#Femspreading

  Josepha Mafubo //Creative Commons   [Photo description: a young black womans spreads out her arms and skirt as she sits on a wooden stool].

Josepha Mafubo//Creative Commons

[Photo description: a young black womans spreads out her arms and skirt as she sits on a wooden stool].

Hello Readers! Here at Argot, we're proud to support Bettina Sferrino's #femspreading campaign. What is femspreading? It's all about women and genderqueer folks taking up space. In a world where we've been trained to shrink into ourselves, speak quietly, and step out of the way, it can be a revolutionary act for those of us on the margins to be big, loud, and bright. Below, we have featured "Femmespreading," a poem Bettina wrote when she first conceived of the movement, as well as steps you can take to participate in the #femspreading challenge. Bettina notes, "The difference in the poem title and campaign is intentional; the campaign extends beyond the poem to include fems, women and genderqueer people in addition to femmes."


Femmespreading

Take up space. More space
than you are told you deserve,
than you are told you are allowed.
Take up more space than you even need.

Take up more physical space than your body requires.
Wear your skirts and party dresses in the fullest cuts you can find,
amplify your size and shape with folds and pleats and layers of fabric
Like the men who puff out their chests
explaining things to you that don’t need explaining.

Take up visual space, demand to be seen.
Wear your skirts and party dresses in the brightest colors you can find,
broadcast your femininity, bold and exposed and unapologetic
Like the men who wave their hands wildly
begging for your attention on the street.

Take up a stranger’s personal space, or the space of someone you know.
Drape your dress over the armrest on a plane or at the movies,
let the fabric chafe against people crowding bars and sidewalks
Like the men who lean too close
believing that your space is their space.

Take up whole park benches and multiple seats on the bus.
Genuflect, to yourself, before you sit down,
fan your skirt gently and purposefully across the seat next to you
Like the men who can’t keep their legs together
spreading for the imagined size of their dicks.

Wear your skirts and party dresses in the fullest cuts you can find,
in the brightest colors you can find.

Wear anything, or wear nothing.
Take up space with your thighs,
your ass,
your big parts
and your small parts.

Like the men who take up space however they can, because they can.
Take up space however you can, because you can.


Be a part of the #femspreading campaign

Building on this poem’s calls to action, the #femspreading* campaign celebrates fems, femmes, women and genderqueer people taking up space — however we can, because we can. Follow @femspreading on Instagram and share your photos taking up and taking back the space you deserve to occupy with the hashtag  #femspreading to be featured. If we can visibly celebrate taking up and reclaiming space, perhaps we will do more of it.


 

Bettina Sferrino is a fat femme of color who lives, writes and spends a lot of time on social media in Oakland, California. In a meme (that’s already outdated), her friends recommend using a baby goat, chunky eyeglasses, crop tops, potato skins and her cat if you want to summon her.