solidarity

solidarity - unity or agreement of feeling or action, especially among individuals with a common interest; mutual support within a group

what would solidarity look like applied as a value? as an ideal and a practice we integrated so deeply into our lives as femmes that we were unwavering? could we become so unconcerned with our influence and audience that our priority was our impact and remaining in alignment with our values? could we recognize that feminism has so much space that there is space for all types of womxn?

what would it look like if we were so committed to our values that we spoke out against acts of dehumanization, exploitation, marginalization and racism? if we were willing to consistently see our part in the larger societal construct? if we were so willing to disrupt these systems that we were willing to share our power, our resources, our monies in a way that means tangible and long lasting reparations? .
what would it look like if were were willing to boycott groups, business, organizations and corporations that gained from or are responsible for keeping the current structures in place? .
over the last few weeks i have seen some of the people i absolutely adore and whom have taught me the most in this space being targeted for speaking out about white privilege and racism and speaking to their lived experience as women of color. i have witnessed the backlash that has taken place as these womxn stood their ground and as other spoke out in support. i have witnessed the purposeful and knowing exploitation of a womxn of color, the way in which the piece she’d been ask to write was presented unfairly making her a target, all while she was not paid for her piece despite other contributors being paid. i have observed the silence of white womxn, rather than speaking out, and calling out the person who runs the account/platform. the complacency by the same womxn, who continue to provide content and write pieces for the same account. let me be clear and leave no ambiguity in my words - all of this backlash, all of the violent and harassing responses are from white womxn. many of these womxn participate in groups based in feminism, sustainability or anti-racism and social justice education. the vast majority of womxn who spoke out were BIWOC.

which has lead to my wondering - what would it look like if we were so committed to standing in solidarity with all wowxn that we allowed no space for the exploration of one another, even at the hand of each other? if we called each other out, called each other in, held each other and ourselves acceptable? if we were so committed to listening to the lived experiences and feedback of marginalized womxn, of womxn of color, that we were willing to listen without questioning their truth? even when it makes us wildly uncomfortable, able to recognize it’s not about our comfort. what if were were so committed to amplifying the voices of these same womxn that it changed us? what if it changed the way we spend our money, our ability to see our privilege, our desire to disrupt a system that has always kept the most vulnerable and marginalized in that place? what if we could so clearly see the humanity of others and in turn, were more connected to our own? what if we centered BIWOC, centered their voices, their teachings and accomplishments? what would it look like if we were so committed to solidarity that it became a core value, part of who we are, a constant consideration in our decision making and our actions, knowing it is life’s work?


this space, the collective, has always been rooted in community and in a values based conversation. this isn’t a neutral space. in this is a space i will stand with BIPOC and call for you to question the status quo. i will continue to urge all my white friends to consider these thoughts and to hold ourselves and each other accountable. to show up, to do the work, to get uncomfortable, and to continue to do so for all of our days, in solidarity.

Nicole Gillies