So, for quite some time now, Jessica Luther (scATX), Garland Grey (Tiger Beatdown), and I have been working on a TOP SECRET project which we are unveiling today! WOOT!
Introducing: Flyover Feminism.
Flyover Feminism is a project we've created with the objective of amplifying the voices typically left out of mainstream feminist/womanist discourse, by virtue of being outside of major media centers and/or by not fitting the mold of what a feminist is supposed to look like. This is our Mission Statement:
Flyover Feminism is a space for feminists/womanists/activists outside major media centers whose issues are given insufficient coverage and attention by the mainstream media outlets, and whose voices are frequently left out of the national dialogue. We believe that a space elevating the visibility of online and offline feminism across the country is important because such activism has traditionally been viewed skeptically by coastal and metropolitan activists.And we want you to participate.
Flyover Feminists often find themselves trapped in a cycle of limited support from big players, who express reluctance to dedicate resources to places where it appears that "nothing ever changes." But change is hard when there is little investment, and investment is hard to secure without evidence of change.
We are seeking to change the dynamic between feminist/womanist activists in the flyover states and feminist/womanist activists in major media centers. We want to facilitate understanding of the historical roots of the conflicts at hand, and we want to encourage more effective activism than the shallow, short-term bursts of effort centered around large-scale "moments of decision" that constitute big individual victories with no long-term follow-through or big individual failures that are used to justify institutional abandonment. Too often, when limited bursts of external attention centered around a single piece of legislation prove to be insufficient to turn the tide of entrenched political inequality, the local activists are asked: "Well, why don't you just move?"
We don't want to move. We want to facilitate progress in the places that most need it.
Although Flyover Feminism is a US concept, this space is for people around the world who are practicing activism outside of large-scale progressive networks of support, in places where their neighbors and communities are often hostile to their efforts, where activists are forced to beat back the wilderness and cut their own path. It is about people around the world who, by virtue of their identities, are practicing feminism or womanism outside mainstream ideas of What a Feminist Looks Like. Flyover Feminism is not about jetting down to your local progressive organization to brainstorm about ways to preach more fervently to the choir; it is about blazing new trails. It is about creating a space for activists to share their stories of how they made it and are making it in places where their rights are routinely stripped from them for political sport. It is about arming activists with the tools and arguments needed to win these fights and about shrinking the world to explore the ways geographically-marginalized activisms and intersectional feminisms/womanisms are similar and/or complementary to one another.
Flyover Feminism is about supporting local politicians who are getting it right and shaming the good goddamn out of the ones that are putting in overtime getting it wrong. It is about how, exactly, activists without media clout or attention bring immediacy and passion to a fight that will largely be ignored no matter the outcome. We want to teach the next generation of geographically-marginalized activists how to organize, learn new ideas from new activists, and document the stories of people who have been doing activism for decades in obscurity. We want to want to record the past, and nurture the future.
We don't want to simply start conversations; we want to proactively connect activists from all over the globe and unite them in their struggle to affect a better future.
This is not about Jessica, Garland, and me. This is about you, and the work you're doing in the world, and recognizing its value. This is about connecting people and sharing resources and nurturing big ideas from nontraditional places.
You don't have to be a published writer, or even a blogger. You just have to be someone who's passionate about how you practice feminism in your life, or the struggles you face practicing feminism in your life, whether it's about working with the local Democratic Party or negotiating diaper-changing duty with your partner.
Although the "flyover" concept is US-born, we invite people from all over the world to contribute.
The face of feminism can be yours.
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