What counts as activism? Why didn’t the kind of emotional self-care me and my girls were doing—talking to each other about all the fucked-up shit we were going through as brown girls—count? Why didn’t my best friend driving her elderly East African mother to the doctor and renegotiating her way through the layers of the racist, sexist, condescending bullshit medical system count as activism? Did staying alive count as activism? Did re-learning Tamil, one of my Sri Lankan family’s languages, count? Did cooking good Sri Lankan food and learning how to cook those recipes I didn’t have female family members around to teach me count? As a South Asian femme immigrant who was having a shitty week, did shopping at the MAC counter and finding the perfect shade of fuchsia lip gloss for my milk-tea skin count?
Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, “A Time to Hole Up And a Time to Kick Ass” in We Don’t Need Another Wave (via kru-pa)