When I read Tabitha Prado-Richardson’s Coalition Zine essay on decentering men from one’s own narrative, Vanessa Daou’s seminal 1994 album “Zipless” immediately sprung to mind. An LP-long interpretation of Erica Jong’s poetry, “Zipless” decenters men from Daou’s pleasure through an unabashed embrace of feminine sexuality and womanhood.
Mickalene Thomas’s exhibit “Do I Look a Lady?” investigates the notion of black female subjectivity through the lens of popular media. Within the popular American imagination, black women are often portrayed as fitting within a set of types—hyper-fiery, hyper-sexual, or hyper-matronly. These archetypes are largely a product of the art produced within our hegemonic culture.
More than anything else, the women in my family have molded the person writing this today. The least that can be done is to honor them and other women by offering insights into how to effectively support the work of intersectional feminism. Here are just a few suggestions for how to be a better intersectional feminist ally.