Emily–I see myself as a bridge-builder and a cross-pollinator among women’s groups, and I have been spending time getting to know all the players in the femisphere, as well as forming Feminist Advisory Board for Obama, which now exists on both Facebook and Organizing for America. I’m very impressed with Feminist Campus’ energy and organization, watched several hours of your conference on the day of, and felt very connected to the excitement and passion generated by 600 unruly feminist activists!!! I also tweeted my butt off during Lilly’s and Tina’s and Ellie’s speeches!
In addition to being supportive of many groups, I’m also a transparent organizer, regularly laying out my ideas, my visions, and inviting collaborators. As I’ve said in many places, there’s a tremendous amount of talent in the femisphere and the movement can prosper with many leaders; we don’t all have to sign onto the same agenda or even belong to the same group. That said, the more I get to know who’s doing what, the more I see women’s movement as a vast network of groups and individuals with specializations. Recently I floated the idea of unifying women’s movement on a wiki-map with a recognition of specializations so that we can share talent, resources, know-how and connections. It seems to me that the circuitry exists–the job is to strengthen our connections. Here’s an analogy from a recent article in the NY Times on brain research:
"…research…suggests that brain cells activated by an experience keep one another on biological quick-dial, like a group of people joined in common witness of some striking event. Call on one and word quickly goes out to the larger network of cells, each apparently adding some detail, some sight, sound, smell. The brain appears to retain a memory by growing thicker, or more efficient, communications lines between these cells."
Gloria Pan of Fem2.0 replied that she liked the idea but that there were too many egos involved for this to happen, to which I replied if that’s what’s holding up women’s movement, then we women need to confront it. I’m building relationships with many women and especially focusing on women of color, partly because as a Jew (secular) I don’t identify as white (although I recognize that I have had much white privilege), but also because I really feel that women’s movement cannot succeed without leadership of women of color. Women of color will be the leaders of this phase of women’s movement, imo, and I’m gung-ho on helping this happen.
My basic organizing principle for Feminist Advisory Board for Obama is that it will be networked to all other women’s groups and will facilitate direct communication from the people with the needs to the people who make public policy. This is a very big vision, and I’ve laid out some of my ideas for this in a a proposal for a needs-based women’s media network driven by user-interactivity: Our Needs Have Not Been Met: needia
Although I already feel like you are a friend, I wanted to extend myself to you and your fellow organizers in recognition of our common cause and to open up the lines of communication. Would you please pass this email to your fellow organizers? Also, you are all invited to join Feminist Advisory Board for Obama. I’m looking forward to having meaningful conversations with Feminist Campus.