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FREE RADICAL: BOSTON FEMINISTS FOR LIBERATION

BFFL

Photo from Boston Feminists for Liberation‘s Facebook page.

On October 13, Boston Feminists for Liberation led a march from the Boston Common to Dewey Square, stopping at the Statehouse and at Downtown Crossing. Over 150 feminists—men, women, gender neutral persons, straight, gay, trans and people of every color—were there, sporting signs and banners reclaiming women’s right to chose, to say no, to own their own bodies.

“[Feminists] don’t all just fit into one mold,” said Alexandra Ibarra Carmona, a member of BFFL and one of the organizers of this year’s march. “We have to consider that we all get screwed over from all sides.”

Carmona, who graduated from Boston University in May, says that she got involved with BFFL over the summer when she saw their Facebook page and then later attended a meeting. She’d minored in Women’s Studies at BU, and had been to other feminist meetings in the past, but found these outlets to be very discussion based. BFFL, she says, is “much more.”

At the end of the march, Carmona addressed the group of protesters during the “speak out,” when people were invited to share their thoughts and their stories. “I am tired of being called a minority,” said Carmona, who is Hispanic. “We need to stop using this racist language.”

As I marched that day, behind a banner that read “Crucify rapists, hug cats,” I felt empowered and excited but, also disheartened. It’s 2012, and we are still having the “equal pay” conversation. It’s 2012, and there are still people who believe that a person can be blamed for being raped.

I am a woman in the 21st century, and that my reproductive rights might be taken away is a real possibility.

There were many speakers at the march. A person from the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC) shared her harrowing story of being sexually assaulted. In front of the Statehouse, a woman spoke out against the prison-industrial complex, wherein people of color are targeted and private companies collect a profit. In the center of Downtown Crossing, the group took a seat as organizer Nicole Sullivan spoke out against beauty myths and society’s body image problem.

BFFL recognizes that no one is free when others are oppressed.

They know that feminism is not just about women’s issues. About a dozen or so passersby approached our banner and engaged us about it—overwhelmingly, people had messages of support. I felt so much love all around me. I felt solidarity from my fellow feminists, of course, but also from the city of Boston. And as much as that day was about highlighting injustice and inequality, it was also about how we are all together in this fight against oppression.

“We want conversation,” says Carmona. “We want it to be all inclusive. We want people to express themselves.” She and others at BFFL are hoping to spread the word about their new direction, and they’re hoping to get more people involved in their organization. “We would hope that more people would come out,” she says.

“The more voices we have, the more we can be heard.”

BOSTON FEMINISTS FOR LIBERATION MEET TUESDAYS AT 7 P.M. AT THE CITY PLACE FOOD COURT NEAR THE BOYLSTON T STOP.


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