The Politics of Feeling Good with adrienne maree brown
Are rest and joy part of your daily regimen? Maybe they should be. Author and activist adrienne maree brown joins us to talk about her new book, Pleasure Activism.
adrienne is a black feminist writer and social justice advocate based in Detroit, and Pleasure Activism will change the way you think about yourself, your body, and your relationship to feeling good. She’s also the author of Emergent Strategy, the cohost of How to Survive the End of the World, a doula, a facilitator, and so much more. This is an episode we’re gonna be sitting with for a while.
Because the crises are so big, there’s a real desire to constantly be responding to these crises —there’s never a moment when we can’t justifiably be working because there’s so much to work on... But what ends up happening is we suffer because we don’t have joy, and connection to each other, and connection to our bodies, and connection to family, and pleasure in our lives. And that suffering builds up into exhaustion. That exhaustion leads to a depletion of hope, a depletion of vision, a depletion of innovation under pressure.
—adrienne maree brown, author of Pleasure Activism
We talk about:
- Acknowledging our bodies, even when things are dire. “No matter what else is happening, we still have this body that is full of nerves that can feel pleasure.”
- The power of reclaiming your body and relearning how to feel. “Somatics is a way that you can recreate, regenerate belonging through learning how to be authentic and to feel your feelings in real time, and communicate them in real time, ask for what you actually want and mean.”
- Raising sexually liberated kids, and talking frankly about sexual trauma: “If we are comfortable bringing children into a world in which they could be harmed, we need to get much more comfortable discussing that harm and figuring out ways to intervene on it.”
- Why we are what we practice—and that means practicing intervention, not politeness, in the face of racism. “If you keep rubbing at the same spot in your clothing, eventually you’re going to change that spot, you’re going to make it a worn-down area. I think we do the same thing ourselves. We wear down parts of ourselves that we actually need to keep sharp and strong. Like analysis, like the part of ourselves that can intervene on racism. We wear those things down by being polite over and over and over again.”
More from adrienne: Website | Twitter | Insta
- Giving the finger to “posi vibes only”
- Reclaiming rest for black bodies with the Nap Ministry
- Rest is more than just another productivity hack
- The case for not reading your email in the morning
What are you doing for pleasure? Tell us!