Amplification as Feminist Practice

A feminist practice I try to include in my daily life, professional and personal, is amplification.

Many of us have complicated subject positions, in which we occupy positions as targets and agents of oppression. I try to bring my experience with the former to the latter. In moments when I find myself in a relative position of privilege (e.g., as a white cis man), I try to amplify the contributions of those around me who are likely to be overlooked, talked over, or discounted. In academia, as elsewhere, this can often happen in meetings—when women’s participation is ignored or disrespected, usually by men who have learned to interrupt and talk over other speakers. I can use the soapbox I have to repeat and acknowledge what, for example, women and people of colour have said, adding an echo that makes it more likely the contribution will be heard.  

As with many things, this is a work in progress, and a steady task that requires work and reinforcement.

—Kyle Frackman, University of British Columbia, Vancouver