The first time I ever felt the force of feminism—in all its fiery angst, oratorical ardor and intellectual property—was watching Staceyann Chin perform on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam when I was a junior in High School. The half-Jamaican, half-Chinese, lesbian/feminist delivered her prose with a zeal that set a spark in my pre-natal activist womb. Other queer poets, like Alix Olson and Andrea Gibson, exemplify the perfect marriage—or partnership, if you will—between spoken word and feminism.
Getting the opportunity to see Chin live last semester at Panache Lounge only strengthened my respect and admiration for the poet and the genre of spoken word. This is why I took notice when I saw an event posting for The Open-Mic Feminist Performance Party, which took place last Friday, Oct. 24, at Spark Contemporary Art Space. The event was held in conjunction with the Feminist Rhetoric for Social Justice symposium, which brought speakers like Journalist and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Backlash, Susan Faludi, and author of the two-volume series, Man Cannot Speak for Her, Karlyn Kohrs Campbell, to Syracuse University’s campus to talk about why feminism still matters in an age perceived as post-feminist. (more…)