(Woman #1 is carrying a basket labelled Feminist Activism, which is filled with “activism pieces,” which are different blocks and shapes that are labelled with things like “pamphlets,” “101 education,” “organizing protests,” “writing blog posts,” “research,” “awareness protests,” “ignoring trolls,” and “writing anti-harassment policies.”)
Voice-over: Sometimes it feels like feminism asks a lot from us.
There’s so many things to care about and so much to do for us, for the ones we love, and for the rest of the world, that it’s easy to get overwhelmed.
(Woman trips, basket begins to spill.)
But who do this help?
(Woman is on the ground, covered in activism pieces.)
Intersectional feminism recognizes that there are different burdens that pile on people…
(A black woman is carrying a backpack labelled Racism overflowing with activism pieces that are labelled with things like “BLM activism,” “community organizing,” “legal aid work,” “speaking engagements,” and has her arms full of other pieces such as “anti-choice activism,” “sex worker rights,” “intersectional feminism education,” “sizeism.”)
Voice-over: And instead of saying:
(a white woman is speaking to the black woman)
White woman: That isn’t ours to carry, that has nothing to do with us.
Voice-over: …it helps to share the load.
(The black and white woman are each carrying one side of a bag of activism pieces. They are each carrying some in their arms as well, and the black woman still has the backpack, but it’s no longer overflowing.)
Voice-over: The most basic part of activism is personal accountability – it’s important to be honest with yourself about your capacity to take leadership roles in large scale projects, but you should be willing to critically examine your role and your privilege.
(Person #1 is speaking to a man.)
Person #1: Professor, I enjoy your lectures, but in your logic exercises you keep referring to gender as just men and women, and as distinct sets.
(The man – Professor – appears confused.)
Person #1: That doesn’t describe a lot of people including myself – I’m both! It kind of hurts to have complete theoretical exercises that invalidate an important part of my identity. I would really recommend amending those examples to something simpler than gender.
Professor: I’m sorry – that wasn’t my intent. You’re right, I’ll amend the exercises and make sure I’m up to date on my gender theory.
(The professor reaches out of the frame and picks up a colored block.)
Professor: Thank you for talking to me.
(Close-up on the colored block the Professor is holding. It is an activism piece that says “Personal Accountability: Gender.”)
Voice-over: While we need to be aware of how our privilege affects the distribution of effort in our communities:
(Person #2 is looking at an activism piece on the ground labeled “Anti-Trans Bathroom Panic.”)
Person #2: Gosh, someone should really do something about that.
(A stack of activism pieces about “Gender Wage Gap,” made up of blocks titled “Hispanic,” “Black,” and “Aboriginal.” Woman #3, who is white, has removed the “White” block from the stack.)
Woman #3: I’m passionate about addressing wage inequality!
Voice-over: We also need to be aware of the pressure from the people around us, the ongoing needs of our communities, and our own internal pressure to take on more and more.
(Person #3 is looking at a large pile of activism pieces at their feet.)
Person #3: There’s so much that needs to be done!
(Person in Wheelchair, who has a large piles of activism pieces on their lap, is looking at the pile of activism pieces.)
Person in Wheelchair: (thought bubble) I should do more.
Voice-over: And how this can be harmful to ourselves as well as the movements that we’re dedicated to.
(Woman #4 is carrying a small bag, a large bag, and a backpack, and pulling a wagon – all overflowing with activism pieces. Person #4 and Person #5 are talking about her.)
Person #4: She’s such a superstar, she does so many things! I don’t know how we’d do anything without her!)
(Close-up on Woman #4, who is sweating.)
Woman #4: (thought bubble) Don’t think about how heavy it is. Just one more step… and a step after… don’t drop anything… don’t think about how tired you are. They’re all counting on you!
Voice-over: It’s okay to define your own activism.
(Person #6 is speaking angrily to an aboriginal activist. She is carrying a bag labelled “Supporting Aboriginal Survivors of Sexual Abuse,” which is filled with activism pieces such as “counseling,” “awareness,” and “fundraising.”)
Person #6: I don’t see how you can call yourself a feminist if you aren’t supporting all sexual assault survivors.
Aboriginal activist: I do care. This is the space where my caring can make the most impact.
Voice-over: It’s okay to say:
(Person #7 is trying to give an activism piece to Person #8, whose arms are already filled with activism pieces.)
Person #8: This is all I can carry right now, but I know someone who might be able to help more – I’ll put you in touch.
Voice-over: It’s okay to say:
(Person #9 is carrying a backpack filled with activism pieces and also has their arms filled with them. They are putting one down.)
Person #9: I’ll pick this up again later, when my load is a little lighter.
Voice-over: And it’s okay to ask for help.
(Persons #10, who uses a cane, Person #11, and #12 are looking at a really big box of activism pieces labelled “Local Disability Access Activism.” It includes items such as “wheel-ins,” “media engagement,” “scheduling,” “business engagement.”)
Person #10: (to the other two persons) I want to make a difference here, but I can’t carry this all by myself. I can’t do it without your help.
Voice-over: Our activism shouldn’t leave casualties. We need to look after ourselves, and look out for the people in our communities that take on so much of the organizational, physical, emotional, and supportive work of activism.
(Woman #1 is still lying on the ground, covered in activism pieces. In the background, there is a small group of people each with small loads of activism pieces walking away.)
Voice-over: We are strongest when no one gets left behind.
(The group of people have removed the activism pieces from on top of Woman #1, and they’ve picked up some of them. One of them is helping her up.)