In the 1970s and 80s, a turn began in North American feminism when Black women unsettled the racist tendencies of mainstream white feminists and highlighted an “intersectional” approach to struggles for women’s gender liberation that explicitly articulated the interconnections between systems of oppression (e.g., racism, colonialism, imperialism, sexism, heterosexism, trans-antagonism, ableism, classism, ageism, antisemitism, etc.). This turn opened feminism to more critiques and challenges – queer theory, trans politics, and Indigenous feminisms, among others. Indigenous feminisms in particular have shaken the “three waves” history of feminist struggle by grounding North American feminism in Indigenous women’s anti-colonial resistance. This rich legacy of struggle for gender liberation challenges us to centre a gender lens of analysis in all of our social justice fights, including AAD’s campaigns against displacement and dispossession.

This spring, Alliance Against Displacement is holding our fourth Conditions of Struggle class series on Sex/Gender Problems and Powers in Anti-Displacement Struggle. You can see the reading packages from past class series on our website, including readings about anti-Black racism in Vancouver, austerity and neoliberalism, and connections between displacement and dispossession. In this current series, we will work on understanding the different critiques and contributions of the recent “turns” in feminist and gender liberation thinking, and apply this thinking in the communities where we are organizing.

Class 1: Considering decolonial genders and sex

Class 1 Reading Package

Class 2: Intersectionality and the rupture in “feminism”

  • The Combahee River Collective Statement
  • Suzan Cooke, “‘We Referred To It As Coming Out’: Recollections on Trans Identity, State Violence, and 1960s Radicalism”
  • Audre Lorde, “Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power”
Class 2 Reading Package

Class 3: Material and symbolic foundations of gender


Class 4: Gender violence and men’s grasp to power

  • LaKeyma King, “Inversion and invisibility: Black women, Black men, and anti-Blackness”
  • L. Cornum, “First Women, Then the Nation: Confronting Colonial Gender Violence in Canada and the US”
  • Film: Red Girl’s Reasoning (Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, 2013)

Class 5: What’s wrong with rights?

  • Dean Spade, Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics, and the Limits of the Law (This is a full book. Read as many or few of the chapters as you like)
Class 5 Reading Package

Class 6: How to fight together: Coalition, federation, separatism