Wednesday, March 08, 2017

women's day, women's work

There's been a bit of contentious discussion over the National Womens Day strike on the FB and whether or not the privilege of being able to strike (to take time off work or time off from obligations) is, in fact it's own kind of privilege which most women cannot enjoy.  And perhaps the best thing is not to strike to show your dissatisfaction (and there is so much to be dissatisfied with) but to SHOW Up and kick some ass.  I am taking the latter route, having no real extra vacation days to be able to take and no one else to close the library, but the rest of my day has been devoted to press work--laying out chaps, assembling chaps, and designing covers for upcoming books--all of which is good feminist centered work. I am not one for hashtag activism in general, or a joiner of much of anything, even causes I support,  so I just try to concentrate on what I can do as a feminist everyday to make things better on a micro level and hope it filters out into the macro, or that the sort of work I do with women's voices makes some difference in the literary world, which of course, is only a tiny corner of the world at large.  And not just the press, but my own writing and art (it's themes and subjects and obsessions) and even  the art-related programming, displays, and exhibits in the library, which are always female heavy and intersectional.

Tonight, working on some covers (for amazeballs upcoming books by Leila Ortiz and Andrea Spofford) I was musing on some of the arguments I've had over the years with male authors over running a press that publishes only women--the butthurtness, the snideness, the claims of the "quality" work by men we'd be ignoring.  Really, they are arguments I got tied of having a decade ago, and kind of refuse to even respond to now in the interest of not fighting with people on the internets (itself SO 10 years ago.)  My aim when I started the press was actually less of a politically driven one and more so one of personal interest.  My education, heavy in women's writing and feminism theory paved the way toward wanting to examine women's work and voices, in much an anthropological way.  Later, the more I became increasingly aware of certain inequalities and bullshit, the more the mission of the press took on a more activist bent.  What started as a focus and interest of my own became a cause of sorts--a call to arms.   A call that seems more important than ever now, when there seems to be a war on women, or maybe there was always a war, but the world we thought we lived in before that was getting better was, in fact very much not. I cannot forget the Stanford rape case verdict, or DT's pussy-grabbing, or a thousand other things that shake me as a woman and as a feminist. That while we hoped that we'd be alive to see a female president, we should have known better--that there is perhaps nothing more threatening to stupid (or maybe even intelligent)  men than a smart powerful woman.

We know this, and yet we wish we could forget...

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