Feminist AF, the latest track from the Crunk Feminist Collective, is a fierce and intelligent guide for young adults who meets the reader at their level. The book has a view of young girls that is loud, lively, steadfast, and unloaded with painful and unrealistic positivity. Rather, it’s a book about being and feeling powerful, while staying informed in early adulthood.
Girls Who Pick Up A Book On How To See, Be, And Sometimes Fight With The World Of 2021 Definitely Do It not need easy answers. They need a helpful, up-front guide to know exactly what oppression, feminism and intersectionality actually means.
It is exactly like that Feminist AF opens: invoking the energy of feminism of the hip-hop generation, the authors define a crystal-clear conversational index as a toolbox for their readers.
The Feminist Collective Crunk is made up of Brittney Cooper, Chanel Craft Tanner and Susana Morris. Formed in 2010, the collective’s mission is to “create a space of support and camaraderie for feminists of the hip hop generation of color, queer and straight, in the academy and outside, by building a rhetorical community, where we can discuss our ideas. , express our crunch feminism, commune with each other, debate and challenge, and support each other. ”
The collective has a previous post: The feminist Crunk collection, which brings together selected articles from the first five years of the collective’s blog.
What this book fortunately does not to do is to offer positivity basically. Sure, Feminist AF generally works on the safe side, providing tools for personal growth, strength, and happiness. But it’s not complicated about it. Guides intended for young readers so often fall into the trap of trying to convey uplifting messages as general cure-alls, even when what is needed is straightforward clarity. Feminist AF Put it as it is: the book has answers to readers’ questions, but often those answers are not easy or straightforward.
Positivity in Feminist AF is all the more powerful when it is contextualized, direct and honest. The imperative to recognize oppressive patriarchal lies about a girl’s worth and practice consistently disbelieving them is a more tangible positive imperative than I have found in many self-help books. For example, at a time when the book tackles the old rhyme “sugar and spices and all that is nice” – as a tool to deconstruct expectations of female performativity – the authors write not only with purpose, but with a full picture seen that includes the many subtle pressures that girls, especially black girls, face as their behavior and attitudes are vetted towards kindness.
This recognition frames a passage that I think deserves to be cited in detail:
“The three of us understand and treat anger like a superpower… Anger is a reasonable response to dealing with the madness of racism, sexism, homophobia and all the other things every day of our lives. Our anger is a compass that tells us that we have been hurt in some way or that we have experienced injustice. The desire to be treated fairly is fundamental to being human. When we are treated unfairly, we get angry, which is also a human response. To deny our right to our anger is to deny our right to our humanity.
This passage does a great job of encompassing the uncompromising delivery and clarity that permeates the book as a whole. There are no two ways to go about crunk feminism: Girls are worth it, are powerful, complicated, and have every right to a range of emotions and experiences no matter how loud they are. , disorderly or not very feminine. And it’s wonderful to read.
The authors tackle every problem and every hurdle, from struggles in school to hair care, with the same rams, always expanding the measure of who their reader is capable of being and the coded ways the world tends to push back. . Power and permission are at the heart of the book: children often need to hear explicitly that something is allowed. You see this game in classic psychiatric studies as the experience of gendered play spaces, when young boys even refused to sit on a pink chair because it wasn’t the right one. correct thing to do in their experience. In other words, no one had told them everything was fine.
Feminist AF gives broad permissions without making it condescending. On the contrary, the authors give the feeling that many doors open while inviting you to explore at your own pace.
The book is trustworthy because it is both transparent and clearly invested in treating its reader with respect. It’s also direct with the generational gap between writers and readers. Cooper, Craft Tanner, and Morris write explicitly from generation to generation, using the lineage of female hip-hop figureheads as a guide.
There is no presumption of consistent and reliable femininity: one author writes about the transgressive power of her own mother wearing pants and keeping her own last name in marriage. This is not the world of the book audience, but the authors know it. These girls have a new generation of idols and role models, a new kind of feminist energy.
At the heart of this book is the repeated rallying call: “Your worth is not in question. The authors bring to life all the coexisting oppressive systems that young girls feel the effects of, but often do not yet know what to name them. Feminist AF gives a perspective to instinctive challenges, with an adult contextualization. And underneath it all is the powerful certainty that even in a world teeming with so many obstacles for girls, and especially girls of color, girls’ agency and promise has sacrosanct value.
These are not prospects that lose value with age. I personally read the book as an adult, pursuing my second masters at MIT, and its message is something I needed to hear. It’s hard to imagine the power to put this book in the hands of girls who are just starting out in life and starting to consciously build their worldview. It’s just to say: I’m glad this book is here. Definitely take a copy.