Race and Feminism

By Daliya Jokondo

First of all, I would like to apologize with how this entry will splash all over the place. I have been sitting on it for a while, also it took me over three hours just to put this thing together. I’m link illiterate. 😦

I know this is a lot of reading, a lot to watch with a heavy subject matter, that is why I have tried to somehow condense content. Yet, I felt them all to be relevant enough to shed light on the wide division there is amongst white and WOC feminists that I have brought up in the past (which can be found here and here).

I am posting this video because of the mind numbing atrocity that took place, but this also triggered a chain reaction of sorts as I visited different feminist blogs that I usually frequent, apparently there’s a war that I have been missing out on (Even LJ’s Feminist picked up on it, they tend to be kind of slow). I came upon Vox ex machina‘s outrage first with her article called “Sisterhood, My Ass.”

She opens with sentiments that I found myself nodding profusely along with, she says:

Most of the blogs I watch (outside of those belonging to my IRL friends, who are, naturally, exempt from the following or they would not still be my friends) tend to fall into three categories: anti-racist blogs, white feminist blogs, and radical women of color blogs. And I’ve noticed something a little strange lately. While many of the anti-racist blogs I watch tend to give support to many feminist issues, even when written by men, I have not once seen the white feminist blogs give any support to issues affecting women of color, even when those issues should have been feminist issues, period, and not just “women of color issues.”

And she slams the ending with.

Until the “feminist majority” is willing to fight for the rights of all women, and not just worry over the issues that affect white middle-class women, then I’m through. This is me turning in my feminist badge. I have no use for a movement that doesn’t understand the meaning of the word “sisterhood.”

There had been countless times in the past that I wanted to hand in my “badge” I just never knew where the Feminist Headquarters is located. 😦 Thankfully such sentiments have passed over.

Anyway, feeling quiet frightened and schooled by her, I felt the need to obediently visit other WOC blogs (or suffer unknown dire consequences) that she had linked to.

My next click was anAn Open Letter to Feminists of Paler Persuasion Wow, is all I can say.

However, Inertia takes a more down to earth approach.

One of the very uncomfortable realizations I have come to is exactly how much I can identify with the Sofia Coppola Feminists and their solopsism. It’s so easy to center yourself and your own difficulties and grievances, and much more difficult to see others and their suffering, and to do something about it. I won’t pat myself on the back that I have taken the one step that so many other Americans can’t even manage. I read blogs and read or watch news reports and am cognizant of the actions of our government that negatively affect people within our own population and overseas. The same goes for what other governments or international institutions do that impact people’s lives. What distinction or praise do I deserve for sitting back and saying, “Tut tut, that’s terribly sad.”? What is that but as BlackAmazon describes of Sofia Coppola Feminism, “It is a feminism that demands an emptiness (real or invented) of reflection, instead replacing it with self involvement.” How does my momentarily feeling uncomfortable actually help anyone or change anything? It’s self involvement, it’s a form of self deception if I even for a second believe that my knowledge without action is any better than someone else’s ignorance.

The concept of Sofia Coppola Feminism explained by Black Amazon.
There was also the Anti-Racism, not for the faint hearted. This one is a must read (ok, like all the others). The issue of race and privilege is brought up.

I’m sharing this story with you all not to shame this person nor to start any public battles, but to relate an experience shared by too many people of color in the progressive movement. Anytime we try to hold white allies accountable for their actions, we take a huge risk. Whether that is the loss of a personal relationship, a smeared reputation, or simply the wrath of someone whose ego we have bruised, people of color in all strata of the left have an uphill battle in challenging white supremacy. Good people, you and I have seen and experienced many examples of white ally catastrophe.

Finally, if you didn’t read any of the links at all but want to do something about the raids go to: Ways to Helpl

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