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Colonize This!: Young Women of Color on Today's Feminism (Live Girls) Paperback – July 29, 2002


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Product Details

  • Series: Live Girls
  • Paperback: 403 pages
  • Publisher: Seal Press; Live Girls edition (July 29, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580050670
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580050678
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,667 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Ms. magazine columnist Hernandez and former Muslim poet Rehman, both feminist activists, have assembled a broad collection of essays by young women writers, academics, and activists from a range of cultures and sexual orientations. A few essays have a very specialized focus, describing such experiences as a Chicana with HIV and a Native American woman participating in the typically male War Dance ceremony. More often the contributors look more generally at their lives and families and consider how these experiences have influenced their understanding of feminism. Several writers critique "white, middle class feminism" for failing to take into account the impact of classism and racism on women of color. One essay discusses the impact of gentrification on poor, single mothers; another tells of the author's immigrant mother turning to sex work to support her daughters. Cultural and religious customs are discussed by a Nigerian woman who comes to the United States for college and by an Indian American woman who is expected to pursue an arranged marriage. These are very personal, interesting, and readable essays. Recommended for large public and academic libraries. JDebra Moore, Cerritos Coll., Norwalk, CA
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Daisey Hernandez and Bushra Rehman, self-described as a "Catholic Cuban-Colombian girl from New Jersey" and a "Pakistani Muslim girl from Queens," offer various perspectives--their own and others--of life lived as young feminists of color, exploring commonalities and cultural differences and examining macho cultures and American capitalism. The collection takes its title from an essay by Cristina Tzintzun, whose Mexican mother and white father personified the colonial experience. The essays explore four major themes: family and community; mothers; cultural customs; and talking back to white feminists, men, mothers, liberals, and others. These women express a more radical, racialized feminism that broadens the movement beyond its early incarnation. Vanessa Bush
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 44 people found the following review helpful By C. Montoya-Humphrey on August 17, 2003
Format: Paperback
One day, after four months working in a largely white-staffed major chain bookstore, I discovered this book on the shelf. By the end, I was left wishing I had been able to submit a piece and hoping that I would one day find these other women.
I was excited to see the inclusion of American Indian women; we are all too often tossed aside- not only by anti-Indianist mainstream society, but by other people of color themselves. Hernandez' book is not only hers, not only the contributors', but all women of color's. These are individual voices of passionate and determined women of color, which are the real voices of feminism today, not the pedagogical discourse with which all women's studies majors are bombarded.
I enjoyed the stories of other queer women of color. I do not believe that these should be difficult to understand or relate to by straight women, after all, are not all queer women forced by society to understand the stories and trials of heterosexuality? I applaud Hernandez, not only for including the stories of queer women of color, but celebrating them as well.
At the United States Student Association, when someone calls "Holla Back," the room resounds with "I've got your back!" To all the women of color in the world- the editor and contributors of this book have got yours.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By I. Dolido on December 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
Initially, I wanted to respond to the person who wrote 'racist' to say, that he's an ignorant idiot; particularly for his unexamined complicity in affirming the oppressive hegemony that burdens this culture and society. By attempting to silence and dismiss the marginalized voices of women of color he is only perpetuating racism, and extendedly, sexism, classism, neocolonialism, and homophobia by hiding them and pretending that they don`t exist. However, I thought that maybe his apathy is only the result of being uninformed, unexposed, and/or simply being uneducated. I mean, who has the audacity to tactlessly claim in public that "To think about racism is to be racist. [and that, therefore,] People should think about other things." This is, either written by (1) someone from a position of unearned privilege; inferred by his/her inability to find urgency with the issue; or (2) someone who simply can`t read.

Slavery's long dead dude, not the embedded institution of oppressive "-isms" that circulate and reside within this society. And I know that sometimes it's hard to accept or understand that you're an oppressor too.

Anyway, that's what I want to say. Instead, I'm going to be passive and say:

Well, there's a great distinction between being racial and being racist. A racist is someone who vilifies another person through that person's race; and/or discriminates or commits violence against another person on the basis of that person's race. When a person emphasizes race to substantiate the socio-political flesh of his/her experiences, however, I don't read it as being racist. To me it is a reflection of the reality upon which other people are situated; and how that reality is defined and determined, sometimes, on the basis of one's skin.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By J. Aragon VINE VOICE on November 7, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Colonize This will make some readers uncomfortable to the contributors' honesty and in some cases anger. The various entries bring race to the center stage and this in itself will cause some readers to shift uncomfortably as they re-think their own particular privilege.

This book is ideal in a women's studies classroom or ethnic studies, english, or sociology. I think the book would be best served by also reading _This Bridge Called My Back_, since so many of the contributors refer to _Bridge_ as causing their "click" of feminism.

Colonize This isn't your typical academic tome, but a personal (and political) book that should cause some lively debate.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 28, 2002
Format: Paperback
After reading colonize this I was filled with a sense of all the possibilities of life, a sense of courage and a feeling that being a woman of color was not a life-sentence. Instead the women who wrote in this book made me feel that I didn't have to fit into someone else's mold of what it was I should be. Instead I could choose to love and live and learn the way that I felt was right what my heart told me.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By LastAngelofHistory.org on February 27, 2003
Format: Paperback
Antonio Gramsci once said "we are forced into an interregnum in which the old is dying and new cannot yet be born". 'Colonize This!...' is the new being born. Arriving at a moment when feminism is thought to have been 'achieved' by so many people and more women choose not to identify as feminist, this book announces a thunderous revolt.
The editors have selected writing by young women of color that is so compelling you'll have a hard time putting this down. A mixed-race woman describes how her supposedly liberal father, who taught her about black feminism, is having sexual encounters with many women of color, and abusing her mother. This piece is a reminder that male liberalism is not synonymous with an anti-patriarchal, anti-white supremacist politics.
The book is also accessible to people in a wide age range, so important at a time when radical feminism is being untaught or worse, ignored, at so many levels of public and private education.
Alongside Gloria Anzaldua and Ana Louis Keating's 'revisiting' book, 'This Bridge Called Home', 'Colonize This!' is an important reminder that, as Arundati Roy said, "another world is possible". The aim of both volumes is to demystify threadbare feminist certainties and re-radicalize the ongoing project of tearing down the massive structural forces of patriarchy, white supremacy, and homophobia.
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