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Women’s Worlds Young Women’s Leadership Team: IDEA BURSTS!

June 8th, 2011     by Julia Horel     Comments

Listen up! Check out these provocative and compelling “idea bursts” intended to spark conversations on key issues leading up to and during Women’s Worlds 2011 (WW 2011, a global feminist conference being held July 3-7 in Ottawa, Ontario). We encourage everyone of all generations to embrace and explore these ideas. Get your mind moving, thoughts jumping.

This series of short commentaries is initiated by the Young Women’s Leadership Team (YWLT) to ensure that young women’s ideas, organizing, and thoughts are present at this global congress.

Create your own! Record your thoughts before WW 2011. Upload your own Idea Burst to and tag it “#ww2011burst” or “#ww2011.” Or if audio is your thing, post your Idea Burst to AudioBoo, make it “public,” and use the same tags. And if you plan on being at the congress, visit our intergenerational drop-in space to share your ideas in our BURST booth (Deja Vu Lounge, Room 230 Morisset Hall, University of Ottawa).

For more information contact us at

Today’s Idea Burst comes to us from Aruna, who answers the question: “What is radical feminism for you?” A transcript follows the video.

Hi everyone. My name is Aruna. I am 24 years old. I am born and raised on occupied Indigenous land in Toronto. I work at York University as the coordinator for the Ontario Public Interest Research Group. I like to be checked on my privilege and like checking people on theirs. It’s something that I take as, like, important. I love my grandma. I’m working on a really awesome zine with a bunch of people who might also be in the room with you on fat and hair phobia for and by Indigenous people, black people, and people of colour. That’s also really important to me, around body/self-image stuff. So yeah, that’s me. Yay. What I understand feminism to be about for myself and how it plays out in my life: I wouldn’t identify as a feminist. I think people would identify me as a feminist, which is very different. I think a lot of people would assume my politics are feminist politics, in the way that I do work that I do, which is like super political, I guess you’d call it ‘lefty’ radical work. But, at the same time, feminism to me is super complicated in terms of the ways that it has played out historically, ancestrally through like my ancestry, and also the way that it plays out in co-opting a lot of women of colour and Indigenous ways of being and knowledge and stuff like that. So, that to me is a really huge structural problem when it comes to understanding the institution of feminism, as opposed to the way that feminism plays out in our everyday lives. I just feel like feminism is something very real and a part of my blood, mostly because I am a woman-identifying person. But also, I am a sister, I am my mother’s daughter, I am my grandmother’s granddaughter … I think that like feminism has been around long before an institution has claimed it in like a very structurally “edumacated” way. But that it plays out in all kinds of ways, in very little ways and very big ways, on an everyday basis. And that’s how I understand feminism. Although most of the time, those little things don’t get named as feminism - like taking care of your kids, like that to me is like fucking radical feminist action. So I mean, I think that there are very different ways of understanding institutional elements of feminism as opposed to the ways that it gets practiced every day (and very fiercely) by trans women, by queer people, by two-spirit people, by Indigenous women, and people, and women of colour. And women in general. I think that we all have components of the ways in which feminist ideology and thought, I guess, have kind of attempted to talk about us in that way. But we live it way better than they could ever write it down.

Shameless is thrilled to collaborate with the YWLT on this Idea Burst series. Stay tuned for more Idea Bursts being posted weekly, and please consider sharing your own, whether or not you are attending Women’s Worlds.

Tags: activist report

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