But why are writers like Eve Ensler and Jessica Valenti considered accessible? And for whom?
I was also introduced to feminism* through the Vagina Monologues. I saw it when I was 13. It was a fun show but it didn’t particularly resonate with me. It felt like it was trying so hard to be shocking and in-your-face. It reminded me of the kids in elementary school who yelled “vagina” and ran away giggling because they said a naughty word - I wasn’t sure how it was helping women. I liked the fact that it had many different stories written by different kinds of women, but I learned later that Eve Ensler wrote all of them. Now my critiques of the VagMons are different but the fact remains that it does not speak to me."
Airellia really nailed it in this post. I recall Jennifer Baumgardner being the first feminist author I read. I was excited to meet her, as well as some of the staff of Bitch and Bust during my first semester in college. But then I wrote a whiny LJ post about how I felt really alienated by all of these older professionals, but I wasn’t able to articulate exactly why. And then I read some bell hooks and it hit me: cultural, mainstream feminism as a movement still seemed so detached from me, a brown girl from a mixed working-class family in the South. The feminism that’s often labeled as “basic” and “easy” isn’t written for people like me and Airellia; we are considered advanced territory, for specialists only. We didn’t even get to all the shit about intersectionality in most gender studies courses at my college. And it makes me think that perhaps if my fundamental experiences are considered “hard” to grasp by other feminists, maybe these aren’t the feminists we should be reading.
i just read this in hoax zine and literally lifted up my arms and said “YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS” loudly. my partner looked incredibly confused. it was hilarious.