On Enacting Allyship to Survivors of Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence

content warning: sexual assault/domestic violence

On October 29, I helped to carry a mattress across Harvard Yard with about six other people. It was the most powerful moment of my week.

As part of Carrying the Weight Together, a solidarity movement inspired by Columbia senior Emma Sulkowicz’s activist art titled “Carry That Weight,” where she carries a mattress everywhere that she goes on campus every day until her rapist is expelled from Columbia University.

Continue reading “On Enacting Allyship to Survivors of Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence”

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My Feminism is Supporting Each Other in Solidarity

content warning: harassment

I’m writing this blog post in the aftermath of a challenging weekend for the Harvard community. Hundreds of racist, misogynist, and violently threatening emails were sent primarily to female members of the Asian-American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) undergraduate community. A frightening aspect of this threat is that this email was only the most recent in a series of unwanted attempts at contact from presumably the same individual. Further, soon after the threatening emails were sent, another email hit the inboxes of students who had received the first threat.

This is targeted harassment.

Following these frightening developments, I’m questioning how I can show solidarity, as a woman of color, to the students who received these threats and frightening attempts at contact. How can we, as non-AAPI or non-female individuals, express sentiments of allyship and support to members of our community who are feeling targeted and unsafe?

This requires critical questioning of the ways in which we experience oppression in our daily lives. My experience as a black woman differs in significant ways from the experiences of AAPI women, but this doesn’t mean that I’m unable to express support across our differences, amplifying unheard voices, speaking “with” instead of “for,” and seeking out the intersections and commonalities in our struggles. Continue reading “My Feminism is Supporting Each Other in Solidarity”