“And it seems to me that the strength that should come from Black feminism means that I can, without fear, love and respect all men who are willing and able, without fear, to love and respect me. In short, if acquiring my self-determination is part of a worldwide, inevitable and righteous movement, then I should be willing and able to embrace more and more of the whole world without fear and also without self-sacrifice. This means that as a Black feminist I cannot be expected to respect what somebody else calls self-love if that concept of self-love requires my self-destruction to any degree. This holds true whether that somebody else is male, female, Black or white. My Black feminism means that you cannot expect me to respect what somebody else identifies as the Good of the People if that so-called Good (often translated as ‘manhood’ or ‘family’ or ‘nationalism’) requires the deferral or diminution of my self-fulfillment. We, Blacks and women, are the people. And, as Black women, we are most of the people, any people. Therefore, nothing that is good for the people is actually good unless it is good for me and my people, as I, as we, determine our own lives.”—June Jordan, “Where Is The Love?” (1978), re-printed in Making Face, Making Soul Haciendo Caras: Creative and Critical Perspectives by Feminist of Color, Ed. Gloria Anzaldua. (via agradschoolbreakup)
Isn’t it in some way equally as gross to lump all white GLBT people into a singular group? Not all of us are so naive, uniformed, or down right blind that we don’t see the increased hardship that POC within the GLBT community are going through as compared to us. Your facts are undeniably on point, but your choice to address this to all white GLBT members is in its own way equally racially insensitive.
What’s really offensive is White GLBT as a collective constantly failing POC GLBT constantly. Which is why the original post was directed AT the collective.
But it’s ironic & tragic to see some thoroughly defend Whiteness when asked to deal with it beyond the abstract.
To make it even more simple, it’s not always about ya’ll.
Yet somehow, without fail, it always ends up being about ya’ll.
By addressing this to the collective rather than the people at fault you’re perpetuating the collective mentality. I’m not defending ‘whiteness’, because there is nothing to defend there. I’m defending the fact that not everyone who is white skinned has a ‘whiteness’ & ‘POC’ collective distinction- that you are perpetuating with lines like ‘Dear White GLBT’. If you want to see a change in the world then you need to first be that change yourself, and perpetuating a collective mentality is not the way to do it.
You are defending Whiteness.
Whiteness as a construct works as a collective.
The larger White GLBT Movement exists & oppresses as a collective.
If you are aware of your personal privilege the original post & subsequent clusterfuck/”conversation” shouldn’t have bothered you.
POC GLBT have a right to speak for themselves & to their experiences without having to constantly worry about hurting White folks feelings.
If that makes White/White Identified people uncomfortable that’s something ya’ll have to deal with, because again, not everyone has the luxury of separating the individual from the collective when it comes to identity politics.
It also doesn’t make it any less offensive that the entire original post has been derailed because it’s suddenly more important to discuss how the point was made as opposed to the points being made.
I’ve deliberately been very cognizant of my choice of words, because this isn’t about my personal feelings. That’s why I haven’t until this point made this a conversation about my personal feelings. You stated: “If you are aware of your personal privilege the original post & subsequent clusterfuck/”conversation” shouldn’t have bothered you.” However it’s exactly because I’m aware of the privilege that being white skinned has afforded me over POC that your perpetuating this collective attitude should be bothersome. Everyone has a “right to speak for themselves & to their experiences”, but by seeing a collective rather than singular offenders within a larger class of people you are paralleling the same mindset that is creating these experiences. Equality isn’t found in the realm of ‘us and them’. The mentality of ‘us and them’ creates inequality. That’s why how the point is made is just as important as the points being made. You’re not hurting my feelings. You’re hurting your own argument and doing a disservice to the cause that you were addressing.
Equality isn’t found in ignoring existing disparity in order to word police & victim blame.
Nor is equality found in coddling those more interested in nitpicking the semantics of their privilege because they have no defense for or solutions to the constant disenfranchisement of the very people they proclaim to “understand” have it so difficult.
So yes, in some instances it is Us Vs. Them.
This is one of those instances.
And if that makes you or others with privilege uncomfortable, so be it.
You accused someone already in this thread of playing the victim (which as an aside I do agree with). However by choosing to ignore how your own words perpetuate the same topic that you were rightfully attacking, and instead seeing any comments from a defensive point of view you’re playing the victim card yourself. If you wish to see my statements as merely “word policing & victim blame” or to think that I’m “defending whiteness” then you’ve failed to grasp not just what I wrote, but also one of the main “solutions to the constant disenfranchisement of the very people” that you are trying to draw attention to. It should never be ‘us vs. them’ based off race/gender/sexual orientation/disability/religion or any other distinction. It should be ‘us. vs. them’ with the teams being those for and against equality.
Should & Is are two different things.
If you can’t see the difference between people who exist outside traditional White Power Structures speaking from/to their experiences & the systemic oppression of Whiteness (including White/White Identified GLBT) toward People Of Color (including POC GLBT) then that’s on you.
We are NOT on the same team just because we are both disenfranchised.
Logically we SHOULD be, but that ISN’T the reality for people unable to traverse identity politics the way White/White Identified people can & until the larger White/White Identified GLBT Movement is willing to address its systemic racism (and misogyny) we have nothing further to discuss.
Either way, you will not dictate to me the manner in which I express myself.
If that makes you uncomfortable feel free to click Unfollow.
The fact that the majority of Black America says the book/movie The Help is racist garbage, while the majority of White America says it's an inspiring, uplifting, story tells us more about the state of race in this country than the election of Barack Obama.
i know so many women of color of all ages and backgrounds who cant enjoy sex because they were fed so much negative shit about it that they just do it to not lose their significant others. sexual dysfunction is ridiculously high among women of all sorts. no one cares why but…
WOC tend to be treated as though sex is our only reason for existing pretty much as soon as we start to look like we’re developing. And the first time we say no, we’re labeled as prudes. Our families tend to think they have to teach young WOC that there is more to sex than pleasure in order to protect us. It comes with a lot of victim blaming & shaming though which lends itself to a whole lot of other issues. I know I’ve struggled for years to find the space in myself where I could enjoy sex & be able to look myself in the eye in the mirror the next day.
yeah, with me, it was, i was told, no, ordered to wait til marriage because sex is evil. and thats like, every dominican woman i know. its like sex is all you are, so you have to think real long and hard as to who you just drop the WHOLE of your value on. :/ and once that hymen is gone, supposedly you aint worth shit. its over.
nobody waits til marriage anymore, well, most dont, but they still PRETEND TO. thats something even AfAms dont usually deal with. having to pretend youre a virgin til whenever you get married, so if thats when youre 36, so be it lol theres waaaaaay more pressure for chastity for us than for americans.
shit, my mom….she wasnt even allowed to go to the bathroom unattended. they wouldnt even let her wash herself down there unless she was taking a shower. like her touching herself was THAT serious.
as teens they always tell us “dont let anyone touch your titties, because once you do, its over!” . “dont let em hold your hand”. lol “whoever you have sex with is automatically your HUSBAND!” and theyre totally fuckin serious too! :/
For us, it wasn’t quite “wait until marriage”, but I was actively taught that sex was something men enjoyed & that women put up with in order to stay married. And that wanting to have sex meant you were fast tailed & would be a whore. Oh, and no matter what unless you were dressed appropriately (think all covered up & loose fitting), men would think you were a whore and would treat you as such so better safe than sorry. Frankly I think it’s a miracle WOC manage to have sex lives at all, much less healthy ones with the cultural messages that we all receive as part of being female and not white. We have no virtue to protect so no one will protect us but ourselves was the message I gleaned from home & the media.
the bolded, yep. and yep. the fact we are in any way functional in that sense is fuckin miraculous. :/
One of my issues with Slutwalks is that slut isn’t a word I want to reclaim. In fact I’d happily never hear it aimed at me again. Especially from white people who seem to interpret everything I say, wear, or do as slutty. When I can’t wear shorts in 115 degree weather because that means street harassment from men, nasty looks from women, & an overwhelming sense that my comfort is secondary to everyone else’s bigotry I don’t have any interest in saving a word. Possibly I am too busy trying to save myself so that I can feel clean enough that night to want my husband to touch me. Sorry, I seem to have many many feelings about this topic.
Oh goodness. Thank you so much for this. Cause what karnythia says about not wanting to reclaim the word slut for myself, that is so me. When I first heard of it, I was interested, but then I looked into it more and wasn’t. Going off what ya’ll are saying, I was raised with a very sex positive mother. She told me sex was healthy and how to protect myself and how to take care of myself in that manner. She told me I could come to her about anything. But I still felt shame because of a lot of the ways other white people treated me. Ever since I grew breasts, I was called a slut. White kids told me I walked with my chest out like a slut or like I was trying to get attention. My grandmother used to buy me cute clothes, she loves buying us clothes and is good cause she talks to people our age, and a lot of it was belly shirts and tight pants and fun stuff like that. I would be called a slut and a whore and a ho every time I wore a belly shirt or something like those pants. Add my breasts at 11 and ass at 11 and period at 11 and people are treating me all kinds of inappropriate. Grown men, boys my age, and rude, disrespectful remarks from jealous white girls who thought it was somehow a good thing.
In high school I was the last few of my friends to lose my virginity. I went to school with mostly white people and I lost my virginity at 15, to my girlfriend, we planned it. And then I had sex with a boyfriend a year after that. But even before I had ever had sex, because of my black body being a target, I had been called a slut for a long time. Rumors were made up about me. People propositioned me. So once I finally did start having sex, I acted out and had sex with a handful of people, but still feeling shame for it, despite the sex positivity of my mother because of the treatment of others. I even was coerced into sex once and I still believe it’s because of these conflicting treatments of sexualization and fetishazation and the pressure to please men once they are kind enough to acknowledge a black girl in any kind of way (he was white). So, I don’t know where I’m going with this. But this convo. helped me think of a lot of things. Especially in terms of why I don’t identify with slut walk, why sometimes those feelings and troubles come up despite having familial support (lucky and privilege for me), and how other women of color have to navigate the bullshit.
the bolded part is so relevant to the way every female adult figure in my childhood approached sex. my mom especially made it seem like something unpleasant and to be endured.
yes! omg, yes. its just something you do to keep a man. youre not even supposed to like it.
in fact, at church i remember them decrying the evils of anything other than missionary? only the wicked do it doggystyle? hahahahaha a sinner i will die.
Bloody fuckin hell….I’m reading through all of this and thanking whatever deity out there that I was privileged enough to escape most of this shaming of sexuality.
Can we, like, find a publisher and write a fucking memoir? So serious. All of us just pool it in and do the damn thing? Because I feel like this shit needs to be put out in stone….
An antho about being a WOC, sexuality, & culture would be the move. I’m in.
I have read this sentiment put more eloquently, but I am going to try to repackage here nonetheless because it keeps coming up in my life and I have only recently articulated it adequately in my own head.
This post is about privilege, specifically male privilege. The heart of the matter is when you don’t believe us when we tell you about our experience.
Recently my (white, male, cis-everything, liberal, sweet, caring) friend came up to me from behind and put his hands around my neck.
I turn to him and say Do not do that. You cannot do that. That scares me and is not appropriate.
He looks mad and offended.
I say What? That is how your actions made me feel.
He says Well I did not intend it to be mean or scary. I was being silly. You can’t be offended because my intention was good.
I say Your intention in this case is not important. My feelings were hurt and I felt violated. Respect me when I tell you that.
He says that my reaction and his intention matter equally and therefore I can’t be hurt.
BELIEVE ME WHEN I TELL YOU THAT YOUR ACTIONS MAKE ME FEEL THIS WAY.
I am sorry that it hurts you to think you could make a woman feel unsafe. You do not think you are one of ‘those guys’ - a guy who is shitty to women. But you are coming from the place of privilege which allows you to navigate this world without the default fears of my gender. You need to trust me when I tell you this has happened. You need to swallow that anger you feel for being informed that you are in the wrong and direct it towards this rape culture. You need to apologize and focus on adjusting your future behavior.
“If you haven’t seen the movie, then how do you know?”
This was my co-worker’s response to me when she and I were having a discussion about “The Help”. She referenced a conversation she had with another friend of hers whom had expressed disgust with the movie. This friend had attempted to explained why he had felt this way and in his efforts, he had sent her critiques of the movies. She said she saw the film herself and didn’t “see what the fuss was about”. I in turn expressed my own feelings based on the trailer now showing on public media, and I can see very plainly what the “fuss” is about. We’ll discuss her question a little later.
I read the article and my friend also sent me the same thing plus another response from someone who saw the movie. The movie was not like the article you sent me. As always my advice for anything is see it yourself. Below is from someone who saw the movie.
And to prove her “point” she sent me the response from her friend:
Ok. I must totally disagree with the critique. I saw the movie and loved it. It did NOT over exaggerate anything, but helps us to appreciate our place in history as the ones who put the conscience in little white children to stand up against the oppression against us. Despite the way we were treated, we held our head high and treated them with kindness. As for the speech, I know people that talk like that now. I have always been around black people with heavy dialects. I think it adds color to the speech.
My grandmother took care of three children in Baltimore. They loved her as their own, took care of her all of her life, even through her illness. They outcried the family at the funeral. One had to be escorted out because he was making such a scene. I grew up in a small Southern town in SC and find this to be a very true portrayal of people making the best of their situation. I hope the rest of the world can look past the dialect and see the truth. This is the best that I have seen in quite some time. We need something to balance the buffoonery that we so often see. I am glad that people went out to support it so that we may be able to get more movies with strong black people who overcome obstacles.
Now, I am ALL FOR experiencing most things first before casting judgment. However, based on my experiences, the experiences of my family, what history actually tells us about ‘domestic’ situations such as the one “the Help” romanticizes, I must flagrantly disagree. I did not have to watch “Birth of A Nation” to know that it was one of the most racist movies ever created. Nor will I be surprised to find offensive and derogatory material in the writings by White Nationalists. By virtue of knowing about the people behind the writings, I can safely conclude that any material that comes from them will exemplify their believes and musings.
Responses like my co-workers and her friends’ illustrate a level of ignorance that disturbs me. I sincerely hope that these women are simply ignorant of our history as Black people. The alternative means that they are aware of our history, and choose to see the world as post-racial despite regular news-noted occurrences that protest against that delusion. I believe they make this choice to avoid confrontation and conflict. The kind of ‘discomfort’ that comes from having to stand up for themselves when coming face to face with micro-aggressions, or even full blown encounters with bigotry and racism. It saddens me to see this within the Black community, and bothers me to find it so close to myself.
I hope that someday before I’m dead, I will be blessed to see everyone will find some way to reconcile their differences, including differences regarding race and race politics. But this fear and unwillingness to look into the past, and hold people accountable for their actions, or even for the fact that they benefit still from the actions of their ancestors is not something I can tolerate.
Post-racial anything comes with work and effort of a community in unity, striving towards the same goal.
It costs $3,250 to dig a well in Somalia to provide drinking water to 600 people and their livestock. One Tomahawk missile costs $1,450,000. For every Tomahawk fired, the US can provide safe drinking water to 1/4 million dying Somalians.
“I’m just so sick of having to constantly congratulate men for not being total misogynists.”—
feministfilm who is absolutely correct in arguing that, while it is great to see feminist men, it is tiring to have to spend so much time being impressed and congratulating something that should be done by common sense and nature. A.K.A. being “radical” enough to treat women as human beings and not some kind of sub-species of humanity. (via larosson)
I am having flashbacks to that street harassment conversation on Twitter right now…