Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Educating fledgling feminists

When I was first discovering what "feminism" really meant and trying to learn as much as I could, I struggled to understand.  It wasn't because of an inability to grasp the basic concepts, it was because the learning curve is very steep and many feminist bloggers have done all of the educating for one lifetime that they plan on doing. I don't blame them -- it's hard work to educate people about Feminist 101 concepts, especially when there are many sites that exist solely to do just that.

However, at times I felt like it slowed my learning down -- or that my knowledge was dependent upon finding the right sources when I researched concepts.  I didn't know about ableist language (and calling something "lame" or "crazy" was a part of my daily repertoire) and I didn't know about many things that could be considered classist, cissexist or heteronormative.  I knew that I reeked of privilege but didn't know how to own that privilege.  

One thing that I loved is how Melissa at Shakesville has been keeping a Feminist 101 guide in which she links to previous posts so that other people can find them.  That way, if I want to know what rape culture is I can find her corresponding explanation.  I'd like to say that I want to do this too, but I'm not sure I'm the right one to put that information out there.  I'm still learning.  But I do think there is value in my trying to explain feminist concepts -- because I think the nature of my fledgdom could result in lower level basic information that might be easier for newbies to grasp.  However, I might get things wrong.  I'm going to try to do it though. 

I know there are more people like that, people that could be fierce allies to the feminist movement and culture who don't even realize what feminism is all about.  How do we find those people?  How do I find more fledglings?

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