Wednesday, 14 March 2012

I stopped talking an hour ago

Deborah M Withers' 'Women's liberation, relationships and the 'vicinity of trauma' is essential reading for anyone who organizes, participates in or is connected to feminist activism. I'd really like to see this conversation expanded to a point where the issues she addresses - the dis/function of trauma in feminist spaces, silencing in group activities, inchoate personal/collective voices and invisible/inarticulated languages of inter-personal oppression - can be properly confronted, and strategies for evolving the WLM out of these traps can be considered and implemented.

Withers takes the 70s women's lib movement (specifically Bristol-based groups) as a jump-off point, but I was struck by how the verbal accounts of those women who felt marginalized and silenced in supposedly safe spaces could just as easily be women of today, me even, speaking about their experiences in feminist and homosocial spheres.

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