There is a somewhat dispiriting conversation which plagues feminism in the Caribbean. Are we transformational enough in our thinking and action? Are we so concentrated on a simplistic reading of gender equality (add numbers of women to the mix and stir) that we lose the script of other inequalities, failing to understand how dominant free market, neo-liberal economics diminishes the redistributive capacity of the state, reinforcing other inequalities. Is our analytical lens wide enough to take on the whole of governance deficits – corruption, exclusion, power capture?
But feminism as practiced has delivered some real change. Of course it has. Though no doubt we have made less of a dent to the surrounding political, economic , social and cultural environment than we hoped, thinking that working on gender equality would give an entry into disrupting and confronting other inequalities. “Gender as a suggestion” as Tracy has said somewhat enigmatically.
This March 8th, on Facebook, I came across this picture of Hazel Brown and Gabrielle Hosein. I kept looking at Hazel’s face, weary but determined because making change can take one a whole lifetime of work, and without any guarantee of victory.
In making change we seek companions across our diversities. Why am I posting this which I wrote in March and forgot? Because this last week I met someone from a Nepalese organization called Didi Bahini (Big sister little sister). And I remembered this image.
It is humbling, this gift of a life of effort. You wonder how social justice activists do not become cynical. Maybe they do from time to time. But for the warriors, their nature is to fight.