Hints of the Coming of the Women’s Marches

By Jo Reger

As someone who studies the contemporary U.S. feminist movement, I should not have been surprised by the global outpouring of protests on January 21, 2017. After all, you could feel the rumblings coming during the Clinton-Trump campaign. The outright misogyny of Donald Trump’s casual evaluation of women, in contrast to the empowered women rhetoric of Hillary Clinton. Emotions were running high, insults were being flung, and once agreeable neighbors began to argue with each other’s choice of yard signs.

Reger-Hints-of-the-Coming-of-Womens-Marches

But stepping back from the heat of those moments, there were seeds planted for the global spread of women’s marches long before Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton threw their hats in the electoral ring.  Drawing on the old adage “hindsight is twenty-twenty,” I offer a few examples that offered hints of the women’s marches to come: Continue reading “Hints of the Coming of the Women’s Marches”

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Intersectionality in Real Life

By Elroi J. Windsor

What is intersectionality, and what does it look like in real life?

Sociologist Zakiya Luna explored these questions as they relate to the national coalition, SisterSong. For this collective of reproductive justice advocates, intersectional praxis was more than putting diverse groups of people in rooms together for meetings and events. Luna’s research described activists working in coalitions where “constructing identities and alliances is an iterative, never-ending process.”The participants in this women of color collective had similar experiences based on belonging to marginalized race and gender groups. Yet they also experienced challenges in their work due to intragroup differences based on ethnicity, ability, and citizenship. For SisterSong, the practice of intersectionality in real life is “ongoing” and “multidimensional.” It’s not always easy, and even woke folks have learning to do.

In the last few weeks, I’ve asked students in my Introduction to Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies class questions about intersectional feminist praxis. We’ve been reading Black Girl Dangerous,by black queer writer Mia McKenzie, and thinking about how intersectional politics play out in everyday life. My students and I currently live in North Carolina, a state that has made national news this past year. Our time and place is ripe for some intersectional analysis and praxis. Continue reading “Intersectionality in Real Life”

The importance of feminist research

By Jo Reger

Thursday morning, I had just come back from my Methods of Feminist Analysis class where I ended class by asking students if they wanted to talk about the election. It had been a pretty somber meeting and we had just finished talking about community action and participatory research. Their question was “What can we do?” It was more than the class context that led me to answer, “We need to keep researching.”

As the editor of Gender & Society, I am so proud of the work that we publish six times a year but I am even more proud of all the work that crosses my desk, much of which we cannot fit into the journal. I see research daily on the major issues of this world – poverty, discrimination, persecution, lack of education, the deficit of basic needs for survival, and more. I also see research on how we fare in social institutions from the systemic issues that plague our country to the micro analyses for how we interact and come to understand one another.

What I see in all of this amazing work is love – yes, love. Love as a verb that draws us to understand the world and make it a better place. Love that brings us together to ask the questions that need to be asked. I see love in the research questions, the data collection and the analysis. I see love in the thoughtful and detailed peer reviews. I see love in the willingness to take on this work to make a better world.

Now more than ever the work we are drawn to do is essential for the world we want to live in. I am humbled that I get to play a role in helping bring that to world.

For my daughter and your children, for my family and your family, for my colleagues and your colleagues, for my community and your communities, let us continue to work and love.