What I learned this week about intersectionality and privilege

Two events this week have really helped me think about these related issues and the privilege I hold as an urban, middle class cis white woman without disabilities.

First, Natacha Kennedy gave a powerful talk to my local Labour Party on International Women’s Day about trans rights.  All the below is my understanding of what she explained.

There are two choices when a child discloses that they are not the gender they were assigned at birth. Acceptance or nonacceptance.

Trans people face a serious threat of street harassment and violence, even worse than what cis women face.  There’s an extremely high rate of mental health issues, self harm and attempted suicide among trans children and adults.

Changes are planned to the Gender Recognition Act to streamline the process of changing legal gender, making it cheaper and less demeaning. Self identification has been legislated for in several countries already including Argentina and Ireland. Emerging evidence in Ireland of a dramatic drop in mental health issues for trans people after this law change. There is NO evidence ANYWHERE that this law change has happened that men have pretended to be trans in order to enter women only spaces and carry out abuse.


The second event was a conversation between authors Reni Eddo-Lodge and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie as part of the Women of the World Festival in London at Southbank Centre.   Chimamanda shared an anecdote:

A white feminist actor was asked about her feminism. “Oh it’s not about me,” she replied, “it’s about the women of colour who are being oppressed.”

No! Both women found this deference to black women weird and false.

Better to say:  “This, this and this have all happened to me because I’m a woman in a patriarchal society. Now imagine how much worse it would be if I was black, or disabled, or trans.”

Trans women are women.  But women are all different and bring different life experiences to their feminism. This applies to trans women too, who have a deep experience of transphobia and oppression that cis women cannot experience for themselves.

This is what Chimamanda says she meant when she said trans women were different from other women. My only criticism is that I think she should have acknowledged the power imbalance by prefacing her remarks with a clear acceptance of trans women as women.

Chimamanda hates reading theory and finds it boring. She loves literature and memoirs; people’s stories; and has read a number of trans people memoirs.

I appreciated Chimamanda acknowledging her own class privilege (and cis privilege) and sharing that she felt a prickle of defensiveness when either issue is raised, which gave her some empathy with white people’s reactions to discussing race. She admitted it is hard to acknowledge privilege and harder still to act to lessen it.  I definitely feel that defensiveness and need to be aware of it and not project my feelings onto others or blame them for pointing out power imbalances and injustices. I will always make mistakes so want to get better at acknowledging them and doing better the next time.


Work links (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Work links (weekly)

  • “Copyright for Librarians” (CFL) is an online open curriculum on copyright law that was developed jointly with Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society.

    tags: work copyright

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Work links (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Work links (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Alternatives to Delicious.com stacks

Edit 24/7/12: Gary Green has written a good explanation of what stacks are and why he liked them, if you wanted more background info.

Unfortunately Delicious has just announced that they plan to stop supporting Stacks in August. Users will still be able to save bookmarks to Delicious, but won’t be able to make a page (stack) of links where they choose the image for each link, change the order of the links, etc. Update 24/7/12: on Twitter yesterday, Delicious told me “While stacks are going away, visual tag & link displays are in development that we think your library is gonna love!”. I pointed out it might have made more sense to develop these features before removing the existing stacks functionality, but hey ho.

I co-run a Keeping Up-to-date With Your Field workshop for staff at my conservatoire, and this year a few members of staff were excited by this feature of Delicious, and keen to use it to curate pages of links for their students. I therefore quickly collated a a few alternative options for them, and thought I’d blog it here to plug the gap until Phil Bradley does it better!

 1. Delicious tags instead of stacks

If you want students to look at a selection of links, you could give them all the same tag and then send students the link to that tag (or put it on Moodle). For example, here’s my library’s links on keeping up to date on Delicious.

The downside is that you can’t choose the order of links – they’re ordered by the date you saved them.

2. Diigo

Diigo is another social bookmarking site like Delicious, and it allows you to make lists – these resemble image-free stacks and let you edit the order of links. An example list is below:

Text view

Visual view (via ‘Play as webslides’ link at top-right)

Diigo also offer a free educational account where you can set up student accounts and put them in private groups.

3. Scoop.it

These look the most similar visually to stacks. I haven’t used the site myself but had it recommended by Susan Merrick (a school teacher/librarian) at the recent London LibraryTeachMeet (which I’ve nearly finished writing up, honest!)

Downside: looks like there’s a limit of five pages (topics) per free account.

4. Jog the Web

This leads students through a menu of websites which are loaded in the same window – good if you want them to look at sites in a specific order. This was also recommended by Susan Merrick.

Downside: I have some concerns about the longevity of this site as the FAQ and support forum are inactive. Use at your own risk!

Work links (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.