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« Other Lands Have Dreams, by Kathy Kelly | Main | Baghdad Burning: Girl Blog From Iraq, by Riverbend »

Colonize This! by Daisy Hernandez and Bushra Rehman

By an everyday book reader
October 1, 2007

It has been decades since women of color first turned feminism upside down, exposing the '70s feminist movement as exclusive, white, and unaware of the concerns and issues of women of color from around the globe. Now a new generation of brilliant, outspoken women of color is speaking to the concerns of a new feminism, and to their place in it.

Daisy Hernandez of Ms. Magazine and poet Bushra Rehman have collected a diverse, lively group of emerging writers who speak to their experience - to the strength and rigidity of community and religion, to borders and divisions, both internal and external - and address issues that take feminism into the twenty-first century.

Colonize This! Young Women of Color on Today's Feminism
by Daisy Hernandez and Bushra RehmanBook Picture

Softcover: 320 pages
ISBN: 9781580050678, 1580050670
Seal Press
July 2002

Ms. Magazine columnist Hernandez and former Muslim poet Rehman, both feminist activists, have assembled a broad collection of essays by young women writers, academics, and activists from a range of cultures and sexual orientations. A few essays have a very specialized focus, describing such experiences as a Chicana with HIV and a Native American woman participating in the typically male War Dance ceremony. More often the contributors look more generally at their lives and families and consider how these experiences have influenced their understanding of feminism. Several writers critique "white, middle class feminism" for failing to take into account the impact of classism and racism on women of color. One essay discusses the impact of gentrification on poor, single mothers; another tells of the author's immigrant mother turning to sex work to support her daughters. Cultural and religious customs are discussed by a Nigerian woman who comes to the United States for college and by an Indian American woman who is expected to pursue an arranged marriage. These are very personal, interesting, and readable essays. - Library Journal Review

One writer describes herself as a "mixed brown girl, Sri-Lankan and New England mill-town white trash," and clearly delineates the organizing differences between whites and women of color: "We do not kick ass the way the white girls do, in meetings of NOW or riot grrl. For us, it's all about family."

A Korean-American woman struggles to create her own identity in a traditional community: "Yam-ja-neh means nice, sweet, compliant. I've heard it used many times by my parents' friends who don't know shit about me."

An Arab-American feminist deconstructs the "quaint vision" of Middle-Eastern women with which most Americans feel comfortable.

This impressive array of first-person accounts adds a much-needed fresh dimension to the ongoing dialogue between race and gender, and gives voice to the women who are creating and shaping the feminism of the future.

You may enjoy the books page, where book titles are alphabetized, or browse by subject or topic. We also have book reviews listed chronologically here. To search by author name, you can use the search box on the right sidebar of this page.

The most important result of grassroots action - a strengthened democracy for all.

Comments (2)

Erick Sutton Author Profile Page:

Although I clearly understand Daisy Hernandez's comments made in regard to the shootings and that the shooter was a "gringo" and not Hispanic, I also see the racism and ignorance in that statement she made. She celebrated the fact the shooter wasn't Hispanic before she mourned for those who died. I find that despicable and horrible as no white person could ever make those comments and be left off the hook nor would we feel the need to want to make those comments in relation to what happened. THIS is the rhetoric we are talking about that is divisive and stupid and causes division within our country. On another note, the immigration law that should be instituted would not only protect LEGAL Hispanic citizens in this country, but also the rest of us "gringos" you speak so highly about. Thank you for sharing your feelings although vastly ignorant and hate filled. We all have mirrors and need to use them often, maybe Daisy should practice the same thing.

Tim Author Profile Page:

this woman is so typical of Mexican racism. having lived in Mexico for almost a decade i can safely say most are not of this nature...Daisy is just another failure of the social sciences which tell everyone how bad a certain group is and another bad. what they lack is some serious study of their own roots. really, would anyone sanely vote to return to Mexico gawd think of the sad and pitiful state of Mexico. Daisy is totally ignorant of the fact of the cruelty of Mexico to Indian Tribes in Southern America...that Geronimo hated Mexicans for a reason...that Mexico cut off the feet of Indians in New Mexico...i could go on and about any given civilization such as Arab slavery...but why...

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This page contains only one entry posted to Everyday Citizen on October 1, 2007 4:21 PM.

The blog post previous to it is titled "Other Lands Have Dreams, by Kathy Kelly"

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