(White) Fem uh nist

[photopress:femuh1.jpg,full,centered]
(White) fem uh nist 2005.
Cross stitch in memory box.

This green memory box with purple cross stitched text was created in the traditional colours of the women’s movement. It is a celebration of this, but also the word ‘feminist’ is written to show the phonetic way it is said about a woman who is seen as over-bearing and angry. The work is both a celebration of the justifiably “angry feminist” but also an acknowledgement of the shortcomings of such an image in creating social change. A regular criticism of feminism is that it is dominated by white (usually middle class) women who speak as if their experiences (as white women) are representative of all women. This accusation says too often their race is invisible, thereby excluding black women and other women of colour. The white text on the white background saying “white” is an acknowledgment that the creator of the work is a white feminist who is attempting to acknowledge her race and its inherent white privilege but at the same time she, like most of white Australia, can unknowingly live with their white privilege in everyday society where their race is treated as the norm and thereby stays invisible.

8 Responses to (White) Fem uh nist

  1. cherie says:

    fascinating!

  2. Crabgrass says:

    Also, “Fem Uh Nist” is how the word was drawn in a Hothead Paisan comic – it was written out in syllables like this inside a speech bubble.

    Never read Hothead Paisan? Invest in a back issue – it’s the most amazing feminist comic I’ve ever read.

  3. zinegeek says:

    Oh my god, you’re right! I used to LOVE Hothead Paisan. I can’t believe that I had forgotten that that is where I originally saw it! Thank you for reminding me so Diane DiMassa (author/artist of Hothead) can get her due props. I didn’t mean to steal her idea without referencing! Everyone should check out Hothead Paisan: Homicidal Lesbian Terrorist. I think the two books I own are brought together in the completed volume I link to here.

  4. Jessica says:

    I thought there was some sort of message in the fact that when you read from top to bottom rather than left to right it says “FUN”

  5. kitschenette says:

    do you know some other cherie, because i didn’t leave that first comment!
    weird.

  6. […] of people visiting zinegeek. The mystery was solved when we discovered a link to my cross stitch (White) Fem Uh Nist on Feministing! Oh my god, how very cool. Can’t remember whether or not I’ve mentioned […]

  7. […] know that white, middle-class feminism has been regularly criticised for these assumptions. (See my artwork on being a white […]

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