When you think about it, women’s movements, feminist movements, have always been about not putting
women—not putting anyone—into boxes and binaries. In the month of March, we celebrate Women's Herstory Month
and gender fluidity.
The earliest definitions of feminism sought equality with men because women and men were seen as very different
creatures. In fact, many questioned whether women had souls because they weren’t sure women were fully human.
That’s because men were seen as having heads for mental creation while women who had wombs for physical
creation. So women’s heads were purely decorative. And of course, rationality was the hallmark of being human,
and because women weren’t rational, they probably weren’t human. And it went from there: every difference between
the sexes was used to see men as superior, with a right to the public sphere, and women as inferior, relegated to
the domestic one. So equality was the starting point for many feminist movements—the need to see women as equally
capable as men, as deserving of the same rights and opportunities.
After you think about it for a while, though, you realize that not only is the issue that women have not been granted
equality with men, but that not all men are equal either. So our definition shifted to something much more in line with
bell hooks: “Feminism is the effort to disrupt the ideology of domination and oppression and to create instead
relationships of self-determination, affirmation, mutuality, and respect.” So it’s not just about women and men but
about ending oppression against all people—women, men, LGBTQ; any race and color and size and shape.
For us, feminism is indeed a movement and it’s also a revolution, an evolutionary process, and a state of mind.
Ultimately, it’s about self-determination and self-expression. It’s about being able to make conscious, deliberate
choices about how you want to live your life. Implicit in this definition is that we allow others to do the same—to
make their own choices even if those are different from the ones we choose for ourselves—or the ones we
would choose for them! And it’s this feminist philosophy of self-determination that pervades COLOR Up.