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» Got Questions? Get Answers. » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sex in Media: Books, Magazines, Films, TV & More » feminist literature by women of colour...

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listlesslise
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Having just exhausted my library's Feminism/Women shelf, I've sorta been jonesing for some feminist work by women of colour. It's not that I didn't learn a lot from what I read - it's just that it was mostly Betty Frieden-esque books on feminism for white, upper-middle class straight women, which is not a group that I really belong to (being black, bisexual - albeit only recently indentifying as so - and quite lower class). Also, I'm fairly open minded about different views on racism and sexuality and feminism, and I have read some really good commentaries on the whole issue of race, written by caucasian women (Inga Muscio is amazing). It's just that I'd kinda like a first hand account of *both* racial and sexual discrimination, you know? So yeah, I'd really appreciate it if any one had any suggestions for books/essays/zines... thanks!

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September
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Sounds like who you're looking for is bell hooks. I've only read excerpts of her work so I can't recommend a specific book, but you can take a look at the local library or maybe another ST poster will be able to give you a title.

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-joey
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Heather
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Only here for a few minutes, as I just got back home from being out of town, but couldn't pass through and not enthusiastically prescribe...

- bell hooks as well (specifically, "Feminism is for Everybody" which is one of my top five feminism books of all time, period, and "Ain't I a Woman," her first book).

- Audre Lorde (I'd start with "Sister Outsider," a great collection of her essays, and a book I tote around often, though her poetry is some of the best poetry ever wrtten, IMO, and this from a once-lit scholar, so I never say that about a poet lightly).

- Alice Walker, and perhaps even better for someone younger, her daughter Rebecca Walker's work (Rebecca heads the 3rd Wave Foundation), namely "To Be Real: Telling the Truth and changing the Face of Feminism."

- Angela Davis, and for a good start with her, I'd suggest "Women, Race and Class."

All of the above are black feminists, but if you also want to peek into some chicana feminism, Ana Castillo's "Massacre of the Dreamers: Essays on Xicanisma" is awesome (she's just awesome, period: her fiction is astounding -- "So Far from God" is a novel that every few years, I find when dusting the bookshelves, and always pick up and reread when I do). If you want to look into lesbian feminism specifically on the sexuality front (Lorde, btw, called herself "Sister Outsider" because of feeling marginalized by other feminists in the 70's both because of race AND her lesbianism), I'd suggest Mary Daly, Sheila Jeffreys or Judith Butler.

Enjoy!

[ 04-01-2007, 09:28 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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listlesslise
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Well, that is a whole lotta books! Thank you very much, I am def. going to check into them [Smile]

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selina
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i remember reading maya angelou's books at one time. does she count? she's not political or anything but she gave me a good feeling about being an outspoken female
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Heather
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We've got an old saying in feminism, which is that "the personal is political." That can be interpreted a lot of ways, but essentially, that means -- particularly for women -- that so much of our personal challenges are based on our political oppression that to suggest they're unrelated would be in error.

I'd not call Angelou apolitical: not at all. She's actually been really poltically active, and to boot, SO much of what she writes is often all about the oppression of women and women of color. Even just what "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" did in terms of visibility for sexual abuse survivors is pretty massive.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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orca
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I always liked ZZ Packer, though as far as I know she only does fiction. Would she count as feminist? Here's a really great interview with her:
http://www.identitytheory.com/interviews/birnbaum103.html

Does anyone know of any good feminist fiction? I'd love to read more.

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Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.--Monty Python and the Holy Grail

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TheTasteOfPurple
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I second Alice Walker--I read The Color Purple not too long ago and it was really amazing. I'd also recommend April Sinclair's Coffee Will Make You Black and Ain't Gonna Be the Same Fool Twice about a girl growing up bisexual in the sixties and seventies, and how little bisexuality was understood and accepted then even in the gay community.

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Julia

The highest result of education is tolerance. -Helen Keller

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TheTasteOfPurple
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I posted twice because my first post didn't show up either right after I first posted it and was taken back to the thread or when I left and checked back a few minutes later. Sorry! Next time I'll wait longer.

[ 08-05-2009, 04:19 PM: Message edited by: TheTasteOfPurple ]

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Julia

The highest result of education is tolerance. -Helen Keller

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Felixosaurus
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A late inclusion to this post, but for those with a bit of a SF bent, have a look at the late great Octavia Butler. I'd especially recommend her Parable series.

Wkipedia says...
"Butler used the hyperbolic reach of speculative fiction to explore modern and ancient social issues. She often represented concepts like race, sexuality, gender, religion, social progress and social class in metaphoric language. However, these issues were not relegated only to metaphor. For instance, class struggle is an overt topic in the Parable of the Sower series."

She even wrote an amazing vampire novel called Fledgling , quite unlike a certain franchise that is popular today. [Smile]

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