I feel very confident in saying this book is going to be the best book I read in January. It was absolutely wonderful and I have devoured it. I started listening to it one evening, and when I next looked at the clock 6 hours had passed, it was 3 in the morning and the book was over. This is high praise, especially for non-fiction titles.
Mikki Kendall takes the time in this book to break down in clear essays some of deeper issues of intersectionality, all integral to the achievement of a more equalitarian society, that the middle-class, mostly white Feminist movement has ignored for years.
As a middle-class, white feminist myself (though I am moving to the US in a couple of months and I wonder if once I get there people will still consider me to be white or if I become a latina for form filling purposes, but that’s neither here nor there), I can see how easily so many of the things she deals with in her books have gone completely ignored by so many of us in our feminist ideals.
But here’s the thing: everything she says makes sense. We can’t talk about reproductive rights if we can’t guarantee that everyone has access not only to healthcare, but also to the support to raise the children they have chosen to have. We can’t talk equality in the workplace if we can’t guarantee food security, and education, which allows all mothers to take their place in it, or if we continue to discriminate against simple things such as accents or so-called eloquence. When we talk about abortion rights, we have to be careful not to make an able-ist argument out of it.
It’s hard to see how often, even unknowingly, we end up oppressing other women (and other people) who are less privileged than us, because of not understanding that being part of one marginalized community doesn’t take away the privileges we have from other facets of our lives.
I honestly feel like I already have to re-read this book. We can’t content ourselves with a fight for equal rights or equal pay until we have tackled the problems of poverty, and racism, and mental health, and ableism, and so many others that threaten to overwhelm people far lower in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
Everyone should read this book and do their damnedest to support those people who are already fighting this however we can.