Responding to the mainstream feminist blogosphere on Feminism FOR REAL | Racialicious – the intersection of race and pop culture.

IFLS doesn’t think of itself as part of the mainstream, because we think we’re too small. But I’ve written about this before - it’s easy to tell yourself you are so small that you don’t have to examine your own actions. So not to flatter ourselves into the same category as Feministing, Feministe, etc etc, but let’s face it, if the book is called: Feminism FOR REAL – Deconstructing the Academic Industrial Complex of Feminism. well, it should probably be on my summer list.That said, it’s been in my book pile for a while:

[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/#!/OsgoodeIFLS/status/41276567242031104"]

Then life intervened, I had to go out of town. I missed the talk (which in the end Jess also couldn’t attend – another women from Native Youth Sexual Health Network attended instead). I didn’t order the book before I left.  Now I have time. I do admit though, I was feeling somewhat embattled already, I did have to psych myself up for reading this.  I was already internally wailing, “i’m trying, I’m TRYING”, and I didn’t even have the book in hand….

Click through the image for ordering information.

The recent posts and comments stem from this post by one contributor to FFR on Shameless mag, which Editor Jess Yee wrote about in this post on Racialicious:

What isn’t being said is that so many people don’t know about our work – not because they didn’t get the message – but because they aren’t really invested in knowing about us to begin with, or at least to the extent of knowing we produced this book.

And Feministe’s Jill, in response, offered this critique of “call out culture” in the feminist blogosphere:

I’m as guilty as anyone else when it comes to partaking in feminist Call-Out Culture. Calling Out, I think, is part of any activist’s growing pains. We all want to do right. We all feel like we’re doing more right than some other people who we perceive as having more power (or influence or airtime) than we have. We all want to be a good _____: feminist, ally, woman, activist. Part of that, if you love an idea (and I think most of us do love the idea of feminism, even if we don’t always love how it plays out in real life), is saying something when you see someone else Doing It Wrong. There should be space for that. We should keep each other in check; we should all want to be better.

But in the feminist blogosphere, “calling out” has increasingly turned into cannibalism. It’s increasingly turned into a stand-in for actual activism. We have increasingly focused on shutting down voices rather than raising each other up. Pointing at the gap has replaced doing the hard, often thankless work of filling it.”

The comments after Jill’s post are astonishing.  It feels, in some ways, like a fast forward replay of the end of the second wave.  I could be wrong. But…maybe the new media have not changed the message that much.  Anyway, if you read all those comments you will have a primer on many things including the psychology of power in blog commenting, the “are blogs activism” question and many others. And, you will see (I think) some misplaced defensiveness and misplaced anger. And it may well remind you of things. And it will open up new worlds of procrastination for you!

I whine about how no one comments but perhaps that is a “careful what you wish for” moment.

In other news, Canada’s percentage of women in government increased 2% yesterday.