feminist in focus: kait fenwick
Name: Kait Fenwick
Occupation: Full-time student, part-time console operator
Location/Hometown: Newcastle, NSW
Describe yourself in one word.
What is your feminist philosophy?
Inclusivity is at the forefront of my feminist philosophy. I’m conscious of my whiteness and the privileges that are associated with that.
What inspires you?
The writings of the late Leslie Feinberg. Stone Butch Blues is a transformative read for women and queer folk alike.
What is the most important feminist cause in your life?
Dismantling binary notions of gender. They’re toxic and impact us all in ways that we scarcely recognise because we have been trained to look beyond them.
Which books and/or authors have influenced the way you think about women and feminism?
The late Chrissy Amphlett’s autobiography was my first brush with a memoir containing strong feminist overtones. I have her lyric, ‘Too much, too young’ tattooed on my ankle as a means to mark that initial encounter.
What does the future of feminism look like?
The future of feminism is inclusive.
What do you believe are the biggest challenges facing women (in Australia and the rest of the world)?
An inability to realise that feminism is for everyone. In Australia in particular, feminism is often confined to white, heteronormative, middle class interpretations of equality.
True or false: Gender is a feminist issue.
Most certainly. I identify as both feminist and transmasculine. When coming to terms with my ambiguous gender identity I was concerned that I would no longer have a place in feminism due to my personal disconnect from femininity. Over time I’ve come to realise that it is so significant that trans, non-binary and gender fluid individuals carve spaces for themselves in order to discuss feminist issues that apply to them. These issues are same but different and all encompassing from access to education to health to forging a place in the world whereby people have the opportunity to experiment and come to their own conclusions about what gender looks like for them.
Tell us about the poem you recently had published in Australian Contemporary Australian Feminist Poetry.
I volunteered for 12 months at a local contemporary art space. During that time I wrote a lot. Brett McMahon did a solo exhibition a month or so after I started showcasing the new direction of his practice. I was transfixed by not only his art but his approach to his discipline. McMahon is a very humble, softly spoken gent and much of the exhibition oozed a kind of subtle sexuality that was approachable and intriguing.
The poem in question, Hidden Nature, is both self-reflexive and tongue in cheek. I am fixated on the connections between queer poetics and contemporary art practice and am forever inspired by works that overlap.
If we want to change the world, first we must eradicate binary notions of gender.
I am a social media fiend. You can find me on Facebook here.
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