Quick Excerpts from Institute 2014 Opening Remarks (Krista Comer)

Defining Terms — Feminism

. . .   so feminism. This will be a place to begin for us here. So for me (Krista), the kind of feminism that I’m thinking of when I use the term “feminism” over the weekend is a social philosophy that has as its goal the eradication of sexism. The ending of sexism.  So since liberating the world’s women can only happen with the eradication of the other kinds oppressions, I see feminism as completely related to the struggle to end racism and the struggle to end poverty. We could fold a million other things in there, “things,” meaning structural violences, but those are the ones that I’ll just focus on for right now.

So when I use the term “feminism” as a movement to end sexism, I’m thinking of the movement to end sexism as being a movement that ends poverty and racism as well. Here in the Institute we’re highlighting women. It’s pretty unusual as some of our grad students know to highlight women today in feminist theory because we highlight gender and . . . But we’re gonna highlight women for this Institute.  So that’s the first thing to say.

The other thing when I think about feminism, I think of it not as equal opportunity with men.  That isn’t what I’m meaning when I use the term feminism. I mean, women need equal opportunities but to me that’s a kind of very… it’s just a beginning of what anybody needs. We need so much more than that. And so I think we should be after the big picture of human liberation when we’re talking about ending certain kinds of oppressions. And so I see the movement of ending sexism as not an equal opportunity movement but as a liberation movement. A liberation of women movement.