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Ashur Collective Is Not A Feminist Company

Ashur Collective Is Not A Feminist Company published on 3 Comments on Ashur Collective Is Not A Feminist Company

This probably isn’t what you expected to hear from us, right? Two women, creating comics and books about.. well, all sorts of stuff. It might seem we’re feminists, since our first book saw a lot of female customers reading something that was violent and envelope-pushing.

However, this isn’t the case. And we admit to using the term “feminist” ourselves because of a lack of a better word.

bloodmoney-comixologydigitalFeminist is defined by the dictionary as “advocating social, political, legal, and economic rights for women equal to those of men”. We have had characters and touched on the issue of equality in Blood Money. Dasha gives Juste and Jack a run for their ransom in the book, and clearly calls the shots when it comes to her marriage. Decembre, another female character, is the voice of reason who would rather walk out the door than deal with pandering to Juste’s ego.

However, we’ve moved on to publish other books with a similar message. The difference deals with how we’ve shifted the conversation to talk about equality in other ways.

odysseymovieposter-finalsmall2Odyssey is about a boy named Oliver, born in a lower class Detroit neighborhood, who works to achieve his dream of becoming an astronaut. Some readers probably didn’t notice this, but his best friend, Chris, has a hole in his shirt in the scenes where he accompanies him. He has that same hole in his shirt on the cast poster. He wears the shirt no matter what scene he’s shown in. Perhaps, then, it’s his only shirt.

Chris has less money than Oliver, yet Chris would probably be discriminated against less because of his fairer skin. This was a hint at kyriarchy, a concept where people may benefit in some ways, sometimes, over others and vice versa. We all have specific advantages that are unique to ourselves, and this contributes to a more complex system of privilege than the simple explanation of living in a patriarchy.

In other words, we’ve all got a reason to mind our manners and not be a dick to others.

theotherworld-smallerThe Other World covers different types of equality issues, revisiting both gender and economic points along with sexuality. The same could be said with Transhuman Resources, which is currently in production:

closetofinalBecause the lead character is transgender.

Across the span of our publications is that one thing: equality. No matter if it’s for a man, woman, or a poor child who wants to enter a limited and selective career field.

And while it’s true that feminists do work for and want equality for everyone, we have had a problem in the past with being associated with feminism based on our looks alone. The solution, then, is to define the label off the bat ourselves so this doesn’t happen again:

We are egalitarian. And if this label ever comes to not fit us anymore, then we will pick another.

In all honesty, it doesn’t matter what you call us, as long as we aren’t unfairly summarized and limited by that name. We love all of our readers. We’d like for all of them to know that we have their back. And when categories fail, we’re at least confident that our books will do the talking where we can’t.

  • M. Report

    Equality ?
    What a concept ! Thankfully the characters in your works are anything but identical;
    Variety is the spice of life, and everybody has something unique to add to the recipe.

  • manly and also a proud feminist

    thanks for this thoughtful piece. However, nothing you’ve said precludes you from also (re)claiming the tag “feminist” along with your other concerns with race and class equity (maybe a better term than “equality” as per the earlier commentator?). Feminist politics or activism just tries to change particular types of historical and ongoing inequities related to women and femininity. Don’t let a particular version of feminism fool you (associated with looks? that’s odd because many feminists would argue precisely against that kind of bias) – it’s a capacious term that should be reclaimed by social justice seeking folks (whether men, women, trans*, cis, white, people of color, and so on)… thanks for your wonderful work!

    • ashurcollective

      Hi! Thank you for visiting. I think things like this and this have put Jaime and I off from where feminism is going right now. We don’t like it becoming cheapened by disingenuous people who only use it for personal gain. It’s troubling to see this pattern grow, so we’re leaving the neighborhood before it becomes too gentrified.

      It doesn’t mean we could ever forget we’re women, or I could ever forget I’m black. That doesn’t happen. It doesn’t mean we tolerate hate of any kind here. It just means we don’t identify with feminism, not exactly. But if someone called us that, I would get why and I wouldn’t be upset.

      I don’t know what else to say without a conversation about it. Maybe after another year and some more books behind us, we could examine where we are in terms of philosophy.

      –Kelly

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