the test, working towards true policy reform at the local, state, and federal levels.
We must continue to be there for each other, and for the many communities that comprise our movement. This is the spirit that continues to inspire me, motivate me, and remind me what it means to be a feminist.