SHOW UP Thoughts :: A Poem

Consider

my worth is not defined by my waistline

not my smile, or my cheeks

i dont exist for your pleasure

i am not yours to keep

i am whole, i am entire

(with or without your approval)

so the next time you say, "smile, pretty" 

consider the weight of the tears these cheeks have held

and the next time you notice my physical body before you notice me

consider the weight of the grief i have held on my shoulders for all womxnkind

 

SHOW UP :: The Book Club

SHOW UP - the book club is for me.

it's for you. 

it's for anyone who has reflected on the events of this year, of recent history, and has felt anger, rage, fear, sadness, hopeless, helpless (etc- these are just some of the ways I have personally felt). 

it's for folks who have considered themselves 'allies' + for folks who aren't sure what the word "ally" means in this context. (this article situates what it means to be an ally for some in the context of black lives matter, though this is obviously not all-inclusive, and the concept of allyship is nuanced and one I'm hoping we can explore in this book club.) 

this book club is for anyone, it's for everyone, and it's about showing up to ourselves, to challenging themes, to systematic bull shit that we are passive (and sometimes active) participants in in our daily lives. it's about creating a safe space for truth telling about the condition of our souls. 

These are some things I'm hopeful will come out of the book club (perhaps this can be the book club's "manifesto" of sorts): 

  • learning about movements I have little knowledge about - or ones I haven't been as active in as I'd like to be. I'd like to read books that situate a whole host of things (intersectional feminism, trans rights, queer rights, BLM, and more). To me this means prioritising reading books by black authors and PoC authors, female/feminist authors - obviously with room for many voices, and room for discussion amongst book club participants .  
  • having a space (physical, virtual) to have meaningful and safe interactions about these topics and the sometimes very uncomfortable truths we'll uncover
  • getting to share this space with friends and strangers and family
  • getting to hold myself and others accountable to keeping these things at the front of my mind, in a tangible way (for me, they are my values - so for me this means getting to align myself with my values in a more tangible way) 
  • staying open to wherever this goes, whatever books and topics arise, staying open to reading them, engaging with them, and engaging with the folks that show up - everyone. come as you are, however you are, come however you can (I see you). 

 

I'm hopeful that you'll join me - however you see yourself - radical feminist, or totally not feminist, I'm asking that you give this a go with me, give me feedback, call me out when I used fucked up logic, call me out when I have not checked my privilege as a white person, give me a chance to learn and a chance to grow, and I'll do my best to do the same for you, if you're okay with that. 

I'd like to do this together - so whether you live close by (right now that's Hobart for me), or you're a million miles away, join in by getting the books - borrow them or buy, up to you - and join in on the conversation. 

I'm going to start with this book: We Should All Be Feminists - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. It is only 30 odd pages, and has been recommended to me many times.

If you'd like, start with this book too! If you don't want to buy it (It's $9.99 also), borrow it from the library (unfortunately my local library doesn't have it) I've just bought it, and I am so happy to pass it on to someone who would like to read it next. If you don't like to read books (I'll be real, I'm pretty bad at reading), get it as an audio book. No audible account? share one with a mate, or Google your library and audiobooks, they often have a selection of downloadable audiobooks. 

I'll make it a goal to post here regularly - maybe once a week or once every two weeks, and I'll post updates on instagram under @close_knit, where I'm very happy to hold space for conversation, as well. 

Maybe let's use a hashtag so we can find each other? #SHOWUPbookclub work for everyone? let's go with that. Use the hashtag #showupbookclub to have internet-friendly conversations. 

Meeting place and time in Hobart TBD - in the meantime, seek out the book, send me your recommendations, and hold tight whilst I get the logistics going. 

 

and finally, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE - give me feedback, call me out. I want to know how I can be a better ally, and I want to know if anything about what I'm doing here is exclusive in anyway. Tell me how I can improve, I want to work on this - I want to keep these conversations going.