Lydia’s Library Books

Further Reading

I like theory… but I fully recognize how boring it is to read! It can be so damn boring sometimes! However, when it comes down to it, I’m stuck reading theory all the time. Historic and sociological works are more interesting to me because they can really get down into how theory impacts reality and people, which is more of my cup of tea. Anyway, this post doesn’t really have anything to do with that, other than within the realm of indigenous feminist criticism there are some really smart people writing really interesting stuff that might be dry and boring to some, but to me, feels alive and energetic. This post is going to be a list of related books that I haven’t yet read, but sound good!

Also, here’s an article:

However, while well intended, feminist activism can sometimes be disempowering and even racist towards Aboriginal people, resulting in the same kind of dispossession as that inflicted by colonial governments.


CoverMaking Space for Indigenous Feminism is a collection of writings by Indigenous scholars who employ a feminist analysis in a very critical way to analyze inequities in power relations (native and non). It’s a short book, with sixteen contributions. Joyce Green, in Taking Account of Aboriginal Feminism, explains why this may be.

Even where contemporary social relations are understood to be shaped by colonial and patriarchal practices, Aboriginal women are reluctant to use a gendered analysis to criticize Aboriginal men. Indeed, feminist analysis is widely considered to be divisive, corrosive of family and community, culturally inappropriate and even colonialist. A number of prominent Aboriginal intellectuals have dismissed feminism’s relevance for Aboriginal women while others have celebrated Aboriginal women’s traditional and maternalist roles to the exclusion of analysis of gendered power relations.

Considering feminism’s historic disregard for the racial identities of women of color (while assuming that all women can unite under some sort of ‘sisterhood,’ putting their womanness first), this makes sense. Feminism alone is not ‘for everybody,’ but “aboriginal feminism,” as outlined by Green and others,

“brings together the two critiques, feminism and anti-colonialism, to show how Aboriginal peoples, and in particular Aboriginal women, are affected by colonialism and patriarchy.”

This seems to me to be pretty necessary: native women have had to put up with a lot of bullshit. Colonialism and land theft, sexist legislation (this piece talked a lot about Canada’s Indian Act in this regard, and off the top of my head I’m reminded of the Hyde Amendment), forced sterilization (esp. in the US in the 70s, in the years between Roe and Hyde), economic oppression, and more. As a non-native woman, I’m really not one to talk. But historically, this is a group that has been given the least and taken from the most, and now it’s been reported that one in three American Indian women will be raped in her lifetime. That’s not just sexism.

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Summertime Blogging

I read blogs. All the time. Generally while I should be writing papers. I’ve always held off on the idea of doing my own, maybe because I don’t think that I have anything new to add to the very nuanced and critical conversations that are happening every day in the blogosphere (which is a very stupid word, by the way). But today, while reading, I realized that if I could start a blog for myself, about the books that I’m reading, maybe it’ll get me more used to putting my thoughts out there! And it’s the summer, so I actually have some time on my hands (at least until my job starts in two weeks)!!! That gives this blog two purposes: to write about how the readings I want to do/am doing this summer are influencing and teaching me, and to get me used to writing about important topics in a public way. Enough with talk about me- time to talk about books!

Here is a list of what I’m reading right now

  • Making Space for Indigenous Feminism, ed. Joyce Green
  • Empire Falls, Richard Russo
  • The Lathe of Heaven, Ursula Le Guin (okay, I actually finished this a few days ago)

My plan for further reading is about the same as this: half academic, half fiction. While at this point I’m planning to write about everything, that might change. Expect a post on the first chapter of Making Space for Indigenous Feminism sometime soon. If you (oh imaginary reader) have any thoughts, suggestions, or anything feel free to comment- it’s unmoderated at this point because this is such a new blog.