I’ve been trying to actively read more anti-racist resources and implement them in my life. I bought Hood Feminism late last summer but have had such a giant stack that I am only now getting to it. I am *so* glad I bought it, because I look forward to returning to it and recommending it to my own students.
Mikki Kendall’s premise is that mainstream feminism is too white (it is) and focuses on “lean in issues” that really only protect the comforts of white women. True feminism, she argues, is much broader and more comprehensive–it gets at issues of access, education, healthcare, hunger, and housing. I fully agree. Her chapters make a clear argument but also include personal anecdotes, which showcase the argument and the personal impact these resources would have for marginalized folx.
The best chapter in the book, by far, is “Reproductive Justice.” I ardently believe in a person’s right to choose, just as I support comprehensive healthcare which gives someone all the best reproductive healthcare options. Kendall argues that when we fight for reproductive rights, we must do so in a way that does not buy into eugenicist rhetoric that would discriminate against disabilities. I had never seen that intersection before, but it’s revolutionary and MAKES SENSE. She does not argue against abortion, but instead calls for better and more responsible rhetoric, AS WELL AS social safety nets that gives pregnant people enough support and resources to provide for the family they want to have, if they want to have it. She complexifies the discussion around reproductive justice, and this call for equity is much needed in our increasingly binaristic discussions around choice and life.
This book is terrific, and it wrests feminism away from the ivory tower and makes it practical. I think policy makers, politicians, educators, and community leaders need to read it and use it as a springboard for implementing real, substantive social change.