(I couldn’t decide between those two images, because they’re both so wonderful.)
“You are Angela Davis! You were the THIRD WOMYN IN HISTORY to appear on the FBI’s Most Wanted List. You are a communinist, black power-lovin’ lady who shook up the United States when you refused to lie down quietly to oppression. You WENT TO JAIL! Wow. You kick so much more ass than Foxxy Brown.”
From what I’ve heard of Angela Davis, she sounds fascinating, but I must confess that I don’t know a whole lot about her. I’m not sure if this is because I haven’t identified as a feminist for very long, live outside North America, racism has meant that I’ve mostly had access to information about white feminists, I’m not that into feminist icons or some other reason. Does anyone have any recommendations on where to start?
With regard to not having taken much of an interest in feminist icons thus far, I’ve been reluctant to on a number of counts. Feminism is about every one of us, not picking out a few as representatives. We don’t want our movement to function with that sort of hierarchy (although we do tend to pick leaders (or have them picked for us (see: riot grrl))). The lives of the famous are no more valuable than anyone else’s. But I value listening to people’s stories and bearing witness to people’s lives, and there’s much to be gained from taking this approach in moderation, so I’m going to make a go of it.
I have more than a month’s worth of posts on my “to write” list, so I may not get to this for a while, but at some point I’m going to start exploring the lives of individual women. Some of them will be famous for their work within the feminist movement itself (like Audre Lorde) and some will be pioneers or women of other feminist interest (like former MI5 head Stella Rimington). Very famous, a little obscure, disabled, queer, royalty, recognised after her lifetime, whatever. Do you have anyone you’d like to (eventually) see highlighted?