How to Become a Better Intersectional Feminist

The Ultimate Reading and Listening Guide

Lockdown has certainly left us with a lot of time on our hands. What better way to spend it than by educating yourself! With the Bla(c)k Lives Matter movement still ongoing, it is important that we keep informed. For too long, feminism was only concerned with the issues facing white women. But every feminist needs to acknowledge the systematic barriers that face BIPOC women. Whilst we acknowledge at ENID that taking action is always the best step to incite change, it is not always possible to do this. Educating yourself on the issues at hand is a great first step, though. So here goes; this is the ultimate reading and listening guide to becoming a better intersectional feminist, with a particular focus on material which reflects the perspective of Indigenous Australians.

Read… Talkin’ Up to the White Woman: Aboriginal Women and Feminism by Aileen Moreton-Robinson

Written by Goenpul woman and Professor Aileen Moreton-Robson, this book analyses the whiteness of Australian feminism and how it has affected indigenous women. By studying a range of feminist literature and academia written by and for white people, Moreton-Robson explains how whiteness has become an unchallenged norm; excluding the lived experiences of Indigenous women. 

Buy it here: $16.75  or why not try your local library first?

Watch… Rabbit Proof Fence

This 2002 film follows the true story of three young indigneous Australians who were forcibly removed from their homes and families as part of the ‘White Australia’ government policy in 1931. Both beautiful and poignant, it follows their brave escape and attempt to return to their home, over fifteen-hundred miles away. 

Watch it here

Read… Dark Emu by Dr. Bruce Pascoe 

Dark Emu challenges the ‘hunter-gatherer’ tag placed upon pre-colonial Aboriginal Australians, and sparks an important conversation about the erasure of cultural history. Dr. Pascoe presents evidence showing Indigenous Australians as a highly advanced civilization with domesticated plants, harvesting, irrigation, and storage that completely undermines the convenient colonialist narrative of Aboriginals as nomadic hunter-gatherers. 

Buy it here: $14.95 

Listen to… Please Explain

This podcast series by the Sydney Morning Herald often has great information on current events. The episodes Black lives matter – listen, learn and act, and The meaning of Aboriginal recognition: sovereignty after the High Court ruling, are particularly good starting points for understanding contemporary issues facing people of colour. 

BLM episode

Aboriginal Recognition episode

Read… Black Politics by Sarah Maddison

In this book, Sarah Maddison analyses the systematic issues that face aboriginal communities and bar their voices from being heard in mainstream politics. It explains how government actions have never quite grasped the complexity of cultural issues facing indigenous people, and instead serve to continuously limit the autonomy of Australia’s Aboriginal population. 

Buy it here: $35.00 (eBook $21.66) 

Read… Forgotten Wars by Henry Reynolds

This novel examines the double standard between the veneration of soldiers fighting overseas to defend their nation and sovereignty, and Indigenous Australians who fought to the same in the frontier wars. A very interesting book that provides a new cultural lens through which to study the colonialist nature of our history. 

Buy it here: $44.57 

Read… Because a White Man’ll Never Do It by Kevin Gilbert 

Published in 1973, this account of race relations in Australia conveys the harrowing impacts of colonization on Aboriginal Australians. Gilbert’s piece poses a direct solution for indigenous issues: land, compensation, non-dictatorial help, and being left alone by White Australia.

Buy here: $15.25 

Read… White Fragility: Why it’s so hard for white people to talk about racism by Robin DiAngelo

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard For White People To Talk About Racism explains why white individuals struggle to engage with racially charged issues and how that holds further ramifications for people of colour. It is not enough to simply hold abstract progressive views and condemn the obvious racists, this book asks white people to be open to honest discussions that may even  point out their own inherent racism

Buy it here: $17.25 

Listen to… Pretty for an Aboriginal

This podcast series is created by Indigenous women Nakkiah and Miranda, who hold the conversations Australia is uncomfortable having—about sex, relationships, dating, power, and, most difficult of all, race. They chat with a diverse range of activists and academics as well, which means if you’re interested in a certain subject, you can check out their work.

Listen here

Read… 12 Things to do Instead of Calling the Cops, a zine by The May Day Collective

This free guide provides information on what to do in problematic situations instead of calling the police. Unfortunately for people of colour, making an issue a police matter can threaten their lives. The guidelines in this Zine provide safer de-escalation tactics that do not turn a simple issue into a life or death situation. 

Read here

A final note from The ENID Team:

As journalists living on stolen land, we acknowledge our privilege, and seek to use our platform to champion Indigenous voices and experiences. We acknowledge the traditional land owners of Australia, and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters, and culture. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present, and emerging. As students attending universities in Australia, we recognise that the institutions we attend are on the sovereign land of these people, and we recognise our complicity in the ongoing colonisation of Indigenous land.

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