“Tell me all your thoughts on God, cause I’d really like to meet her”- Dishwalla
I always think of this lyric when I hear the word feminism and the stigma of it being just some aggressive standpoint or some absurd way of thinking. It boggles my mind that we are still having discussions on the right to our own bodily autonomy and integrity. The idea of feminism should be easy to grasp and ACCEPT in my opinion. Now, to be able to dissect the oppressive state in which women live in, advocate the dismantling of our current system and make moves towards a liberated life for all is where Ivy Quicho takes the baton and leads the way.
Ivy has worked as a social worker for over 10 years and is the National Organizing Director of Af3irm - an organization of women engaged in transnational feminist anti-imperialist activism dedicated to the fight against oppression in all forms. I know that’s a lot to digest, but with a mission statement like that, I feel pretty damn invincible having Ivy on my side. One minute I’m standing strong in my stance on prostitution, strip clubs and a woman’s right to express herself, the next minute I am realizing the negative impact on capitalizing off of the exploitation of women. Throw in a valid theory of supply and demand, and I was damn near on my way to picketing Jumbo’s Clown Room in DTLA. Ivy, I’ve been there, I’m sooooooo sorry!
My own personal penance for believing some of these gender roles was to embrace what I thought would be an intimidating conversation on feminism. But as we sat there and she answered every question I had, I realized my hesitation was unnecessary and I was overcome with so much knowledge and empathy towards all sides, races, and backgrounds. The power of conversation is what starts movements. Typing those words seems fresh from some IG Quote account (not gonna lie, this one has helped sometimes), but for Ivy and the women of Af3irm it’s only the beginning. It all seems like such a lofty task, almost unimaginable. At the end of the conversation I just wanted to go get ice cream on York blvd and talk about the finale of The Night Of, but Ivy dared me to dream. To dream of a world of equality, liberation, & social change. She made me realize the distinction between feminism and mainstream feminism. She broke down the differences of a white woman’s struggle vs a woman of color. She dropped knowledge on alarming statistics of women being raped or assaulted in this country.
Af3irm is hell bent on demanding change, and intensifying the wave of feminism to drown all levels of inequality and social injustices. One way of this method is the launch of SOYA LA, a free, holistic three-part program for female youth. Here, girls participate in trauma-informed yoga, sensory strategies, and transnational feminist workshops. The program provides youth with the knowledge and tools to not only cope and survive our daily oppression, but to heal, organize, and dream.
To see the power of community, passion, empathy, and everything that comes with a movement, first hand makes me believe in the good in people, and I forget there is any good the minute I get on the 405. For that alone I can’t thank Ivy and the women of Af3irm enough.