Professor Maylei Blackwell is an interdisciplinary scholar activist, oral historian, and author. Towards the end of the inspiring Plurifemisms symposium, Maylei Blackwell discusses Indigenous feminisms and the connection of the body to the land. Blackwell made a very critical comment on the feminist theory of “essentialism” as she discusses the critique that Indigenous feminisms has received as being essentialist. Essentialism is the view that there are inherent natural properties to the female sex, this theory has been denounced by feminists, as it suggests that there are unchangeable qualities to the “female body”. Blackwell states that it is a fact that ALL genders are connected to the land- our source of life and it is critical for us to understand that indigenous feminisms are not rooted in essentialism because all bodies are connected to earth.
Thank you so much to all of the wonderful feministas that joined us for this event!