Sunday, March 25, 2007

BrownFemiPower's Radical Women of Color Theorists Series

BrownFemiPower has created a series of posts about Radical Women Of Color Theorists.

I’m starting a series that I will call Women of Color Theorists. Creative name, I know–but I think the addendum should officially be: “Because Audre Lorde Was the Beginning and bell hooks is Over Quoted”.

So far, she has featured a bunch of amazing women that I admire to no end. Because she's my friend and she's the most awesomely awesome writer on the face of the blogosphere, I'm taking it upon myself to promote this series she has created. Well, that's not the only reason. It's a magnificent collection of posts and the women she's featured are all worth becoming familiar with.

Audre Lorde-I had no clue who this woman was before I joined the blogosphere. Her book, The Cancer Journals, is one that I would recommend to every woman of color who is dealing with cancer in some way. I could never do it justice by trying to describe it here

Andrea Smith-It's frustrating to see how the mainstream view of Native American culture is freeze-framed as if, in order to be a "real" Native, you have to walk around wearing moccasins and beaded earrings. Smith is a Cherokee woman whose writings address the concerns of today's women and criticizes the notion that we should seek to emulate mainstream culture or look to mainstream "progressives" to solve the problems in people of color communities.

Deborah A. Miranda-While acknowledging that we all have many of the same goals, Miranda points out how Native American interests tend to get ignored even within communities of people of color. As a mixedblood woman, she brings a unique perspective that allows her to get to the heart of these problems.

Emi Koyama-As the director of the Intersex Initiative, Emi gave an address called "From 'Intersex" to "DSD': Toward a Queer Disability Politics of Gender" that I think should be read by everyone who identifies as a person with disabilities. In it, she discusses the history of the term "intersex" and how it never did accurately describe those who do not fit neatly into the little male or female dichotomy that so many people believe in. She shows solidarity with people with disabilities, recognizing that we both face the same medical system that often sees nothing wrong with dehumanizing both groups and we both live in a society that "disables" us more than our bodies do.

5 comments:

AradhanaD said...

Definitely an awesome series - that I've gotta bookmark! :)

Anonymous said...

Hi
I see you have included Emi Koyoma as a spokesperson for people with Disabilities, In particular those identified as "intersexed".

Emi Does not speak for many of us who have diferences that fall under the "intersexed" umberalla. Emi Herself though Gender disporic does not identify as intersexed nor does she claim a "DSD" .

Many of us , myself included, reject outright that diferences such as AIS, CAH, Aspergers etc etc , are in anyway disordered.

We claim , Like many Autistic individuals, That Intersex is simply a diferent way of being Human. We feel opresed by a group of medico's forcing labels on us without our participation in the process.
DSD is not a universaly accepted term with many european and non english speaking nations rejecting it.

I see it as a term more stigmatising than either hermaphrodite of intersexed.
Emi as far as I am aware is funded and asociated with the discretied northwestern university clique headed by the author of the natorius book "the man who would be queeen"
Michael J bailey.


Gina

Bint Alshamsa said...

Hello Gina,

Welcome to My Private Casbah. I hope you'll comment here again. I would really like to continue this conversation with you.

Perhaps you could assist me in altering my post a bit if it seems that I was saying that Emi is a spokesperson for people with disabilities or those who identify as "intersexed". That was not my intention at all, so anything you can do to help me phrase this in a way that would show that would be greatly appreciated. At the same time, I do apologize for creating the impression that I consider those who identify as "intersexed" to be disabled or disordered.

Now that I've just read your comment, I am going to write a post to try to correct what I said earlier just in case anyone else read what I wrote and got the same impression as you did.

Again, I need to say that I apologize if my words about Emi Koyama were offensive to you and I will gladly change them if I can get some help figuring out how to do so.

Thank you for pointing all of this out to me. Some people would have just read what I wrote and not said anything even though they disagreed.

plain(s)feminist said...

Gina, Bint did not identify Emi as a spokesperson. She identified Emi as an activist. And further, debate over what constitutes or does not constitute a disability - an ongoing debate even among disability activists - does not invalidate Emi's voice. No one - not even Emi - is saying that she's speaking for every "intersexed" person.

Bint Alshamsa said...

Plain(s)feminist,

Thank you for your input. I'm trying to handle this as carefully as possible because it is regarding a community that I think has been misunderstood and maligned more than enough already. Still, I think that you are absolutely right about Emi--her views and how she she's herself is just as valid as the ways other disabled and/or intersexed individuals see themselves and choose to identify themselves as. Clearly, she is not the only person within the "intersex" community who view Emi as being among their ranks.

I wrote to Emi about all of this and received a response. I'm going to blog abot what she said in just a little while.