New York-based feminist collective For the Birds recently posted a blog about the release of The Worst, Issue 2, a compilation zine on grief and loss. FTB member and zine author Kathleen wrote about the importance of grief processing as an “inherently feminist act.” Here is an excerpt and be sure to check out the full piece at forthebirdscollective.org.
Why discuss grief processing on a feminist blog? For me, working towards an authentic, community-based model of grief processing is an inherently feminist act. On a basic level, radical feminism seeks empowerment for those who are subjugated or harmed by the patriarchal capitalist mainstream. As we are socialized into this system, we are often taught to suppress or contain our emotions and feelings lest we be labeled “hysterical,” “bitchy,” “weak,” or “too much.” And yet, racism, sexism, homophobia, able-ism and other structural inequalities in our society justifiably invoke outrage in anyone who dares to expose or work against injustice. We are told, as usual, that we cannot trust our own voices, feelings, and experiences of the everyday losses that those holding power in our society depend upon to maintain control.
Often, our reactions to the deaths of important people in our lives are forced into specific templates or time frames that don’t always reflect our true needs. We may experience few instances of genuine support amidst the hospitals, Hallmark cards, and “Stages of Grief” we are supposedly moving through. This repression and denial of grief inhibits authentic communications from occurring around the universal experience of loss and alienates us from one another during times when we may need other people the most. To claim our grief—to claim that our relationships with each other matter–within this climate of isolation and denial is feminism in action. Any method by which we can reclaim our authentic selves results in empowerment and creates a space for more of us at the collective table.
Read Kathleen’s full article here.