Welcome to Modern Anarchy, the podcast featuring real conversations with conscious objectors to the status quo.
I'm your host, Nicole. I tried to keep her hiding all strong hope. I tried to keep her quiet, but she's screaming outside of me. I tried to keep her hiding all short of hope.
I tried to keep her quiet, but she's a wild, wild woman. On today's episode, podcaster and herbalist Asia joins us for a conversation all about a critical analysis of contemporary sexism. Together, we talk about love as a conduit of oppression, reclaiming with fourth wave feminism, and how the personal is binary, but the political is queer. It was such a gift to have Asia on the podcast and hear just the breath of knowledge she has about the levels of oppression that we are all swimming in as people living in this world.
I mean, I know at the Modern Anarchy family, there are listeners around the globe that are not from America. Just a reminder, we in America lost our federal right to abortion. I live in a state like Illinois in Chicago, which is very liberal, and so that is not a direct threat to my ability to receive an abortion. With that privilege, sometimes I forget that this happened. We lost that right, and we can't stop fighting for our rights as women and for all people that have wombs.
This is not okay. I appreciated so much of what Asia said about this being a conversation about labor as well. I think there's a lot there that we all can learn from, and even if you don't agree with Asia's perspective, that's okay.
I'm still sitting with a lot of things Asia said and identifying the parts where maybe I agree or maybe I would have had more pushback now editing this podcast. I think it's so important that we are able to debate one another. That's how we're going to create a space for liberation, opening up to talk to one another, have different opinions, and stay in relationship through that. Just because we have different opinions doesn't mean that we have to end the relationship, and that so much of what is going on in our culture. It's important that we listen to one another. It's important that you challenge one another, and it's important that you disagree. That is good.
If you disagree with today's conversation, all these pieces, good. Keep that fire. Keep studying. Keep going.
Keep exploring more. We need more voices from different opinions, all contributing to this conversation about what it means to find liberation and to be in greater connection with one another. That is how we're going to change the paradigm. I hope all of y'all enjoy this conversation. I hope you feel challenged. I hope you come away with new ideas. I promise you that will happen. I can certainly promise you that.
Y'all, tune in. I go with the flow. If there was something else on your heart that you're just like, oh my god, I need to talk about this today, I'm also happy to hold that space as well.
I wanted to talk about platonic intimacy with you. Oh yes. That's my space.
I love talking about that stuff. Yes. I'm ready to run with you. Let's go. Okay. Let's talk about all of it then. We will weave as the conversation emerges. Yes. I was like, I told my wifey for a wifey, Kana Deseroses, we have our little podcast, our petty, herbalist podcast. I saw, yes. And we also have the Bad Bitch Book Club.
Woo! Yes. And so we're reading Caliban and the Witch. And one, like, I love it.
I host two book groups, one online and one in person. And it's just, I fucking love, Caliban and the Witch is a hard-ass book. Tell me about it.
I haven't heard it before. Caliban and the Witch, as was published by Marxist feminist, Sylvia Frederici, to really explore this concept of primitive accumulation or what things created the prerequisites for a capitalist economy. But she does that with the feminist lens understanding sort of the gendered analysis of the rise in the emergence of capitalism and Western Europe. And so she links that to, of course, the burning of witches and all of the ways that women had to be destroyed for primitive accumulation and capitalism to rise. And so, you know, in our book club, which is multi-gendered, we got Indigenous mamas in our book club. We got Black mamas and White mamas. All the people. Yes.
That's right. My book club better be as diverse as I am. But yeah, the kind of concepts that are coming out of book club are fascinating.
In particular, the role of female friendships and how they subvert the traditional sort of methodologies of oppression and extraction. And it's something that me and my wife, we're platonic, but we're committed forever. I love that. It's very cute. Very cute.
We're going to have a house with many rooms. Yes. We've just been disrupting and really angry at romance and how raggedy it is and how romance is the place where all of our disintegrated shit shows up. It's like, what the whole fuck? Like, you could be the most upright, righteous, like loving person and then you get a boyfriend or you get a girlfriend or you get a person. Goodbye.
And all your shadow. It's like, why is romance the place that's most open to being programmed by society? And why is that the place where all of our traumas emerge? So we were like, what if we just ex-nade romance because it's kind of trash and everyone's unhappy. You know? It's like everyone's unhappy.
And what if we made friends with people? Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. I mean, rethinking the paradigm of what romance is. I mean, I am ready to hear how you are subverting this because I'm already with you.
It is such an interesting thing. And my inner romantic is like, I love love, but also like, how can we expand that out to all of our relationships? Why does that have to be specific to one type of partner? And like rethinking that paradigm of what is romance and relationship or maybe you're not having sex with that person, the typical combo of the two. And then rethinking that in all of your relationships. And I think, you know, love is what makes things grow, what makes things expand, right? So when we bring that kind of energy into our other relationships, it helps us all grow together.
Truly. It's also important to remember one of my favorite texts is called the Velvet Glove. And it looks at the ways in which love is one of the strongest conduits of oppression. There's a reason why, you know, the researchers actually have a scale for level of radicalness, right? And black people in general are at the top of the scale. The poor people are in the middle. But women are at the very bottom. Because of the proximity to our oppressors.
There are fathers, our sons, our children, our partners. And that proximity eases extraction and exploitation. And so it's hardest for women to contend with the oppressive factors that are operating in our lives because it's next to us when we go to sleep versus black people have been able to etch out spaces where whiteness doesn't exist.
Poor people are living in poor communities. And so they're seeing the difference between the half and the half. And so it's hard to say that women are not. But women are entrenched in it. And so love, yes, causes expansion, but love is also a conduit of oppression.
And it really eases, right? It eases those oppressive factors and makes it hard to challenge or interrogate them. And so when we think about that proximity work.
Right. We actually are still embedded in an oppression in a lot of different ways. And it does take multiple generations of movements like feminism to get us to start to critique and analyze that embeddedness. But what our best friends do, and what our best friends offer is a super embedded, intertwined, entangled relationship that is non-extracted.
Right? And so whereas we think of oppression in a sort of vertical and linear way, right? It's like pushing down on us. If you have a best friend, then it's like spreading out in the opposite direction. Yeah.
So it's like the oppression coming from above is not going to hurt you as much when you have this horizontal spaciousness. Yeah. Yeah.
Yeah. And that makes me think about trees, thinking about how they go up vertically, right? You get all this wind coming through. You might break your branches, all that sort of stuff. But the roots underneath that go so deep and stretch out to maybe other trees and share resources and have all of that. I mean, that's how we get through this.
Yes. I'm wanting to hear more about the oppression. I think when I think about this, it's so hard sometimes because it's the water that we swim in, right? We're just little fish, just women in this little water and the oppression is the water. And so like if you could bring some language to what it is we're swimming in. Yeah.
And let me name that. Sometimes these conversations can have a cis hetero sort of lens. And I want to fully acknowledge that the pattern is not the rule, right? But the pattern exists and it's important to not pretend like it doesn't exist. The pattern is valid. So we are talking at the pattern level. Right.
And at that pattern level, we're reading Caliban in the witch because of the recent attack on women's rights, the rights of women and our siblings have been, people don't know how significant it is to lose protection for abortion. Huge. People have no fucking clue. Life changing, paradigm changing.
People. So thinking about the actual ramifications of what happens when children are unwanted or are not able to be cared for, the foster care system is in shambles. We know that we don't have the infrastructure to hold unwanted children, you know, and so really understanding what happens and what's going to happen to these babies.
And so I'm out here in Colorado. Abortion is constitutionally, I think, protected by our state. So we are going to be a sanctuary state.
Yeah. And people, women, our siblings are going to come here and we need to have our infrastructure to hold all the people and all the women who are going to come here to seek support. So we're starting those feminist stages of organizing. Our book club is one third yoga, needra one third relational activities and then one third, quote unquote the work, because a feminist way of organizing centers that the organizers deserve rest that the organizers deserve play that the organizers deserve to be uplifted because all of our organizers are also going to go home and cook dinner are also going to go home and take care of family are also not at home.
Yeah, we can't extract the givers who are people who are showing up at book right right. So why are we reading caliban the witch well, and this whole conversation of understanding what sexism is. Because I find that, you know, most people can name the leaders of the civil rights movement, because black people are real powerful. Most people can't name the leaders of the feminist movement. Because women get erased. They get erased.
The whole thing right. They get erased and no one appreciates them. And so in one generation, their books, their stories, their language, all of it is gone. Women studies has become queer theory, no shade to queer theory but like, we need women studies.
Right. Like, we need all the things we can't colonize women and women ideology because it's, I'm thinking about the protests that are happening in Iran right now and all throughout the Middle East. It's like, where's queer there what is queer theory have to say about that and it can't really articulate these these deep realities about like what women are globally, and how we're experiencing the same thing over and over again.
Yes. What Caliban and the witch teaches us from our sweet auntie Sylvia Frederici is that sexism is not about the fact that women are cute. The fact that we, you know, it's just like, it's not our outfit. It's not how we feel about ourselves it's literally the fact that we we reproduce the labor force. Mm hmm. It's, it's like, oh cute nails well no no no no no no. This is not what it's about it's about the fact that we birth, and not only do we birth, but our decision to birth or not birth impacts the macro economy.
Right. It impacts the amount of people the amount of laborers that are available to be exploited or not. And so, in particular to be looking at like the bubonic plague and some of the things that happened in early European pre capitalist history. And we see the mechanisms that when the population decreased because of natural disaster plague. Right.
The church then became a governing factor to force women to reproduce and not only did it hurt women but it went after LGBTQ people as well because our struggles are linked. Yeah, right. Yeah, we're both right. Yeah, yeah.
Yeah, absolutely. And so you see the church coming hard on the queers. You see the church coming hard on women, but so hard on women that they're actually committing femicide like they're actually places in Germany where no women existed right after like this is total war on the female body and forcing that body to reproduce more laborers because what happened after the bubonic plague was that there were so few workers that they were needed by their employers right they were needed by the capitalist. But they were like, well you can't fire us and we need better health care.
We need better pay, we need better clothing we need better housing we need health care. Right. So these medieval Europeans were like, we need the things and the feudal lords the same class of people who have been oppressing all of us all the time. Right. White supremacy culture but it's really like a group of wealthy white men so let's just be real specific that they've been screwing over everybody including Europeans.
They're like, oh hell no. We need more people so that there's more competition so that people need us instead of we need them. And so they force these regimes of forced birth and we see it's not a coincidence that after COVID-19. Yeah. And it's again a laborers market because people have exited the workplace you've seen the wages rise haven't you. Right.
Because there are less laborers. So what happens the clap back forced birth. Right? Other countries have different ways and means of incentivizing women and our siblings to have kids.
Right? They're like, we're going to make it safe for you to have kids by offering paytime off and healthcare and free education. Australia's like have one for you, one for the daddy and one for Australia. And we're going to pay you your same salary. We're going to pay you your same salary for you to have a kid.
So one way that countries encourage birth is this beautiful way, making the world a better place so that women and our siblings decide to have kids. Yep. The other way is force. And that's the methodology and strategy of our government here in the United States and all over the world. It's like, no, we're not going to make it safe for you to have kids and we're going to force you to do it. So it was important for us to ground down and what sexism is actually about.
Sexism is actually specifically about the female body and the control of that body is the control of the labor force is the control of the market and is really the control of the growth or the shrinking of economy. And so we hold so much power in our decision to choose life or not. And I needed us to have a historical analysis. You know, Roe versus Wade came to part right after the population bomb.
Do y'all remember back in the day was like in the 70s or 80s or whatever. And there was this concern about overpopulation. And there was a book called the population bomb right by earlick or something.
We'll have to look that up. But so the world, everyone was concerned that there were too many people, right? So it makes sense that that's when we would encourage abortion, right? So our abortion rights came out of the same like macro and micro economic factors that our abortion rights have been taken away in. Right.
And what we as women and folks who give birth have to say is that like, fuck all y'all make the world better and we'll have babies. Yes. Period.
Yes. You can't compel us. We don't want it. We choose not to birth is actually what's best for the whole world. You know, it's what's best for the whole world. So we need to change the conditions of labor. Right.
Instead, they're changing the conditions of our ability to choose. And that's raggedy. And I had to gather my siblings and my peers and my sisters together because I find that we don't have a critical analysis of sexism. We have analyses of gender and sexuality, which are cute, right?
Relevant. But the deep analysis, like not understanding that all sexual oppression and that all gender oppression emerges from sexism. Sexism is the grandma. Yeah, y'all are talking to the grandkids.
Y'all are making theory about the grandkids, but you can't forget the grandma. You can't forget like what this is about. And it's about body and it's about choice and it's about control of those bodies. And so I had to, you know, as an herbalist, as a materialist, as a person who grounds everything into biological material reality, I had to really share this deep knowledge with with all of my siblings, because it's, it's easy for us to get sidetracked and confused about what this is about. So that's why we're reading Caliban and the Witch so that we can have a great analysis to understand the abortion debate. And we're not like blaming, you know, Christians, we're not blaming protesters. Like it's important for us to know, but this is manufactured by capital, you know, and that people are just being operationalized, you know.
Yeah, it was so clear when you said it to about the other countries where when it comes to the birthing question, you know, providing more resources, making it more possible in the capitalistic game to be able to do that compared to our structure where it's literally forced. I mean, like, when you sit with that dichotomy of the world, I mean, it is just glaringly painful to see the world that we are in. And I think, you know, as you're speaking, I'm just like, yes, yes, but what do we do? What do we do?
Oh my God, this is out of our control, right? But at the same time, like, you're doing what the work is, and I guess we're doing it in the space right now of communicating about it, which is like consciousness raising groups, right? Having these conversations on a smaller scale so that we all become aware of this and then with that knowledge move through the world differently. So with me, it's consciousness raising is just the first step. Oh yeah. For our organization, we're donating money to frontline mutual aid groups that support like pregnant folks, right?
Like that is our, it's like, oh, it's cute that we're learning, but we don't move some money. Yeah. Okay.
We're going to create organization. And then the other thing that's important to me as an herbalist is that we want to have bodily autonomy, but we don't know shit about our bodies. Yeah. Now, what you know about your pelvic floor, though, TVH, like, what you know about your administration, what you know about menopause, like, very little. Exactly.
So we want the state to give us bodily autonomy, but we don't have autonomy over our own bodies. So it's not just learning the theory, right? It's like, what is the practice you need to have every month at moon time, so that you're not depleted for the rest of the month. And so, female bodily autonomy is female bodily autonomy. I need, I need all of us, where however we identify to get what this body is about and what the gift of this body is. This body is a gift to everyone and everything. But there's a special magic that lives inside of it. And, you know, because most folks aren't connected to that grandmothers, you know, and a lot of the works that the feminists really unearthed for us, that were erased in one generation.
Yeah. The story of second wave and third wave feminism is so interesting to me, because it really tells the story about the generational trauma that women experience. Third wave feminism was actually one biological generation away from second wave feminism. And we can look at the story of Alice Walker and her daughter Rebecca Walker. Alice was an amazing second wave womanist feminist. And it was really hard for her daughter to to face that it was really hard for her daughter to not be centered and Alice's life and so her daughter really took on that she was going to destroy the legacy of her mother and create third way feminism and she really did. Third wave feminism was literally a lot of salty daughters who were mad at their mom. Oh, yeah, say more for the listener who's never heard of this and this like shift here.
Yeah, so some of the like pillars and practices of second wave feminism are really about like undoing the bondage of like motherhood and not like it doesn't have to be centered like they were like, now we're going to go into the workplace we're going to open this up we're going to be rosy the riveters we're going to, you know, where these like shoulder pads and make us look more masculine like we're going to go toe to toe with these men. Okay. They said we go and go toe to toe. This is where we start learning about goddess this is where we start learning about these second waivers were undoing patriarchal tellings of histories.
We have some of the most powerful potent scholarship that really helps us understand this idea of matriarchy and that it existed there undoing the embedded sexism and anthropology and sociology. These second waivers were going hard. Mm hmm. Right. They were very radical.
And they had radical personal practices which was like, I'm not going to center motherhood and I'm not going to be a mother and, you know, and their babies were like, I am abandoned. Mm hmm. Right.
Their babies are like, fill in salty filling said in their trauma body, like, what does it mean to have a mother that doesn't center you. Mm hmm. Yeah.
Right. Third wave feminism comes up. Third wave feminism is postmodern. It's, you know, it's all all ideas are valid. It's contesting reality. Everything is a social construct. It's, it's really detached and it's really honestly a neoliberal feminist politic.
Right. Third wave feminism is so in line with capitalism because it makes it about the performance we have Judith Butler saying that gender is a is a performance. Yeah, we see the detachment of gender from body, which is useful to some of our siblings who need that. Mm hmm. But it's not useful to those of us who don't need that. Mm hmm.
Because it causes us to be ungrounded and it causes us to reinstitutionalize the Cartesian duality between the mind and the body. So then we have trouble, right? There's trouble in the waters.
There are people who ground their identity in their bodies and people who don't Donna Harroway. Yeah. And it asks us to stay with the trouble. And so we do. And so we are, we're staying with the trouble, right?
For me, sitting with the third wave and the second wave feminist in the book club, it's like I love all of us, right? Like, so we are though, we are with the trouble. We are with the linguistic complexities. We are with the really different ideas about like body and identity and we're still under capitalism, right? Like, and so we still have these unifying factors that can support our coming together, irrespective of what our perspective about gender and sex and all of these things are. Mm hmm. Right?
Like, we are still all sitting under the same pressure, irrespective of how we tell the story. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Absolutely.
Yeah, the same pressure is above all of us. Could you say more too about reinforcing the Cartesian duality of the mind body and the difference with gender there? Like, I'm very intrigued. Yeah. So, you know, third wave feminists were really seeking to undo the ways that patriarchy linked our subordination to our body. Mm hmm.
Right? Women are this way because they're female. Women are this way and because they're this way, then we shouldn't pay them. We shouldn't employ them. They're only suitable for teaching and mothering.
So the third waivers were really like hold, mm hmm. They said there is no such thing as difference between the male and female body. They said they said a lot to really detach the body from the identity because they were using these biological arguments to oppress us.
And so third waivers were like, nah, not F the biology, you know, like, mm hmm. No, no, it's just an act. It's just a performance.
Right. And I think their hearts were in the right place. I think that each group of activists responds to the condition of the world at its time.
And so they had to contest biological arguments for our oppression. Yeah. But for me, I'm a fourth wave feminist.
Mm hmm. So my work is to thank my mother for all of the work that she did, understanding that she's imperfect. But I also really honor my grandmother.
Right. I'm my grandmother's child. So my work in feminism has been to go back to the second wave and honor the work that was done there.
Honor the work that my mother has done and then honor the way that the world is different now and the path that I have to take. And so my relationship to feminism is also healing the lineage of women in my family, because these are meta conversations like how feminism played out is exactly how our relationship with our mothers play out. Mm hmm. There's one story here. Right. And so how do I love all of it?
How do I love all of it? The sacrifice of the second wave feminists. They were raggedy, right? They're doing some raggedy shit because they had to be compatible with patriarchy in order to break into it, right?
But I'm fourth wave. They already shaped the microbiome. They shaped the soil so that it's safe for people like me to show up in my fullness. Yes. Right? Like I get to show my fullness because of the work they did. So I get to make as much money as my male peers and have female strategies like the world has been made significantly better. Yes.
By the struggles of the first waivers, the second waivers, and the third waivers. And so as the granddaughter who's inheriting these lineages, I can critique them. And you should.
And we should. But I also, I have to reclaim them like the way that reclamation of my identity and my female body has shown up is in walk step with the development of my power and my magic. I too was sexist and that sexism came a lot from feminism who said the goal is for us to be like men and any of this feminine shit is trash. They said it's trash. They said working in the house is trash. They said childcare is trash. They said trash, trash, trash.
So they didn't mean to, but they really demeaned all of these traditionally female things. And my work is to reclaim fiber as technology. My work is to reclaim the kitchen and invite other people into it. Like with Vandana Shiva told us to do, right? No, we do need to go back to the kitchen, but we bring the men and the children with us.
With us. Yeah. Right.
So it's like reclaiming food, reclaiming cleaning. Like it's so fascinating. Like the fact that witches are associated with brooms. And my understanding of the spread of the bubonic plague was really based on the hygiene of the household. And so Jewish families and Muslim families in Europe, the plague just went around them because they had such great hygiene and they built the hygiene into their culture.
Right. So that room and cleanliness we know from COVID-19 like you want to be a virus free, you keep your shit clean, right? But the symbol of the broom, right, has been a symbol of female oppression and we don't want to clean.
We don't want to cook. We want to hire brown immigrant women to take care of our children, to take care of, you know, so it's like it's raggedy. But what is it like to reclaim all of those things that they made us feel bad about to reclaim gossip as a form of radical communication claim getting our nails done as a form of acupressure. We claim every single thing that they came for us, adornment, right? They make all the women's shit look like it's superficial.
I'm sorry. But pumpkin spice lattes are the exact kind of beverage that we should be having during the winter. There's so much vitamin A and pumpkin, which supports our immune system. And the lungs are supported by pungent spices like cinnamon, clove, star anise, right? Cardamom.
So like we should be eating spiced pumpkin drinks right now. Yes, herbalist. Yes. Women are associated with it. It's demeaned. Yeah. Especially when white women like shit.
It's totally demeaned, right? So just reclaiming is what I feel like fourth way feminism is about reclaiming my power as an herbalist, reclaiming my registration, not as a struggle, but as an opportunity to connect with God. Right. Reclaiming with my thighs touching as a way to keep my nice sexual organs warm. Okay, like we have, we reclaim the body, we reclaim the culture. And we take everything in, you know, it's like, God, we just put love on everything.
I put love on the people who choose to work, I put love on the people who choose to work in the home. Yes. You know, we put love on our aunties who make that easier for all families and our uncles, right? Our safe grandparents. So it's like, how do we like, how do we reclaim everything? And friendship for me is like reclaiming female bonds that are not sexual, that are not based in contract. It's like, this is one of the purest forms of love. Like we can love our children, but that's us taking care of our genetic material. Yeah. We can love our partner, but that's us taking care of. But when we love our best friend, that's different.
That's pure. like what strings are there? There's no strings. Exactly. There's waste beads that we put on each other's tummies to honor our beauty, right? Like that is for me like pure love, but it's a model for cross cultural solidarity as well.
Yeah. We could love our best friend. Then for me, I love Koreans because my best friend's Korean. And what my love for Koreans looks like is like I say I go to the Korean sauna. I go to the Korean salon. I speak to big well. I build relationships. Those are my sisters, right?
Yes. Like I'm like, JaJa, how you doing sis? Is it the most since I've seen you?
How's your brain? You know, like community, community, but the model of friendship is what actually like we could be friends with people who think differently. We could be best friends with them. Yeah. I mean, you're again, like when you were talking about reclaiming this too, I was thinking about like the early first couple, the first wave, second wave of feminism being completely white feminism, right? And letting go of the importance of race as a part of this piece.
I'm thinking about bell hooks and anti women, like this whole piece here of bringing into community and also seeing the differences in all of our experience, womanist feminist teachings as well. Like that has not been a part of it. And so reclaiming all of that to come into community now is so powerful. And I want to shout out that white feminism had to be white feminism. Yeah, to get it through at the beginning.
It did. Yeah. There's a pattern that like power talks to power. Yeah.
And so you needed to have the white feminists to open up the institutions that were held by the white men to the brown people and they did that work. Yeah. And they get shit on because they did that work. Yeah. Because it wasn't perfect.
Because it wasn't perfect. Yeah. There are parts of intersectional feminism that I really, I don't like intersectionality. Yeah, say more intersectionality is really useful. Shout out to the lawyer who created it as a legal construct in order to name the kind of oppression that black women were experiencing the duality of race and gender. But intersectionality has been extrapolated to sort of privilege and celebrate people with the most intersections. And not only that, but the struggle with black feminism, and I'm a black woman feminist, so I can name it, the struggle with black feminism, of course, is that like, when you have to contend with race, class and gender, shout out to Angela Davis, when you have to contend with all of those, you're not able to go as deep in any one of them.
You're stuck in this middle place and you're not able, and that middle place is power. Okay, that is an analysis in and of itself. And black feminists haven't been able to go as deep in African feminisms. Or maybe they're not able to go as deep in Marxism, or maybe they're not able to go as deep in racism.
And so we actually need all the different identities, those that are intersected and those that are, all identities are intersected, but those that are not in order to actually expand the spectrum of the information. Like, I need black men who aren't feminist to be going hard on Marxism. You know, the black people have one of the most beautiful Marxist critique, we think of the black power movement as a black Marxist movement. And that's why they came for us, because that shit was powerful.
Absolutely. And these men were raggedy. They were raggedy. Yes, it's very true. And they had to be taken down. But their analysis, though, okay, we don't erase the analysis just because the human is raggedy.
Right. As we move forward, and I'm fourth wave, then I take Huey Newton's analysis, and I'm taking Malcolm X. I'm nodding at the way that they were sexes, but I'm also nodding at their genius. And I'm able to take their analysis, and I'm able to take, you know, Clarissa Pinkola S.S. is analysis and women who run to the wolves, and I'm able take these things. But when everything is intersectional, then the spectrum is too narrow. It's not broad enough. It's not broad enough. It's not deep enough.
It's too surface to surface. So there are beauty and complexity. And I feel like my job is to like nod to all the ancestors who created this world.
I have time to analyze it. Yes, yes. Yes, yes, 100%. We step on the shoulders of giants, right? That's, and with that of like, we don't throw out the baby with the bathwater, right? Like, there's a lot of bathwater that needs to be maybe tossed, but the baby is still there.
The baby is there. And just like, if we can recognize the imperfection of these waves of feminism and these waves of Marxism and these waves of movement, then we can also, we can also love our parents and our grandparents. We can also like, love the fact that like, they were imperfect. We can love them for everything that they were and everything that they were not. And we can love ourselves too, for my blind spots. Right? Like, in what ways are my philosophies causing harm to people with different bodies and experiences?
Like, can I love myself and still be harmful? Right? So it's like, these worlds are really complex. And what's fascinating is that when I sit with the bodies in a room, none of these ideas actually matter. Say more. Yeah. Tell me.
Yeah. So feminist said, personal is the political. For me, the political is binary and the personal is queer. Say more. Yes. So like, we, so we have to take on these binary positions in order to advocate for ourselves. So in order for black people to receive resources, we have to say there's a thing called black and that there's a thing called white that is, that is his opposite. I love our transgender movement.
It's very fascinating because it's like, break down the binary, but they had to create cisgender in order to create transgender in order to advocate for themselves. Yeah. So at the level of political, we're always creating binaries, right? Othering. We're always othering. It's, it's the way we do politics. Yeah.
It's fascinating. Even queer has to create not queer. We know that everything is queer, you know, yeah, spectrum.
There's a spectrum. So, but we create binaries at the level of the politic in order to get the resources that we need for our beloved communities. But when we are in person with each other, when we are face to face, anything is possible. And we really cause harm to each other when we take these political ideological circumstance, like conversation and apply it to actual people that we're interfacing with.
Like what? I am not going to treat a conservative bad. Okay. We may not talk about politics. We may. And like, we're going to talk about food. We're going to talk about family. We're going to talk about all the other things because like, people aren't a politic.
And that's where, uh-uh, uh-uh, personal is not the political at the level of personal. If you want to actually be happy and build relationships, you have to recognize that like these archetypes, you know, race, gender, all of these are just archetypes. These archetypes don't fucking apply. There's no one who actually is their assigned gender. I've never met a woman who, you know, is makeuped as a mother, you know, all the stereotypes that we're like going against. I've never met an actual woman who was like that because we're all complex and all possibilities are there. Right?
It's like everything is possible. So me as a black woman, as a fat black woman, Marx says, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Going up in a room with all white men, I don't fucking care that they're white. I get my way. I get my way. I get my fucking way. Like I always get my fucking way because I don't perform the script.
Right? I don't perform like they're my oppressor. I don't perform like they're different from me. I don't perform like I'm oppressed. I don't perform like, no, it's queer.
Anything is possible whenever I enter a room. Applying the political to the personal actually reinforces oppression, reinforces and disentangles relationship, reinforces like a lot of harm. So for me, the personal is queer. Every new person is an opportunity. Every new person is unknowable, powerful and love looks like getting to know them. So that's my world.
Like that's my world. When we talk about like liberation, it's like, hey, that story is just a story and we use that story for political reasons to get stuff in things. But if you apply that story to your person, then it can cause harm. Now what's fascinating though is we talk about feminism and we talk about women and their oppression until there's complexity there because we don't notice the ways in which that story operates in our personal relationships. You see women and sexism is deeply personal where racism and classism is between larger groups, but sexism is really an interpersonal kind of experience. It's interpersonal, political, but the harm is really centered in the personal. And I know these analysis are so nuanced and I don't want to have folks feeling like they, I don't want it to be inaccessible. I know that these are like grad school level conversations and I apologize for the inaccessibility there. No, no apologies here. No, this is what we need.
People will get it when it gets, you know, when they hear it, they'll be there and it's like us. So sexism is fascinating because sexism is actually centered in the home. You know, the tools that we have to really unpin sexism in the home is negotiation. Yeah, is communication.
Right is setting the terms one of my favorite sisters shout out to Janice Mason The way she negotiated that she would have three months without the kids three months with her husband three months, you know with her and having the kids in another country like she She was a mistress. Yes. Yes. Okay. I was like So it's like what are the skills that we need to you know radically Unpend the personal forms of sexism while we we need to be able to debate like we got to talk about it Some throat shock or shit.
Okay? Yes, open up open up And so I hope that like the critical spaces that I create our spaces where people feel liberated And those processes of debate and negotiation that they're gonna need with their parents That they're gonna need with their kids that they're gonna need with their partners and then social movement You know is also what we need for all of them and social movement is just the coagulation of relationship It's just relationships. It's just You know, oh, it's everything relational feminist psychology like it is the Complete core of our existence the complete core of how we see ourselves in the world and how we move about I mean, this is why I was gonna ask you and was wanting to see your opinion on cancel culture, right? I think this would go directly against everything that you've been saying and it's like so difficult in that way of like holding people Accountable but also pulling people into community and you kind of spoke on that earlier of like being kind to people that have opposite viewpoints And that's never a point to cast them out, you know Yeah, so cancel Kurt culture emerges in the left when the left is becoming more totalitarian So let me just name that something has happened in the last 10 years to the political left and That it has become wildly intolerant of different and what's beautiful for us to remember is that the left and the right are the same The left and the right are the same and it's a circle So when you get into the deep left you actually get into the right Right the right people on the right these are our family.
This is our siblings. We're all in one fucking country We are all one people one spectrum and the left has become more totalitarian it has become more intolerance it has become really segmented and so we see things like you're not a feminist if You don't believe in this this this this this this this this this yeah, yeah, yeah And then people are like, oh, I don't agree with this part. So I guess I can't be a feminist anymore Right and so it's like you have to take on all of these positions and that's some intersectionality shit, right? Right instead of coalition, which is what I believe in like I have a I I Kick it with the Marx's and then we come together as Marx's and we Support the immigrant rights movement, right? Or we come together as black people and we support this movement Coalitional politics allows for diversity, but trying to make everything one thing is raggedy And then you have to cut people out who don't agree with every they don't So I want to name that the left has become a lot less tolerant in a short amount of time and I want to name that cancelling is what happens when folks don't agree.
So let's talk about Kanye West Shout out to my girl Tammy Cho because the way she went hard for Kanye and How we love to project all of our ills on Kanye and we love to see Kanye fail and we write Kanye or shirt that said white lives matters But Kanye had a critique Kanye said that black lives matters was a game We had a critique we had a critique and I said So Kanye West is a trickster character and in every culture every single culture around the world We have our clowns. We have our jesters. We have our hyokia. We have our fucking issues We have we have our trickster characters and archetypes.
Yes This is archetypical Mm-hmm Kanye is an archetype and we need the trickster Because the trickster is meant to poke us and make fun of the things that have become too solid Okay So when we understand that Kanye is a trickster archetype, right? He had to say what he had to say because we We internalize black lives matters without contesting it I have always seen and not like the black lives matter movement as Someone who studied the black power movement I compared the black power ten point plan to the black lives matter ten point plan and I said, oh These black lives matter spokes don't really have a critique of capo like they don't really hold It was so superficial with the black power movement was asking for it was material It was like we need land we need radio stations We need it was so it was actually deep but what has happened with this Sort of postmodern and her formative movements is that like black lives matter then just becomes an advertising campaign, right? The question is has the material conditions of black people changed since the black lives matters movement?
Yeah, or was it just an advertising campaign? What are real politics as a Marxist Feminist and y'all conflate Marxism with communism stop doing that. That's raggedy.
Yeah, do you want to do that? No, you're like no Listen to Cornell West and Bernie Sanders and learn about democratic socialism, okay So what are so what our uncle West? I love uncle West. He let him teach you but So as a materialist again, I tell you I base everything in a biological reality Our black people further away from polluting industries The people in Flint, Michigan have water did they win those legal battles?
Right. How has the stress levels of black people decreased over time? I'm looking at the biological indicators of liberation I'm looking at our black people more paid or less paid, right? Do black people own more houses or less houses when I'm thinking about social movements I appreciate when the winds aren't Necessarily tactile. I was a part of the Occupy Wall Street. I was at NYU at the time Nothing.
Hell, yes sitting at Aaron Dottie Roy's feet. Okay and I was I was mad at Occupy because I was like, ah They were doing the intersectional thing and I was like no no no no no Ask for something and get it. Yeah They were like everybody has problems. So let's talk and then it was so dispersed I was like, oh Come on y'all like you gotta ask for a thing politics is binary ask for what we want.
Yes So that we can negotiate. Yeah, we can get a win but it was fascinating because after Occupy Wall Street what it did was it built relationships and there was a hurricane in New York. I forgot what it was called There was flooding and all this stuff and what was fascinating was that previous Occupy Wall Streeters had Organized specific communities and those community. They were able to Advocate for resources to communities who wouldn't normally get resources because Occupy built mycelium.
That's right And that's right. Yeah did and that connection really paid off when that hurricane came through those poorer communities Who had Occupy protesters were able to get resources and I was like, okay there's complexity here, like we can learn. Like there are things to be learned here, like shout out to that. So when I think about Black Lives Matters, and I'm thinking about, okay, they didn't advocate for specific things, but we have to be more complex in our analysis to get more complex social movements and a more complex time in history. And so let's look at some of the wins, like let's look at Joe Biden canceling $20,000 of student debt, right? Let's look at some of, there's a lot to be harvested by the Black Lives Matters movement, and there is a critique that it was an advertising campaign. And it's true, Kanye had, as the trickster character, he had to poke, because when we accept things unconditionally, because it's popular, because everybody else is saying it, because we quote unquote should, without actually interrogating how we actually feel, then that makes us stupider.
Having no stupider to learn. Yeah. Yeah, you can't be woke if you just eat everything that activists talk about. No, you gotta interrogate it. It has to be a conversation. You can't interrogate it on Instagram. You can't interrogate a meme. You can't interrogate, right? Like we have to be interrogating. Deeper. Yeah, or we placently accept, we talk shit about conservatives, but then we placently accept all of this raggedy stuff that's coming from the left as well, that's not actually interrogated.
So thank you, Yeezy. Okay, I know he's struggling with his mental health. And tricksters often do. Yeah. Right, shout out to all of our trans siblings, right? Thinking about the relationship between twixters and gender dynamics. Many tricksters were gender fluid, right? Many tricksters were like having to poke at when gender became too solid. So the tricksters came through to make fun of, right? When things become too rigid, that's when our tricksters show up. So Kanye as a trickster, I see my trans siblings, my gender queer siblings as trickster often, right? I see there are so many of us holding that trickster energy because the left has become too uncontestable. Yeah.
The right is too uncontestable, so we need our tricksters to break down and to make things funny, to make us think and to make us mad. Yes. That keeps us healthy. And this is how we imagine a new future, right? To like keep moving, we have to have this critical dialogue to know where we've been, kind of like our whole conversation was talking about. We want to keep from that. And then how do we imagine the future of where we're going to take that to create a new world, to create a new paradigm? Exactly, but we can't forget to look back.
Yes, exactly. So postmodernism has us like... It's like, no, there's no such thing as postmodern.
It's not post, we're living it. Like, what is this fake construction of time that we're living under? Like, are you kidding me? Like, it's so weird to live right now.
Yeah, and post what? As I live right here. Right.
There's no post. This is all the modern era. We're not past modern.
Modern anarchy. Listen, listen, we're in it right now. Like... Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. But yeah, no, we got to go back. We got to go back in it. Going back will challenge us, right?
So when, you know, I think about all the different gender identities that I've worn throughout the years and when my gender identity was primarily they, them, I couldn't be interested in the feminisms of the past because they were binary. Yeah, and they didn't have any space, right? Yeah. But that meant that I was cut off the teacher. And then I was, I was they, she and then I was she, they, right? And the more she that I got, the more I felt safe to go back in the past and to collect, to collect the knowledge, the wisdom of the female ancestors.
Right. So thinking about how the way that we identify ourselves impacts our willingness to go back. You know, I think about my white feminist siblings and white people in general who refuse to go back because they don't want to find the enslaver in the closet.
Yes. And so there's this like movement towards modernity only movement towards what they think is progress because they're shame and shadow, shadow when they go back. And same for African Americans, like who don't want to go back to the plantation. But as Donna Horowitz, my sweet auntie Donna, Donna and other black feminist scholars, like we got to go back to the plantation. I've seen we got to go back to the plantation.
Octavia took us back to the plantation with Kendred and really gave me the courage to go back to the plantation and to discover that like, wow, there's so much medicine here. Wow, there's so much magic here. Wow. Like enslaved people had a favorite flower. They had a time of day that they enjoyed. They had crushes. They had, right? Like I went back to the plantation and I made my ancestors whole. I made them fully fleshed.
I unflattened them and there it is 3D. And then they said, thank you for seeing us. So let us help guide you as you move forward since you accept us now. So as a black person, I had to go back to the hard part. Yes.
Right. Had to go back to the plantation. I had to get back on the slave ship and now I'm at the shores of Africa. Like now I'm in Ghana again. Now I'm situated with the Degara and talking to Paladoma, Somay and or Maladoma, Somay and Sabanfu, Somay and learning about like what I was 500 years ago. So right.
And so we do have to go back and these new politics that like have us think that being queer is new. It's not not even close, not even close. Right.
Yeah. But it's like we're only concerned about what our peers are talking about, but our peers are our age. So they have our same biases. So we got to talk to grandma about it. We got to heal, you know, the intergenerational trauma. But we think that we can do that with the psychologists on our own. Healing intergenerational trauma means you've got to talk to people of different generations. Yes.
Community is medicine. Yeah. It's not all this shit. You got to do the work.
Are you kidding me? Do you know how I heal my ancestors? I literally deliver medicine to my aunties, and to my mother, and to my elders. It's not all through me. That's some individual is bullshit.
Okay. Which is some Western shit right there. Western shit is. So yeah.
Feminist psychologists, which means that you're contesting and you understand that psychology has a white male bias. Oh my God. It is thick. It is thick. Sorry, but like, whoa. Yeah.
Yeah. So they're like, oh, the Western mind. No, this is the white male mind. I find that it's the females of each group that holds indigeneity because our rituals happen through our body in such a blatant way. So once you drop your blood, that's a fucking initiation that cannot be undone.
And it makes you immediately to your indigenous roots. The men, their initiations have to be externalized, right? Like because their their changes are more subtle. They have andropause, but it's far more subtle than menopause, which is so definite. And so that's why male societies, indigenously, have created their external rights of passage, which look like them starving and struggling and all this suffering because bitches suffer every month.
Every 28 days, every 28 days, I go through this same thing again. It's a blood sacrifice, right? That's what we give to the earth every month. We give our blood. And so the males, they have to do their external suffer because of the way colonization works.
worked. The female rights were erased and the male rights became the standard for indigenous rights so then we have our indigenous siblings like female siblings doing sweat lodge when sweat lodge was designed for males to suffer. We had moon lodge. We had our own things and we're not supposed to suffer because we suffer every month. Anyways, that's like super off track but the idea is that like we do have to go back and get it right. We have to go back and get it.
Hashtag Sankofa. Like we really do and then we have to integrate all of it and not make it wrong. Love all of it. We have to love all of it.
It's so hard to do. Yes, absolutely. And that's incorporating the shadow sides of ourselves and the history right to learn to love both the light and the dark. Yeah, we have to love our moms. Feminism is about how we feel about our moms.
That's all it is. How do you treat your mother, period. Yeah, the woman in your life.
Yeah, the women in your life. Like for me, when we take it back to the earth, racism is like how you treat black people. It's like decolonization is like when your indigenous auntie tells you to go protest at Sankor. Like do you do what she says? And it's like, yes, auntie, I will go. I will go.
I will support. Like it's all about relationship. It's like if you can think of like, I really thought about what it meant to be in solidarity with people of other cultures. And it looks like relationship and that also includes money. Like me and my wife, we both have patreons, right? One for the podcast and then one for me. Yeah. But I always give her money for my patreon anyways. So it's like, yeah, like that love also includes sharing money resources. Yeah, 100%.
Yes, for a relationship and oh, you need some gas. I remember one of my siblings was like, I only have $3 in my bank account. You know how quick I was with the cash app? She didn't even have to say nothing. I said, bitch, not you. You're not gonna have $3 and you're talking to me on the phone right now. Like, I'm not balling, but I got more than $3 to share. Let me let me make sure that your cash up is cash out.
Like, you know what I mean? Like, we have to share money too. Because money is just an external form of love, right? Money is just love, love externalized by our wage workers broke because their bosses don't love them. They don't see the humanity and their experience and the love that is needed to survive in this capitalistic world.
Yeah, you gotta love people. Yeah, Colorado, which we have a model of universal basic income. It's not universal, unfortunately, but it is basic income and it's no strings attached. And basic income is what love looks like in public.
Basic income is a feminist issue. Because maybe bitches don't want to work. Maybe they actually want to be moms. Like, maybe they actually want to be dads.
Maybe they actually want to be parents. Like, this basic income will allow us to pay people who decide to stay home. It will change the whole paradigm because feminism is about labor, literally birth as labor. But feminine, like the depth of sexism, this is a conversation about labor, y'all, like labor.
It's not about how we look or how we feel. Yes, y'all get on my nerves with all that. It's about it's about labor. Who's doing the labor? Like, are the feminized bodies performing the labor or the fims performing the labor?
Yes, they are. Because that's what we do. But I see that we are a little bit over. I mean, this has been so powerful.
Yes. So I did not want to stop any of this because I was just like, yes, yes, bring it, bring it. It's so good. Oh, thank you so much for this opportunity.
Absolutely. On a Saturday morning. This is like literally my favorite thing. Like, let's just talk about how we build a different world and how we take all of this. I mean, this kind of conversation gives me life. And I think it's so neat when you were talking about community and like, what I at least have created on this podcast to like get to speak to someone like you through like, the reds of people, I would have never, you know, otherwise connected with someone like you. It's like such a powerful thing that I'm so thankful for you coming on here and sharing all of your wisdom and speaking to us today.
It was it was so great. Yeah, thank you. I really appreciate the opportunity. Yes, I studied feminist psychologists and relational theory.
Oh, hell yeah. Yeah, they helped me understand like, Oh, feminism and ingenuity are similar. Because I got to compare and contrast like relational cultural theory from feminist psychologists. So I'm so happy that you are taking on that work, that lineage.
It's a beautiful lineage and it's everything. Uh huh. Uh huh. It's a wild mind trip for me. Every time I sit in the therapy room, just like, okay, you know, so I'm in it. I'm in it deep. So but it's nice to know that you understand that and can like see that in me. It feels good.
Yeah. I already do. Well, if you feel like there's nothing else on your heart that you really want to get out in this space, I have a closing question. I do ask everyone on the podcast. Yeah, go go on. Okay. Yep.
Yep. So the closing question I ask everyone is what is one thing that you wish other people knew was more normal? It's really normal to have a political position and struggle when you find out that you were wrong. It's normal to backtrack. Even when you dedicated your whole thing, you know, it's it's okay when it's like, oh, I think about how my positionality on immigration, how it used to be, and how it was shaped by trauma.
I extrapolated my trauma to include all immigrants and it was terrible, right? And I had to walk it back and I had to do reparations. And so I studied Spanish in college, even though I got C's and it was the only C's on my and I like refused to not get like I took a hit because I was like, I'm gonna learn this language and I'm gonna live in Latin America, you know, and I'm gonna honor these people that I disparage because of my ignorance. And I lived in Bolivia, that built my whole critique of like, Bolivians taught me so much, they saved my life. So where I began knowing that herbs work because I was passing out the Cholitas threw me a bag of cocoa leaves. And I was like, okay, like Indigenous sis taking care of me, what's up like, but the way that I owe so much of my radicalism to Latin Americans, when I started off with the problem, I've had to overcome some of my deep biases, my xenophobia, my sexism, my internalized racism. I've had to overcome a lot of the isms that lived inside of me.
And I just want to normalize that process. It's okay that we were wrong. And we do our repair and we get into relationship. Yeah, those that doesn't define you that time where we had those thoughts and to be we're at now and be able to look back at them, like you are not defined by those experiences, we're defined by how we continue to move forward from those experiences. And how we treat people. It's like we're defined by how we treat people. How we love, yeah. The relationships that we build, you know, that's that's that's who we are, is what our relationships are like. Exactly. Yes, give me that relational cultural theory. Yes, yes, yes, yes.
No, I'm so happy that you know. It's hard. But relational cultural theory brings you into indigeneity. And that's how I learned that feminism and indigeneity, feminism was how we hold indigeneity. And what a gift that we're able to chat about this and share this with the world. Like that is so powerful. Yes.
Yes. This was so good. Thank you for bringing my spirit, Joanne, for picking me up. Thank you. Thank you. We appreciate you so much and all that you do for us.
Thank you. Is there anywhere you want to plug the people who are connecting to you, your podcast, all the beautiful things that you're doing, like shout it out, put it out. Okay, shout out to my wife, Karina, and the petty herbalist podcast, we're on all the things. I have a Patreon, Bones, Bugs and Botany. We have a Patreon petty herbalist, follow me on Instagram, like come to Book Club, Bad Bitch Book Club, and shout out to all of the folks here in Denver and Aurora who uplift my life right now. But yeah, you can find me on the Grams.
You can find my writings. And yeah, give us some love. Lovely.
Lovely. I'll have it all on the show notes below so people can just like click right away connect with you. Oh, thank you.
Of course. This is so good. If you enjoyed today's episode, then leave us a five star review wherever you listen to your podcast. And if you're a part of the Anarchist community, then follow us on Instagram or nominate a guest for the show by sending in a letter to modernanarchypodcast at gmail.com. Otherwise, I'll see you next week.