Apr. 29th, 2011

ithiliana: (Joanna Russ)
[personal profile] ithiliana
I can feel the pain and rage and loss condensing in my chest.

I would not be the queer woman I am today had I not read "When It Changed" in a small town in Idaho during the late 1960s (I never remember the exact date, I was 13 or 14).

I have been walking carefully since I first read of her entry into a hospice yesterday, because I'm afraid of what might happen if I let go.

But I'm not alone. We're not alone. And I started thinking about re-reading Russ' work, and posting about it, and then I thought--a community because I'm not alone.

So I started this community.

I am mourning, we all are, but I also want to celebrate her life and works.
ide_cyan: Dalbello peering into a screen (testing)
[personal profile] ide_cyan
One of the many, many things I value of Joanna Russ's writing is the connections she makes to other women's works. (Also her footnotes are often hilarious.) If keeping an oppressed population in ignorance is one of the major tools of oppression, then keeping memory alive, forging links between generations and restoring a sense of history to people who are written out of history by their oppressors is a vital tool of resistance. Knowledge is power. Anamnesis is empowering. Connections make us stronger, and those between the past and the future are as important as the ones that exist between us in the present.

Russ wrote:

"Experience alone is unintelligible. Theory alone is empty. Consciousness-raising is whatever brings the two together, formally or informally, in a classroom, in a house, on the street, in an apple orchard in Sonoma. It is research." (What Are We Fighting For? p. 436-437.)

I heard about Dale Spender through Joanna Russ's work, and I'd like to quote something Spender herself quoted (in There's Always Been A Women's Movement This Century), which was said by Hazel Hunkins Hallinan in commemoration of her friend, Alice Paul. The words are:

"In her honour we should dedicate ourselves anew to finishing our own liberation."
ithiliana: (Joanna Russ)
[personal profile] ithiliana
I wanted to start re-reading EVERYTHING by Russ today, but that is impossible (even if I had lots of time, I cannot do it all at once!).

So I decided to start with her last (as far as I know?) work, one which probably hasn't gotten as much attention/readership as others. It's big (476 pages, including the bibliography and index!), so I'm going to do one small bit at a time. She started writing it in 1985 (a "small" paper), and published the book in 1998.

Reading and blogging as I read, _What Are We Fighting For?: Sex, Race, Class, and the Future of Feminism_ )

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What Are We Fighting For?

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