Putting me in my place

In previous link lists about feminism, I have always been a bit ashamed of how little my lists intersect with other important -isms like racism and classism.

I’m in a creative field writing and painting about the history of female exclusion from those cultural endeavors.  It matters to me how class and race have similar but distinct effects.  I can only create sincere art about my own experiences, but I appreciate resources like Black Girl Dangerous that remind me that my indignation is accompanied by privilege.

Black Girl Dangerous

“Black Girl Dangerous seeks to, in as many ways possible, amplify the voices, experiences and expressions of queer and trans* people of color.”  (qtd. from BGD)

There are a lot of important things to read on this blog.  It wasn’t easy to read “No More ‘Allies'”, but I definitely need to keep it in mind.

I’ve also been on a bit of a literary jag lately.  All of the following links frame their consciousness raising in the context of literature, but their observations are relevant to other creative fields as well.

Sarah Rees Brennan has written five books for young adults which balance the imperfect characters requisite to a good story and the careful handling of certain triggers that otherwise cause your average literature-loving feminist to throw books.  (For a thorough list of reasons to give Brennan’s writing a try, wander over to the Mark Reads review of Unspoken.  He also did a live reading of Unspoken‘s first three chapters.  You can count on him to frequently break the fourth wall to comment on how what he just read looks when viewed from feminist, queer, or POC points of view.)

[ How is this relevant to the intersections between feminism and racism?  I’m getting to that. ]

Brennan ALSO wrote this about sexism and self-promotion.  In it, she shares some sad but typical experiences about being female in a creative field.  She also linked to many other depressing but important resources on this topic.

Jennifer Lynn Barnes took a less empirical and more global look at the subject.  (She did cite some empirical studies, such as this one about the language myth that women talk more than men.  The quote which hit me hardest was this conclusion:  “Women have not been judged on the grounds of whether they talk more than men, but of whether they talk more than silent women.”  It rings true.)

Then you have VIDA‘s  Count, which compares the inclusion of women and men in prestigious literary publications.  The same approach can be applied to more popular reading material.

Things get even scarier when the pretty pie charts are instead divided to highlight the slice sizes for people of color.  Lee & Low books quotes a fascinating collection of responses to the question “Why hasn’t the Number of Multicultural Books Increased in Eighteen Years?”

Yes, the creative arts have more problems than just sexism.  Let’s work on that, shall we?