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05 July 2018

Review: Feminist Freedom Warriors

Feminist Freedom Warriors Feminist Freedom Warriors by Chandra Talpede Mohanty
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In the introduction, Monhanty and Carty quote Sara Ahmed, "It should not be possible to do feminist theory without being a feminist, which requires an active ongoing commitment to live one's life in a feminist way." What better way to learn how to live a feminist life than from a collection of conversations with women of color from the Global South? "Feminist Freedom Warriors" is a chocolate-covered feminist theory book. "Feminist Freedom Warriors" is engaging and you also get some solid feminist theory that will push you to question where you stand and if your brand of feminism is what the world needs right now.

Through these conversations we learn from praxis - how these women's feminisms performed in the world and why we need to adjust in order to try again. Some of the women featured have been feminist activists longer than most of you reading this. But instead of tossing their views in a battle of generations, we are given the gift of their perspective.

Margo Okazawa-Rey states that her "own birth signifies...something that was not supposed to exist" as her African-American father was part of the occupying force in Japan and her mother was part of middle-class Japanese family. Her shares how her existence and fight for liberation is the definition of intersectionality.

Aída Hernández-Castillo documents the challenges that occur when one's activism lacks intersectionality. Her conversation documents an attempt to address domestic violence in a small Mayan village solely through Guatemalan state law. She learns a lot from this misstep and by sharing it we do as well.

As feminists look towards the future and how to solve the multitude of problems we face from a global economy, toxic masculinity, and rampant xenophobia, we need to look to our past to understand how we got here and gain lessons we missed along the way. This is an excellent and thoughtful read. You won't agree with everything in this book, but you will walk away with a new view on the issues we grapple with every day.

Disclaimer: I received a review copy in exchange for an honest review.


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