The theme for February on Feminists South Africa is Feminist Spaces.
When I think about what this could mean, I think about the physical space around us. I think about how women inhabit the space around them, inhibit their movement and exhibit their feminism. When I think about this theme I think about things like ‘throwing like a girl’, standing in a queue,walking in heels, running in takkies and going to the gym. I think about women on the sports field. I think about how much space we try to take up, and the times that we try not to take up space at all.
When I think about this theme I think about cyberspace. I wonder whether the web is a place where women are growing and flourishing. I think about things like writing about women in a male mainstream media, about talking about sexuality online, about using technology to get a feminist agenda out there. I wonder if there is enough space for women to talk about their health, about their body choices, and about whether these webs of interactions are feminist.
I think about the home, and whether it is yet a space that is feminist. Is the kitchen a place where we feel celebrated? Is the bathroom a place where we feel comfortable in our own skin, our own bodies, our own features? Is the bedroom a place where women feel equal? Is South Africa a place where lesbian women are allowed to feel comfortable in their homes? Is the home a place that celebrates women, or one that holds them back?
I think about the workplace, and wonder if this is a feminist space? Is it a space where women are economically empowered? Do we have room to move and grow in the way we need to? Are our bodies, capable of producing more workers, respected? Is our academic ability respected? Are there enough women professors, politicians and leaders? Is there space for women to be at the top, and what is this like?
I also think about spiritual spaces. Where is the space for women to lead and be empowered through religion? In what way are religious rules and scripts able to be negotiated and constructed for women?
It is a deliberately vague and broad theme for this month, because we would like to hear from you about the spaces that you find feminist, that you find empowering, that make you feel alive. We also want to hear about those that don’t, so that we can begin to talk about these barriers to our ownership of our world, and start to dismantle them.
Have an incredible month,