The Silence of Our Friends

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Just a Little Round Up of My Favorite Posts in the Past Week

Over at La Chola, BFP has writes a bit about the Steinem and Harris-Lacewell Debate on Democracy Now!. It was the comments that made me go check out the video and transcript though. Harris-Lacewell kicked ass!

The transcript and video are available here: Race and Gender in Presidential Politics.

Some quotes really spoke to me, because it's not just Steinem with amnesia, but entire swaths of white feminism.
But I also know very clearly a history that I believe Steinem’s piece attempted to distort, and that is that as white women moved into the workforce, much of that caretaking work did not go to white men who sort of took up and helped out, but it fell on women of color—African American women, immigrant women—who stepped in to do much of the domestic labor and childcare provision, so that white women could in fact become a part of the workforce. So to, for example, make an argument like black men had the right to vote long before white women is to ignore that black men were then lynched regularly for any attempt to actually exercise that right.

Middle class white women are always quick to say things like, "Look what feminism has done for 'us' (the universal us), we no longer have to be housewives we can have careers!" When all along women of color and poor white women have been working, and took over that housework and child care when the middle class white woman went onto her career.
What I do agree with is that we ought to be in coalition. But I think we’ve got to be in coalition on fair grounds. Part of what, again, has been sort of an anxiety for African American women feminists like myself is that we’re often asked to join up with white women’s feminism, but only on their own terms, as long as we sort of remain silent about the ways in which our gender, our class, our sexual identity doesn’t intersect, as long as we can be quiet about those things and join onto a single agenda. So, yes, I absolutely agree, we must be in coalition, but it must be a fair coalition of equals.

This is what we mean when we say that the whole 'circular firing squad' argument is bullshit. When we are the ones called divisive, but it is the white middle class women in feminism who are divisive, or the white middle class men in liberal circles, because they have decided that they are the ones who make the rules and they are the ones who tell us what is important, and somehow it never includes the things that are important to us. No, those things are "pet/special issues". So you can stuff another of your bullshit arguments up your ass too, the one that says, "He/she is on your side! Don't be so harsh!" We are the ones who decide that, we know who is on our side and who is using us for his or her own agenda.

Back in September Black Amazon wrote a post titled The Bell Tolls.
I am actively and emphatically SUPER tired of everyone thinking this is a marketing issue.

And Hugo Schwizer brought up marketing feminism again just a couple weeks ago...

When women talk so reverentially about the women's right to vote and Seneca Falls always seem to gloss over the lack of Black Women and the classism and racism in that same conventions findings.

While in both these pieces these women make sure to list the movements they think need to own up to their debt to the feminist movement

Not a single one or even the comments mentions with any kind of detail the internal struggles they claim feminism is having with it self.

and the claim that feminism was never one thing back in the day so how can it be now.


It was/ is and that's why it's struggling.

Middle class white people just don't get why people of color and working class white people aren't all fired up for their Democratic party, or their brand of feminism. It's because we are excluded, they want us for our votes, or money, or warm bodies to fill their conventions/conferences and make things look diverse, but they don't want to give anything in return. Only their wants and needs are important and the rest of us are told to wait, although they have no problem throwing us under the bus if they think it will help them get ahead; think NAFTA and welfare reform under the Clinton administration.

Why would we come to this? Why is it okay to be so patronizing when talking to the very people your trying to help.

Because it's in the history

Feminism PREFERS dealing with the "powerful" and " influential" soundbites than it's suffering constituency.

Everything has a coolness factor, or an irony, or a mantra.

The clash over housework will always get repeat coverage while the failure of specific women to have HOUSES is a "special issue"

Feminism consistently seeks to

TELL women where they are and should be

while SHOWING them

that in the end it is more concerned by what is SAID about it.

It cracks me up how these big feminists/liberals talk about how they are the new media, but all they write about is what they find in the old media or MSM (mainstream media). POC writers were covering the Jena 6 since May but white people didn't write anything about it until it was covered by the Associate Press or CBS, and then only a small blurb, nothing in depth.

You will see many of the same themes in one of Black Amazons later posts, The Greatest Trick the Devil Ever Played. If you are a regular reader you will already know that when BA writes posts pertaining to white people she says the same things over and over and over, because they won't take off the blinders. She (all of us WOC really) has to say it a million times before it sinks in for a couple of these white people. Go read both posts and come back and tell me that they aren't pretty much the same.
Well how many times you got to be told your unwanted for you take a hint?

It might be the last time she repeats, though. She is fed up, had enough of the run around from these feminists, and wasted time arguing with a brick wall.
IF it does not pertain to larger womanhood and by larger I mean the global international multiphase multilevel WORK of making women's lives better, I won't be commenting. Should you want to pay me or donate to a charity in my name, MAYBE

Alot of WOC feel this way. They don't want to waste any more time on white womens drama when there is other work to be done and the white women just hold us back.

I don't get over to Angry Black Bitch often enough. She has a post up about some marketing she is doing...Acceptably Black - The merchandise

Too damned funny!

The shirt was designed with this post in mind, Acceptably black, my ass. You gotta read it! The author (Bob Garfield) of the article she is critiquing - Why Even Hardened Racists Will Vote for Barack Obama, even shows up to argue with Shark Fu, but runs away quickly! His claim is that racists can and do have POC friends, but they must be acceptably black, which means they are non-threatening, act white. This is someone they can show off to prove that they aren't really racist. He is under the impression that white racists will vote for Barack Obama because he is acceptably black...uh...the point is to be seen with someone acceptably black to prove you aren't a racist even though you are. Think think the privacy of a voting booth, as a racist, who will you vote about NOT THE BLACK GUY although you might say that you did. This is why the polls showed a lead for Obama that didn't materialize against Clinton in NH. A racist does not respect someone who is acceptably black, it's all for show, and therefore does not want that person to be president. D'OH!

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