Tuesday 21 June 2022

Blogjune Day 21 - When she talks, I hear the revolution

Today's question: Do I consider myself a feminist?

I will answer briefly: Yes, I am a feminist. I believe there is a need for feminism due to gender inequalities that are endemic in society. I believe we need to constantly create initiatives that address gender inequality through interventions that support equity in our homes and workplaces.

I also don't want to talk about this at length, because there is so much excellent literature out there that explains I much better than I could, and I don't wish to take up that space with my overly simplistic drivel.

However, we need to move beyond "just" being feminist. Flavia Dzodan once famously said, 'My feminism will be intersectional, or it will be bullshit.'

That means that it's not enough just to consider the gender inequalities - especially if we're not considering  how race, class, disability, sexuality, age and cultural/religious background affect our level of privilege in society.

I recently went and saw a production of the musical Priscilla Queen of the Desert. Musically, it was excellently put together, and the set, lighting and costumes were amazing. This show is intended as an empowering statement of queer pride, occasionally addressing hard truths about Australian's acceptance of its LGBTQ+ communities. The version I saw even updated the content so that the characters walk around Ulruru, rather than climbing up the rock. So, I was bitterly disappointed that they still kept one horribly misogynist line - an insult designed to get a big laugh - and the infamous 'ping pong' scene where a character's Filipino bride goes off the rails in an over-the-top stereotype of Asian women on a par with Mickey Rooney in Breakfast at Tiffany's. My point? It fails as a celebration of queer pride, if it needs to use oppressive techniques to put down women - particularly women of colour - in the process.

Looking back at the library and information industry, it's wonderful to work in a sector where I get to support so many women in leadership positions. Though I would still say that there is a higher percentage of men in executive/leadership roles than there are in entry level / operational roles. And through some online channels that I inhabit, I regularly hear women of colour sharing their experience of being in the vast minority of their team, being forced to do everybody's emotional labour when it comes to addressing diversity in the workplace, and burning out.

Entry level initiatives are one thing, but we need to do more to recruit and support women of colour at all levels of the library sector, but particularly those leadership positions. If you think it doesn't apply to you, take a look at your organisational chart.

No comments:

Post a Comment