Nov 27, 2018: Feminist Leadership
“What is feminist leadership?”, a member of my team asked me today in an interview setting. Two hours later, I would invoke a similar question when interviewing a feminist political organizer. Our work has taken place in different spheres: mine largely within or tied to the academy, hers more fully embedded in community at both the grassroots level, and as a campaign manager and political organizer. Having never met before today, a generation apart in age, from different parts of the province, we answered the questions almost the same: feminist leadership is claiming space and asserting our own voices where appropriate, but more importantly, making space for the voices of others–for women who have even less privilege that we do. It is about leading but it is about mentoring. It is about stepping up and stepping aside, and knowing when each of those is the most powerful move to make: not for ourselves or for our individual careers or acclaim, but for the collective move forward of our causes, and of our societies toward more equitable and diverse post-carbon future communities. I feel honoured that so many smart and accomplished people have and are taking the time to talk to me and to the iDoc team. The iDoc team is dedicated to making it worth their time to have participated. For us, this means both having hard conversations and facilitating tricky discussions so that we might move us all past simplistic rhetorical binaries that keep us at odds with one another, while opening up a space and a power vacuum for certain factions claim leadership and take control of the issues. Let’s remember what is at stake when we fail–fail to talk respectfully to one another and fail to bridge the communication impasse that leave us careening along pre-determined paths leading exactly where we don’t want to collectively land. Too dark? Tomorrow is another day. There will be more conversations to be had.