#39 Practicing Radical Empathy in the Anti-Racist Discourse & the Importance of Intersectionality ~ w/ Sadia Masud
I met my incredibly inspiring friend Sadia Masud 6 years ago, in Canada, in a Race & Ethnicity class at the University of Alberta where we both studied back then (I was there for a semester!). Sadia has always inspired me in terms of sisterhood, female strength, compassion and so much more. Since forever we’ve been wanting to record a podcast together to speak about her activism, writing talents and personal experiences of life and I am so incredibly happy to present you this episode.
We talk about the meaning of identity and how for the BIPOC community specifically, identity is often seen as something in relation to someone else’s (e.g. you’re ‘not’ white), instead as an individual. We talk about the importance of awareness of privilege – of course, it is relative, but the majority of us carry some type of privilege with us. Sadia calls to seek discomfort in this work and states that, ‘you can’t be a good activist if you seek to just liberate yourself’. YES! I couldn’t agree more. It calls in the idea of Radical Empathy, which calls on the resilience of the BIPOC community and our interconnected communities as well as the urgent need for awareness and action.
On this podcast in general, we talk about liberation in terms of womanhood. I truly believe that all systems of oppression are rooted in patriarchy (be it white supremacy and thus racism, sexism, capitalism, etc.). However, it is also extremely important to be aware of the intersections that take place for all of us. My experience as a white, heterosexual, able-bodied woman with a university degree is very different than Sadia’s, who identifies as Muslim,Canadian with South-Asian and Middle-Eastern descend and, with wearing her hijab, being part of the visible minority community. And of course, there are countless examples like these. Sadia mentions the Combahee River Collective as one of her inspirations to become aware of intersectionality. I speak about the White Feminism lecture by Rachel Cargle which speaks about white privilege in the feminist movement.
Sadia’s book will celebrate the resilience in and diversity of minority communities. It aims to give BIPOC a voice. Read Sadia’s essay ‘Taken Over by the West’ which inspired her to work on this book. Sadia also recommends ‘Sick Woman Theory’ by Johanna Hedva to dive deeper into the concept of Radical Empathy.
I know this is only the start for this podcast of more inclusive, reflective conversations around these topics. I hope this episode instigates you to think about your role in this conversation and about ways to commit to activism. As Sadia mentions, ‘activism isn’t just about outward change but also about creating inward change’. The two need to co-exist to practice active activism and create actual change, not just for yourself but for others as well. Practicing self-care should be an important part of this as well. In the end, I believe we are all connected, so change needs to happen in order to raise the collective vibration. We need to seek the discomfort to make it comfortable for every single one of us.
Sadia – I know you read this 😉 – thank you for being such a bright, shining light in my life. I admire your strength, your compassion, your beliefs and your activism. Meeting you six years ago was a blessing back then and it is grown to be an even bigger blessing in the years following our time at Alberta University. I can’t wait to see your next year and celebrate your wedding with you.
And for everyone else – please let me know what you thought of this episode. What triggered it in you, what resonated, what did it enlighten for you? Let’s keep the conversation going!
~ I would love to know what came up for you whilst listening to this episode. Please reach out on Instagram (@thespiritualfem) or via email firstname.lastname@example.org. I can’t wait to start connecting with you!
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The Spiritual Feminist is an online platform and a safe space for women who’d like to dive deeper into spirituality and female empowerment. This podcast is about exploring a deeper connection within ourselves and with everything around us.
~ Nothing is missing, you are already whole. Everything you need, you already carry within you.