After our last issue ‘Regrowth’ (2021), we chose to continue the journey of Cultivate with an issue that would explore ‘Care’from feminist perspectives. After reflecting on our regrowth following several lockdowns, loneliness, and spatial division of our feminist communities, we decided that for us to keep growing care and nourishment are crucial. Cultivate,as well as our base the Centre for Women’s Studies (CWS) (website), are for us platforms, where we care for each other as well as for other early career researchers and feminists. As our previous editor Lauren wrote in the last editorial: “we have done our best to keep lifting each other up”. The importance of care for our community made us wonder, what this conceptentails. As we stated in the call for papers: “Care comes in all different forms and plays a role in various contexts, with commonalities rooted in empathy and interconnected relationship(s).”
We are also aware that the concept of care can be ambivalent. Racist actors might use their alleged care for their communities to defend their racist actions (Mulinari and Neergaard, 2014); in neoliberalism care becomes a commodity and deepens ethnic and gender inequality (Kirsch, 2022 – in this issue); and as Sara Ahmed (2014) argues: “Some have to look after themselves because they are not looked after: their being is not cared for, supported, protected.” In other words, some are excluded from care because of their ethnicity, ‘race’, gender, sexuality, etc.
Due to the ambivalence of the concept, we looked for contributions that explore care from inclusive/critical feminist perspectives and in all its possible manifestations. We are thrilled that all the fabulous authors of this issue include different approaches to engage with the topic. We have a mixture of academic articles, reflective essays/commentary, poems and photo(s) (essays), which all include creative and critical elements. The contributors use a great variety of how to explore care as feminists. Claudia Milena Adler, who in this issue criticises Western perspectives on care, beautifully states that care is a quality that needs to be learned like a language and it is often associated with femininity, but Adler defines femininity itself as a quality, which can be gained by people of all genders. We hope that this issue will be a step towards understanding care but also an opportunity to learn caring in different feminist ways, which help to nourish everyone – especially those, who have been excluded from or who have been solely responsible for care for too long.
We want to thank all the contributors. You worked hard on your submissions and engaged with us and our peer reviewers in a lively and fruitful feedback process. We learned a lot from you and hope that the process provided you with some helpful insights to the publishing process for early career researchers. Thank you also to the CWS staff for always supporting us with your advice and experiences. Thank you to all our peer reviewers, who gave us their time and provided valuable feedback for all the contributors.
Finally, I want to thank the amazing editorial board, your voluntary work and commitment is crucial for Cultivate, which could not exist without all the wonderful (former) master and PhD students of CWS, who build our team.
Adler, C.M. (2022). The wisdom of hugging: understanding care through femininity. Cultivate. The Feminist Journal of the Centre for Women’s Studies, 4, 3-15.
Ahmed, S. (2014). Selfcare as warfare. Feminist Killjoys. [research blog]. [Online]. Available at: https://feministkilljoys.com/2014/08/25/selfcare-as-warfare/ [Accessed 8 September 2022].
Kirsch, J.M. (2022). How women’s care migration drives global and gendered inequality: A feminist issue. Cultivate. The Feminist Journal of the Centre for Women’s Studies, 4, 119-127.
Mulinari, Diana and Neergaard, Anders. (2014). We are Sweden Democrats because we care for others: Exploring racisms in the Swedish extreme right. European Journal of Women’s Studies, 21(1), 43-56. [Online]. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1177/1350506813510423 [Accessed 4 January 2021].