The Silence of Our Friends

Sunday, November 19, 2006

An Apology & Some Interesting Reading on SCF

I've gotten pretty far behind in my blog reading lately, but that doesn't mean I am completely unaware. I have visited a few blogs and have wanted to write posts about what I have read or at least comment at those blogs, but I also knew I didn't really have the time to devote to get my thoughts in order, so I let it go. I still don't really have time to get my thoughts in order, but screw that. The time passes and nothing gets said. So I'll take my chances and hopefully say what I mean, but even if I don't, I can always come back and update or write a new post clarifying.

First, I know I offended B|L in the comments at this thread. It's the one about Jessica's book "Full Frontal Feminism". Scroll WAY down to my comment at 135 and some of the comments afterwards. I think part of the reason is because the talk amongst POC lately seems to box sex positive feminists in as frivolous. And I directly stated this, when it isn't quite what I meant. There is a particular faction of sex positive feminists who are like this. It's what BA meant about Sofia Coppola feminists. These are mostly middle class white women whose feminism is centered around themselves and only themselves, and they can not see women of color, or women in countries other than America, or even poor white women, as women with agency and women with agendas that differ from their own. When those agendas come under discussion, it always comes back to them, or they force the subject to come back to them and their worldview. Sometimes they do this by introducing defensiveness or white guilt into the subject, it's about them and how the other is making them feel bad; sometimes they belittle the concerns or ignore them completely and move on to what they believe are the important issues; but the worst is when they take the lead and they decide what is best for the other.

I'm not certain I fully understand why I offended B|L, but I do know she is one of the people I do not want to offend. She is a real ally. She isn't some airhead with only her own concerns; her life experiences have taught her empathy and she can put herself in others shoes to understand. I apologize to her. I never learned feminist theory, hell, I never learned theory with regard to race relations. I am only using my experience, my education, my reasoning and logic, and blundering along the best I can. I won't always say things right or completely understand what I am talking about! All I know is that since B|L tries her damnedest to understand me and other POC and be respectful, I will do the same for her and the rest of our allies.

On a related note here's more reading on the frustration of POC lately with the Sofia Copola feminists:

From BlackAmazon

From Kactus

From BrownFemiPower where incredibly Lindsay of Majikthise steps in it again in regards to Afghan women. She really ought to stick to talking about white issues since she can't face the fact that her mind is steeped in racism and imperialism.

3 comment(s):

Hey Donna -- I've been busy too lately. But I wasn't offended at all. I just got busy and never finished replying. I'll go read again and see if I *should* get offended though. *grin*

By Blogger Bitch | Lab, at 11/20/2006 2:30 AM  

I read through the thread and was like, "There is no way the B|L I know would be offended by this." Glad to see I was right.

Seriously, Donna, you make completely reasoned and polite arguments.

The most "offensive" thing is the conflation of sex-pos feminism with raunch culture, but belledame already gave you the rundown on that. And it's completely an understandable assumption, especially with the whole "sex wars" thing in the feminist blogsphere.

I only wish I could be half as coherent and mature-sounding as you on these sorts of issues.

By Anonymous tekanji, at 11/20/2006 6:11 AM  

I was just about to invite you over to have a read B|L but you found the post already yourself! The reason why I was offensive, at least I think so, is exactly as tekanji picked up on. I did conflate sex-pos with raunch culture. I simply wasn't thinking when I posted and do have a very good explanation for that, I had been taking increasing amounts of vicodin for pain and really couldn't think clearly for a couple of weeks there. I'm not trying to make excuses for myself, just saying I'll do better from now on, because I am doing better (only one vicodin all day yesterday and none yet today) and can think more clearly.

By Blogger Donna, at 11/20/2006 12:57 PM  

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