"When we talk about the need of white feminists in Britain to recognize their own ethnicity, we are relating to questions as basic as what we actually mean when we talk about 'feminist issues'. Can we automatically assume, as has been done by western feminist movements, that issues like abortion, the depiction of the family as the site of female oppression, the fight for legal equality with men and against sex discrimination and so on are the feminist issues?"
Floya Anthias and Nira Yuval-Davis
For the August session of the FDRG we will read two texts from the early 1980s that explore the dynamics of collaboration and division in feminist group work, theory and political practice, published in different issues of Feminist Review.
Through analysis and a case study these two essays provide a context for thinking through the complexities of wider issues of collectivity, commonality, and the productivities of differences in feminist organising.
Together we will read:
- Floya Anthias and Nira Yuval-Davis, 'Contextualizing Feminism: Gender, Ethnic and Class Divisions', Feminist Review, No. 15 (Winter, 1983), pp. 62-75
- Brixton Black Women's Group, 'Black Women Organizing', Feminist Review, No. 17, Many Voices, One Chant: Black Feminist Perspectives (Autumn, 1984), pp. 84-89
'Contextualizing Feminism: Gender, Ethnic and Class Divisions' problematise the notion of 'sisterhood' as an implicit bind between feminists, and confront the interrelationship between gender, ethnicity and class in feminist issues in the UK. Anticipating current preoccupations with the complexities of ‘diversity’ and ‘inclusion,’ the authors explore the need for an intersectional approach to feminist demands and discourse, and posit the importance of considering difference between feminists.
The second essay, written by members of the Brixton Black Women's Group, explores the organisational structure and problems faced by the Organisation of Women of Asian and African Descent (OWAAD). The group analyses and reviews these difficulties in ways that might benefit future collectives.
Link here for the articles: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1AUv0oxsMPTXDJvGUNTsfh7wVWr5m5_Vd?usp=sharing
Please bring copies with you. No advance reading is required as we will read together, out loud, on the night.
Image: Cover of Feminist Review, No. 17, ‘Many Voices, One Chant: Black Feminist Perspectives’ (Autumn, 1984)