Shine: Rad American Women A-Z
Inspiring collaboration by rad women about rad women!!
My bestie, Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs, produced an awesome track to accompany the NYT-bestselling book for children, Rad American Women. The 7" will be out for Independent Bookstore Day this Saturday and should be purchased for yourself and all of the little ones in your life. A is for Angela... (Davis, that is) who appears on the track! And X is for all of the women whose names we didn't know or recognize throughout history. This is herstory AND a guaranteed sing-a-long. To learn more about the collaboration and listen to the track, check out KQED's piece.
What does this have to do with sex? To me, the recognition of women, their valuable contributions and their unique place in history has everything to do with how we are sexually with one another. Many people struggle with their place in society because of the expectations placed on their gender. This goes for both men and women. It is far better to accept the many ways in which men and women are alike in their strengths and weaknesses than is is to believe that we are so fundamentally different that one gender's role in society should be celebrated more than the other.
We don't give women enough credit and we have overlooked their contributions for far too long. Because of the global and historical pervasiveness of sexism and misogyny, the denial of women plays out in bedrooms all over the world. Women's unique strengths go unnamed and strip them from the agency they may have to ask for what they want, to leave violent situations, or to avoid violence at some point in their lives. This is an oversimplification, but I really feel that by raising other women up, both from the past and in the here and now, we can all have more fulfilling interactions with each other. When we no longer have assumptions about what someone's body reflects of their mind, we can engage more deeply as human beings. It can start now, by letting children explore what it means to be a radical woman.
By the way, my category of "shine" for this post references Ann Friedman's shine theory. It will be a way for me to share the work and ideas of women (some of them friends, like Carolyn and Ann!) whom I admire and respect. I think you will too.