For those of you who haven’t read my blog before (Not Your Girl Friday) You probably have no idea who I am. So I’ll tell you. I’m a twenty something black woman who is currently in school to gain a Ph.D in Psychology. Since I was young I always felt a disconnect to the black community. But never could exactly point my finger on what it was. (even though I knew something was wrong.) For a long while during my teens I considered myself a feminist. I was completely concerned with women’s rights. Or that is the issues that *white* women have told me are important. But alas, like many black women I couldn’t find my place there either, As more and more of their ideology became increasingly out there.
About a year? Maybe two? I stumbled on a website. It was Halima’s and suddenly all of the things I’d ever been thinking suddenly made sense. The blatant sexism and disregard for black women that I saw daily in the black community that I saw even looking from the outside. And the pure selfishness of “feminist” women who weren’t very “empowering ” at all. In fact I found myself thinking the exact opposite. They seemed anything but empowered. And if white women (who have more privilege than *I*) don’t even realize the hole they’re digging for themselves ( I’ll talk about this later) how can I support such a movement?
So for the last year or two I’ve been lurking. And reading. Lurking and reading. I’ve read numerous blogs. Evia’s, Halima’s, Gina’s Crystelyn’s, Faiths, Basically all of the women who were tantamount in building the road to black women’s empowerment. ( I am truly sorry If I left someones name or blog out) I have to say that without them I think I would still be searching the internet wondering why I was so… so confused and generally dissatisfied with what was coming from the black
men’s, and white feminist movements.
I decided that if these women could have the courage to speak up for black women, young and old. I should too. And I have thoroughly enjoyed writing on Not Your Girl Friday. It has truly given me a chance to speak on all of the crappy behavior I see directed towards black women daily. And I hope to continue that. But still I was looking for more. And recently I found it.
I think anyone who circles the BWE forums has heard of the book All the Women are White and All of the Blacks are men. They’ve heard of racio-mysoginy and they’ve probably heard of intersectionality. But It was only after reading All the Women are White, All the black are men coupled by the PDF by Kimberle Crenshaw called De marginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex, that everything clicked. I mean epiphany sized clarity. All of the things that never seemed to add up to finally made sense.
I always knew there were black feminists. But I didn’t consider myself one and I still don’t. I almost felt a certain guilt about not wanting to identify myself. I just can’t find any interest in “black ” or “feminist” issues. But from these books I finally gleaned. Why.
I’m sure you’re itching to know, so I’ll tell you why I’m officially done with “black” rights and “Feminism”. Because you can’t actually be a black feminist.
Yes I said it. There is no possible way to effectively be a black feminist. It’s an oxymoron, a contradiction. It creates a Paradox.
Now before you go off and say ” this girl is crazy” I want you to listen carefully. Each movement was founded on the idea that blacks and women would one day be able to be equal to White Men. Which would be good in theory right? Sure.. But here’s the catch. Each movement relies on Sexism or Racism to equal themselves to WHITE MEN.
Here’s why. It’s obviously well know that White men have White privilege and Male Privilege. Hell, that is the central focus of both movements. Like Crenshaw explains. White women would be equal to White men but for their gender, and black men would be equal to White Men but for their race. If white women got total sexual freedom their power would equal that of a white Man’s. If Black Men find total racial equality they will be equal to white men. But here is what we as black women are not seeing. Something that scratched at my subconscious for years before bursting through. White women can’t give up White privilege and Black Men can’t give up Male privilege otherwise they WILL NOT be equal to WHITE MEN. It will just leave the right back where they started. (albeit on another side.) that is, If black men don’t keep their sexual privilege and white women don’t keep the perks that come with being well, white. They won’t actually be equal. In fact, they are were they started out.
Let me explain even further. The only way to have total equality to white men is to have BOTH of the privileges WHITE MEN are perceived to have if they don’t firmly hold on to these things they will have what they started out with.
So where does that leave black women?
That leaves you in the middle. It leaves you flanked on both sides. It leaves you in double jeopardy. In more crass terms. You’re bum fucked. Are you getting it now? NO? Okay then let me further explain. Feminists have long scolded black women for not joining there female movements. In fact they love to tell us that we are women first and black second. (Think the reactions to the 2008 elections where most black women were being
coerced into voting for Hilary Clinton. Black women were castigated for the mere thought of voting for a man just because he was black we were supposed to focus on women’s issues. Because if white women don’t have rights we (poor black women) certainly won’t. On the other very eerily similar hand, Black women wee also being yanked in the opposite direction by black men. We were BLACK first and women second. Barack Obama should be supported. We should not let the time for the black race to have their moment slip by. Because if black men get power by extension so do black women right?
That’s probably what you’ve been told in most cases. I was. And so I racked my brain who to vote for. I eventually chose Obama and only I felt pressure from my family on the abortion stance Clinton had. (A big mistake, for me I admit.)
Anywho. It was very easy to realize that both feminism and civil rights needs the numbers that black women have. Hell black women were being courted every which way during the elections. I racked my brain, palms sweating like hell when I got in line to vote. Who to cho0se, Who to cho0se? Who should be given the chance Obama ? Clinton… Clinton? Obama.
I wish somebody had told me that it was irrelevant. Because at the time I didn’t realize the trump card that nobody wanted to talk about. IT DIDN’T MATTER. IT DIDN’T MATTER. IT DIDN’T MATTER!!!
Because either way I would not be gaining any of the benefits that comes with being black or being a woman! Didn’t see that one coming did you?
But Crenshaw explains it so well. ( I will be quoting her in future posts) Any protection that could be had by black women under anti misogyny laws Won’t be granted to black women because they are BLACK women. And any benefits gained for the black community, I cannot partake in because I’m Black and a WOMAN.
Do you see the conundrum? Are you getting it? Yet? Do you see why this is the Paradox of All paradox’s and why I’m done with “black feminism”?
The only reason why white women benefit from feminism is because they are WHITE and the only reason why Black Men gain anything from civil rights is because they are MEN. Those benefits that you fought for don’t extend to you either way. Or if they do its only because you narrowly fit into the description of black or female. But black females getting any rights because they are BLACK FEMALES ain’t gonna happen. Once white women gain sexual equality they can use racism to keep you from getting the benefits, and if black men ever actually did get full racial freedom, sexism denies you the fun of enjoying it!
I’m going to leave you with that thought. My fingers are starting to cramp. This is only the tip of the iceberg of Fuckery I’ve stumbled upon. This is only the beginning. I can’t fit every reason into one post and give you an accurate explanation of why you should walk the fuck away. So I will come back and I will keep coming back until you get it. Because this is a matter of life or death. Seriously. No Joke.
In the mean time read Crenshaw’s report and the book All the women are white all the blacks are men (the title says it all doesn’t it?)
And don’t forget,
Next time on Black women neutral I further explain how both sides ask you to give up your race card and your woman card and effectively FUCK YOU WITH IT.