Sunday, March 30, 2008

LIVE Blogging from WAM: Say Thank You

It's not easy hosting brilliant feminist thinkers in one apartment. Adonis and I welcomed BFP, Nadia, Lex, and Jess Hoffman from Make/Shift into our humble abode and are trying to keep up with everyone's energy.

This morning, we were cutting it a bit close as I drove like a mad womyn through the crowded streets of Boston to get BFP to her 11am session. We arrived at 10:54am and I ran through the parking lot to make it in time for the opening talks. The speech BFP gave can be found on her blog. There's no way to sum up the injustices that are happening on our borders and how womyn are being abused, beated, mocked, and torn away from their children. But, the panel was really terrific and shed light on an issue that cannot be denied as a womyn's issue. Including myself in this vow, for those who ignore the violence at the border done to migrant womyn, it is erroneous to claim one is a feminist or engages in feminist discourse. These continuous infractures of human rights on US soil is a feminist issue. Period.

The Radical Womyn of Color Bloggers' Caucus had a few bumpy spots, to say the least. Our room was double booked and we got booted to another building. By the time we got settled and going, we only had 30 minutes left of a one hours session. Nonetheless, those 30 minutes were filled with question, passion, and struggle. What amazes me most about deep conversations with womyn of color is how different we are, how contrasting our opinions can be, but somehow it stays streamlined and flows with the utmost respect and understanding.

The second session was the one I originally proposed, "We B(e)lo(n)g: Womyn of Color and Online Feminism. The space that we created was filled with incredible voices and generous minds who spoke gratitude, wishes, and vision for a world of healing, belief, and justice. I wasn't sure how the session was going to go, but I know that there was one moment that I will never forget for the rest of my life.

After the session, I was catching up with Adele Nieves about her rocking book proposal for which she has worked her patooty off. A young womyn, maybe 19 or 20, stood quietly behind me and tapped me on the shoulder. I turned and recognized her fresh eyes and smile - a radiant participant in the session I just helped convene. She threw her arms around me and whispered into my ear, "Thank you. I have to go, but thank you." When I pulled back to see her face, she skittered off and left before I could ask her name.

That moment will likely fill me for many days to come. A simple, conventional gesture turned miraculous offering, an embrace of thanksgiving gave me a clarity that can only come with such a young person. What I helped create helped someone else. I don't know how, why, or to what depth. But, a stranger's embrace healed any pain I had felt that week and any anxiety I had about the presentation. I touched one.

And she thanked me.

I was left to ponder Gloria Anzaldua. This young womyn and her fierce Thank You reminded me exaclty how I felt when I read Gloria Anzaldua for the first time. I was overcome not only by her power, but what came out of me because of her honesty. I became a better human because of her work.

I'd like to think that perhaps, in a small way, I helped someone else today too.



  1. What I love about you, my friend, is that you are using your gifts to not only change the lives of those who know and love you, but you are impacting and inspiring total strangers by the intimate, confident, and provocative way in which you share your struggle. This is feminism- womyn touching womyn, womyn inspiring womyn, womyn helping womyn in ways that only womyn came.

  2. Gracias for posting your thoughts and experiences. For us who couldn't be there, it's an amazing window to look through

  3. I think you did.

    It was great to meet you.


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