Recommended ReadingI was going to write a post with a round up that ties together all the racist and classist nonsense we have been seeing on the white mainstream feminist blogs lately, but it appears that Progressive Gold has done the job for me.
For a spot on critique of white mainstream feminists go read Black Amazon's take on Sofia Coppola Feminists at Having Read the Fine Print.
Brownfemipower has One last rant on the burqa mess at Women of Color Blog. If you actually care what Afghani women think, instead of pretending that you do, read it because the post is backed up by examples from RAWA and other Afghan voices. There is much more about this in other posts, if you want me to post links I'll do it, but I really recommend that you search around and read about the other topics posted there as well.
The same goes for Bitch|Lab, who has several excellent related posts and Raised fists is a must read.
Read and send some comment love to these bloggers. They all understand why this is so important and are trying hard to get through to some damned hard boneheaded stubborn people who are determined to keep people in their place while at the same time refusing to admit to their paternalistic attitudes. You can't admit to your privilege if you are determined to hang onto it.
You may read some of my snarky comments at some of these blogs, let me be clear. I don't care how you groom yourself. To me it isn't a feminist issue. If you become a caricature perhaps, but for the most part there is no telling whether someone is shaving, styling, wearing items of clothing for the patriarchy or for themselves. I'll leave it to them to examine their own issues. What I do mind is that they do not question their idea of "normative" and how it relates to issues of race, class, or the American ideal. No, we don't have to be understanding of their expensive beauty rituals when other people are worried about putting food on the table. It's on the same level to me as saying the burqa is the ultimate symbol of oppression to muslim women, no bombing their homes and soldiers raping them is a little tiny bit more important to these women than an item of clothing. End the war and then maybe the burqa will become more important in the whole scheme of things. The same goes for waxing, bust the glass ceiling, get us equal pay, etc and maybe grooming will be more important in the whole scheme of things. It's hard for upper middle class American women to see this, I suppose.