Rebecca Walker on third wave feminism | all about women 2018

Rebecca Walker on third wave feminism | all about women 2018


>>In the early ’90s
when we all, I think, globally experienced the rise
of a kind of counterculture, a kind of resistance to the
accomplishments of first and second wave activism. There was this moment
in 1992 when we, you know, I was in college. And what I recognised was
that I had grown up believing in feminism ideals and
principles and thinking that my body was my own and,
you know, that I should be able to do whatever I wanted and that
the protections that my mother and her comrades had fought for
were going to be there for me in the same way that
was just discussed. That they were set in stone. That laws had been changed. And I, and I actually came of
age to see that my President at the time, George Bush, was actually eradicating
reproductive freedom, reproductive freedom laws,
just one after the other, you know, just felling them. I saw the rise of police
brutality simultaneously. At the same time in the ’90s
we were fighting the AIDS, HIV epidemic, and no one in the
government wanted to discuss it. There was a kind of silencing
of the gay, queer community. It was a moment in
which there was a sense of just utter despair, really,
among those of us who felt that so much had been won. You know, there was
this great rollback. And when I looked around at
my peers and my colleagues, my cohort, what I saw was
a few of us who were upset and outraged and many, many
more who felt very, very distant from any kind of
social change movement. And that was especially true
of the feminist movement. They were, you know, afraid
to call themselves feminists. They felt that feminism was
something that was in the past, that there were no
problems anymore, and that there was really
a kind of, you know, deep disconnect, you know. And so when I looked around,
coming from where I came from, and thought, oh, my God, we
all need to be mobilising and we need to be talking about
these things, there was a kind of silence, you know,
in the gallery, you know, in the gallery. And I thought, oh, okay. So my work right
now is to make sure that we don’t lose
an entire generation. My work right now
is to radicalise, to try to build a bridge,
to try to craft a language that can bring in this
generation that feels so alienated, so distant from
feminism, from civil rights, from GLBT concerns and
issues and visibility. So that was really the
beginning of my movement into third wave was, you know. It was really, like,
how do I articulate this as a pressing need? How do I do this? How do I stir this up? And, you know, the first aspect
of it was to actually talk to young women and
find out why they felt so disconnected from feminism. And, of course, so many
of them felt disconnected because of the bad
press, you know, that feminists were all
man-hating, lesbian, you know — not that being lesbian is bad
in any way, but, you know, you know, and, you know, hairy
and, you know, all of that. And so there was that whole
contingent, which was, you know, okay, I can sort of engage
that in a very direct way. But then there were the
group of women who felt that the term feminism
and the movement of feminism didn’t really come
out of their lived experience. It wasn’t organic to them. While they deeply believed
in gender equality, while they deeply believed
in the need for, you know, all kinds of civil
rights legislation, while they deeply
believed in the things that the movement had
been fighting for, they just didn’t feel that they
wanted to identify in that way. They felt that it was
a totalizing identity that limited their choices. They felt that by
choosing that kind of language they were
setting up a barrier between them and other people. And at that moment, there was
a sense of wanting openness, wanting to not put labels
on that would separate us. And so that was an
interesting contribution to the discussion, I thought. And then in another group that
I talked to, and you know, was very active and
vocal, were women of colour who felt very strongly that the
women’s movement had not spoken for them and was not inclusive
enough and did not care about our concerns that
included, you know, all of the different
ways that racism impacted and shaped our lives
as women of colour. So we had, you know,
that group of women who were completely
alienated from feminism. And so then, sort of, you know, not participating
in a certain way. And then on the, and then
once again, over there, there was a group
of people, men, who felt that they were being
constantly sort of criticised and vilified by the feminist
movement and not thought of as potential allies and sort
of rejected out of hand just because of their
anatomy, you know. And that was a problem. You know, so they felt
a kind of alienation. And so, you know, oh, gosh, and then there was a whole other
group of people [laughter] who, oh, my gosh, who felt that, you
know, when they looked at their, at the, at the feminism leaders, that not only had they
deconstructed the problematics of centralised leadership
within the feminism movement. So there was this idea that
were, you know, one or two or three or four people
telling us how to be feminists, and that was a problem,
and that we needed to have a more diverse
leadership, right, that could name different
issues and can speak in different languages
about what was going on. And, you know, sort of —
and then there was the group of people who felt like, I’m
looking at all of these leaders, and not only are
they centralised, but they’re also completely
burned out and exhausted. And I don’t want
to be like that. You know, so why should
we try to change the world and give our whole lives
and, you know, not be certain that the changes
that we have fought for are going to be permanent. Right? So, so we
birthed third wave. We birthed third wave
in the context of all of these different narratives. I mean, my thought was, okay,
how do I take all of this in and create something viable? And so third wave was
born with the intention of both emphasising our
similarities, right, so second wave, third wave, by
saying that we care about many of the same things, but also,
second wave, third wave, that we are different and
that we want to participate in movement activity
in a different way, and we want to have different
goals that we can articulate on our own and that many
different people will be articulating per
their experience in their different communities. So our first project,
you know, with, as third wave direct
action corporation, which was our first
manifestation or iteration of third wave, including things
like, you lesbian kiss-ins on Republican senators’ lawns. You know, we did protests
at prison sites, you know, sites that were, that were
identified to be future prisons in which we blanketed the
area and refused to move. You know, I mean, there were,
there were, there was this sense of how can we become
multi-issue, inclusive, decentralised, sexy,
you know, I very much, when I was speaking a lot
about third wave at that time, I told people you don’t need
to call yourself a feminist. That’s not important. What’s important is that you’re
committed to work of quality. Not just of gender equality,
but equality of all of us so that every person, no
matter what they look like, no matter what they do in bed,
no matter, you know, what, how much money the make. No matter, whatever. That they are treated
with respect and dignity. And those were the kinds of
ideas that we were planting to really energise the base,
you know, to really make sure that we had this moment. I feel that so many,
in so many ways, the work that we’ve been doing
as third waverers talking about all of his
stuff for 20 years, has birthed the possibility
of Me Too, of the fourth wave, you know, because
I’m telling you, we were losing you [laughter]. I don’t know how to
express this enough. I mean, when people ask me, you
know, is this time different than when you were talking
about “Do-Me” feminism in 1992 or 1994, when I was
talking about the importance of sexual empowerment
within a feminism context. I say absolutely
this is different because the majority is saying
“Me Too” and talking about, you know, consensual sex
and talking about eroticism, talking about the right to
have sexual power and pleasure. When we were talking
about it, it was like us and ten other people, you know,
so, so, but these are the seeds that I felt were so important
to plant at that time. So that with this idea that
they would ripen, with this idea that we would not by, you know, that there would always
be feminism, you know. That was my dream, you know,
that we would always have it and not lose it so I’m
almost done with my time. And I think, you know,
it’s interesting that we in the fell film we
talked about, you know, Kimberle Crenshaw, who is
a very important thinker within third wave feminism
and intersectionality, which is fundamentally in
addition to this movement, to make sure we didn’t lose
everyone and to pull them in and to create a kind
of new narrative. You know, that was part
of it, this understanding that all oppressions
are connected, right, and that when you say that
you’re a feminist, it’s, what does that mean, actually? Does that mean that
you are anti-racist? Does that mean that
you are not homophobic? Does that does that mean that
you support immigrant rights? What does it mean
to be a feminist? And so there was this
important interrogation of that very notion and an
important position taken by third wavers, most of
us, I believe, I hope, that, you know [silence] I almost went into deep vernacular,
like [laughter]. Don’t comet me with
some, you know, but I’m not going to do that. You know there was a
deep understanding that, that feminism, in order to
stay relevant, had to become about more than gender
equality, right? It had to take into account
all kinds of equality, or else what would happen is, we
would get privileged white women into positions of power who would then be
racist and homophobic. And, you know, anti-immigrant
rights, you know. So, it was never, we
had to really claim that that was not enough. Right? That just having
representation of people who were not radicalised,
who were not, you know, deeply committed to completely
deconstructing the ruling class elite, the structure of our
very culture, hyper-capitalism. I mean, you know, that we had to
know that those women were going to care about us as well. And that is my time. And we can talk more later. [ Applause ]

43 thoughts on “Rebecca Walker on third wave feminism | all about women 2018

  1. first and second wave feminism were fighting the good fight in that movement they got a lot of great things like Equal Pay Act,sex discrimination act,reproductive rights,maternity leave, so what is modern western feminism who has the biggest victim card

  2. Basically this is her attempt to create a feminist lie, to get more people to join the belief system that destroyed her childhood.

  3. So tired of hearing fools speak. Can we get some real, logical women who have some sense to speak up? I am a woman and I'd really love to see these foolish females be silenced.

  4. Feminism before 2012: Thank you for letting me get an education, a job, a voice, a chance to vote, etc
    Feminist after 2012: Thank you for making all men look like crap

  5. I am just a dumb male so may have this wrong but what I think I just heard was (a) by the '90's women were rejecting femisim as not relevant to them ('their lived experience') (b) so those that make their living from being feminists had to reinvent themselves (c) which they did by putting themselves up as the activists for people of colour, gay people, oppressed people of all kinds whose civil rights were under attack: "more than gender equality but all equality" (d) and by launching a campaign to deconstruct the "ruling class and hyper-capialism" (e) this was to be done by rebranding (stop calling selves 'feminists'), 'lesbian kiss-ins' and stopping prisons getting built. The result is the #MeeToo movement (which some would say is a divisive trial by social media witch hunt that should go away when common sense and justice return). I am all for people exerising their democratic rights and indeed for activism but this seems like just shameless job creation for 'sell anything sales people' who dont want a proper job….noone wants what they were selling anymore so look for something else to hawk around to keep them employed….

  6. Wow! That’s very powerful. I have been thinking about this concept for a long time and now I realize I am not the only one.. to think that many different kinds of civil rights groups need to start banding together for greater change! Equality means for ALL of us! And isn’t that the American dream? The right to pursue happiness and to see liberty and justice for all, is a very patriotic and liberal notion.

  7. Do they still believe feminitism is the theory and lesbianism is the practise!

    One guess as to what the author above author believes

  8. destroying Walker’s legacy with 3rd wave/lib fem nonsense. It’s not her fault she created this whatabout men snake saleseman that coopted Feminism. It must haunt her tho

  9. third wave feminism blends Hitler and Stalin, forming from two sick men, a new matriarchy based on Pure Hate and Pure Evil. A very sick movement that only uses the word feminism in it to fool women to join thier sick cult

  10. So 3rd wave is about caving to and collaborating with patriarchy because it's too hard to be an actual feminist… That's great…

  11. I don't understand why things like this are aimed at women, when feminism is supposedly for equality of genders.
    It's always about feminine power, and nothing else.

    Now that women have power, can we uplift men? No, women choose to pivot to helping "other minorities" aka The females and feminine men of the lgbt community.

  12. We Women of the 80s and 90s felt quite happy with equality and men. Not One of Us felt oppressed or bitched constantly. WTF is wrong with these crazy female feminists today?

  13. Hmmmmm!
    That is abortion
    And to my knowledge of English that is not reproduction!
    Feminits always talk cant

  14. I think the problem is intersectionality, which is a flawed theory of what humankind is. It tries to change words and language to suit its agenda, making broad statements on how people are for example power dynamics, and if you look at it closer it is absurd. It puts people into lockers and ignores issues because of this flawed theory. I think that is why a lot of people are feeling alienated from feminism. Nothing wrong with feminism as such and there are a lot of issues to fix in society, but I don't believe intersectionality is the way forward.

  15. The irony listening to someone talk about all people need respect, but bragging about shutting down construction sites, that are almost all men working. Leaving them without pay for however long they refused to move.

  16. Being an educated person in my view requires character:

    You need courage to admit when you are wrong or to assert ideas that are not politically correct,

    You need honesty to discover these errors,

    You need tenacity and perseverance to conduct the types of research necessary to accumulating genuine knowledge,

    You need open-mindedness to overcome your biases,

    You need humility to recognise that you're not infallible and that your understanding can always be improved.

    I have seen none of these virtues in the thinking of most modern feminists.

  17. MGTOW the silent feminist war is on till the end, SEXBOTs and dalls MGTOW is here now all we need to replace women is a fleshlite , choke out the feminists court, MGTOW is here now the silent war just got interesting, it's going to be fun.MGTOW WILL WIN THE SILENT WAR WITH FEMINISTS.MGTOW

  18. I find some third wave western feminist ideas quite dumb. Like the Nigeria girls. Whenever they were brought up 'oh we have it worse', these girls literally had a gun to their heads for being at school by Boko Haram who believe Allah created girls as men's slaves. Ignoring BH is saying 'do it more'.

  19. Its all goes back to that adjective sticks and stones may break my bones but there would always be something to offend a feminist

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