On Feminism, Part 2

I bet you don’t remember part 1, do you? Here’s a reminder.

I said back then that I was still trying to put my own feelings into words and hadn’t succeeded yet. Considering what’s been going on in the blogosphere lately I think it’s time to finally crystallize my thoughts. The problem I keep coming up against is that my interactions with feminism and feminists varies greatly depending on the venue, I am finding a hard time resolving my feelings in one area with my feelings from another.

I’m being vague, sorry. Let me be specific.

As many of you know, in my other life I am a science fiction and fantasy writer. I have spent almost my entire adult life hanging out in that community. Now, from the outside, the SF community would not seem to be a place to understand, interact with, and discuss feminism and feminist issues. But lo, there are feminists to be found. Really smart feminists. There’s even a con dedicated to feminism and feminists in SF–WisCon.

WisCon is one of my very favorite conventions because of the topics of panels, the conversations I have in and out of panels, and the caliber of people who attend. These are smart, passionate folks who care about literature and media in equal measure. And, if they’re at WisCon, they more than likely consider themselves feminists or, at least, allies.

Through attending WisCon I became interested in feminism in a more direct way than I had been before. I vaguely understood feminism and felt, as most intelligent people do, that the core ideal of feminism as I understood it was a right thing–i.e. women are equal to men and should be treated as such. That women and men may be different, but men certainly aren’t better, in general. But from attending WisCon, I began thinking about the issues of gender, privilege, and feminism in ways I had not before.

Over the years I’ve convinced many people to come to WisCon, but it was sometimes a struggle because I had to break the barrier of ignorance surrounding the word “feminist”. I’m sure many of you have encountered this same problem. People equating feminism with “FemiNazi” (what a bullshit word), or with the extreme types who ruin every ideology/movement/etc. At this time I was not aware of the real problems of feminism. Ones that were far more disruptive and dividing than women who “hate men” or other such nonsense.

Since that first WisCon my involvement in SF’s feminist contingent has deepened. I’m one of the bloggers at FeministSF.net, I contribute to the Wiki, I consider some of my co-bloggers there to be good friends, I participate in WisCon programming, and now I’m a jurist for the Tiptree award, an honor that arose from the ideas and ideals that WisCon was created to explore.

If this was the only experience I had with feminism, then I would have no need to write this post. I’d be perfectly content to call myself a feminist and be done.

But oh. Then there’s the wider world.

Then there’s Gloria Steinem, Erica Jong, Jessica Valenti, Amanda Marcotte, and any number of white feminists from the second and third wave that really ruin feminism for the rest of us. If they’re not insisting we put aside our “of color”-ness in favor of our woman-ness, they’re busy using their white privilege to marginalize, dismiss, silence, or otherwise treat us the way those pesky white men they’re so angry with do.

I hadn’t been on this blog long before I apprehended that all was not well in feminism-land. Remember the post about Cesar Milan? It started on some blog where the white, female poster was up in arms because Cesar had made some comment about women that she objected to. She claimed that if he’d made a similar comment about black people the entirety of America would have jumped down his throat. Because, see, racism is no longer a problem in America, but sexism is.

Sigh.

It just gets worse from there. As we have daily proof.

And these recent blow-ups not only make me angry because of what these white feminist bloggers are doing to women of color, but because it makes me angry at feminism itself. As Aminah put it way back when, feminism just isn’t made for us women of color. And as someone else (I can’t remember who, but someone please tell me in comments if you know) said recently, it seems like what white feminists want is to become white men. They want what white men have going on, up to and including privilege and the ability to ignore voices of color unless it suits them.

Some of you may feel this is an unfair generalization. And others of you are sitting at your computers right now shaking your head and saying, “Nuh uh, not me!” Maybe so not you, and maybe so I am being harsh. But you take a look around the blogs right now and tell me that the view from where I’m standing doesn’t bear that out. And take a good look at yourselves. Think about if you can honestly say that you’ve considered your own privilege when dealing with the issues of feminism and race lately. Some of you have, of course, but some of you absolutely have not.

And unfortunately, even my happy pocket of SF feminism isn’t immune from this crap. Last year at WisCon I heard more than one report of goings on in places I was not that revealed the racist attitudes of certain feminist con-goers. This was extremely sad, but not a great surprise. I resolved that this year I would make it my special project to watch and listen out for such attitudes and do what I could to put an end to them. Because I believe that WisCon and the community therein is worth my time and effort to make an even more excellent space than it already is. I want to be able to attend a con without base sexism and racism at the same time. I’m willing to be one of people making that happen.

But I’m not entirely sure I want to do that on these here internets. Why? Because maybe the wider swath of feminism isn’t worth saving.

Feminism is made for and by white women. And I really feel like this is one of those areas where the white women need to get enlightened before things can change. But, of course, many of them won’t be because they don’t see racism, which is directed against women of color, as a feminist issue. They’re hard pressed to acknowledge that racism is as great a problem as sexism at all.

No, actually, what I should say is that the white feminists who are seen as leaders, who are given press and attention and cred are in need of enlightenment. Because there are plenty of white feminists who do get it, who are enlightened, who can see the interconnectedness between anti-racist work and anti-sexist work. So what’s really needed is a good purge. Those of you who know what’s up need to weed out or educate those of you who don’t. Because obviously we women of color are too angry or jealous or indelicate to do it.

And, quite honestly, I am tired of the burden being on us to fix this mess. I’m tired of having to decide if I want the label of “Feminist”, not because someone might think I hate men, but because someone might wonder why I would want to associate myself with people who think my voice and experiences are less important because I refuse to put my gender ahead of my race.

What am I, if not a feminist? I’m not sure. Maybe this will help me figure it out:

When I offered the word “Womanism” many years ago, it was to give us a tool to use, as feminist women of color, in times like these. These are the moments we can see clearly, and must honor devotedly, our singular path as women of color in the United States. We are not white women and this truth has been ground into us for centuries, often in brutal ways. [...] We have come a long way, Sisters, and we are up to the challenges of our time. One of which is to build alliances based not on race, ethnicity, color, nationality, sexual preference or gender, but on Truth.
Alice Walker

76 Responses

  1. “Feminism is made for and by white women. ”

    This just makes me weep. I am so sad that women who should know (and behave) better have made you and many other WOC bloggers feel this way.

    Some of us are trying hard to be better than that. :(

  2. Yeah. That.

  3. ABW,

    Is it okay if I link to this?

  4. Well, like all movements, feminism tends to reproduce the socio-cultural conditions in which it exists (the labor movement, for example, has a long and ugly history of sexism and racism; anti-racist movements tend to reproduce sexism) and that means racism. It’s the moving sidewalk analogy, which means that there has to be active anti-racism activism within the feminist movement to counter that. Is there? Not enough, obviously, or you wouldn’t have had to make this post. But I’ve thought of you as somebody who does that kind of activism, and I think that as long as you continue to blog the way you do and speak up the way you do, you’ll be doing that kind of work.

    And I don’t. I was once a very active activist and planned to make a career out of being one (I was going to go into labor or community organizing). I’m not anymore, for personal reasons that I’m fine with. But I do think that it’s incumbent on everybody to speak out against sexism and racism in their lives–I’m a teacher, so I have a good platform, where I can model the kind of anti-racist feminism or feminist anti-racism that I think is important.

    Meh, this comment is a mess.

  5. Ico, yes indeed. Veronica, no it isn’t :) (a mess, that is)

  6. And as someone else (I can’t remember who, but someone please tell me in comments if you know) said recently, it seems like what white feminists want is to become white men.

    One person who said this was Katie at Historic (p)Reservation in WAM! Wrap Up: Part 1 of 2:

    we break into groups. i have to stop my group to ask exactly WHAT we’re talking about – is the purpose of this break out group to determine how to get into the mainstream media or to determine how to use our work in the media to promote action?

    i take away from this session that the point was to figure out how to get the jobs that old white men have. the end. not how to get them and make the workplace different for others. just how to get them.

  7. “the white feminists who are seen as leaders, who are given press and attention and cred are in need of enlightenment. ”

    I don’t think it’s an accident that Valenti, Marcotte, and Steinem all wound up in a post where white feminism is getting called to the carpet. They’re all three authors of “feminist primers”–basically, books that try to convince young white girls that feminism really is for them, really. Truly. You don’t have to be a manhating lezzie or a boring old academic! You can have your gender revolution and your lipgloss, too!

    The problem with this soft-sell approach is that it means you wind up with a lot of white “feminists” who are perfectly content to see themselves as victims of a hierarchical society (which they are), but who are completely unwilling to understand that they are helping to perpetuate said hierarchical society (which they are). And why shouldn’t they feel that way? It’s so much more pleasant to think of yourself as being victimized than it is to face the fact that you’re doing some victimizing of your very own. It’s so much easier to demand a bigger piece of the pie than it is to say that the whole system is fucked and we should start over.

    I don’t think it’s a coincidence, or an accident, that this is the sort of feminism that keeps getting published, keeps getting attention, that these are the women who keep being cast as “leaders” within the movement. Because this sort of feminism is easy. This sort of feminism doesn’t really, truly challenge the status quo. This sort of feminism is, in short, not really a threat to white-dominated society at all. I admit, I used to think of this sort of feminism as “better than nothing.” I used to think of this sort of feminism as a kind of gateway drug to better things–give a girl some Gloria Steinem, and eventually she’ll move on to bell hooks. But over the last few months, between the old guard believing that sexism trumps racism and the new guard believing that personal entitlement trumps all, I can’t help but see this sort of feminism as anything other than incredibly dangerous. Gender oppression becomes a weird form of entitlement: it’s perfeclty okay not to see racism, because sexism is so much more IMPORTANT, understand? “Fighting sexism” becomes a way of masking racism. And I’m sick of it.

    Sorry, this probably wasn’t very coherent.

  8. Great post. Thank you.

    “She claimed that if he’d made a similar comment about black people the entirety of America would have jumped down his throat. Because, see, racism is no longer a problem in America, but sexism is.”

    Yep, shit, I’ve done this, and I most of my white feminist acquaintances have done this too. I see what hor$e$#it it is now, but that doesn’t undo the damage. (Of course I suppose could APOLOGIZE and then be all, “But… but… I’ve apologized, so you’re not allowed to talk about it anymore or have negative feelings about it because that HURTS MY FEELINGS!” *cough* )

    “And as someone else (I can’t remember who, but someone please tell me in comments if you know) said recently, it seems like what white feminists want is to become white men. They want what white men have going on, up to and including privilege and the ability to ignore voices of color unless it suits them.”

    I wasn’t the one that said this, but it exactly right to me. White privilege makes a lot of us white feminist think that the only injustices that *really* could are the disparities that exist between what we have, and what our white fathers and/or husbands and/or brothers and/or colleagues have. Any other social ills just need a Nice White Lady to take care of them. Also, I think we white women very often lapse into thinking that the strategies we use in dealing with white men – where we indeed very often are in the one-down position – are appropriate strategies to use across-the-board. By that I mean strategies like: getting upset/angry, insisting that everyone stop what they’re doing and listen to you, reminding everyone of your qualifications/career successes, etc. But that is NO EXCUSE. To the contrary, I think it reveals some seriously wrongheaded thinking: if one thinks that the strategies that white women use for dealing with white men are appropriate across-the-board, it’s the very essence of white privilege, not to mention that it re-inscribes white men’s position at the very center.

    Not that you need my view to corroborate what you said. But I see it too.

  9. I feel like the problem is that I don’t see white feminists being more inclusive unless they’re called to the mat again and again, until they’re forced to recognize that WoC will not be ignored or marginalized.

    Like, for instance, why are women of color so rarely discussed in mainstream feminist literature? Or if it is a book on feminism, unless it’s written b a woman of color, we’ll get a page or two maybe.

    Excluding a large population of women is not all right. It’s erasing our existence within the movement and allowing people to continue to think that feminism is all about the white woman. I think the answer is to be louder, to call it out whenever it happens — even if that means being busy — because otherwise we’ll continue to be considered second class citizens who will take whatever is dished out.

    I love Alice Walker, she is classy and brilliant, and I think she’s eloquent in so many ways, but it seems that womanism makes WoC’s issues “special interest” in that exists separate from the feminist movement as a whole. And I fear that it’ll make it seem like feminists are right when they recount the history of feminism and leave out important WoC and what we’ve, historically speaking, done for the feminist movement. It’ll say that feminism is not our movement, which means that what feminism has accomplished will seem like the work of tireless white women that sacrificed themselves to get us rights and create social change.

    I don’t know. I guess. I guess maybe I just thnk that the only real option is to wrestle the feminist movement from the hands of white women, to not allow them to place us in a subordinate role, to fight to get our voices heard side-by-side with theirs and to speak out against women in feminism that hinder the voices or WoC or lesbians or the working class.

    I do, sometimes, wish that it wouldn’t be such a fight all the time.

  10. I had a thought.

    Given how so much of this has been going on in the blogosphere of late, and how there’s a huge problem with “mainstream” feminist blogs, what if we were to put together a website with a rating system for the feminist blogs based on how bad the issues of white privilege are? And then have links collected there documenting some of the strikes against them?

    Just so there would be a place for new blog readers, unaware/ignorant white feminists, and others to be able to see the pattern clearly and have it all spelled out for them. So they’d know which white mainstream feminist bloggers are responsible for a lot of the racism, making it easier to avoid/purge them?

    I don’t know… just an idea. Might be a really bad one, but I thought I’d throw it out there because heck, every time this happens white people act like it’s the first time evar and OMGodz the WOC are meanz.

  11. Think about if you can honestly say that you’ve considered your own privilege when dealing with the issues of feminism and race lately. Some of you have, of course, but some of you absolutely have not.

    Great post.
    Another wrinkle regarding owning one’s privilege of course, is that understanding and coming to terms with one’s privilege is never something that is finished. It’s a constant-effort sort of thing, and people achieve it more or less, but never completely.

  12. “So what’s really needed is a good purge. Those of you who know what’s up need to weed out or educate those of you who don’t. Because obviously we women of color are too angry or jealous or indelicate to do it.”

    IAWTC.

    Unfortunately, I’m not optimistic enough to see it going beyond a dedicated few willing to get beyond the baby-stepping and soothing of the ‘Miss Scarlett’s’ defensiveness and denial about privilege/entitlement and the general inability to not take offense about WoC’s OMGTONE.

  13. She claimed that if he’d made a similar comment about black people the entirety of America would have jumped down his throat. Because, see, racism is no longer a problem in America, but sexism is.

    I’ve seen this so many times in so many places and it pisses me off so much. Number one because I always enjoy it when white folks tell me that racism is over, cause they would know right? I don’t undersatnd how something they’ve never experienced they can declare over, if that’s not a sign of privilege I don’t know what is. Number two it completely ignores the lives of WOC as if racism and sexism never intersect or inform each other. As if specifically being a Woman of Color doesn’t carry it’s own set of baggage interconnected with both racism and sexism.

    A feminist blogosphere that has the nerve to say such things as “feminism is race-neutral” no longer holds my respect, interest or support. The feminist bloggers out there who get intersectionality are still on my to be read list but sadly they seem few and far between.

  14. “And as someone else (I can’t remember who, but someone please tell me in comments if you know) said recently, it seems like what white feminists want is to become white men.”
    Here’s somewhere I’ve seen it recently: Narcissist Feminism by BetaCandy on The Hathor Legacy.

    Narcissist Feminists – let’s call them NF’s – are, so far in my experience, white heterosexual middle class women who experience feminism only as a friction occurring between themselves and white men. There are no other women on Planet NF. There are no people of color. No queer people. Just her – the woman the patriarchy pictures when it thinks “woman” – and the white men that stand between her and the top of the world.

    I noticed there was nothing about this on the Feminist Carnival that just came out. The cutoff date would have been before the pictures were posted, but I hoped there’d be something.

  15. Oh brilliant. Trying to work out my own feelings about the endemic racism & sexism in SF & comics communities and this crystallized it:

    I want to be able to attend a con without base sexism and racism at the same time. I’m willing to be one of people making that happen.

  16. I started getting drawn into this issue because I’ve been volunteering with the Obama campaign for months now. I watched the Gloria Steinems of the world attempt to make me feel guilty for not siding with the white woman and for daring to spend more time speaking (blogging) about racism in this campaign cycle than sexism.

    Because that IS the epitome of the thought process that says if we just put a white woman in the place of a white man, it’ll be magically better. Even if her policies are pretty damn opposed to the feminist values that I hold dear.

    I still call myself a feminist, but I’m still a straight white woman, too. But to me, feminism has led me to anti-racism, to speaking out against oppression regardless of what it is based on.

    And I don’t bother reading most of the big feminist blogs anymore, because they don’t speak to me, even though they purport to speak for me and occasionally to tell me what I should be angry about. I learn so much more from you, from all the WOC bloggers out there, from all the people who speak from a place that I’ve never been, than from the 80000000000th complaining post about Chris Matthews’ sexism towards Hillary Clinton.

  17. ico… i love your idea. i’d been thinking of some kind of code of anit-racist decolonizing feminist praxis (thank you WOC PhD) conduct thing that would set a standard. like organic used to be before the USDA stole it…

    i like the rating system though.

  18. oops i meant “code of conduct”

  19. This post just makes me so sad. I’m a grad student and have TA’d for 2 women’s studies classes while doing my Master’s at a university that is oh so white it’s depressing. In every class in the program at that uni, intersectionality is very much stressed. I have only recently joined the blogosphere–as a reader in the fall and a writer in the winter–and I am so disheartened that what we teach isn’t practiced by the “mainstream”.

    This post makes me truly sad.

  20. Great Alice Walker quote!
    As a Negress I’ve struggled with the same issues you write about, and can not in good conscience side with people who do not even see me. I’ve had countless experiences with white women who call themselves “radical” feminists who interact with me as if I am the invisible woman. I can’t at this point call myself a feminist mostly because I can not stand in solidarity with white women who are ignorant to my humanity…Maybe I’ll come around, or not.

  21. Preach on, sister.

    “She claimed that if he’d made a similar comment about black people the entirety of America would have jumped down his throat. Because, see, racism is no longer a problem in America, but sexism is.”

    Okay, in general this is bull, but there is a tiny grain of truth in it, and it illustrates one of the larger problems with feminism.

    While I was in academia nobody would have dared make any kind of racist comment to me, but the sexist ones were another story. As a junior professor, I had a “mentor” who cheerfully described his job as “taming the shrew”. (I pegged him with wads of balled-up paper for that, and he was forced to retire.) In grad school, I get the highest grade on an exam. Is it because my work is better? No, it’s because the professor likes to look at my legs.

    So I was forced to do quite a bit of heavy lifting in advancing the cause of Women in the Sciences. Eventually I notice I’m doing it alone (I was always the only Black woman, but there were many White and Asian women). I get their support in private, but in public it’s just me out there all by myself. They were willing to let me do all the work, while sitting back and reaping the benefits (like that idiot being forced to retire).

    You’re not the only one fed up with mainstream feminism. Join the club, we have jackets.

    Peace
    yliza

  22. Those of you who know what’s up need to weed out or educate those of you who don’t. Because obviously we women of color are too angry or jealous or indelicate to do it.

    Amen. Because it isn’t the case that white feminists simply aren’t capable of understanding the reality of intersecting oppressions. There are white feminists who call out others for their bull shit. It’s good to see.

    What gets me are the feminists who are called on their racism or privilege, but who disregard it because, as you’ve pointed out, the WoC pointing it out are “too angry or jealous or indelicate.” It’s the most ridiculous cop-out I’ve ever heard, and a ridiculous excuse to keep living an unexamined existence as a person with privilege.

  23. doh! I left out the main point of my story.

    One of the reasons I was out there doing the heavy lifting is because the sexism was directed at me, specifically. My White and Asian colleagues weren’t being victimized the way I was. It’s like racism was off-limits so I was attacked through sexism instead.

    Hopefully that adds more context.

    Peace
    yliza

  24. [...] The Angry Black Woman has a very worthwhile post up about why many women, particularly women of color, choose not to identify with the “feminist” label, or at least feel a lot of ambivalence about that label. [...]

  25. And these recent blow-ups not only make me angry because of what these white feminist bloggers are doing to women of color, but because it makes me angry at feminism itself. As Aminah put it way back when, feminism just isn’t made for us women of color. And as someone else (I can’t remember who, but someone please tell me in comments if you know) said recently, it seems like what white feminists want is to become white men. They want what white men have going on, up to and including privilege and the ability to ignore voices of color unless it suits them.

    Some of you may feel this is an unfair generalization. And others of you are sitting at your computers right now shaking your head and saying, “Nuh uh, not me!” Maybe so not you, and maybe so I am being harsh. But you take a look around the blogs right now and tell me that the view from where I’m standing doesn’t bear that out. And take a good look at yourselves. Think about if you can honestly say that you’ve considered your own privilege when dealing with the issues of feminism and race lately. Some of you have, of course, but some of you absolutely have not.

    The problem with this soft-sell approach is that it means you wind up with a lot of white “feminists” who are perfectly content to see themselves as victims of a hierarchical society (which they are), but who are completely unwilling to understand that they are helping to perpetuate said hierarchical society (which they are). And why shouldn’t they feel that way? It’s so much more pleasant to think of yourself as being victimized than it is to face the fact that you’re doing some victimizing of your very own. It’s so much easier to demand a bigger piece of the pie than it is to say that the whole system is fucked and we should start over.

    Thanks for raising these points. I’ve tried to raise them with other White feminists and sometimes it’s a good discussion but then again, I think there are those who have problems understooding what I’m talking about. In fact, one has tried to tell people that someone without naming me has made statements that dismantling the patriarchy harms women including women of color. I’m all for dismantling the system that’s in place but it’s not “patriarchy” and it’s not clear to me especially based on recent behavior that this is what White feminists want.

    So I’m going to take a hiatus from trying to explain my views on anything about feminism to White feminists except for a few who do understand what I’m trying to say. Not that I won’t discuss feminism with them again some day. But the only place I see White feminists FTMP is online.

    I have serious concerns with “patriarchy” as it’s often defined as being the focal oppression of which others are mere attachments to. I think of it as more of an adjective than a noun and as part of a larger system. I think that labeling the “patriarchy” focuses the attention on gender as the main or only oppression, when for many women (and men too) that’s not the case. It’s that definition which makes me think that if the “patriarchy” is dismantled which is essentially defined on how White women view sexism and also racism, not to mention homophobia and other oppressions

    There’s been a lot of great blogging on this including by bloggers who are no longer online. But having worked in progressive organized efforts of different kinds for some years, it’s clear by the dynamics in them that dismantling the current system isn’t the real goal but shifting the balance of power and control of the current system is. We have to also challenge what’s in ourselves including our racism and what it gives us and yes, White privilege (which apparently by even bringing up, really sets off the vapors in some people) to really make change and to really be feminists. Anything else is just window dressing for this “patriarchy”.

    As stated many times on blogs, there seems to be the belief that if you dismantle patriarchy, you’ll also take care of racism, classism, etc. Including how it all applies to gendered violence. I love what bfp wrote about dismantling gendered business or shifting it. That’s to me where many feminists and could-be-feminists part ways. I think Audre Lorde really did say it best.

    No, I think what you’ll get is what you said, “patriarchy” under a different name perhaps, with White women perhaps feeling enfranchised and more powerful, particularly the closer they match the ideal of society and who it assigns power to based on what.

    Why do I think that? There’s been some recent reminders. Because of situations like that involving Seal Press, which allegedly was created to address sexism in the publishing industry and to focus on drawing attention to women especially feminists. What did you get? White feminists being viewed as marketable and women of color being told that they weren’t commercially viable. You have a book by a White feminist that’s had a racist cover challenged and changed apparently after some great degree of patronizing and you have a “feminist” book with racist imagery in it.

    What does that say exactly about feminism? The argument for the pictures was to subvert sexist stereotypes about men and women and who can be a hero and who can’t. But using racist stereotypes to do this, indicates that once again a choice has been made that the ability of many (but certainly not all) White women to focus on sexism even using racism to “fight” it, supersedes the needs to not only fight racism but to even act or express one’s self or to sell a book in a way that’s not racist.

    Many progressive movements, feminist organizations with Whites in them have racism in them. Sexism is also a part of many progressive movements and organizations. We’re a product of the same system that we’re claiming to dismantle. And part of what White women need to dismantle is ourselves before we’re going to be effective at dismantling society.

  26. Ooops some errors.

    It’s that definition which makes me think that if the “patriarchy” is dismantled which is essentially defined on how White women view sexism and also racism, not to mention homophobia and other oppressions

    then what will really happen is that it is more likely it will be White women and men sharing the power.

    I love what bfp wrote about dismantling gendered business or shifting it.

    bfp wrote about gendered violence.

  27. hey ABW, nice post.

    So what’s really needed is a good purge. Those of you who know what’s up need to weed out or educate those of you who don’t. Because obviously we women of color are too angry or jealous or indelicate to do it.

    I’m not so sure about this point though.. White supremacy is alive and well and, especially on the internet, I don’t know if it’s possible to push anyone out of the “feminist” community so easily, when you concede that they define the feminist community themselves. Secondly, people can only be educated when they want to learn, and as white supremacy/racism has a definite pay off for white folks, I am not convinced they have any interest to learn. I think white allies can be/are dismissed about as easily as WoC have been. Thirdly, it sounds like trying to take the existing system, and to fix it. Feminism started with WoC, but the current mainstream feminist voices (mainstream because they are pushed by mainstream (white) media) have pushed the original ideals of feminism to the side lines in favour of “getting what the white men have for themselves”. So how do you push racism out of the mainstream feminist community without pushing it out of mainstream society? I think the mainstream will just move.

    If nothing else (although there is much else), Andrea Smith’s Conquest has taught me that when the system is flawed, trying to work within the system can’t go far, and instead a new system needs to be built instead. These systems interlock too much to pull one down without pulling them all down, and you can’t do that if you are depending on them. And I think that the mainstream feminist community has thoroughly interlocked itself with colonialism, racism, transphobia, gender oppression, and hence..patriarchy. I think we need a new movement, which is centered around intersectional analyses. Not that these analyses are new, and not that it needs a new name, but its boundaries need to be clearly marked as being separate from this “feminism” we’re talking about here. And we just need to be loud enough to be seen in spite of what the kyriarchy would like.

    Ico, I love your idea..

  28. It’s so easy for white women to say to WOC take your allies where you can find them, even if you disagree on some things, aren’t the main issues more important? Isn’t the message more important?

    And it’s incredibly hard to see (at first) from a privileged position that the other messages you’re unintentionally sending are just as important.

    So fellow white feminists, the message may be quite important, but what other, terrible messages are you sending?

    Or maybe we’re just unwilling to try and see at all.

  29. I remember being totally shocked when I found out that white queers aren’t any less racist than any other kind of white person. How could they go through such discrimination and /not/ be allies with POC? It didn’t make sense. But, white queers, white feminists, white whoever are all still white folks and don’t necessarily understand intersectionality.

    Some people talk about “patriarchy” and I use that term, but it’s really too small. The system is also about race and every other privilege too. And, alas, nobody is immune to it. So in this system, the feminists who have easiest access to power are going to be the ones who are least challenging. Racist, white feminist voices will always be the loudest feminist voices because even as they challenge one part of patriarchy, they shore up another part of it. I don’t think this is a fundamental flaw of feminism, it’s just part of living in patriarchy.

    I didn’t read most of the other comments, so I’m probably repeating what other people have said.

    FWIW, I actually AM a white feminist who is becoming a man. A lot of feminists aren’t so keen on trans people either.

    This narrowness of focus that some feminists embrace is morally wrong and doomed to failure. As long as it’s “ok” to oppress part of the population, then the entire system of ranking will survive. Patriarchy is never going to really benefit white women. It’s never going to benefit POC men. So if white women think they can gain access to white male privilege, they’re wrong. Well, unless they transition. (And then, they better keep quiet about it.) So my point: if feminism is going to lose some voices, I’d rather boot the racists than see the POC leave.

  30. One of the reasons I follow this blog is because it WILL smack me one when I need it. Like an earlier commentor, I’ve made that same stoopid statement. “Fill in the racist comment” and America would be up in arms, but the sexist comment they ignore.

    Smack received and taken to heart.

  31. I think there is a grain of truth in the “‘fill in racist comment here’ and America would be up in arms” comment. Not that I think America would be up in arms, but Clinton has been called both a b**** and a c*** on national television. Has Obama been called a n***** on national television somewhere and I just haven’t heard about it? Or does the media actually think it’s more acceptable to use the worst sexist slurs than the worst racist slurs?

    NOTE: This does NOT mean I think racism is over, by any stretch of the imagination. I think it’s down to a 102 degree fever, while sexism is still at 103 degrees. Either one will kill us if we don’t deal with it.

    As a side note, I think I could swap the positions of feminism and anti-racism in this post, swapping black men in for white women, and it would ring just as true to me. Of course, I don’t read the mainstream feminist blogs, largely because I’m allergic to the trolls they attract.

  32. Obama hasn’t been called a “nigger” using that exact word but the implication of that idea and many other horrible things is out there.

    What many white women don’t understand is the coded language used to say the same racist thing but in a way that won’t get you automatically kicked off the air.

    An example is the whole “elitist” meme both Clinton and the right have used on Obama.

    They are just calling him an uppity nigger who doesn’t know his place in a way that their racist supporters understand.

  33. Oh, sweet! I couldn’t remember which blog used to be greenish and taught me that sci-fi futures should have very few white people if racism were dead in these fictional futures, since there won’t be many white people on earth, proportionally, in those futures.

    It was you!

    Glad to rediscover you.

  34. I hate that the measure of “how bad” or how acceptable an -ism is depends on how “the public” or “the media” reacts to a slur. People and “the media” may clutch their pearls at n*****, but where is the outrage when newscasters, others in media, and politicians use coded language in it’s place?

    What does it matter if someone doesn’t utter the n word, but then goes on to confuse black people with stereotypes. There’s no general public or media outrage when the BET rapper–coon–mandingo–Jim Crow inspired stupidity is spewed forth. There’s no great cry demanding that people get fired.

    Can we move away from the idea that “the media” (or society) rejecting a particular racial slur is the equivalent to actually rejecting racism/racist language/racist ideology?

  35. I made a similar statement about Feminism – the Patriarchy with a vagina statement. It’s in one of these posts.

    I said something similar at feministe.

  36. t, after you posted part 1 i had to struggle really hard with myself not to be angry with the speaker you quoted for abandoning feminism rather than fighting.

    but after these past few weeks what’s been borne in on me is not that racism and ignorance exist in feminism, and not that there’s resistance to giving up racial privilege. I knew that already.

    what really struck me was that there was no will among ANY white feminist leaders to make racism in feminism a priority.

    so yes, maybe it IS time to take our ball and go home.

  37. Wow. I’m not sure what to add to this discussion. I’d never really thought of feminism in any particular way outside of myself and I am a black woman. This was a wonderfully articulate post about a topic that takes a lot of flak and deserves it, as I now see. I’m going to go back and read all of your posts now because I just feel so uninformed as a modern woman of African descent. Thank you.

  38. I just can’t figure out how to fix feminism. The only power I have over those who are leading feminism is the power to not follow them, and point out where they fuck up if anyone will listen. And I can just say, “fuckem” and work against injustice outside of the feminist community, and if the “feminist movement” keeps being broken, that’s their problem.

    But neither seems like a complete solution.

  39. I was introduced to feminism in college by a very progressive white female professor. I even wrote my final about feminism in black and white or black vs white. I just could not wrap by head around the stated purpose (at that time at least) – equality with men. I just kept on asking which men? Black men, asian men, latino men. I just seriously doubted that feminists wanted to be equal to THOSE men. And if they wanted to be equal to only white rich men – then what about this young black woman. Did feminists really want or expect me to be equal to white rich men. Somehow I always doubted that – and as a result – I never became a feminist. As a woman, I will always care about issues dealing with women – but until feminists speak loudly about the insults and harm being done to WOC (not just white women) and show me that they want equality for all women, then I will never be a feminist.

    Note – At this point in time, I still equate feminism with white women.

    Also, don’t get me started on the sexism in civil rights organizations.

    What’s this black woman to do? Pick and chose my battles – Like everyone else, I will fight in my own best interest. and the interest of those who look like me so that future little black girls won’t have to experience the combined racism and sexism that I must endure on a daily basis. Black women and other WOC can no longer wait for others (white women and black men and other MOC) to get around to our issues as we keep silent and play along

  40. This is why I have been so frustrated with this Democratic primary. Hillary Clinton feels entitled to be President because she was married to one, wants the power and chose to stay in the marriage to maintain proximity. Her charges of elitism against Obama were ridiculous particularly in light of her personal fortune. Getting teary and complaining about being untreated fairly by the media were so insincere. The way she so viciously attacks has really shown me she wants to sit at the table and will behave in the same depraved ways of those she claimed to be fighting against.

  41. [...] she’s not going anywhere — and the missing voices of those who *have* gone away. (ABW On Feminism Part 2, 4/28; ABW Not going anywhere, 4/26) (There was also an excellent post by karnythia Seal Press, [...]

  42. “What many white women don’t understand is the coded language used to say the same racist thing but in a way that won’t get you automatically kicked off the air.”

    As a white woman who has recently been started to get this, I agree. It’s more a matter of method and ones ability to read coded language than degrees.

    Women can be called all kinds of gendered slurs and the people who do this get away with it not because sexism is more pervasive, but because the kind of gendered slurs that one can get away with saying on air are (supposedly) based on how one acts. Bitch. Whore. Slut. Ball-buster. See, it’s not that they hate women, it’s just that they don’t like women who forget their place.

    When people of color are disparaged, it also tends to be couched in language that is again supposed to be about behavior. Gangbangers. Hoodlums. Or couched in language that implies it’s all about culture. Inner-city. Elitist. Or, in TV, the bad guy just happens to be…. See, it’s not that their racist, its just that gangs are made up of blacks and hispanics (sometimes asian, who are always scarier than anyone else). Terrorists are always middle eastern. and so on and so forth.

    There was a letter to the editor written about the library I work at, complaining about various things that weren’t really true. Many were exaggerations rather than outright lies, so I was willing to give the letter writer the benefit of the doubt. Until I got to the part at the end where the letter writer complained about teens on myspace. Except he didn’t say “teens,” he said “gangbangers.” ‘Cuz, not only are those two terms interchangeable, you know how gangbangers are about myspace. (rollseyes)

    We think we know who letter writer is, and he is older and white. The kids he’s talking about are overwhelmingly not white. So there’s a coded racial slur right there – made by an adult against kids, no less! – that a major local newspaper saw fit to publish.

  43. I should also add, another tv trope is that the “hookers with heart of gold” are always white – all the other ones are usually just hos. And lots of other stereotypes about colored women in particular that are likewise translated into coded language that implies it’s all about behavior and not a racist slur.

  44. Angry Black Woman,

    Thank you very much for writing this post. For years, I have felt this way about feminism as a black woman. And that feeling about it has left me disillusioned because I found in my forays into discussing the issues of women that white feminists would block such efforts by making it “all about them”.

    Or, when there are discussions of race, white women would always inject something about “feminism” to derail the entire conversation and still remain clueless about the issues related race and women of color.

    The answer is that I truly don’t know how we could reframe the entire situation around feminism. When you do have to deal with white women who refuse to see how their paradigms hurt women of color, it will take a long time before our allies will restructure their thinking.

    If things have to change, I wonder if we can wait that long. It’s been a rather long time already.

    I know that you speak of the hope of the situation. Hope is very good–especially when trying to root out and correct the behavior of the past. But, I think the (white) feminist movement has burned too many bridges and trodded on the backs of too many women of color to ever realize the error of their ways.

    But I keep on hoping for some glimmer of change despite myself.

    Thank you for your holding firm on your resolution to stay here. And a commentator and participant on many blogs, I have tried to keep my voice out there too. May all of our little efforts provide change where there isn’t.

    Good luck and continued best wishes for your success.

    –Ceci

  45. [...] with Angry Black Woman that oppression can be reduced to a hierarchy by some people. Feminism is about challenging all [...]

  46. If nothing else (although there is much else), Andrea Smith’s Conquest has taught me that when the system is flawed, trying to work within the system can’t go far, and instead a new system needs to be built instead. These systems interlock too much to pull one down without pulling them all down, and you can’t do that if you are depending on them. And I think that the mainstream feminist community has thoroughly interlocked itself with colonialism, racism, transphobia, gender oppression, and hence..patriarchy. I think we need a new movement, which is centered around intersectional analyses.

    Really great point, I think.

    Some people talk about “patriarchy” and I use that term, but it’s really too small. The system is also about race and every other privilege too. And, alas, nobody is immune to it. So in this system, the feminists who have easiest access to power are going to be the ones who are least challenging. Racist, white feminist voices will always be the loudest feminist voices because even as they challenge one part of patriarchy, they shore up another part of it. I don’t think this is a fundamental flaw of feminism, it’s just part of living in patriarchy.

    Yeah, I think “patriarchy” is too small too. But it’s hard to explain that b/c so many White feminists are invested in that word and what they say it means (of which there are some differences of opinion). And I believe that focus on this is done because for many White women who are heterosexual and abled, gender is their focus. They invest a lot, too much in my opinion on this belief that dismantling patriarchy is enough to take care of those other things. And like others have said, I have concerns about whether or not it’s really about dismantling the patriarchy. The Seal’s Press is just a good example of the limitations of this definintion and how choosing to expose sexism takes priority than taking great care you don’t engage in racism to try and do it.

    It’s a good discussion to have on this but some White feminists are more receptive to it than others. Others confuse questioning the willingness to dismantle patriarchy with being against it. Either because they are genuinely confused or trying to confuse the issue.

  47. Can we link this in the 21st carnival of feminist sf on Thursday? Let me know.

    -Skye

  48. I would like to point to this. Especially the “Decentering White Feminism” part.

  49. Thanks for the link!

  50. Hello: As painful as this discussion is, I think it’s good that people are having it now.

    I suspect we are in for a long period of socio-political nastier weather given all of the multitudinous problems facing us.

    I won’t list them here as anyone who has commented could easily come up with a long list of their own in under 2 minutes. That fact alone is pretty damned scary.

    We are going to have build alliances that are a lot smarter and stronger than the ones we have now. So we had better be clear headed about the complex intersections of race, class and gender.

    Anything less is the road straight to hell.

  51. [...] The Angry Black Woman here. [...]

  52. I’m relieved to hear other people saying we need to push out of feminism those who don’t get it, because that’s what I believe. And I can give nitty gritty details of the selection process I would use:

    People are allowed one mistake. If lots of bloggers are yelling at them to do something and they get defensive and stay that way, they’re out. If instead they listen and at least attempt to make amends, and in the future do better (and hopefully better and better until they get it right), then that’s okay.

    I’ve made mistakes myself. I didn’t know nearly as much about racism two years ago as I do now, and I’m still far from being as educated as I’d like to be on the topic. But then I’m not getting book deals – if I was, I’d seek the opinions of some bloggers who don’t share my own privileges as well as the opinions of my (likely white) editor.

    What makes a good feminist, IMHO, is that s/he has an innate desire NOT to hurt others as she seeks justice for herself. Because she hates the idea of this, she will avoid it except when she’s ignorant of something, and she will do her best to correct herself when she’s made aware.

  53. Ahhhhhh…

    Not much to say, just relaxing while i read you.

    As usual – your post is sharp, true, and uncomfortable.

    Just the way I love it.

  54. Sorry to bring this up. I knew the “white feminist” movement was dead, and that “black” support of the Clintons was sexist, pathological and malignant, when both groups failed to show any appreciation or concern for Monica L.’s public humiliation and sexual exploitation.

    Regardless of the story being Donkey brayed that she was some kind of femme fatal, President Clinton was the most powerful man in the world using / abusing a very young intern. And who were the people who backed her? Certainly not the “white feminists” and not the “blacks” who called him silly things like ‘First Black President.’ Neither side seemed to remember that there was a victim in the effort to support a President for political expediency.

    The run for the Democrat Nominee for President has yielded some interesting fruit. Watching this current fallout between some “white feminists”, and some “blacks” is just another step down this road: coalitions are about serving a group’s best interests. As a coalition falls apart – as it should in this case – I am sure something brand new will come around. Hopefully, it will serve many – and not the few – fairly with morals and justice that will withstand challenges in the future.

    Otherwise, folks are going to be stuck in the same place all over again – looking for new labels to define the same movement(s).

  55. yeah, I sure do remember the Dog Whisperer thing; that was where i finally derolled Reclusive Leftist. it was very depressing. a more genteel version of “gender trumps race,” but the worst bit was the whole “cut her mike” maneuver in the comments. Is there ever a case where this shit’s blown up all over when it -isn’t- less due to the original fuckup than the way the fuckupper reacted, or rather didn’t, when people went, “excuse me?”

  56. >>No, actually, what I should say is that the white feminists who are seen as leaders, who are given press and attention and cred are in need of enlightenment. Because there are plenty of white feminists who do get it, who are enlightened, who can see the interconnectedness between anti-racist work and anti-sexist work. So what’s really needed is a good purge. Those of you who know what’s up need to weed out or educate those of you who don’t. Because obviously we women of color are too angry or jealous or indelicate to do it.>>

    -cocks an ear-

  57. Seriously? There wasn’t really a victim in the Monica Lewinsky imbroglio. She didn’t think of herself as a victim. She was of age, and she consented enthusiastically. She didn’t go public with it–her alleged friend did. She was having an affair with an older, married, much more powerful man. She’s not the first young woman to do so and she won’t be the last. The cultural dynamics in play in those situations are sexist (older men appear sexier, but older women don’t; older men using affairs with younger women to assert their masculinity) but I don’t see a victim. Except, I suppose, for Lewinsky being a victim of Linda Tripp.

  58. Political expediency: if Clinton was Republican, “white feminists” and their ilk would have called the behavior sexual harassment. She would have been shown sympathy, but since she wasn’t politically useful to these folks – no one cares.

    If these people didn’t care about Monica L. they certainly wouldn’t care about black or other women. And they don’t.

    Monica could have been 45 years old – that’s not the point.

  59. The racism within feminism is exactly why I have chosen to identify as a womanist. I cannot participate in a movement that choses to silence my voice because of the color of my skin. Historically feminism has been about achieving gains for white women and nothing has changed.

  60. [...] The Angry Black Woman – On Feminism, part 2 And these recent blow-ups not only make me angry because of what these white feminist bloggers are doing to women of color, but because it makes me angry at feminism itself. As Aminah put it way back when, feminism just isn’t made for us women of color. And as someone else (I can’t remember who, but someone please tell me in comments if you know) said recently, it seems like what white feminists want is to become white men. They want what white men have going on, up to and including privilege and the ability to ignore voices of color unless it suits them. [...]

  61. Lewinsky was shown sympathy by all the feminists I know. She wasn’t a victim. It was wildly inappropriate behavior on the part of Clinton, but Lewinsky didn’t object or want to prosecute him for it.

    As for political expediency…well, duh. There’s no room for angels at the table of politics.

  62. I love this post but it makes me tired. I’m tired of hearing it, reading it, feeling it, speaking it.
    The truth of the matter is that white women have been by way of themselves and/or their foremothers, oppressors of black people and don’t get it twisted. I mean black women.
    I’m tired of white women who don’t see it, won’t see it, won’t say it. YOU AND/OR YOUR FORMOTHERS HAVE BEEN OUR OPPRESSORS.
    And ask some black women, really talk to them about who is NOW the oppressor at some of the agencies, organizations, work places where they work and they will tell you that it is not always THE WHITE MAN, but his sister, daughter, mother, and/or wife.
    How many black women and other women of color are not hired with more experience and education than their hired white counterpart? Come on.
    Racism is alive and well in the so-called feminist movement. Feminists, i.e. white women , some anyway, talk the way they do and act the way they do because white women, even when they don’t try to, enjoy the priviledge of being WHITE. We all know this. Let’s stop pretending as if we don’t see the priviledge factor played out everyday in every way. On television, at the movies, and every other mainstream outlet and system in America.

  63. As I was reading this post, I kept telling myself, when I’m finished I’m gonna post about womanism. Obviously you’ve found it already. As a black man who self identifies as a feminist (after all whats the big deal about thinking women are equal?) I have been struck by the thinly veiled racism by white feminists.

    They consistently marginalize the significance of race in this country in a selfish attempt to bolster their own claims of oppression. Yes white women aren’t on a level playing field with white men, but they are certainly miles ahead of women of color, and men of color in significant ways.

    The notion that sexism is rather mainstream and racism is not, is true, but it certainly is no indication of who is more oppressed in this society and that there are so many white feminist bloggers willing to make this claim, really helps me to understand where Hillary Clinton draws much of her support from.

  64. Thanks to ABW for blogmistressing and for her SFF work.

    I consider some of the problem among white feminists to be a lack of imagination. What would it be like to be a WOC, let alone one trying to practice feminism? For that matter, what would it be like to be a _________? How does one “get out of one’s head”? {drumroll, please}

    FICTION. Fiction that challenges our preconceptions or the tired genre cliches. So, thanks, ABW. (and double thanks for editing, if I have guessed correctly based on your Tiptree juror reference). (P.S. – For those with a good imagination and some caution about projecting present-day attitudes backward, history is also a way to stretch one’s mind. )

    White feminism is not a monolith. Deborah way upthread pointed out that a certain type of white feminist writing seems to be considered publishable in the current backlash (and economically unfavorable) environment. Feminism 101 – an attempt to attract young (white) women who are more-or-less inured to the current system. They may well be concerned with how to improve their own lot, not in itself a bad thing. I think it takes either a deal of (thoughtful) living, or a personality, faith, or philosophy committed to service of others, to mature into the sort of feminists who can bridge race and class and … divides to be reasonable allies (or at least stay out of the way). We have all seen people who “get it” quickly, and can develop into allies in high school. Others get stuck in narrow self-interest, without much attention to the wider world.

    About the “racism v sexism worse in the media” bit – this just highlights the need for more education in media criticism, not to mention a well-developed BS detector.

  65. Thanks, ABW, for voicing this important critique yet again. I’ve been seeing a lot of critiques of whiteness in blogland lately, though, which is encouraging.

    Personally, I don’t care what we call it, as long as radical gender politics gets addressed. If some women organizing against patriarchy in South Africa as part of the movement to fight HIV/AIDS find “feminism” a useful term, great. If not, fine, and understandable. The point is the work, not the name.

    Thanks again for your wisdom: this young feminist of color is much obliged.

    ps: was a bit star-struck seeing you at the We B(e)lo(n)g of-color caucus at WAM. ;)

  66. [...] is what left-wing activists, queer communities and sci-fi geeks sometimes share–imagining a wholly different kind of economy, and/or new and liberating [...]

  67. I’ve been having lots of thoughts swirling in my head lately (if I can get them collected properly I’ll start blogging on them) and this is one that has come recently.

    I must admit that I did not see the constant barrage of white privilege coming from the feminist mainstream until recently (I think because I was blinded by the female privilege they refuse to acknowledge the existence of) and being a man of color I have to apologize.

    I’ve noticed in the last year or so that the “Oppression Olympics” have been heating up. Obviously one of the big catalysts for this explosion is the fact that we are looking at having a non-white or a female Democratic candidate which could lead to having the first nonwhite or female president. The mainstream feminists have been on a very diligent watch over anything that could be interpreted as sexist towards Clinton (and there is no doubt such content is out there). They are paying attention to the racism Obama is dealing with but it seems to me that they are just “begging for a cookie”.

    I just fell onto this site after following long series of links and so far it seems interesting.

  68. I remember part I, all to well. Aaminah was not content with my attempt to provide reading material which I (and my Egyptian Muslim professor who assigned the reading in my grad class) thought could help others explore the world of Muslim feminist scholarship.

    Gloria Steinem is the Al Sharpton of the feminist world. Every no and again she stumbles onto a tenable position, but most of the time she says things that perpetuates a whole host of stereotypes.

    Back on my old, somewhat defunct blog, I wrote a piece about her sex negative actions, in not supporting the Sex Worker Rights Movement. I agree with isaidfeminist. Things in feminist will stay the same if there are not WoC, really PoC, queer folks, and other calling for change. We can’t wait for bell hooks or Barbara Smith to do all the work. We need call people like Steinem on their BS.

  69. [...] is dominated by women, there is a subconscious attitude that there is nothing to fight (that opens a whole ‘nother can of worms) and that the genre is feminist because it supposedly frees sexual shackles and gives women a safe [...]

  70. yes, yes, yes on many points.
    And then I remember a when girl asked, “When black men got the vote, why didn’t black women get to vote too?”
    of the many different ways that teacher could have answered, he decided to say,” Men take care of women and back then a man was voting for himself and a woman- so women didn’t need to vote.”

    Can you imagine?
    Of course you can.
    I can’t number how many times I’ve heard people say, “stand behind your man, he’ll pave the way and take care of you.” It’s said in neighborhoods where many households are head by single mothers. It’s said in bourgie land. It’s said all over and it makes a great case for womanism.

  71. I was going to comment again.

    I was with a few friends and had a discussion over lunch today
    about choosing womanism and feminism.
    We pretty much agreed (after loudly discussing) that if we would like feminism to be inclusive- we have to claim it as such.
    The definition is so simple-
    just anyone who believes in equal rights for women.
    Womanism is important to – it stands as a reminder that feminism is not yet inclusive.

    BTW
    T is also Hara (notice the same link to my journal.)

  72. just anyone who believes in equal rights for women.

    different people mean different things when they say women, and i think it’s about more than rights – such as access to opportunity, resources, representation, equal respect, equal pay, elimination of sexual violence. you could frame a lot of that as “rights”, but they aren’t a part of any kind of human rights law that i know of.

  73. [...] out of our collective asses.  We need to recognize that feminism – right now, today, in 2008 – reinforces white privilege.  Feminists should know our history.  We should know and acknowledge that [...]

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