Femme Friday – Andi Schwartz

Toronto-based femme, Andi Schwartz, is an academic, a poet, a journalist and a fur baby mama (their names are Franny and Zooey, ‘cause I know you want to know!). In her paper, “Critical Blogging: Constructing Femmescapes Online,” she says, “that femmes politicize online space by using blogs as tools to engage in identity production, community building, and political theorizing.” Hey, FUCK YEAH!!! Among other writing, she has two gorgeous poems in Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha’s “hard femme poetics: a poetic anthology of femme literary brilliance” and truly one of the best blog names ever: Emotionally Nauseous.

Deep gratitude to Andi Schwartz!

It is important to understand femme blogging as political because it disrupts notions of what is considered political, who gets to participate, and who gets to decide. If femmes are excluded or face oppression in more traditional forms of political resistance, then they might forever be excluded from political discourse. If we shift our ideas around what is political and what is resistance, and where and how this all happens, we see a broader range of femme political participation. This combats stereotypes of the passive, apolitical, dependent femme, and helps to reconstruct femme as powerful and agentic. Changing how we view “politics” and “the political” means changing how we view femme. This nuanced view of politics and political activity can also be applied to communities who experience barriers to other forms of political participation that get minimized by the term “slacktivist,” including youth, people with disabilities, people of colour, and undocumented immigrants, permanent residents, or others with restrictive citizenship status. These ideas must be challenged so that marginalized communities’ resistance and theorizing can be recognized, valued, and utilized to create more nuanced and inclusive politics.

–Andi Schwartz, “Critical Blogging: Constructing Femmescapes Online” in ADA: A Journal of Gender, New Media and Technology, #9

Every Friday, I showcase a queer femme goddess. I want to feature you! Write to me at thetotalfemme@gmail.com.