Elia, 26 years old: “I have given up on many environments that I know are full of oppressive people”

Dn Déclic, people tell us about their feminist awareness and what has changed for them. Today Élia explains to us why she refuses to see feminism as a dogma and remember that he it cannot be dissociated from other struggles.
  • First name : Elijah
  • Age :26
  • Occupation : Journalist
  • Place of life : Paris

How would you describe your relationship with feminism?

Feminism is central to my life. I don’t consider it a dogma but a relationship with the world that constantly makes us question everything, starting with feminism itself! Everywhere, in every social, political, intimate situation, in art I try to decipher the mechanisms of power relations and to act according to what seems more right, less oppressive, more feminist.

Did you grow up in a feminist environment?

My community doesn’t claim to be feminist but it is. I am French-Algerian but my parents are Algerian. Among these, inequalities between women and men, especially in terms of wages, men who cheat and beat their wives, violence against children, are heresies. My loved ones are therefore very proud that I am a feminist and sometimes I talk about choices, beliefs, lifestyles that they make naturally. Intellectually and emotionally, it is very stimulating and comforting. We stand united in a violent, particularly sexist and aberrant French society.

When did you first become a feminist?

My feminist awareness dates back to the age of 21, 22. This awareness has never been just feminist but intersectional. In my opinion, feminism is only one aspect of a decolonial, ecological and anti-capitalist struggle. Feminism that does not think about racism, homophobia, class struggle, is not feminism. The problem is not that women become as violent and powerful as men to the detriment of everyone else. The challenge is a profound revolution for greater harmony between human beings and with nature.

That’s why I discovered feminism in L3, with queer or racialized theorists. I’ve never read a feminist book that’s just about feminism, just about (white) women versus men. My activation job is A decolonial feminism by Françoise Vergès. I can’t recommend a better book for understanding why feminism is not just an aspect of life but its structure. The discovery of these texts is an emotional, philosophical and intellectual ébullition, which allows me to fully understand the world, the relationships of potentially unequal and violent people, as well as the relationship to the world and to others in so many French women. Algerian.

Elia’s feminist toolbox

Books :

  • A decolonial feminism by Françoise Vergès
  • The prophecy of the serpent sisters by Isis Labeau-Caberia

Movie :

  • Atlantic by Mati Diop
  • The Battle of Algiers by Gile Pontecorvo
  • You deserve love by Hafzia Herzi
  • Jungle fever by Spike Lee
  • Titanium by Julia Ducournau
  • Challengers by Luca Guadagnino

How does feminism permeate your life today?

Feminism permeates absolutely every aspect of my life. I love and have a happy sexuality because my lover is a feminist. I’m a film critic and work in feminist media, because a the media unable to think about what intersectional feminism does in cinema, misses cinema. If he only talks about interesting scripts, actors who play well and beautiful costumes, it is not a criticism.

I am also an activist of the only truly feminist, decolonial and anti-capitalist political party. During the presidential elections, I dedicated all my days to combing homes, schools and markets, going door to door, organizing conferences. Additionally, in my daily life, I have given up on many environments that I know are filled with oppressive people. The saddest setback is that I lost friends. We got used to each other, like if feminism were a lifestyle, an identity that can make some people incompatible even if they love each other.

Do you feel like you’ve reached the end of your feminist awakening?

My feminism is evolving because I’m deconstructing it. For example, I tried to have an open relationship at all costs but in the end I returned to the monogamous model because I understood that it was what suited me, it made me happy. This is also why feminism is not a dogma. It has principles, but their application must depend on the sensitivity of each individual. It is absurd to establish rules of feminism that, if we do not respect them, make us a “false feminist”.

Read another one

  • Lily, 21 years old and her feminist awakening: “I no longer have any judgment on the sexist person I was”

  • Célia, 24 years old: “I understood the importance of feminism by playing Trivial Pursuit”

  • Sandrine, 48 years old: «I asked my daughters more than my son for household chores»

  • Suzy, 27 years old: “Today I’m afraid of having sex with men”

  • Joséphine, 22 years old: “As for my feminism, I often wonder if I am in excess”

Listen to Apéro des Daronnes, Madmoizelle’s show that aims to break down taboos on parenting.

Source: Madmoizelle

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