Welcome to another Feature Friday! (A day late because yesterday got away from me) I am so excited about this week’s post! The woman behind PTS Feminist is incredibly intelligent, kind, and warm! She has an impressive background and I feel so honored that she wanted to talk to me about herself, book, calendar, and social media.
I ordered her book on Etsy and totally messed up by keeping my old address on file so we had to wait for it to get returned to her but thankfully she just messaged me the other day asking for an updated address. I will be dedicating a full post to my review of her book, which I’m sure will be great. 🙂
Anyway, I hope you go check out her IG PTSFeminist and fall in love with her, her ideas, her opinions, and her love for people just like I did.
- Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?
Absolutely! I consider myself an activist, artist, and forever student. Though I’m currently finished with
school, I’m always learning. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a Master’s degree in Women’s Studies, and by day I’m a Special Events Coordinator for a Planned Parenthood affiliate.
- Can you tell me about PTSfeminist?
Post-Traumatically Stressed Feminist is a collection of poems, stories, and visual art created by nearly 30 feminist artists and activists with PTSD about their lives with PTSD. The main goal of PTSF was to empower survivors by constructing our own platform to share our voices and experiences with the world as well as create a bit of nuance to the public understanding and perception of PTSD.
You can learn more about it from our Facebook page.
- What prompted you to start PTSfeminist?
Honestly, it was my experience being sexually assaulted in college and the loneliness and isolation I felt after the friends I had stopped speaking to me because I spoke out about it. The college I attended gave my rapist a slap on the wrist while I endured being harassed by the lacrosse team, public shaming, and a re-traumatizing experience reporting the assault. Feminism gave me the language I was lacking to describe what had happened to me as well as the rape culture I was so intimately experiencing. It shined a light on the injustices rape survivors and other folks with PTSD face after experiencing trauma and the lack of resources and support we have access to. I dreamt of having a resource that connected me to other survivors who had experienced the same thing because I had never felt more alone. Once I finished undergrad, graduate school, and got my research on the Psychological Effects of Abortions and Attitudes Towards Reproductive Rights published in the International Journal for Humanities and Social Science, I finally had the time and energy to make that dream come to life.
- What do you feel is your biggest focus with your PTSfeminist Instagram account?
The biggest focus of the ptsfeminist Instagram account is to connect PTSF to others who might find it comforting or illuminating. It’s also to share feminist art and activist efforts in a world where you can’t find those things just walking into the next retail store and to build community with other artists and activists doing similar work.
- Can you tell me about the feminist calendar people can buy on Etsy?
Our 2018 Feminist Calendar is a collection of work from 7 different feminist artists who wanted to support Post-Traumatically Stressed Feminist. The funds raised from calendar sales go to buy all of the contributors to Post-Traumatically Stressed Feminist a copy of the book. [Which you can also buy on Etsy or on Amazon]
- What does it mean to you to be an activist?
There is no one way to be an activist. It looks different for everyone. For me, being an activist looks like speaking out about injustices when I see them, being vocal about the importance of social change and equality, teaching with a feminist pedagogy, creating political art, constantly educating myself, making sure the marginalized folks I know and love know that I have their backs, and supporting the work of other activists, artists, and change-makers as much and as often as I can.
- What personal experiences drew you to being an activist and a feminist?
I was organizing special projects that prioritized injustices as a senior in high school in 2006 before I understood what feminism or institutional injustices actually were. I was named “Project Manager” of the Beta Club, and I haven’t stopped organizing since. After being assaulted in college, I came across the book Full Frontal Feminism: A Young Woman’s Guide to Why Feminism Matters by Jessica Valenti. It spoke truth to my experiences, and I haven’t looked back since.
- Have you ever experienced any threats because of what you’re doing?
I have experienced threats, harassment, and verbal abuse because of the work I do. I’ve been called everything from a bitch to a feminazi to a baby killer in public and online. I do my best to brush it off and keep going. If women stopped everything every time they were harassed, we would never get anything done.
- Do these threats ever make you reconsider what you’re doing?
Not in the slightest. They only strengthen my resolve.
- If there was one activist resource that you wish everyone would read or view what would it be?
Oh gosh, it’s impossible for me to pick just one. Anything by Gloria Anzaldúa, bell hooks, Audre Lorde, Kimberle Crenshaw, or Patricia Hill Collins.
- Is there anyone or any group of people who inspire you or prods you to action?
SO many people! All of the academics and activists mentioned in the above question are intellectual and activist inspirations, as well as activist groups such as Black Lives Matter and the indigenous organizers who defended the right to clean water at Standing Rock.
- If you could change one thing about this world what would it be?
Social Injustice (but that is so many interconnected things! We have a lot of work to do.)
- One more question, what would you say to the men and women in power if you had their attention?
What makes women not human? What makes poor people not human? What makes people of color not human and not deserving of the same rights, privileges, and resources you have access to?