Standing is Solidarity With My Sisters

Fuck Seal Press.

Fuck Salon Broadsheet.

Fuck Amanda Marcotte.

No seriously, Fuck You.

How can I even begin to describe how annoyed I am with certain elements of the white feminist blogosphere right now? It’s going a bit beyond words. So much so that really, all I can find it in myself to say is Fuck You and don’t give a shit whether or not that needs some explanation.

You are all behaving badly. You need to check yourselves.

And really, you couldn’t be more clear about the fact that you don’t give a shit about women of color and wish they would just sit down and be quiet in your movement if you made a big sign that said:

ALL DARKIES TO THE BACK, PLEASE BE SURE TO PUT ON YOUR MUZZLES BEFORE TAKING YOUR SEAT AND STAYING THERE.

There are times when I feel I could really quit feminism, and this is one of those times.

109 Responses

  1. Ugh…Fuck is quite the apt response.

  2. Well said. Fuck is all I can say at this point too.

  3. When WoC are driven off the blogosphere by white “feminists”… ugh. Shame on Marcotte. And shame on Seal Press! This should not be happening. Writing about WoC while silencing WoC? The hypocrisy is mind-boggling.

  4. My girlfriend (who is white, to clarify) was interested in sending something to Seal; I’ll have to send this her way to let her know what’s up. I understand they’re floundering if they’ve got an editorial board of two, and it’s my experience that manuscripts are sent to a publisher and that’s how it works in terms of who should come to who (perhaps I’m missing something in the academic writing sphere?), but that was exactly the way NOT to respond, in every form.

    I just boggle at the Amanda Marcotte thing, especially the fact that she’s still not explaining the lack of credit for the source she ADMITS she used…

  5. This hot mess has only demonstrated a simple truth. You can always tell what a group’s values are about based on who they won’t protect.

    Plagiarism is plagiarism is plagiarism. Men been doing it to women forever, so it’s not like “new rules” or nothing. You see wrong you call it, you correct it, you keep it moving.

    You’re either down for justice for everyone or you’re down for none.

    Fuck white privilege, and fuck the word privilege, let’s call it like it is- white supremacy.

  6. I second bankuei.

    This shit is nothing more than semantic issues. People don’t want to call things out for what it is because that will mean that one of their darling white feminists did something wrong and stole from one of THOSE OTHERS.

    And obviously, white feminists know everything about everyone. If they choose to want WoC writers to act as a supplement for their far superior material compiled on a group of people that they acknowledge the existence of when they can put on the mask of being selfless and being equal rights for all, why, it’s just the kindness and sweetness of white women that got them to do this, so you darkies better take advantage of that!

    Feminism is nothing more than a trainwreck these days. And a lot of feminists are being outed for being nothing more than crooked women who are only in the business of expanding white supremacy in a female form. They want all the privileges that white men get, but they will sure as shit step on the backs of PoC to get there.

    I’m one situation more from breaking my ties with feminism. It’s pretty much been exposed now. First Gloria Steinem and her stupid-ass cronies, then Geraldine Ferraro playing Oppression Olympics, and a big shit-filled week in blogging, with Salon and their “White, so gotta be right” perspective of reporting.

    Do better, feminism.

  7. Thank you for the links. I’m ashamed to say I was unaware of blogs like yours, and the events of this week have been a good education for me.

    I don’t want to be like Amanda. I really, really do not.

  8. Fuck white privilege, and fuck the word privilege, let’s call it like it is- white supremacy.

    Speak truth to power. This is exactly what it is, except dressed up in a pseudo-liberal cloak. These constant attempts at inclusion that don’t actually include WOC are just for show, so that they can brag to the other white feminists about how progressive they are because they have one or two anthologies that include brown folks. Well, it’s all bullshit and I’m sick of it (I think we all are) especially when they then turn around and steal the words from our mouths and claim them as their own “radical” ideas.

  9. This whole clusterfuck is just more evidence to me that the old feminism is done — it long ago became part of the power structure it was created to fight. It’s past time for a feminist revolution.

  10. Re-reading my comment, I deserve a whack with a cluestick. I meant that I was unaware of your blog, of WOC PhD’s blog, and so on, rather than being unaware of WOC blogs more generally.

    Obviously I have a long way to go, both in my reading list, and in how I express myself. I apologize.

    If you think my idiocy is worth keeping, if only as an example how even the well meaning among us end up digging ourselves into holes in an assinine manner, please do. Otherwise, please delete both my comments. I don’t want this thread to be about me.

  11. Word.

  12. As a white feminist who is also aghast at Marcotte’s terrible behaviour, I hope you don’t sit down and be quiet. I hadn’t heard of brownfemipower until this whole shitstorm got started, and now I’m really sad I didn’t get to read her writings.

  13. I am both a little confused and disgusted by this whole mess. I don’t understand it on many levels, and I don’t know if I ever will. I may never face racism. I may try to empathize, but I simply do not know what it is like.

    But I do know what it is like to be judged for my gender. I know what it is like to be abused and condescended toward–and I know it’s unjust and unfair. I read your blog because it is one amazing, intelligent editorial on the web, and I can associate with you on that level. Or, at least, I try to.

    Your “Thank you” post made me uncomfortable. My eyes popped open, and I thought, “Did she really just write that?” But I was uncomfortable in a good way–in a, “This needs to change” sort of way. It made me angry, it made me embarassed, and it made me just a little more aware that this world is a bigger place.

    This whole mess upsets me. There is too much us-vs-them-vs-us-again. it shouldn’t be like that, and the solution seems so simple, so why aren’t the ladies involved swallowing their pride and making amends? I think it is very clear that mistakes were made, and there is a whole bigger picture out there.

    I’m just one little voice, but I see what you are saying.

  14. ABW, I’m going to guess from today’s post that you got the last comment I posted on the Allies thread (with requests to Red and outfox, and all the links that have been put up on this since the 8th).

    Is the a reason it didn’t show up here?

  15. “This whole clusterfuck is just more evidence to me that the old feminism is done ”

    The old feminism had the exact same problem. One of the reasons people are pissed — certainly the reason I am — is because this is just another example of the same old same old. I studied how this crap happened the first time growing up in school. I was so sure it could be “corrected” in the second and third wave. I didn’t count on the privileged not giving a damn — although I should have; they’re the sons and daughters of the same people who “denied” and “erased” the first time.

    Stupid me.

  16. I had wanted to pitch an anthology (which would include contributors who are women of color) to Seal Press. But now I’m not going to. What ridiculous and privileged behavior!

  17. Oh I forgot to add… I’m just appalled by the Marcotte fiasco.

  18. I’ve been watching this whole perfect storm brew, and it’s disgusting. I’m most infuriated by a) the fact that it’s driven BFP off the net; I loved her site; and b) it’s eclipsed the subject that BFP was trying to draw attention to, which is racism and sexism against immigrant women. Which just goes to show you that even if “X”‘s intentions were honorable, the self-serving manner in which she stole BFP’s ideas and passion has still done harm.

    But I’m puzzled about one thing, ABW — why is Salon on the list? The Broadsheet article just seemed to summarize the whole thing; didn’t do anything either for or against. Or is that your point — that Salon should’ve come out condemning the theft?

  19. Fan of BFP as well. Been on lurk mode following all this, and the appropriation debate, for like the past two weeks. Still infuriated and head-objecty.

    And other than still being angry and brushing up on womanism, since it’s been mentioned in passing in some converstations, I don’t know much of what else to do other than tell people of the matter.

    Nojojojo,
    I think that’s part of the reason why Salon is on the list. Along with how they miscast Blackamazon and others–at least to me if feels that way. And the comment section that makes me wanna strangle a whole lotta st00pid.

  20. The comment section is a bunch of self-congratulatory white feminists whining and bitching.

    Srsly, they called BA a shrew.

  21. http://problemchylde.wordpress.com/2008/04/08/dont-hate-appropriate/#comments

    “Plagiarism”, according to the strictly academic types, constitutes “word for word copying”.

    Be that as it may, the textbook definition of “infringement” under no less than Title 17 U.S.C. is NOT “word for word copying”, to paraphrase other commenters. It is comprised of “access” and “substantial similarity” to the work in question. The arguments are then what constitutes said access and similarity.

    Of course, evidence may not rise to the level sufficient to make that allegation.

    :rolleyes: Whatever. I think we all know here what “cultural appropriation” means. And even if we don’t, a nice white lady ally has defined it for us:

    http://daisysdeadair.blogspot.com/2008/04/borrowing-and-appropriating_09.html

    So we can all make up our own minds. I’m wondering if anyone has reached out to Ms. Perales or Ms. Huang to ask them how they feel about their ideas going uncredited. If it were my academic and publishing career on the line and I was really concerned about my reputation, I certainly would have acknowledged them first. (Personally, I hope they get right up in her face over it.) BFP’s ideas are not the only ones at issue here, which a lot of the “white” people arguing about this seem to be overlooking. (Could it be *gasp* deliberate?)

    But remember, this is the same woman who when asked for her opinion on whether calls for public censure would have been appropirate when Rush Limbaugh called Congresswoman McKinney a “pickaninny”, she dismissed it as solely a “First Amendment” issue. And she “didn’t see the problem” with the LeBron=Kong Vogue cover.

    So I’m not sure why people are expecting any better behavior from her here.

    The fact that Seal is her publisher to me makes it all of a piece. And therefore that much more efficient to boycott the publisher.

    http://www.lulu.com

  22. And other than still being angry and brushing up on womanism, since it’s been mentioned in passing in some converstations, I don’t know much of what else to do other than tell people of the matter.

    Tell Nina Perales if you know her.

    BFP’s ideas aren’t the only ones that “inspired” Amanda’s article. Amanda admits as much on the thread here:

    http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2008/04/10/this-has-not-been-a-good-week-for-woman-of-color-blogging/

    Plus, who is AlterNet’s parent company? If, as some as claimed, they won’t republish a corrected article, perhaps their parent company needs to be alerted — repeatedly — to the fact that they’re publishing authors who are not always properly attributing their sources.

  23. *growls at feministe thread* >.<+

    Not to mention how she seems to not reply to comments made by some of the identified WoC in that thread. And how she tries to go back as far as the summer of ’06–to when she suspects BFP did not have a blog yet–to prove her credibility.

  24. I agree the Salon piece miscast BA, as well as turned a grotesque and voyeuristic spotlight on the incident for their readers’ amusement. Saying *both sides* have taken *counterproductive* tacks is also a mischaracterization and I’ve seen this popping up a lot – seems like no one’s allowed to be rightfully angry because that’s *counterproductive*, and who gets to define what is *productive* anyway? The lack of comment moderation there is also appalling. Kudos to Sylvia/M, La Lubu, and plain(s)feminist (and others I may be leaving out) for stomaching that crowd.

  25. This has been terribly frustrating and sad. The stupidities by Marcotte and Seal Press were bad enough, but the loss of BFP’s presence and her writing is (from what I have seen of it) a tragedy.

    So many WOC explained so clearly and so generously to these WW what they had done wrong, and how they could fix it, and they continued to be willfully stupid. I wish I could say I’d never seen that happen before.

    There is a need for “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Talking with People of Color,” and that Seal Press would be ideally situated to publish it. But what writer wants to deal with complete idiots?

  26. ““Plagiarism”, according to the strictly academic types, constitutes “word for word copying”.”

    I don’t know about that. At least at the school where I am, paraphrasing or summarizing ideas that are not your own also constitutes plagiarism — or at least, falls under “academic dishonesty” and I nail my students for it if they fail to cite.

    Ugh, I don’t have a blog, but I’m tempted to start one just so I can write an open letter to white feminists telling them to *quit goddamn fucking up!!* I mean Jesus Christ, over and over and over… I had no idea it was this bad. I really hope BFP comes back; it’s horrible that she’s withdrawn as a result of all this. If Marcotte et al were really dedicated to helping women of color, they’d be swallowing their damn pride and apologizing and LISTENING to the criticism, not chasing WoC off and silencing them.

  27. I don’t know about that. At least at the school where I am, paraphrasing or summarizing ideas that are not your own also constitutes plagiarism — or at least, falls under “academic dishonesty” and I nail my students for it if they fail to cite.

    That is one of the many things that makes you an honest and courageous academic.
    One of the reasons I used the narrowest possible definition — and compared it to copyright infringement under Title 17 U.S.C. — and compared “intentional infringement” to “negligent infringement” for those attempting the “but she didn’t mean to” defense — is to demonstrate that even if one doesn’t copy word for word, there are other arguments that WHAT ONE HAS DONE CAN STILL BE STEALING.

    Ugh, I don’t have a blog, but I’m tempted to start one just so I can write an open letter to white feminists telling them to *quit goddamn fucking up!!*

    PLEASE. DO. THIS.

    I said this

    Because here’s the thing — not only is she continuing to refuse to acknowledge these “sources of intellectual inspiration” in her bibliography, but no one else — not Shakesville, not Feministing, not Lindsay, not Professor Hugo, and not you, Amp — is encouraging her to, either.

    in about twelve other places, but all I’m getting is a lot of

    *LALALALALALALALA CAN’T HEAR YOU*

    I mean Jesus Christ, over and over and over… I had no idea it was this bad.

    Welcome to the third wave.

    Where the problems are exactly the same as what we studied of them as they were depicted in the first.

    If Marcotte et al were really dedicated to helping women of color, they’d be swallowing their damn pride and apologizing and LISTENING to the criticism, not chasing WoC off and silencing them.

    And given the fact that you are manifestly and precisely correct, what is that telling you?

  28. Juan, A.,

    Ah, I see now. Sorry — long day at work, missed the ugly nuances in the Salon article. Thanks for clarifying for me. =)

  29. littlem, thanks for calling me a nice white lady ally! That’s the nicest thing anyone has said about me for a few weeks now. :)

    I also wrote about appropriation here (another example)… also, a good example for Amanda about how she might have credited BFP. You don’t have to say “everything came from this person”–but as I said in that piece, if I had not been reading bloggers of color (whom I linked–including ABW), I wouldn’t have noticed the glaring issues in the movie I was writing about. (I saw this movie several times before, as I said, and DID NOT notice.) I didn’t say *all my ideas* came from the people linked, I said I was seeing things differently BECAUSE of them. I was pleased when BFP agreed with me and continued the discussion.

    That’s really *all* Amanda had to do, it isn’t that hard.

  30. “Plagiarism”, according to the strictly academic types, constitutes “word for word copying.”

    As one of those “strictly academic types,” I have to agree. Our university’s policy is VERY clear about the way in which misrepresenting other’s IDEAS as your own constitutes plagiarism. As far as I am concerned, that broad admitted to being a plagiarist when she admitted that she got the ideas from Nina Perales and didn’t cite her in her piece.

    If she had done this in one of my classes, I would have failed her.

    Did you see the weak-sauce response from Feministing? And the comments that followed?

    http://feministing.com/archives/008997.html#comments

    It’s enough to make you want to scream.

  31. I’m new here and I linked to this site from another website, and I’m glad I did, I’m learning a lot and still have lots to learn, but I certainly came to the right place. Anger would summarize my feelings for what went down with BFP and the plagiarized article. I’m not going to visiting Salon.com or Pandagon again and I’ll be frequenting this blog a whole lot more. As for Seal press, I think they are only digging their own grave, and I don’t have any sympathy for them either. It’s just outrageous that WW continue to get these publishing deals while standing on the backs of WOC to do it. AND, It’s outrageous the continued attitude that these WW have to do NOTHING to try and remedy the situation. So yeah, screw Seal Press and screw Salon.com, and screw Amanda.

    Again, thanks ABW for your wonderful blog, I’m listening and learning…and getting very angry.

  32. I very much agree. Seal Press, Amanda, Salon, and Feministing are behaving very badly.

    Amanda is having trouble grasping the fact that her career goals might be in conflict with feminist goals. Yeah, you can’t work within the system if the entire system is corrupt. And yeah, sorry, but some careers are going to suffer when the revolution starts. Oh well.

    Tracy Clark-Flory from Salon said “Now, it seems likely that Seal Press has decided that books written about the experience of women of color may not sell very well and so they do not seek them out, because they need guaranteed blockbusters […] That’s dismal and depressing, to be sure — but it does make sense”

    That’s a really lame excuse. There are plenty of small publishers that publish books that won’t be blockbusters. It’s all about where you put your values. I’m thinking South End Press and AK Press. Seal Press is obviously in the publishing business to make money and not to change the world.

    The Feministing writers shouldn’t have even bothered to chime in on the controversy. Their half-ass pledge to listen to WOC voices struck me as particularly condescending given who they linked to in their pledge. Please, why bother?

    I don’t want to jump on the bandwagon too much because I know blogwars usually involve some conflict that I, as an outsider, am no privy to, but from my vantage point, as I see things, from my warped lens, it looks like the WOC have it right on this one.

    Lastly, ABW, please don’t give up feminism because of this. Don’t let them define feminism. They are not the feminist movement. They are just one, small sliver of it. And they can be dethroned.

  33. Gods, every time I hope I’ve read the last bullshit post from white feminism on this topic, there is instead an even worse one.

  34. Gods, every time I hope I’ve read the last bullshit post from white feminism on this topic, there is instead an even worse one.

    Yeah. I shouldn’t be surprised, it’s what they’ve always done, but then to tack a “do our homework” request onto it besides (and do it via email, so there’s no transparency and we can claim we just never received your link, gosh! I mean this is a labor of love, okay?)–that is the extra special fuck-you cherry on top.

  35. Oh no, not more. Some of this “two sides, being equally empathetic” and “it’s about feminist reconciliation and affirmation, not the anti-racism” came from some of my favorite blogs.

    Which is not trying to say “oh, look at them not me” cos I’m not as invested in blogging and only notice some things I do when WOC call me anyway. More,upsetting, because it’s the same stuff being perpetuated every generation.

    I’m not even wanting to post on it, atm, because I need to re-asses how I credit with this gaze on. I deal mainly in print not blogs, where you have an idea who wants publicity or what you’re supposed to cite etc. This thing where WOC’s blog content got taken, made a spectacle of and then they blamed for it anyway? I need to figure more about online networks and how that affects not just credit, but negative traffic.

    p.s. littlem; you mention requests to me in your comment to ABW?

  36. Daisy writes:
    “You don’t have to say “everything came from this person”–but as I said in that piece, if I had not been reading bloggers of color (whom I linked–including ABW), I wouldn’t have noticed the glaring issues in the movie I was writing about. (I saw this movie several times before, as I said, and DID NOT notice.) I didn’t say *all my ideas* came from the people linked, I said I was seeing things differently BECAUSE of them. I was pleased when BFP agreed with me and continued the discussion.

    “That’s really *all* Amanda had to do, it isn’t that hard.”

    Amen.

    And given the fact that I never saw BFP’s original speech (I’m not traveling right now–home caregiving responsibilities), the fact that Amanda HASN’T done this is really the only thing about all this that pisses me off. Because it wouldn’t be hard to do. And it’s necessary.

    I wrote a list of the “Top 10 Feminist Blogs” on my About.com site in 2006 because my readers wanted one. Feministing was #1; 8 or 9 of the bloggers mentioned are white. Needless to say, that sucker’s getting a rewrite this week and no more than 4 of the 10 are going to be white bloggers. That’s MY contribution to the appropriation thing, for whatever it’s worth.

    ABW, I also linked one of your pieces in my race relations blog earlier this week. And I’m rethinking how I’m covering issues impacting WOC in my new civil liberties book, which I happen to be in the middle of revising. What happened here is going to generate some good, I’m sure. Not enough good to make up for the loss of BFP’s blog, though.

  37. And given the fact that I never saw BFP’s original speech, … the fact that Amanda HASN’T done this is really the only thing about all this that pisses me off. Because it wouldn’t be hard to do. And it’s necessary.

    Tom –

    1) for what is probably the 50th or so time this week, here is a link to an analysis that Sylvia M did delineating the — um, differences? — between the article Amanda wrote and BFP’s original analysis:

    http://problemchylde.wordpress.com/2008/04/08/dont-hate-appropriate/

    2) as you may or may not have seen in the comments on Hugo’s, Amp’s, PF’s, and other “mainstream” blogs in the ‘sphere, I’ve been asking and asking and asking and asking and ASKING that if the “mainstream” space is indeed serious about taking WOC concerns seriously, they need to do what you just did and insist that Amanda, as a textbook example of precisely the phenomenon that the mainstream believes must be stopped, credit her sources. No more. No less.

    I thank and congratulate you for seeing that it’s necessary.

    I ask — yet again — that you continue to insist upon it and encourage your “mainstream” compatriots to do the same.

    That is, assuming you’re as serious about it as you seem to be.

  38. poking my head in for JUST a second. littlem, I didn’t see your post but that’s because I haven’t looked at the moderation queue since Saturday. If it still hasn’t shown up, perhaps you can repost it? You’ve had one comment approved, so you should be able to post more now. Sorry for the delay, but it’s necessary for another two weeks or so.

    okay, back to not being on the internet… ;)

  39. A white feminist here — and yes indeed, many of our online illuminaries have been absolutely dreadful lately, in all the tired ways…

    -being blind to white privilege even after repeated correction
    -acting as though original work by WOC isn’t actual work, but just zeitgeisty raw material that we can gussy up and make palatable for audiences where real thinking takes place; and then expecting a big effing thank you card for doing so because, after all, it’s all about the sisterhood, right?
    – invading spaces belonging to POC and expecting not only a warm welcome but an eager willingness to make it all about US US US AND OUR HURT FEEEEEELINGS WHOA WHOA WHOA FEEEEEEELINGS! and so forth.

    And that’s not even to mention the silence on many of the other high-profile white feminist bloggers who in a position to call people out on this hateful nonsense.

    Watching all of this over the last few weeks it finally hit home to me – though it should have hit home much, much sooner – that it is not forming my conscience well to have many of these white feminist blogs be my go-to morning reading material. Looking back I can see how I’ve gotten more complacent being a frequent lurker and occasional commenter on some of these blogs. Of course, nobody held a gun to my head and said, “READ THESE FIVE BLOGS RELIGIOUSLY OR ELSE!” They were appealing, and not for good reasons. Bleah. No more.

  40. /putting on my flame-proof suit here …

    So everyone here is in agreement that Marcotte should be fired from Alternet? Plagiarism is a very serious firing offense in journalism, so everyone here is writing e-mails to Alternet’s editors demanding that she be fired immediately, correct?

  41. So everyone here is in agreement that Marcotte should be fired from Alternet?

    I know I am.

  42. I second that. Feminists bitch about when men screw their work over, but all of a sudden, one in their ranks pulls the same stunt?

    Amanda Marcotte should be OUT. A great blog was closed DUE to her lifting BFP’s work.

  43. Amanda Marcotte should be OUT. A great blog was closed DUE to her lifting BFP’s work.

    So, in other words, you’re making claims that BrownFemiPower never made and calling for action that BfP never asked for, all in the name of complaining that other people are speaking for her and not letting her speak?

    And this makes sense to you?

    You may want to take note that BfP didn’t close down her blog until people figured out it was Marcotte that she was referring to and started throwing around accusations of full-on plagiarism instead of the appropriation that BfP was complaining about. It was after people started calling for action that BfP didn’t ask for that she shut down her blog.

    But I guess it’s okay for you to speak on BfP’s behalf when she’s not speaking for herself, right?

  44. But I guess it’s okay for you to speak on BfP’s behalf when she’s not speaking for herself, right?

    Mnemosyne, come on. You asked a question and Aaminah answered, speaking for herself.

    I’ve mostly seen the word “plagiarism” used by Hugo and other stalwart-defender types. As you note yourself, BfP didn’t use it, and even most of the women I’ve seen use the term “stealing” appear to mean that appropriation is a form of stealing, not that Amanda plagiarized BfP.

    I think “plagiarism” is perhaps a fun term for some whites to throw around because it makes the central issue what happened to the white woman–OMG, her career! Accusations of plagiarism are srs bizness! You better back those up! You better have proof! Tantrum tantrum tantrum, etc.

    But I’m not getting the sense that such is the central issue for most people discussing these events.

  45. On one WOC blog (I forget which) I read
    “white feminists don’t want equality, they want what white men have”.

    Seems to be pretty true. And then, like white men, we can pretend we care about equality with other people. Would these feminists believe the argument “but we never get women submitting for this magazine!”??? Then why are they saying they never get woc submitting?

    :(

  46. So everyone here is in agreement that Marcotte should be fired from Alternet?

    *sigh*

    As I had to say in response to some Ailes-like tactics on Hugo’s blog,

    1) NOT ALL women of color are radical.
    2) NOT ALL women of color believe the same thing at the same time.

    Although Mnemosyne, I have to say that you certainly are putting a BIG mark in the “blinders on they read only what they want to read and see only what they want to see” column.

    And by “they”, I mean “white feminists”. (And regarding that, I will also say that I’m multiracial, with part of the “multi” being white — since that seems to be the only way to actually be heard by “you people”. Sarcasm deliberate.)

    1) Amanda HERSELF admitted that she gleaned ideas from MORE FEMINISTS OF COLOR IN ADDITION TO BFP.

    This is NOT just about BFP. In. This. Instance.

    (I put this here because some faulty logic seems to be asserting, “This is not just about BFP, so it’s not just about Amanda.” No. This IS about Amanda’s conduct as a textbook example of a wider historical phenomenon.)

    I’m guessing you read the thread, but since you seem to have your blinders on, I will post it for you here. Again.

    http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2008/04/10/this-has-not-been-a-good-week-for-woman-of-color-blogging/

    What I would like Amanda to do —
    as I have said on Hugo’s blog —
    and Amp’s —
    and PF’s —
    and here (but since you’ve got those blinders on) —

    is

    ACKNOWLEDGE. AND. CREDIT. HER. SOURCES. FOR. THE. THEORY. SHE. PUT. FORTH. IN. HER. ARTICLE.

    ACKNOWLEDGE. THE. SOURCES. THAT. “INSPIRED”. HER. ARTICLE.

    NOT.
    ROCKET.
    SCIENCE.

    So as the lady herself would paraphrase (eek! I’m cribbing! but I’m acknowledging that she said it first!) — don’t make accusations that you can’t back up.

    An addendum:

    1) I have heard — as et another excuse for failure to pressure her to Do the Right Thing in a textbook case of what the feminist mainstream community is otherwise wringing its hands about as a terrible, terrible phenomenon — that AlterNet will not issue retractions once it’s published an article.

    SOLUTION 1: She can submit an addendum crediting her sources.

    SOLUTION 2: She can write her own post acknowledging her sources for the article and the “mainstream” pages can link to it.

    Because unless you can tell me that that specific intersectional analysis could have popped from her white upper middle class head like Athena sprang from Zeus’ WITHOUT her having read
    – Perales (which! she! ADMITTED! to!)
    – Huang
    – BFP
    – God knows who else of color who espoused the theory that she’s taking credit for having come up with her original self???

    Then yeah.

    She. Needs. To. Acknowledge. And. Credit. Her. Sources.

    http://problemchylde.wordpress.com/2008/04/08/dont-hate-appropriate/

    2) I will bore everyone else here who’s already read me saying this AT LEAST TEN TIMES:

    However “plagiarism” may or may not be defined in the academic and/or journalism communities, the textbook definition of “infringement” under no less than Title 17 U.S.C. is comprised of “access” and “substantial similarity” to the work in question.

    The arguments are then what constitutes said access and similarity.

    Which is a fancy way of saying that even if her conduct doesn’t rise to the level of plagiarism, it may still be held that she appropriated a specific expression of specific ideas.

    And if you “mainstream feminists” are as serious as you SAY you are about ending appropriation of ideas, you’ll support PUTTING A STOP TO IT HERE BY INSISTING — AS A BLOC — THAT THIS AUTHOR CREDIT HER SOURCES.

    Are you reading what even some of “your own people” are saying???

    UnbeLIEvable.

  47. Mnemosyne, I hope i’m not out of pocket for what I’m about to say:

    What I believe is the major problem with all that’s been going on with BFP being gone with BA being attacked is that no one listened or at least asked what they wanted and what they meant. Folks jumped to their own conclusions and now a blogger I respect’s blog is gone and a blogger I admire and gotten to know better has been dragged through the mud. So, do I think that Amanda should be fired: No. But should she be called to the carpet for perpetuating appropriation and at the least being sloppy in not mentioning her sources/”inspiration” yes.

  48. But I’m not getting the sense that such is the central issue for most people discussing these events.

    Speaking for myself, you’re absolutely right.

    It’s the fact that she repeatedly dismisses the words and opinions of women of color – Remember the book cover? – and instead claims that she’s being attacked out of jealousy and spite. Apparently, if you disagree with her either you’re jealous of her book deal, or you’re a right-winger. It couldn’t possibly be the fact that Women of Color have a geniune, valid point about being left in the shadows when it comes to very important issues! [/sarcasm] Once again, we are ignored and our words are belittled. That, in my opinion, is more hurtful.

    Also, even though Amanda has said that Brownfemipower wasn’t her source of inspiration but says it was Nina Perales, she didn’t even credit Ms. Perales in her work.

  49. ACK! Angel, I’m sorry–I typed “Aaminah” up above, but I meant you.

    I need a little animated .gif of me kicking myself to put here.

    Also, even though Amanda has said that Brownfemipower wasn’t her source of inspiration but says it was Nina Perales, she didn’t even credit Ms. Perales in her work.

    I think it’s telling that Amanda’s first thought upon hearing Ms. Perales was that she should incorporate Perales’ ideas into her own work. Incorporate. Not acknowledge, not cite, not thank for, not add to with appropriate credit given first. Incorporate. Interesting word choice.

  50. I’m not Aaminah, BTW.

    “But I guess it’s okay for you to speak on BfP’s behalf when she’s not speaking for herself, right?”

    Way to completely put words in my mouth. I’m not trying to speak for BFP. I’m not her. If anything, I’m speaking from my OWN opinion. I read BFP when I could, and that wasn’t as often as I read this blog.

    I am not here to play semantics or any of that crap. Lifting from other bloggers IS a serious offense, and, which has been said many times, the least she could have done is link back to her sources. Scholars and students don’t have a problem with providing sources – and that should go double for someone who is a journalist. Adding more insult to this injury is the fact that WoC have a hard enough time being heard – so why do white feminists continue to take advantage of this?

  51. from Angel:

    I think it’s telling that Amanda’s first thought upon hearing Ms. Perales was that she should incorporate Perales’ ideas into her own work. Incorporate. Not acknowledge, not cite, not thank for, not add to with appropriate credit given first. Incorporate. Interesting word choice.

    Anyone reading this? Anyone??

    from Ilyka:

    Also, even though Amanda has said that Brownfemipower wasn’t her source of inspiration but says it was Nina Perales, she didn’t even credit Ms. Perales in her work.

    Anyone? Anyone? Bueller??

    One more time for the back row:

    ACKNOWLEDGE (in print). AND. CREDIT. YOUR. SOURCES.

    NOT.

    ROCKET.

    SCIENCE.

  52. Also, I’m not Angel either. ^^

  53. For me, at least, it’s not about plagiarism. I don’t even know if the Alternet article constitutes intellectual theft. It’s that Amanda was more or less summarizing a body of work done by women like BfP and Nina Perales — and all the other WOC bloggers who have been yelling their heads off about these issues for ages while the white feminist blogosphere is oblivious — and in the process making them invisible. And the only response they ever get to valid criticisms is “you’re just jealous”, “you wish you had my book deal”.

    So many great WOC have shut down their blogs, gone on hiatus, just walked away from feminism, because they’re so tired of it all. It’s not new and every time it happens it’s heartbreaking, but to have a luminary like BfP take her whole blog down is a shock.

    The women who talk about love, the folks who are working to raise standards of living for all women, are most often the ones who criticize and sometimes even reject feminism — Aaminah, Sudy, BA immediately come to mind. Which is terribly sad — what the hell’s this movement all about then?

  54. [puts self in Time Out]

    Sorry, A. From now on I choke back my vanity and put on my damn reading glasses.

  55. That’s okay!

  56. Maybe the pity for these people/publications is racist since I’m white – but they are too stubborn to accept their own faults here and are causing their own suffering. I’ve made stupid arguments rooted in racism before and been called on it, and gotten defensive, and it really sucks, and when I realized I was wrong I still argued for a while because I didn’t want anyone to think I was wrong ! (even though they already did)

    I’m angry with them all for being stupid and angry with society for planting this thing in us where the moment we’re accused of being influenced by society’s racism we take it personally. But there’s a bit of pity. Here they (*and formerly me) are, white people, who cannot see racism when it slaps them in the face and cannot make themselves accept it apologize and move on when its pointed out to them.

  57. Mnemosyne, what is with coming here with this whole “gotcha,” tactic? It reads like you’re just trying to lure people into making a proclamation so that you can then accuse them of being irrational. You’re just deflecting attention from the real issue.

    It is, IMO, a really lame way to avoid having to actually address what happened, along with the racism that keeps rearing up in white feminist circles.

  58. Mnemosyne, you’re the first person I’ve ever heard suggest on one of these blogs that Amanda should actually be fired for any of this. If she is, I guess you can take credit for starting the movement for it. Whatever. That’s not what BFP asked for. What she asked for, i.e. acknowledgment of WOC who have worked on this issue, is extremely reasonable and should be extremely easy for anyone who actually cares about WOC.

    Hell, I I have done an inadequate job of acknowledging the contributions of WOC and am trying to do better. This whole controversy has helped bring my attention to that. I’m revising some of my own content to address that problem. I’m probably every bit as guilty as Amanda of overlooking the contributions of WOC. It’s still wrong. Does that help?

  59. […] give them some kind of representation, some kind of voice? But as countless bloggers and commenters have pointed out, Marcotte has failed to actually acknowledge the voices already in existence. Most […]

  60. Reading all of this here and elsewhere just makes me sick – I am not an American as I keep saying but at least there is a community of WOC bloggers here. In Britain where I have been living for the past few months, there are hardly any except for a few African women blogging between themselves. In that way white and I cant bring myself to call them feminists – women bloggers are pretty much free to come up with any crap and get away with it. so any challenges you make as a WOC you are on your own – I recently had an engagement with one woman over reporting about the Kenyan post election violence – reminded me of trying to stop a broken water pipe with cotton wool! It’s not just about appropriating words, its also about appropriating knowledge and history, rewriting our knowledge and history and claiming to know what is in front of my face better than i can and knowing that people will listen to whiteness any bloody day of the week before they will listen to me. Questions like why are white americans getting paid to write about africa as if there are no africans out there who can write? white people writing about a place they have never even been to and being recognised as “the expert”.

    i cant go on as i am way to pissed off with this whole ongoing crap.

  61. Brownfemipower comments directly here (April 16):

    Brownfemipower’s final post

  62. Sokari, your blog is magnificent and I will be paying even more attention to it now. Re the next to last sentence, please feel free to contact me if you’re interested in writing on this stuff for a “traditional” publisher or other “mainstream” media outlet–I’m always running across leads and I, too, am tired of seeing only white faces when I read about these issues in the mainstream media.

  63. The power is in the act of setting the framework of the discussion.

    The feminists (rich women with the luxury of time on their hands) have been disconnected from the reality as experienced by working class people (both men and women, regardless of race) since they’ve been active.

    The feminists are not interested in the fact that people are losing their homes due to crooked behavior of loan officers. They are not interested that people are still going hungry all over the world and this administration in only interested in the promotion of the profit margins of of petroleum corporations. They don’t care that people can’t afford to go to the doctor or the dentist.

    They are only interested in the election of one of their own.

    They set up the rules for everyone else to follow, and then change the framework to suit their own needs.

    These same feminists who claim that they are open-minded can quickly turn on anyone who does not support their party line: I am a white woman who has suffered many taunts from the time I was old enough to choose my friends for who they are, rather than what neighborhood their parents live.

  64. sorry about my people.
    it seems clear that racial equality is still the last priority, and most white folks seem to think it’s a side issue that will just get resolved eventually when everything else is in place. whatever everything else is.

    one white feminist agrees with everything said here.
    love,
    denise

  65. I’m at the point where I’m convinced the problem isn’t -just- defensiveness about racism, although der obviously it’s key here, but, bluntly, pathological narcissism (personal and structural). There’s a profound disconnect here. Why is empathy this hard? Why is -sharing- this -hard-? particularly since it seems so much more of an issue for some people than for others?

  66. It’s the fact that she repeatedly dismisses the words and opinions of women of color – Remember the book cover? – and instead claims that she’s being attacked out of jealousy and spite.

    Erm, if it’s not too much of a derailment, what exactly happened with the book cover? My perception (I don’t read pandagon regularly and didn’t read the book cover post at all so probably missed something important) was that Marcotte posted a book cover, got objections, time passed, and then a different book cover appeared. So my lacking mid-point-data perception was that Marcotte changed it because she got complaints and thought that they were justified. Not so?

  67. Dianne,

    The original book cover showed a terrified white woman being held by a giant ape. When she was first made aware of the racist imagery, she replied:

    Good to know what the joy-killing narrative is going to be. My money was on “pornographic”. Shows my guessing skills.

    And:

    Well, I knew people would complain about something, since they have to. I’ll admit, I didn’t see “racist” coming. But I knew it would be something.

    500 comments and 8 months later, she still hasn’t learned a damn thing.

  68. Angel H: Having read the link, I agree. Obnoxious. Some of the comments by others on the thread came off as frat-boy/Rush Limbaugh inspired as well. But she did change it. Maybe in another 500 comments she’ll apologize and properly credit her Alternet post. (And BFP will put her blog back up, sexism and racism will end, and we’ll all dance off singing Kumbaya.)

  69. Also in the edited post, she mentions that she did bring the our concerns to her publisher (even though she also stated that people just wanted to start flamewars just for the sake of starting a flamewar), and she removed because of copyright issues.

  70. Maybe in another 500 comments she’ll apologize and properly credit her Alternet post.

    *lol! ;-D

  71. “I’m at the point where I’m convinced the problem isn’t -just- defensiveness about racism, although der obviously it’s key here, but, bluntly, pathological narcissism (personal and structural). There’s a profound disconnect here. Why is empathy this hard? Why is -sharing- this -hard-? particularly since it seems so much more of an issue for some people than for others?”

    I’m inclined to agree with you, belledame, but to be honest I have never wanted to read enough to determine whether or not this is true. All I know is from what I see, I don’t see anything remotely resembling any kind of empathy for anyone but herself or themselves. Normal people should be able to at least admit how their words/actions might seem to others.

  72. I’m glad you (angry black women) are now realizing what progressive black men have known for forever.

    “Feminism” never had you in mind and was never about helping you or your community. It was and has almost always been a column of the white supremacy movement.

    From “abortion rights”(see Planned Parenthood/M. Sanger/eugenics – history), no fault divorce, child support laws, welfare laws, domestic violence laws,… Have all had horrific effects on the African American community. The women who have always pushed these policies have been privileged white women eager to socially experiment with “ekwalitee!!” in your community. It has succeeded so much that it is fair to say that the African American community as presently configured is the Feminist dream. The women are main and most consistent breadwinners, single female headed households, matriarchal aspect. But look at the result. We as a community are a hot mess.
    The “feminists” managed to hoodwink black women into accepting and propagating their foolishness. Only now are black women slowly waking up to the reality that Feminism was and is the white supremacists assault on blacks – and specifically on black men through the women. I am glad you and some of your sisters are waking up to the reality that most black men recognized thirty years ago. This shit isnt for you nor your community. It is meant to destroy your community. Come up with your own thing – stop following these racists white women. Remember who these women are married to at the end of the day…..the same racist men who have us in the bind that we are in today. Wake Up.

  73. “Maybe in another 500 comments she’ll apologize and properly credit her Alternet post.”

    Surely you jest?

    In response to littlem’s request that white bloggers point out the fact that Amanda NEEDS TO LEARN TO CREDIT HER SOURCES, here you go (though of course I had to be sarcastic about it). Also, Mnemosyne? Niceattempt at twisting what people were saying. Shame nobody really fell for it.

    I really can’t get over how incredibly fucking clueless so many white feminists are being about this. The initial erasure of the work of WOC activists was bad enough before a bunch of assholes weighed in and put the “we don’t have to listen to you!” icing on the racism cake.

    http://cassandrasays.blogspot.com/2008/04/sometimes-jokes-just-write-themselves.html

  74. What pisses me off the most about all of this is that I consider myself both a feminist and an activist, and I hadn’t heard anything about this anywhere, until I read your blog posts and links on the issue, even though it is, at its heart, an issue that is about both racism and feminism,

    Marcotte used two women, BFP and Ms. Perales, to make herself look good, just climbed right up their backs like they were nobodies, in (the irony just kills me, it’s so cruel) an article about how easy it is to dismiss minority women.

    It doesn’t matter that it isn’t technically plaigarism! Professional ethics alone should make a professional woman want to acknowledge other professional women who have contributed to her own work (and in this case, basically did all the research for her and wrote it all up, only to have it all stolen the moment their backs were turned). Certainly, at the very least, a journalist should know to cite all her sources!

    So, yes, at the very least she should post a follow-up acknowledging and attributing BFP and Ms. Perales. I actually would think of letting her go, if I were one of her bosses, not because I want to rush in and chop off Marcotte’s head in some reactionary gesture, but because this may not be the first time she’s done this–just the first time she got caught.

  75. I posted something in response to this post. Thought you might want to check it out.

    My blog is more day in the life, but what you and La Chola have been posting on touched my heart and I wanted you to know I support you.

    Sonia

  76. From “abortion rights”(see Planned Parenthood/M. Sanger/eugenics – history), no fault divorce, child support laws, welfare laws, domestic violence laws,… Have all had horrific effects on the African American community.

    The hell?

    I won’t deny the connection between abortion rights and eugenics, but I’ll be damned if I’m gonna say that I’m not thankful for the right to choose.

    Also, how have child support laws, no-fault divorce, and domestic violence laws been so terrible for the African American community?

    It has succeeded so much that it is fair to say that the African American community as presently configured is the Feminist dream. The women are main and most consistent breadwinners, single female headed households, matriarchal aspect.

    You say this as if it’s a bad thing.

    The reason there are so many women heads-of-households because of necessity – because of the many ways in which we are put upon by men -not because we were “hoodwinked” into feminism.

    Only now are black women slowly waking up to the reality that Feminism was and is the white supremacists assault on blacks …

    If you were as intelligent as you think you are, you would know that black women have always looked at the feminist with a wary eye – not for many of the reasons (if any) that you have listed, but because we often felt that our voices were not being heard. Don’t get it twisted.

    …and specifically on black men through the women.

    So let me get this straight: We poor, gullible black women have been strung along by the mean, nasty white ladies who force us to raise our sons and daughters alone, who force us not to tolerate being treated as punching bags (figuratively and literally) by the men in our lives, and to force us not to tolerate being treated as second-class citizens.

    Or maybe, we’re just intelligent enough to speak for ourselves. Maybe we’re the ones who realized that we’re strong enough to run our homes by ourselves, that we’re powerful enough not to let ourselves be pushed around, and that we’re eloquent enough to speak our own minds.

    At the end of the day, we’ll remember all that we have been through and we’ll continue holding our heads up high because of all that we have accomplished without white women or white men that would look down their noses at us, and without black men who think they know what’s best for us.

  77. I hate to link to my own stuff, but I’m gonna link to my own stuff. I wrote a history of feminism last month that centered pretty heavily on black feminism (since that’s the kind of feminism I’ve primarily encountered in Mississippi), and there is nothing in the history of any of this to suggest that “black women are just now waking up” to anything. Black women have been talking about intersectionality all the way along the line–hell, go back to Sojourner Truth’s “Ain’t I a Woman” speech from 1851. It’s always been there.

    But with respect to the right to choose, I think the pro-choice movement has also been problematic from a reproductive justice POV. What has influenced my thinking on this more than anything else is chapter 4 of Andrea Smith’s Conquest, which was introduced to me by a blog entry that BFP wrote last year. I forwarded it to some local activists a few months ago. Now, like everything else on BFP’s site, it would return a 404.

    If BFP had not referenced Smith, I never would have found out it was in Conquest and would not have realized how powerful the book is in the way that it deals not only with American Indian women, but with all women of color. The resource would have been lost to me and, more importantly, to the people I’ve since told about the book. So honoring the contributions of WOC helps everybody, including this white boy in Mississippi.

    Just saying.

    Anyway, I still describe myself as pro-choice and feminist but in my head both are asterisked by the former’s tendency to neglect and sometimes disparage women who want to carry their pregnancies to term and the latter’s tendency to be either a movement for and about white women of means, or a movement for and about affluent, sexually liberated young white women who are valued by mainstream feminist pop culture ideals.

    That’s fine because as a man, I had my participation in both movements asterisked anyway. I’m an officer in the local NOW chapter (yeah, I know, but this one has been WOC-led in recent years–VERY unusual chapter); joined one white feminist listserv, posted an introduction, and was immediately messaged back with a post–from the moderator, mind you–to the effect of “How desperate do they have to be in Mississippi to elect a MAN to the board of NOW?” I unsubscribed.

    I’m in this movement to work. Most people I know who are active are in this movement to work. But if you look at white feminists on the Internet and in mainstream culture and in much of the Academy, it’s all about who’s in and who’s out and WOC are generally talked about in the former category but actually related with in the latter category. I don’t mean to pile on [X], but the fact that she immediately lumped BFP together with right-wing critics from the Catholic League shows how tenuous the place of most WOC is within the mainstream feminist movement.

    If there is ANY hope for feminism, I see it in Rebecca Walker’s vision of the third wave. But that vision hasn’t been realized yet.

  78. I’m new to the WOC feminist blogosphere. Embarassing because I am a WOC and also because this mess intrigued me.

    I’ve never been big on feminism. And its for the same reason this whole mess started. There’s a big divide between white and non-white feminists. When I tried, I always felt pushed into the corner. That my complaints weren’t as valid and I had to support what was considered important. And maybe, just maybe they would help me out when they were through. Never happened, so I stopped.

    Until now. I’ve never read BFP’s work, but considering the support she has, I bet it was amazing. I’ve been bouncing over blogs tracking down the details of this story. I’ve come across some amazing people, ideas, and writing. Its inspiring. As odd as it sounds, I don’t feel alone anymore.

    This mess disgusts me. How dare someone want credit for their work. How dare people get angry that they’re told “I know you all like negative discourse”. Yeah, we get angry when we realize its the only time people seem to listen! Remember when feminists protested in front of the White House so they could vote? They were accused to being negative and angry.

    I’m not sure what to say, but I know I can’t stay quiet. I look forward to your Carnival and thank you for having this wonderful blog. And to all the people who spoke up when no one would.

  79. Ket, what are you are saying was tired 30 years ago when it was accompanied by exhortations to hop to the mattresses and breed revolutionaries and it is still tired today. Gender oppression is a real and seroius issue, even for Black women, and white feminism’s short comings do not negate that. Progressive black men like Kalamu Ya Saalaam have addressed sexism quite eloquently– perhaps you could familiarize yourself with their efforts.

  80. Tom, it has taken me a few days to figure out how to respond to your assertion that “white” folks telling Amanda to credit her sources — as an emblematic example of the larger problem of cultural appropriate — wouldn’t do a lot of good. (I can’t find the direct quote; I will keep looking.)

    Although I am more of a PRP than an author, I would maintain that the point, to respond directly, is to generate awareness that something is really wrong — and that, as you see, takes time.

    Ico, however, seems to have taken up the cause from your lead, and done OK with it

    http://dearwhitefeminists.wordpress.com/2008/04/17/an-open-letter-to-the-white-feminist-community/

    and I don’t exactly see this thread de-crescendoing into non-existence, either.

    Thanks also to Cassandra (did not miss the reference, BTW) and Sonia.

    I would also submit that one of the reasons I asked in the first place is that it underscores with a rather ironic finger the point that folks tend to pay more attention to an issue in any event after the “majority voices” have “legitimized” it. Neat trick, don’t you think?

    Angel H. and Delux, thank you for schooling ket, or whatever he calls himself, so that — to paraphrase the Dow Scrubbing Bubbles — the rest of us didn’t have tooooo …

  81. That would be “cultural appropriation”.

    Ahem.

    I am sleepy.

  82. littlem, I think you’re remembering a post I wrote on the Hugo thread where I basically said that while I think Amanda should at least take this opportunity to blog about the work of WOC on this issue, I don’t think she’s listening and I certainly don’t think she’s listening to me. I don’t think it has done any good from the standpoint of Amanda’s blog.

    I think a lot of it is that the argument was initially directed to the plagiarism (legal definition) claim, even though few people–not BFP, as I recall–made that claim. Then there was the claim that Amanda stole from BFP, when BFP herself, again, had never claimed to be the first person to write about these issues. The issue of appropriation has never been directly addressed by Amanda, to my knowledge, and it’s being sidestepped by her and by her defenders, whose position seems to be that we’re not allowed to discuss appropriation until the two or three people who used the word plagiarism apologize.

    Personally, I have no idea whether or not Amanda heard about BFP’s speech, saw a recording, caught wind of it, or whatever, because I haven’t been able to hear or read BFP’s speech myself for comparison purposes.

    I do believe that even if I didn’t believe I did anything wrong, if a group of bloggers that I respected began posting about how something I’d written did not adequately honor the contributions of WOC who influenced my thinking (which has no doubt been the case in my own writing from time to time), and if I knew (as Amanda must) that WOC had in fact influenced my thinking, I would take their concerns very seriously and try to take some kind of corrective action, if only to say somewhere “I was educated on this issue when I heard [person] speak about it… Her book/blog is called [title], and you should really give it a look.” That seems like a no-brainer to me.

  83. I don’t know much about Seal Press, sure I’ve heard of them and all, but at least now I know a little more about them that I wouldn’t have otherwise.

    As for “quitting feminism,” I’ve had the same thought several times, especially since opening my site and thinking “Hmm…How important is all of this REALLY?” Obviously I’ve deemed it important enough to not quit blogging and I don’t think that there is anything I can do to quit feminism all together; it’s in everything I am, what and how I think; it’s everywhere, something you can’t escape even if you wanted to–at least for me, anyway. I guess you just have to live with the fact that everything is turned into something completely different by people who didn’t know the true meaning of the thing to begin with. Religion, turned into organized religion; feminism, turned into first wave, second wave, third wave, radical feminism, sex work feminism, black woman feminism, male feminism and so on and so forth. Once you get through the many facets of something, it’s important to focus on what it is, what it means to you and why you were so attracted to it in the first place.

    I really like your site, by the way, I’ve been here before and bookmarked you, but of course my bookmarks are just ridiculous so I am now returning, months later, after finding it in the mess that I need to clean up.

  84. Despite Holly’s lovely post calling out Marcotte for the appropriation issue, Feministe is now promoting Marcotte’s new book:

    http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2008/04/22/today-amanda-marcotte-at-kgb-bar-in-manhattan/

    It is teh lame! I was going to credit them as being the only mainstream feminist blog to take a stand (thanks to Holly’s post). Now they are just teh suck. There is not mention of BFP or appropriation at all. Am I just insane? Was there not a huge flurry of comments just a little over a week ago on this same blog about appropriation? And now book promotion? Did they just… forget?

  85. Holly, I think you’re confusing The Feminist Movement with Feminism. There are many people who believe in feminism, i.e. equal rights for women, but who do not share some of the tenets of The Movement. Going back to your example of religion: There are those who choose to worship a deity, but do not agree in the ways that he, she, or they should be worshipped, which is why Religion split off into Catholisicm (sp? sorry!), Protestantism, Hinduism, Paganism, Islam, Judaism, etc, etc. People choose the way they want (or don’t want) to worship, and that’s a good thing. The same goes for Mainstream Feminism, Radical Feminism, Womanism, and all of the other different aspects of Feminism. There were those who felt that The Movement didn’t always speak for them, so they became Radicals or Womanists or Seperatists, etc.

    I’m glad that there are groups out there who share the same basic goal – equality for women – but who each see things in a different light.

  86. Someone sent me the book to review and it’s kind of hard to feel like part of the “genuine sisterhood” with some of the pictures used in the book.

    I don’t know if my second comment’s going to be approved by feministe (as maybe they need to check that my description of the pictures are accurate which should be easy because after all if you promote a book, don’t you have copies?) but I did say that I thought the use of pictures like these just served as a reminder that while some people may look and say, it’s great the man being rescued by the woman for a change instead of vice versa, what the man who’s White like the “heroine” is apparently being rescued from, is what really bothers me.

    At any rate, here’s my comment that I left over there.

    Well, page 81 has the blonde heroine in the front rescuing the White man tied to a stake in a pit with two lions, male and female, and in the background are some figures that are darker colored than the White man, woman and lions with spears, shields, looks like some headgear. Gender, not certain. They look like they’re either dancing or about to jump into the pit where the White man is tied up.

    Page 115 has White woman swinging over alligator in swamp, but an arrow pierces her vine of transport and there’s more “natives” with long shields and spears and headdress in the background. A White man in pants and shirt holds a handgun pointed in their direction.

    Pg. 205 has White woman swinging on vine knocking over dark-skinned “native” in some form of dress with a long knife or weapon on his belt standing near a hut. He’s wearing a mask with facial like features with some sort of headress. There’s other similarly dressed individuals in the background. I have no idea what they’re doing. A White man is lying on the ground apparently about to be harmed by the “native” in the foreground. It’s ironically introducing a chapter on “resources”.

    Some people and I suppose feminists might go, look the woman’s rescuing the man, how empowering! Which on one level, okay, a lot of times, it’s the women who is passive and rescued but what is the man being rescued from? What do the “natives” (for want of a better term b/c these appear similar to stereotypes used a lot involving indiginous peoples in various places) But to me, this shows the tremendous sense of how out of touch to the point of being downright insensitive that feminists can be. I don’t know what was intended to be depicted but the pictures make me very uncomfortable.

    And our society raises people to believe that this is supposed to be entertaining and that if it’s not, the people it offends are told to lighten up, they’re taking it too seriously, they’ll find anything to criticize and so forth. I think I’m noticing doesn’t sound like a new issue at all.

    I imagine many of the same concerns and criticism were raised during the discussion of the original book cover. Using animals to depict people of color is dehumanizing, but even though the depictions of these natives are technically human, they’re dehumanizing in my opinion too, not to mention like the “gorilla” supposed to represent the villains of feminism (which is represented by the White woman of course). Even the White man while needing to be rescued by the woman is not seen as the villain of feminsm which makes me think that White women align themselves by race without doing anything but blaming other women for doing the same thing).

  87. As a black man I am curious about what are some of the best ways to get more WOC writers published. I know nothing abou the publishing industry, would it be better for us to start a magazine like WOC Ms, or do you think that is a bad idea?

  88. Radfem,

    Could you take a photo or scan the images?

  89. I don’t have a scanner. But I think someone over there said they’re used in an ironic matter so it’s all well and okay and no need to be concerned about it. It’s not exactly like I’ve never heard that one before.

    You know it’s interesting, because the use of stereotypes including those which are ethnic, racial and gender for artwork or other forms comes up in law enforcement workplaces all the time and you know what? The responses in defense or to explain it is very similar to what feminists have used. I would have hoped that White feminists and White women could have learned something from our own experiences addressing this besides emulating them.

  90. I just found the feministe article through here, thanks for commenting on it Ico.

    I must say, the irony of the white man coming to defend his white woman from the women of colour is not lost on me. I feel sick and heartbroken about this whole business. Why is it so hard to say you messed up and try make things right? Why is it so difficult to see other women’s feelings as important as your own? Why are petty fights more important than the issues you are writing about? Huge huge respect to BFP. None to Amanda.

    I agree. Fuck ‘em.

  91. *blink* Radfem, seriously? Are those honestly pictures used in Amanda’s book?

    Are there at least any pictures where a WOC is rescuing a man from whites, or is the general theme of the book’s illustrations consistently centered on “noble white hunters” vs. “jungle savages”? Because if it’s the latter…dear God. Who thought this was a good idea?

  92. Who thought this was a good idea?

    Amanda. And Seal Press.

  93. […] The Angry Black Woman has a message for Seal Press, Amanda Marcotte, and Salon Broadsheet. […]

  94. *sigh*

    I’ve sat here in front of my monitor for damn near 10 minutes trying in vain to think of something to say. Words completely fail me.

    Back to work…

  95. You could join us in calling out Amanda and requesting Feministe to retract their promotion of the book.

  96. I’m going to try to get scans of the images somewhere (Wolfa was going to take some, but maybe didn’t get to so I’ll look around). When/if I find them I will post them and, yet again, demand a retraction of their support for a text full of racist imagery, by an author and publisher who suck.

  97. *jawdrop*

    I didn’t know about those illustrations.

    What vile, hateful… I just…

    I mean, WHAT?!

    I don’t even know what to say.

    lco, will do. Will blog about it too.

  98. Jesus Fucking Christ.

    I am too through.

  99. I want to give Amanda the benefit of the doubt. I can’t anymore. You screwed up, ma’am. Big time.

    My feelings about Seal Press were neutral from the beginning, but I will say that it’s becoming clear that there’s a pattern developing with them here.

    Seal Press must correct this for the second printing.

    I am beginning to understand even better why many WOC in my own community who are leaders in feminist activism are reluctant to self-describe as feminists.

    There is still a lot of unacknowledged racism in the movement that has been carried over to the younger generation. And most of the leaders in the movement do not seem to mind.

  100. ::facepalm::

    Seal Press didn’t have “haters” before — they had people who were angry and expressing it and hoping they would listen. But they sure as hell have at least one hater now, right here.

  101. Ico and nojojojo,
    Thanks so much for posting links to those illustrations and for bringing this whole book thing to wider attention! I am so angry, I actually feel sick. I guess that’s what happens when you start the day confronting new assholery from good old Amanda and her cronies. *vomit* I can’t fucking believe that idiot is paid to publish bullshit like this, and it’s even worse knowing how many great WoC writers are being ignored.

  102. nojojojo, I’m with you. I’m a hater now, too, right here, right now. Goddamn. There’s just no excuse for this racist crap from Seal Press and Marcotte. Cluelessness doesn’t begin to cover this. Aversive racism doesn’t even cover this. This is racism pure and simple. And fuck them for trying to pass this off as feminism.

  103. Whoa! Srsly? *looks at pictures* Urgh, gross. And those howling savages are the only PoC in the book? Whoof.

    What was she thinking? Outside of reprinting something from 80 years ago with satirical intent, there’s no excuse for pictures like that. It crosses the line from entitled cluelessness to wilful ignorance and so far out the other side. Bloody hell.

  104. This whole thing is WRONG, and I don’t mean the WOC response. It’s as blatant a piece of appropriation as I’ve ever seen. And the comments about “I’m too busy being a feminist to worry about race” — shame on them.

    I did call this out on my LJ (http://jonquil.livejournal.com/703332.html), and my friends educated me further.

  105. […] – The “or” versus the “and”: women of color and mainstream feminism ABW: Standing in solidarity with my sisters Sudy – A Question of Feminism or a “Movement?” Sylvia/M – Don’t Hate; […]

  106. How to count gains, the gold coin analogy. Think there are 4 people, a white couple (of both sexes) and a black couple. There are 40 gold coins in a heap. Each person is asked to pick equal number of coins, in a fair system it would be 10 each. They all take 10 coins initially. Now due to male privelege, both the black male and the white male take, 5 coins each from the females of their corresponding race respectively. Now the score is white male,15,black male,15,white female,5,black female 5. Due to white privelege, the white male takes 5 coins from the black male and the white female takes 5 coins from the black female. With sexism and racism, total scores will be white male, 20, white female 10, black male 10, black female 0. This is considering sexism and racism incur the same equal proportion of gains and losses(5 points in the analogy). If we eliminate racism, the scores would be, white male,15,black male 15,white female 5,black female 5 whereas if we eliminate sexism, the scores would be, white male 15, white female 15, black male 5, black female 5. If just one sexism or racism were to disappear and the other remained., the black female stands at the same point, of course here the assumption is that both sexism and racism cause equal losses. However in terms of power and wealth in society, it seems likely that more gold coins are taken away for racism than sexism.

  107. […] to get more respect from guys or at least avoid being labelled as hairy-legged and angry. Even when WOCs with justified arguments refused the “feminist” label, I was disappointed. I […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 148 other followers

%d bloggers like this: