Radical Belonging: How to Survive and Thrive in an Unjust World (While Transforming it for the Better)
“Belonging has been a formative struggle for me. Like most people with marginalized identities, my experience has taught me that it’s hard to be yourself and feel like you belong in a culture that is hostile to your existence. That’s why my body of work as a scientist, author, professor, speaker, and advocate for body liberation always comes back to the impact of belonging or not belonging.
Radical Belonging is my manifesto, helping us heal from the individual and collective trauma of injustice and support our transition from a culture of othering to one of belonging.”
Too many of us feel alienated from our bodies. This isn’t your personal failing; it means that our culture is failing you.
We are in the midst of a cultural moment. #MeToo. #BlackLivesMatter. #TransIsBeautiful. #AbleismExists. #EffYourBeautyStandards. Those of us who don’t fit into the “mythical norm” (white, male, cisgender, able-bodied, slender, Christian, etc.)—which is to say, most of us—are demanding our basic right: To know that who we are matters. To belong.
Being “othered” and the body shame it spurs is not “just” a feeling. Being erased and devalued impacts our ability to regulate our emotions, our relationships with others, our health and longevity, our finances, our ability to realize dreams, and whether we will be accepted, loved, or even safe.
Radical Belonging is not a simple self-love treatise. Focusing only on self-love ignores the important fact that we have negative experiences because our culture has targeted certain bodies and people for abuse or alienation. For marginalized people, a focus on self-love can be a spoonful of sugar that makes the oppression go down. This groundbreaking book goes further, helping us to manage the challenges that stem from oppression and moving beyond self-love and into belonging.
With Lindo Bacon’s signature blend of science and storytelling, Radical Belonging addresses the political, sociological, psychological and biological underpinnings of your experiences, helping you understand that the alienation and pain you are experiencing is not personal, but human. The problem is in injustice, not you as an individual.
So many of us feel wounded by a culture that has alienated us from our bodies and divided us from each other. Radical Belonging provides strategies to reckon with the trauma of injustice; reclaim yourself, body and soul; and rewire your nervous system to better cope within an unjust world. It also provides strategies to help us all provide refuge for one another and create a culture of equity and empathy, one that respects, includes, and benefits from all its diverse peoples.
Whether you are transgender, queer, Black, Indigenous or a Person of Color, disabled, old, or fat—or your more closely resemble the “mythical norm”—Radical Belonging is your guidebook for creating a world where all bodies are valued and all of us belong—and for coping with this one, until we make that new world a reality.