Nov
23

Taking Our Power Back from Oppressive Systems with The Crunk Feminist Collective

We live in a world and time where we are constantly moving from one historical moment to the next. This can cause us to feel overwhelmed when it comes to knowing where to jump in and be a part of the movement for equality and justice for all. Looking through the perspective of how we can empower ourselves as a community rather than the individual, reminds us that this isn’t something we can do alone – but something that we must do together.

We had the honor of sitting down with Brittney Cooper, Susana M. Morris, and Chanel Craft Tanner of the Crunk Feminist Collective. The three of them just released their new book, Feminist AF: A Guide to Crushing Girlhood, which helps girls and gender nonbinary young people of color find their voice. Tune in to feel validated, powerful, and able to take action in building a feminist society that supports all of us.

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WE ALSO TALK ABOUT…

  • Feminism is a structural analysis.
  • Self-care requires structures.
  • Building a team for feminist care.

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Highlights

FEMINISM IS A STRUCTURAL ANALYSIS

Feminism isn’t an idea it’s a practice. How can we take what we learn and apply those changes to challenge the patriarchy. 

It is an actual movement to change the narrative and dismantle oppressive systems. Feminism is so much more than independence and determination. If we aren’t careful the ‘strong black woman’ narrative may be attached to this movement once again burdening us. 

The Crunk Feminist Collective encourages girls to take risks, if you’re the type of person that aims for perfection try doing something that you aren’t necessarily good at. This idea that we have to be perfect at something to participate is upholding a structure that we can’t accomplish our goals without being graded. 

Additionally, there is no ‘right’ way to do something. Society has led us to believe that there is only one way to reach our desires, the truth is there are many ways to fulfill our dreams. Perfectionism is another system of oppression that we must work to eliminate.

We have to change the conditions that induce all of the stress. So that we will stop thinking that we’re in these positions because we lack something, or because we don’t work hard enough, or because we’re irresponsible, or cuz we don’t have enough discipline – when we are getting hit on all sides with unreasonable demands.”

Brittney Cooper

USING SELF-CARE AS A FORCE FOR CHANGE

We are conditioned to see ourselves as a list of things that need to be corrected. Rather than living within the shadow of individualism, we need to act as a collective for change, inwards and in our communities.

Self-care is an integral way to disrupt the narrative that to be valued we must always be working. So in this case it really is about spa days, naps, and other radical forms of rest. By living our lives in a way that prioritizes well-being in all its forms, we have the power to influence younger generations. 

Self-care – it is about trying to create structures and tear down certain things that don’t allow Black women to rest. That don’t allow them to be the kind of mothers that they want to be and have flexible schedules – that allow us to really be critical of the way Capitalism seeps into how we work.”

Chanel Craft Tanner

BUILDING A TEAM FOR FEMINIST CARE

It’s important for us to invest in our crew. When we move away from ‘me’ to ‘us’ transformation can really accelerate. Community support can change everything. Having folks in your circle that are on the same level as you can be really enlightening and allow us to connect on a deeper level with ourselves and our crew. Be intentional about how you are building your group of friends, and even where you are receiving your supportive care. Community is truly the way to create sustainable change.

Find folks that you can be your authentic selves with, people that you can trust to call you out on your mess. Maybe there are ways you could be a better friend, cousin, sister, or partner. Having a community that can lovingly address those aspects is life-changing. Lastly, even getting support from a healthcare professional who looks like you can change the course of your life.

Think about how feminism can show up in your practice. So, I’m really blessed – I’m in Atlanta and I have a whole slew of Black women healthcare providers: my therapist, my general practitioner, my dentist. And I don’t know if everybody identifies as a feminist, but I do know that I’ve chosen people who are giving me what feels like feminist healthcare. “

Susana M. Morris

WE CAN CREATE CHANGE BY BEING INTENTIONAL IN OUR FEMINIST PRACTICES

The younger generation is experiencing life in a different way than we did but many of the problems that they face are the same. The Crunk Feminist Collective has been intentional about writing the type of book that they wish they had when they were younger. Personally, we think they have knocked it out of the park. The insights shared in this episode aren’t just great for younger folks, but for all women and nonbinary beings. We hope you feel as empowered and ready to take action as we do.

MINDFUL TAKEAWAYS:

  • Feminism isn’t an idea it is a practice that we must enforce to create change and dismantle oppressive systems
  • The key to change is moving from individualism to a community centered approach.
  • Self-care is a radical act we should all practice often
  • Be intentional about surrounding yourself with like minded folks, from your friendships all the way down to your supportive care.

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Tune in next week for a special returning guest! We connect with the amazing Chrissy King on Taking Back Our Power with Body Liberation.

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