To all the trans women out marching amidst signs that center feminism around having a vagina, I see you, you matter, thank you. – Zaddy Zomme
I continue to digest the messages that I saw at the march. I want to hold onto the power and magic we saw in numbers of individuals showing joint leadership on an international scale. I want to listen and consume the messages that I neglected to consider. I want to continue to unlearn my socialized, oppressive tendencies.
My friend Sandy shared a message on Facebook in response to this image:
“I was very heartened and inspired to see so many people picking up signs; I hope the energy continues!
I was disheartened to see people shutting down critiques of the march in the name of “unity” or “coming together” or “love.” If “coming together” means people of color and trans people have to set aside their concerns in order to fit with a pre-determined plan, we are re-creating the dynamics we intend to challenge.
My hope for myself and other white, straight, cis-gendered women is that we apply the same enthusiasm to our education as we do to marching, and when we discover our mistakes we don’t get defensive but rather are willing to repair them and learn from them. When we do that, we create a culture in which other people can learn, too, instead of continuing the problematic attitude that people are either “good” or “bad.” As this sign says, we are socialized to be oppressive, and all of us are on a journey of un-learning” -Sandy Robson
On Friday January 20th, I hosted a dinner for friends and family that were marching. I put energy into creating a meal that would bring friends and family together. The menu was designed around playful puns that overlapped food with different representations of femininity and female leadership. However, my definition of what is female to me, is not a definition that can be shared across the diverse platform of women and those marching. The use and symbol of the cundt cake emphasizes that femininity and female are reliant on having a vagina. My interest in representing a vagina in my food was to challenge the discomfort that folks display in hearing the word or seeing images of vagina’s. While it was fun to decorate a cake with wavy frosted labia, I wanted to comment that the representation of a vagina as the symbol of female, was not inclusive, or my intention. It was a fraction of the diverse perspective of femininity.
I’ve been thinking a lot about messages to the public about the public. I think generalized messages tend to be innately incorrect or exclusive in some way. I find fault in my messages too, and am learning to correct my missteps.
There are continually growing nuances in self expression making it hard to generalize an account of what is going on in America right now. In my experience as a privileged white, straight, cis-gendered, able-bodied woman, it is still extremely difficult to start a business. My interest in food business largely stems from the intersections food has with race, gender and class. While I love cooking and growing food, I am far more interested in using it as a focal point in bringing people together.
If along my journey to starting my business you notice that it is exclusive or inaccessible to you, please reach out to me. I will be doing work to make the space around my food truck an inclusive one through partnerships with communities and individuals that use it as a platform for their own self expression. The personal is professional. My fight against oppression is baked into my work and I’m looking to uplift together.