Because gender is a spectrum, not a binary.
Dear Art+Feminism Community,
My name is McKensie Mack, and I am the Director of Art+Feminism. I was appointed Director in July of this year, and in 2019 will be entering my third year with the Art+Feminism campaign. I wrote this letter – especially for you.
For five years you have worked with us to expand the histories of cis and trans women, feminism, and the arts on Wikipedia. We thank you, and we know we could not have made it this far without you. From organizing events in Armenia, Italy, California, Atlanta, Paris, Ghana, and Taiwan – to liking our memes on Instagram and telling your friends and chosen families about our work – your contribution is immeasurable – it is invaluable.
This year, we’ve made a big decision that will further the work of our campaign forever – we’re expanding our focus to include the histories of gender non-binary artists and activists.
This is art and feminism, and let’s be honest – non intersectional, white feminism is everywhere. In a society where the dominant feminism does not speak to the experiences of Black women, trans women, indigenous women, queer women, immigrant women and the histories and knowledge systems of women based outside of the U.S. and Canada – we know we have a responsibility not only to dismantle patriarchy but to also dismantle destructive feminism that perpetuates social, institutional, and interpersonal harm in the lives of cis and trans women and gender non-binary people everywhere. Over the course of our five year history, we’ve made our own mistakes, and we strive to exist as a community that embraces progress over perfection. We recognize that progress requires growth, care, and commitment to the process of iteration and evolution. This is why we’re moving in this direction.
The same systems that marginalize the lives of women globally – are founded on the gender binary – the idea that there are only two existing genders in the world; excluding and erasing the existence of those who do not identify with their assigned gender and those who live their lives in the way that makes them most whole which does not often subscribe to rigid gendered stereotypes that dictate what it means to be an “acceptable” human being. By using the word “gender non-binary”, we do not ignore or erase the hundreds of other identities and gender expressions that exist within the gender spectrum. From two spirited and pangender to demigender, hijra, and femme we understand that language cannot fully encapsulate the complexities of gender identity.
As our community grows and our work inspires the birth of various gender focused activist projects on Wikipedia – we accept our responsibility to continue to grow and evolve – to be accountable to our values founded in the principles of global Black feminist movements, anti-oppression, and intersectional justice, and in doing so, we refuse to leave gender non-binary members of our community -behind.
The sixth year of our campaign, Gender + The Non-Binary, is a campaign announcing the evolution of our project – not just thinking about increasing the accessibility and availability of information about cis and trans women’s histories and non binary folks’ histories – but also about discussing and bringing further into the light the impacts of various global histories; founded on the myth that people are only as valuable as their adherence to gendered stereotypes – only as honorable as their ability to fit into one of two categories: assigned girl at birth or assigned boy.
A+F is here to continue to smash the patriarchy through information activism. Smashing the patriarchy means demolishing the binary. And we all have a part. This is ours.
Welcome to year 6 of the Art+Feminism campaign: Gender + The Non-Binary.
Here’s what you can do next:
- New to our campaign? Sign-up to host a 2019 Art+Feminism event.
- Organized before and want to organize again? Email us at email@example.com.
- Looking to support our work? Donations aid us in providing additional resources to our organizers around the world to defray the cost of internet, provide additional training resources for new organizers and editors, and to cover the translation cost of our materials into additional languages. Any and all donations are important and valuable. Donate here.
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