I scorn them not, but to defy the State
Or break her ordinance I have no skill.
A specious pretext. I will go alone
To lap my dearest brother in the grave.
My poor, fond sister, how I fear for thee!
O waste no fears on me; look to thyself.
No feminism has ever been truly inclusive. Whether divided on the basis of race (in the Suffragettes), the current divide between white and intersectional feminism, or conservatism versus all-inclusive movements–it is clear that there are and have been many people whose feminism is designed to honor themselves, but not at any real risk of a perceived societal sacrifice.
Ismene, like Antigone, values family ties and the law of gods over the law of man. However, she lacked the courage to stand with Antigone when it mattered. After Antigone heard of her younger brother’s tragic death in a duel for the throne against her eldest brother, she wished to give him a proper burial. However, because he dueled the current king, he was sentenced to rot after death. Antigone was caught burying her brother, and was sentenced to death. Even though Ismene eventually stood beside her sister and begged for the same fate of execution for breaking the law, Antigone scorns her for her delayed attempt at righteousness.
Women of color have been fighting for the rights of all women and femme identities since it was worth the fight. White women have just joined the fight as it directly affects them and their rights. They have not fought alongside their sisters, even though their privilege gives them the voice and platform to.
We are living in dark times. If it was ever possible to stay silent, or ride the fence about political and ethical issues, it is now unconscionable. Women especially must stand together, as one of the groups targeted by this new regime. We are still fighting for our rights. We are stronger together, and so we must stand. Like Antigone rising up against the cruel and menacing state, we must be bold. Unlike Ismene, we must not be fearful. We must not be divided. We must not place our self-interests above compassion and justice. We are sisters, and we must fight this fight together.
–Erin & Melina
Photographer: Moses Lee
HMUA: Maiya Evans
Models: Saumya Gupta, Tatiana Roberts
Styling: Melina Perez, Erin Kuykendall
Clothing pulled from Friends & Neighbors