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Sunday, December 8, 2019

Monday, December 9th @9:00am pst - Joanne Bagshaw, author of THE FEMINIST HANDBOOK, speaks with host Janeane Bernstein on KUCI 88.9FM.

Joanne L. Bagshaw, Ph.D. author of

THE FEMINIST HANDBOOK
Practical Tools to Resist Sexism and Dismantle the Patriarchy


LISTEN to today's conversation with featured guest Joanne L. Bagshaw, Ph.D.


It’s time to fight back! With this intersectional handbook, you’ll discover practical, everyday tips and tools to help you resist sexism, smash the patriarchy, and create a better world for yourself and future generations.



From reproductive rights and the wage gap to #MeToo and #TimesUp—gender inequality permeates nearly every aspect of our culture. From birth and on through adulthood, the message that our sexist society sends to women and girls is clear: you’re not enough. You’re not valued enough to get paid the same salary as a man with the same job title. You’re not worthy enough or perfect enough to be taken seriously or respected. You’re not responsible enough to make decisions about your body or reproductive rights.

These negative messages are internalized on a deep psychological level. In fact, the effects of sexism are directly represented in the high rates of anxiety, depression, sleep problems, and eating disorders among women and girls—and these effects are even more severe for queer women, disabled women, and women of color. Isn’t it time you said ENOUGH?

This revolutionary feminist self-help guide offers real tools you can use to: 

Combat the effects of discrimination and gender/race inequality
Improve your self-confidence, gain self-esteem, and build resilience
Actively resist internalized negative messages you’ve received while living in an openly sexist, patriarchal culture

Most self-help books teach you how to transform your life from the inside out. But what can you do when your distress is caused by sexist institutionalized power structures, attitudes, and events that are outside of your control? This book will help you untangle the role that sexism and discrimination plays in your life, your mental health, and your overall sense of well-being. Most importantly, you’ll learn to reject negative messages and work toward creating lasting change through activism and community.

There’s a lot of work to do. This book will help you get started now.


Why an interactive book on feminism? Why now?

In 2016 many of us—myself included—thought we would have our first woman president, which would help us make bigger strides towards an equal society. Instead, in the last two years we’ve been watching the Trump administration rollback reproductive, LGBTQ, and other human rights. I think it’s critical that more of us identify as a feminist, both to increase our resiliency and to push back against this administration. I wrote The

Feminist Handbook with interactive exercises and reflective questions to help people identify as feminists through their own experiences, and then use their feminist identity to get involved in the movement.

The word “feminist” has gotten a bad reputation. What do you think is the most misunderstood thing about feminism?

One of the messages I see anti-feminists spreading is that feminists are “victims.” This messaging is ironic because once women identify as feminists—and this is supported by research—we feel less like victims, and instead feel more empowered, because we understand that much of what we struggle with in our lives is due to outside forces and systems like the patriarchy, and not due to our own shortcomings. Another
misunderstanding that even some feminists have, is the belief that feminism is about women being equal to men. But if feminism were simply about women being equal to men, which men would we be equal to, and what other groups would we have to oppress on the way? Feminism is essentially about dismantling patriarchal and other systems of oppression, like white supremacy, to liberate everyone.

How did you get involved in the feminist movement? Was there something specific that inspired you?

Like other women, my introduction to feminism came from personal experience. When I was in college, I volunteered for a local domestic violence agency and my training involved learning about the dynamics of abusive relationships. That’s how I learned that the relationship that I was in at the time was abusive, which was the beginning of my personal and academic understanding of the patriarchy and feminism. While still in that abusive relationship, I was sexually assaulted by an acquaintance at a party. Later, when I graduated college, I used my traumatic experiences to help other women. My first professional job was at a domestic violence agency and I trained volunteer domestic violence and rape crisis counselors who would meet survivors at the hospital to provide support and resources.

Why do you think that people struggle to accept their own privilege? Did you go through a similar struggle?

There are a couple of reasons why I think people are resistant to accepting their own privilege. Many people misunderstand privilege to be about having an easy life, or not having to work hard, which isn’t accurate.

Privilege is about unearned advantages and how we expect to be treated. I have experienced trauma for instance, but still experience racial and class privilege as an educated white woman. The other reason I think people struggle, is that to accept you have privilege means you have to give up any idea that you’re special or deserving of certain experiences. I don’t find it difficult to admit that I have a lot of privilege, but I do work at
understanding how my privilege affects my experience and the experience of people with less privilege than me on an everyday basis.

“It’s Not Feminism If It’s Not Intersectional” is the title of Chapter 2. You go into great detail about how feminism isn’t just a women’s issue and touches so many other things. Briefly, how does feminism affect other issues in our culture?

Feminism has been a flawed movement in that generally, feminists have centered the idea of equality on what it would look like for white women. Decentralizing the needs of white women in the movement broadens our understanding of how many of our current cultural problems are feminist issues: gun violence, immigration, and climate change, for instance. These social issues affect mostly marginalized groups, and because of gender inequality, women and girls are impacted the most.

Women’s rights have moved at a glacial place. But with #MeToo and #TimesUp, do you think we’ve reached a tipping point? If yes, how so? If not, do you think we’re close?

Whether or not we’ve reached a tipping point, and whether #MeToo and #TimesUp remain movements instead of moments, is up to us. We have to create a cultural intolerance of violence against women. All women. Trans women, women of color, undocumented women, low-income women, and indigenous women. We can do that by believing women, supporting women who speak up, and ensuring that our compassion for survivors isn’t limited only to white, wealthy, or famous women who speak out.

While many women would love to get involved in activism, they may also feel that they don’t have the time or that they’re not strong enough to lead. What do you say to them?

Feminism is a lifestyle as much as it is a movement and not everyone has the time or skills to be an activist, but you can still be a powerful influence of equality in your home, within your family, friend group, and community. My recommendation is to start by creating equitable relationships with the people within your life. This can sound much easier than it is, if for example you’re just learning how to prioritize yourself and set boundaries with other people for the first time in your life.

Which women have had the biggest influence on you?

The women who influence me, changes as my life changes. Right now there are so many powerful feminists who influence me: Tarana Burke’s commitment to the needs of survivors and her community, Chanel Miller’s bravery, Clementine Ford’s badassness, and Alicia Garza’s authenticity help keep me motivated and inspired every day.

What is your earliest memory of being discriminated against for being a woman and how did you handle it?

My earliest memories of sexism originated when I was a kid and were around the limits of gender role expectations to “act like a lady” when I was more comfortable as a tomboy. As a young adult, one striking memory was when my grandfather told my father not to “spend money on college” for me because I’m “only a female and it would be a waste of money.” I handled that defiantly by excelling in school, getting my undergraduate degree, and going to graduate school. As far as I know he didn’t make a comment like that again.

What do you consider are the top 3 issues facing women today?

1. I don’t think gender equality can exist until women are physically safe in our homes, on the street, and at work,

2. We need to be able to be in control of our bodies and our health.

3. We need economic equality, which includes equitable wages and an economy that works for all women.

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