This is a feminist blog written and moderated by a young woman who earnestly and sincerely wants to make the world a more equal place for all people. I think and write and speak about how gender, race, class, age, sexual orientation and the intersections thereof impact the individual and collective lived experience.
Shelby, or, SK
The title of this blog is a feminist play on the title of a film that was made about my high school activism for comprehensive sex education and gay rights, The Education of Shelby Knox. If you would like to screen the film and/or have me come to your school or event, check out the ‘Contact’ page.
You can read my bio and various rebellions here. Beyond that, I’m a Texan New Yorker – an Upper East Side girl via Lubbock exiled to the West Village – a lover of animals, a women’s history geek and a policy wonk in training. I’ve been called and totally own up to being a “diva,” “dramatic,” “humorless,” “hilarious,” “radical” and “dangerous.”
To be 100% honest, it’s sometimes hard for me both publicly and personally to unravel my identity from that of the 15 year old, virginity pledging, Southern Baptist girl in the documentary about my high school years. I’ve started signing my emails as ‘SK’ – a conscious divorce from an identity that gave me a tremendous platform and wonderful opportunities but, at times, imposes crushing expectations.
If this all sounds like navel gazing, that’s probably because it is – I’m 25, very much trying to figure out who I am and how I want to exist in the world, and to expect any more or attribute any less is unfair. Lucky for you, dear reader, it’s actually very hard for me to talk and write about myself. This blog is a personal AND political step toward sharing not only my feminism and my ideas, but for the first time, me – on my own terms.
Privilege – I’ve gots lots of it
If it wasn’t already apparent, I should let you know – I’m very privileged. I’m a white, American cisgender female, born middle-class and educated in public institutions, including the University of Texas as Austin, from which I have a degree in Political Science. I’m currently able-bodied and present to the outside world as 100% heterosexual. I’ve experienced incredible privilege within the feminist movement, with contacts and experiences inside what bell hooks so accurately described as the “bubble of power feminism.” If there is a privilege I haven’t mentioned, it’s not out of denial but rather ignorance – likely the ignorance empowered by that very privilege! Please do let me know.
I understand my privilege manifests in everything I do and say and will often cloud my analysis. This space is intended to be anti-sexist, anti-racist, anti-ableist and free of homophobia and transphobia – but I understand because of my privilege-induced mistakes, it will not always be so for all people. I welcome – actually, beg for – correction, criticism, and personal experiences that challenge me, contributors to this blog, and in a larger context, all the various forms of oppression that make life more difficult for all of us. If I know anything as truth, it is that oppressions cannot be uprooted separately – our individual and collective liberation is to be found by joining together as equal partners in the fight for social justice.
For more on privilege – what it is, checking it and owning it – please check out Peggy McIntosh’sWhite Privilege – Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack and the ‘Lists of Privilege Lists‘ provided over at Alas, a Blog. I especially appreciate and use often the Non-Trans Privilege List, the Male Privilege Checklist, and the Daily Effects of Straight Privilege Checklist.