CHERRY SMILEY

about me

I am a radical feminist from the Nlaka’pamux and Diné nations. I like to:

  • make art;
  • read, write, think, do, and say things that I think are important (even if I’m not supposed to);
  • ask why and why not;
  • laugh at my own jokes;
  • learn about second wave (radical) feminist theory, art, organizing, and actions;
  • work with other women as part of the women’s liberation movement;
  • do things on my own terms.

I work on very serious and painful issues on a daily basis so
I find serious and non-serious fun whenever I can.

It has taken me a very long time to gather most parts of myself together.
It’s also taken a very long time to do so without debilitating fear.

I am currently phding at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and I have a lot of thoughts and feelings about that.

      Art

    Travel warning

    Travel warning

    2019 digital collage Dr. Genevieve Bell has stated that in the early nineteenth century, experts [men] decided that women's bodies were not able to travel at 50 miles per hour. if accelerated to that speed on a train, they [men] believed our uteruses would fly right...

    dear settlers

    dear settlers

    please accept this information about ze Indigenous heritage and Indigenous community connections in application for the tenure-track assistant professor position in the Department of Indian Affairs ze mean the Department of Two-Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual,...

    read this

    read this

    2019 digital image I fixed an advertisement that encouraged women to change their bodies in an attempt to make themselves more attractive to men.

    WRITING

    I write occasionally here.

    I’ve been published in the Globe & MailPolicy Options, and Herizons. I have also published articles as an author and co-author in peer-reviewed academic journals and in the edited book Feminism and Art History Now: Radical Critiques of Theory and Practice.

    RESEARCH

    My research is grounded in the material realities of women’s lives, in the work and goals of the women’s liberation movement, and in my experiences as a front-line anti-violence worker in a rape crisis centre and transition house for battered women and their children. My research interests include historical and contemporary strategies of the women’s liberation movement to end male violence against women and girls, impacts of colonization on Indigenous women, feminist theory, historical women’s studies and present-day gender studies in Canadian universities, prostitution, alternative education, feminist methodologies, and making art.

    I am currently a PhD candidate in the department of communications studies at Concordia University in Montreal. I started my thesis work in one place, learned alot in the middle, and then realized I was doing my research upside down. What a journey.

    CONSULTING

    If you or your organization are seeking to hire a consultant with expertise in report writing, graphic design, art-making, group facilitation, or need a speaker for your event, please get in touch to discuss your needs. I can accommodate a range of budgets.

    FAQ

    frequently

    asked

    questions

    Do you hate kill oppress sex workers?

    No I don’t and neither do the feminist women I work with. There are unfortunately some who do though, mostly men. Perhaps some additional reading on the feminist prostitution position that advocates for the abolition of prostitution and also how oppression works is needed.

    Do you hate kill oppress trans people?

    No I don’t and neither do the feminist women I work with. There are unfortunately some who do though, mostly men. Perhaps some additional reading on a feminist analysis of gender that advocates for the abolition of gender and also how oppression works is needed.

    Are you transphobic?

    I’m not afraid of people who identify as transgender. Please see previous question.

    are you a SWERF?

    No one is. “SWERF” is an insult that gets thrown at women who understand prostitution as a form of male violence against women in order to shut us up. It stands for “Sex Worker Exclusionary Radical Feminist”. Some will disagree, but the term is used as a slur against feminist women. I know this because it’s never used as follows: “Wow, she’s a SWERF, that’s so awesome! She has interesting things to say!”. It’s used in sentences like she is “SWERF trash”, “shut the f*ck up SWERF”, “SWERF bullshit”, or “if you’re a SWERF eat sh*t and die”.

    Are you a TERF?

    No one is. “TERF” is an insult that gets thrown at women who know that sex is a biological reality that cannot be changed in humans and who understand that gender is a bunch of rules, expectations, and limitations that oppress women and privilege men in a patriarchy. The term is an ancronym for “Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist” but is used widely, including by mainstream media, to discredit or shut not only feminist women up but any woman who criticizes or questions transgender belief systems. Some will disagree, but the term is used as a slur against feminist women. I know this because it’s never used as follows: “Wow, she’s a TERF, that’s so awesome! She has interesting things to say!”. It’s used in sentences like “all TERFs deserve to be shot in the head”, “somebody slap this TERF c*nt across the face”, “kill all TERFs”, or “colonize TERF faces with a fist”. See terfisaslur.com for more examples.

    Are you scary violent mean?

    I usually don’t get this question directly but I do know that individuals and organizations, especially in academic and activist circles, make these kinds of statements about me. I’m direct and unafraid to share my political analyses on issues that matter to women and girls. I treat everyone with respect in these matters but I’m not responsible if someone’s feelings get hurt by political disagreements.

    Indigenous women have long histories of being vilified as “savage” and “violent” when we don’t get in line or when we don’t say the things we’re supposed or expected to say. Perhaps some self-reflection about this is needed.

    Contact

    4 + 10 =

    or email me at clsmiley[at]gmail.com