What does it mean to recognize the home as a site of resistance?
Last semester, our professor posed this question to a group of law students at an ivy league university, and was surprised at how many students got so upset. But professor, they cried, women were oppressed in the home. That’s why we fought so hard to get out.
Do you, professor asked us, agree with them? Home is oppression that you have to escape?
Here are some images brought to my mind by the phrase “home as a site of resistance”:
I think of a classmate who declares she was born and lives in Haifa, Palestine, a place that according to official maps does not exist. And I think of her mother, who continues to live in their family home as her foremothers have done.
I think of Renee at Womanist Musings, who shares reflections on the need for and challenges of raising children with a social justice consciousness in a society that is often unjust.
I think of Elsie Callado, who along with other residents, are protesting the Philippine government’s illegal demolition of their houses. She wants residents, some of whom have lived in the shanty area for more than thirty years, to be included in the provisions for the government center project.
I think back to 1991, when women in the Cordilleras stood in the paths of bulldozers, to save homes being demolished for mining operations.
And finally, I think of bell hooks:
It is no accident that this homeplace, as fragile and as transitional as it may be, a makeshift shed, a small bit of earth where one rests, is always subject to violation and destruction. For when a people no longer have the space to construct homeplace, we cannot build a meaningful community of resistance.
What are your reflections on the home as a site of resistance?