Feminist Shah Rukh Khan

reimagining our solidarity

"there’s a trend on social media/click bait websites (eg buzzfeed, upworthy, facebook) of highlighting anti-violence campaigns by women in the Global South. can we stop for a moment and think about whose voices are being amplified here, how they are being amplified, and by whom? when anti-gendered  violence campaigns in India and Egypt gain popularity by western consumers, we need to ask ourselves when did women-centered anti-violence organizing become something for us to consume and “like” on our newsfeeds? we need to move beyond narratives about how “appealing/entertaining/powerful” these videos are in their ability to “break stereotypes”. who are they “breaking stereotypes” for? why is it that only videos that portray (light-skinned, rich, elite, upper-caste, thin, straight, able-bodied) women in the Global South as creative, agentic beings garner the most attention from us? why don’t we critically examine who has the platform to highlight these anti-violence campaigns? most of the time we do not know who made the videos, how these click-bait websites got access to these videos in the first place, and whose voices the videos may be excluding. instead we are bombarded with a decontextualized blurb that says, “cheers to these exceptional brown women for shakin’ some things up!” how did we allow the purpose of these campaigns to be measured by how much we can relate to them? how did the effectiveness of these campaigns become measured by how much they satisfy our (western) understanding of women’s struggles in India and Egypt? how did this organizing become about us? how do we re-imagine for whom and for what reasons we are extending solidarity to women in the Global South?"

                                                                         -zeinab khalil & annie sajid

*Gloria E. Anzaldúa*

*Gloria E. Anzaldúa*