Nerdlab co-founder, Hannah Sanford, spills all on the upcoming Feminist Salon: Feminism & Intersectionality.

Hannah, give us the Feminist Salon details.

Hannah: The Feminist Salon is coming up on Sunday, May 15th at the Ship & Anchor, our usual hangout spot. I like that place…I like that we sit by the dart boards. For some reason it feels like we should start playing darts. We could bring some interesting pin-ups.

dartboard by Tom Woodard, available under CC BY-SA 2.0

Get your ticket on Eventbrite!

What gave you the idea for the Feminist Salon?

Hannah: Our last book club pick was bell hook’s Feminism is for Everybody. She spoke about the consciousness raising spaces of the 60’s & 70’s that people would host in their homes. I like the idea of a casual get-together where people can talk about topics in an unstructured way, that helps them process, debate and consider the different perspectives on feminism.

At that time feminism was new and people were trying to figure it out. I actually think that the issues and questions that they were dealing with are just as relevant today: What is feminism? Who does it apply to? Who is included in it? How are they included? How do individuals practice?

What are you hoping attendees will get out of our Feminist Salon?

Hannah: I want people to think about their own feminisms. This isn’t a lecture series, we’re not handing out pamphlets with bullet point lists of what you have to do to be included in the Feminist Club™.

Our book clubs feel like the pre-makings of a feminist salon. Although we start with book questions, we always get into feminist discussions that end up on all sorts of tracks. I really love that format. I want to have people in my living room - or at the Ship & Anchor - talking about this kind of stuff. These events provide opportunities for people to explore concepts that they might not otherwise have the space to explore.

You don’t talk about feminism in terms of women, you keep saying people. Are you hoping that people, aside from those who identify as women, come out?

Hannah: Yes, definitely. Feminism isn’t just about how a “woman” should be. Feminism is against sexism…it’s about us as people.

Editor’s note: NerdLab YYC is open to people regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, or religion.

And this is where we get into intersectionality. You’re not any one thing in isolation of the others. Exploring systematic oppression from a perspective of intersectionality can make issues appear more complicated and that much harder to navigate or untangle, true, but sexism isn’t just related to gender in isolation of all other parts of someone’s lived experience. It’s important to recognize that, and that’s also what makes intersectionality interesting. It’s why NerdLab is specific about being intersectional, not just feminist.

What would you like to see in the future for the Feminist Salon?

Hannah: I’d like to see people suggesting topics that they would like to explore. I want us to build on these conversations, to help expand an awareness of and understanding of sexism and intersectionality in the world.

People need to debate, ask questions and get more comfortable with their own discomfort. Getting comfortable with and figuring out what to do with that discomfort, that’s a big goal for me.