We’ve invited bloggers from all corners of the web to contribute to the Feminist Portrait Project’s “click” moment blog-a-thon all week. Taking part on your own site? Leave a comment below with the URL and link back to our blog carnival page here. Here’s organizer Lena Chen to tell us more:
In 1971, Ms. Magazine wrote of “the click! of recognition, that parenthesis of truth around a little thing that completes the puzzle of reality in women’s minds—the moment that brings a gleam to our eyes and means the revolution has begun.” Forty years later, for better or worse, those clicks are still going off. Only today, the trigger is sometimes feminism itself.
Despite organizing Feminist Coming Out Day and the Feminist Portrait Project, an awareness campaign started at Harvard University and now at 15 colleges nationwide, I question whether consciousness raising alone is enough to end gendered oppression. Any attempt to turn the personal into the political seems to invariably amplify the voices of the privileged, while muffling those without the influence of capital or whiteness or what have you. While white suburban housewives plotted escapes from the domestic sphere during women’s lib, their poor and uneducated counterparts had little choice but to work for economic survival. Today, we point to female CEOs and politicians as signs of progress and indicators of feminism’s success, all the while discounting the women whom they exploit as workers and oppress as constituents. Any vocal women’s rights supporter can relate to the frustration of confronting a hip, young progressive who insists, “I’m not a feminist, but …” yet what about those who refuse to label their politics “feminist” because the movement has failed to represent them?
The Feminist Portrait Project seeks to explore and reinvent the definition of the iconic “click” moment by introducing the concept of the “anti-click,” the realization of the limitations and shortcomings of the movement in its often exclusionary manifestation in the West. While many of our participating bloggers in this week’s blog-a-thon will be tackling the Ms. definition of a “click” moment, we challenge them to also critique the institutionalized forms of feminist activism and the nonprofit industrial complex, which sometimes silence and even harm marginalized people and their purported constituency. Our goal is to offer a fuller picture of contemporary feminism and acknowledge both its triumphs and failures to start a dialogue about where to go from here.
If, in fact, “one little click turns on a thousand others”, as the inaugural issue of Ms. suggested, then what possibilities might abound if we turn inward to examine our own privilege, to question how our political priorities reflect our backgrounds, to force ourselves to confront the possibility that much of what feminism has accomplished has been on the backs of or at the expense of women it claims to help? A movement incapable of self-criticism and reflection is unlikely to survive with its values intact. In an age when the relevancy of feminism has become more contested than ever, let us resist the temptation to be defensive and instead take the opportunity to listen to those critics who we should be counting among our allies. Today, this is our click. This is our moment of truth.
Co-Founder, Feminist Portrait Project/Feminist Coming Out Day
Make sure to add a link to your post in the comments section if you participate by writing about your “click” moments this week! Keep checking back for more!
Carnival posts from around the web:
“Click! My Catholic School Report Card” by Donna Decker via the Ms. blog. (Donna Decker is Associate Professor of English at Franklin Pierce University in Rindge, NH. She is also Director of the university’s Women in Leadership Certificate Program.)
“Call Me the Reluctant Feminist” by Annamarya via The Daily Femme. (The Daily Femme features news about women and interviews of professional women at different stages of their career paths and from a variety of backgrounds and experiences in order to provide perspectives that are often missing in mainstream media.)
“Click! A College Grad Strips on Bourbon Street” by Susan Rubin via the Ms. blog. (Susan Rubin has been an actor, dancer, and a playwright, and has been writing video documentaries for the Feminist Majority for the past ten years.)
“We’re Feminists and We’re Coming… Out” a video by Betty Dodson and Carlin Ross via Dodson and Ross. (Two inter-generational feminists providing sex information online.)
“Clicks on a Keyboard: Dungeons, Dragons, and Trans-Feminism” by Quinnae via The Border House. (The Border House is a blog for gamers. It’s a blog for those who are feminist, queer, disabled, people of color, transgender, poor, gay, lesbian, and others who belong to marginalized groups, as well as allies. Their goal is to bring thoughtful analysis to gaming with a feminist viewpoint.)
“Feminist Click Moments” by Julie Z via The FBomb.org. (The FBomb.org is a blog/community created for teenage girls who care about their rights as women and want to be heard.)
“Click! Not a Knight in Shining Armor” by Robert Jensen via the Ms. blog. (Robert Jensen is a journalism professor at the University of Texas at Austin and board member of the Third Coast Activist Resource Center in Austin, one of the partners in the community center 5604 Manor.)
“Click! Teaching Feminism to Boys” by Erin Bilir via the Ms. blog. (Erin Bilir is a journalist and high school student with a passion for women’s issues.)
“Grassroots organizing for feminism, S&M, HIV, and everything else” by Clarisse Thorn via ClarisseThorn.com. (Clarisse Thorn is a Chicago-based, sex-positive, pro-BDSM feminist activist.)
“The Journey of an Envious Girl” by Melissa McEwan via Shakesville. (Melissa McEwan is the founder and managing editor of Shakesville, a progressive feminist blog populated by a community of teaspoon-wielding badasses who expect more.)
“Click! Feminist Chutzpah on the Job” by Carol King via the Ms. blog. (Not the singer/songwriter Carole King. Been a feminist for as long as she can remember and committed to reproductive rights even longer.)
“Is This Only Entertainment?: My Click Moment and Why I Write About Games” by Alex via Border House. (The Border House is a blog for gamers. It’s a blog for those who are feminist, queer, disabled, people of color, transgender, poor, gay, lesbian, and others who belong to marginalized groups, as well as allies. Their goal is to bring thoughtful analysis to gaming with a feminist viewpoint.)
“Click, Anti-Click, Click: Moments That Shaped my Feminism” by Jarrah via Gender Focus. (From Vancouver, BC, Jarrah’s blogging takes an anti-racist, feminist look at pop culture, current events, and politics. She currently runs the blog Gender Focus.)
“Click! My Church Is Against Battered Women’s Shelters?!” by Georgia Platts via the Ms. blog. (Georgia Platts holds a Ph.D. in sociology from UCLA and currently teaches sociology and women’s studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, California.)
“I’M IN UR MOVEMENT” by Wednesday, Unfeminist First” by Thursday, via Weekday Blues. (We are Wednesday and Thursday. We smash things. Particularly of the kyriarchal sort.)
“Click! Boys Don’t Like to Lose” by Michele Kort via the Ms. blog. (Michele Kort is senior editor of Ms. magazine. She is the author of three books, including Soul Picnic: The Music and Passion of Laura Nyro.)
“Click! Shelter, Posters, Lifting, Runaway.” by Holly via The Pervocracy. (The Pervocracy is a highly personal sex and kink blog with an increasing feminist bent and a minor vendetta against Cosmopolitan magazine.)
“I’m (Not) Sorry.” by Almie Rose via Apocalypstick. (Apocalypstick: No Matter How Relaxed I Am, I Still Feel Awkward.)
“Lessons in feminist activism, from someone who has been on both sides.” by Rachel Hills via Musings of an Inappropriate Woman.
“My Feminist (R)evolutions” by Rachel Levy of Hoax. (Rachel Levy is a blogger, zinester, organizer and ally with roots in New York City and Baltimore, Maryland. She co-edits Hoax, a collaborative zine attempting to bring feminism into everyday life & find connections between us despite our differences.)
“Why Feminism Works for Me” by Charlsie Niemiec via College Candy.
“Feminist Coming Out Day” by Miss Maggie Mayhem via Maggie Mayhem Speaks.
“Click! A Feminist All Along” by Francesa Tarant via the Ms. blog.
(Francesca Tarant works for the Feminist Majority Foundation in Washington, D.C.)
“Click! My Grandmother’s Resistance” by Srimati Basu via the Ms. blog. (Srimati Basu lives in Lexington, KY, and is the brand-new Gender & Women’s Studies Department at the University of Kentucky.)
“Click! Cape Town, South Africa, 1980” by Penny Andrews via the Ms. blog. (Penny Andrews is a Ms. blogger.)
“Click! Hmmm, Aha! and Oh no!” by Anna Diamond via the Ms. blog. (Anna Diamond is a high school senior in Southern California who can’t believe that sexism still exists.)
“It’s Not You, it’s Patriarchy” by Melanie Klein via the Ms. blog. (Melanie Klein is an Associate Faculty member at Santa Monica College, where she teaches classes in Sociology and Women’s Studies.)
“Click! Super Sloppy 17ths” by Genevieve Dempre via the Ms. blog. (Genevieve Dempre never quite recovered from her teen years, so she spends most of her time writing about how sexism affects early dating experiences and peer relationships. You can find her over at Fark.com, sometimes working, but usually arguing about sexism in pop culture.)
17 Comments Have Been Posted
The Anti-Click moment
JeninCanada replied on
After a few years now getting used to feminist theory I'm finding more and more often I'm running into articles or blog posts by people who are angry with feminism and feminists, people from oppressed, marginalized places that aren't usually represented. As one of the most privileged kinds of feminists, that'd be the cis-white-able bodied kinds, it's startling to come up against this and not get defensive. I'll definitely be blogging this week.
Don't be a dick
JeninCanada replied on
Aaand finally got my anti-click moment up. http://fatandnotafraid.jigsy.com/entries/general/don-t-be-a-dick
andrea levasseur replied on
Here is my brief click moment:
Liz replied on
I think this is a really cool idea. My click moment was more then just one moment, I write about it here in My Personal History with Feminism. http://informalfeminism.wordpress.com/2011/03/20/my-personal-history-wit...
Clicks and Anti-Clicks
Jarrah E Hodge replied on
Here's my contribution, looking at my biggest click and anti-click moments:
Thanks for organizing this, Lena!
What does Feminism Mean to You?
Hayley Rose replied on
Check out my take on feminism
Jenn Themelis replied on
Another lady inspired my click moment, this is why its important to speak up!!
Finding my own space to talk!
Teires Mekhael replied on
I would have to say that my "click" moment was when I completed a social justice project in my final year of high school. By researching the different ways in which women's rights were progressing in different countries made me think about my own limitations as a young woman living in North America. As I read different academic literature in Women's Studies, I began to see that my oppression lies even deeper than what I thought I saw on the surface. I was racially and ethnically oppressed because my own views were not being acknowledged in the literature I read, and the ways that I could talk about my own oppression were limited. At that moment, I fully realized that my feminism could grow and change in a way that could not only be empowering to me, but to other women who may share similar experiences as me. So how did I go about this? With the help of my friends, I created a blog that could hopefully work through the issues that I found to be so important to me. By creating this online space, I finally realized that there is the full potential to create a new space that seeks to understand the different conceptual forms of my own feminism, and the feminism of others.
KimilataDaniels replied on
Thanks for the inspiration to look back at both the click and anti-click. Feminism seems to be at a key evolutionary point these days, and it's important to look at both sides. I wrote about my experiences here: http://www.yoladies.com/franklyspeaking/2011/03/click-and-anti-click-my-...
Feminist Coming Out Day
InfamousQBert replied on
I wrote this for Feminist Coming Out Day, but I think it fits the "Click!" concept as well.
Anti Click Clicks
Mamafesto replied on
This topic came perfectly on the heels of a post I wrote up about labels. The term "feminist" draws so many reactions, both good and bad, and I find so many of those "anti-click" moments stem from that label. The infamous "f-word." Had to write about it.
Thanks so much for the opportunity to share it with others!
FCOD Panelists told their Click moments on FemMagKPFK radio show
Feminist Magazi... replied on
Feminist Magazine/KPFK Pacifica was proud to feature highlights from local panelists at a Pasadena City College Feminist Club FCOD panel on our show last night (they were the only community college in the nation who hosted a FCOD event (inspired by a visit by Lena Chen)
Thanks for this opportunity to share What Feminism Sounds Like!
Click to Listen- 22 min segment starts after intros http://archive.kpfk.org/parchive/mp3/kpfk_110330_190050femmag.MP3
More info here http://feministmagazine.org/2011/03/fm-march-30/
Click! Rape should not be a requirement to serve.
Panayiota replied on
"My feminist 'click' moment:
Cathy replied on
"My feminist 'click' moment: Not admitting to being feminist" (http://open.salon.com/blog/isandwich/2011/04/01/feminist_click_moment_no...). I realized I was a feminist when my women's studies professor asked who in the class was a feminist and no one -- including myself -- raised their hand. Anti-clicks include this same phenomenon, plus feminist in-fighting about not being feminist enough.
Click & Un-Click
Mandy Van Deven replied on
I think <a href="http://elevatedifference.com/review/good-karma-pendant">this</a> sums my moments up nicely.
My Feminist Click Moment
Karma replied on
OK! Here's mine: http://bit.ly/eXT3aA Entitled: My Feminist Click Moment OR: How Feminism and A Love of Drink Saved Me From the Perils of the Devil
My Path to Feminism - Multiple Click Moments
Jennifer Davis replied on
http://wp.me/pw8YJ-Q4 Here you go. I had not one big click moment, but a lot of little nudges.
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