How black women became feminism’s Mammy… and Womanism’s wet nurse.

This post was inspired by a comment that my reader had  to this post. https://notyourgirlfriday.wordpress.com/2013/01/10/so-black-women-hate-and-are-jealous-of-white-women-and-are-too-bitter-to-support-feminism/

I didn’t post the entire comment but I did post this part of it. Blackfemaleculture writes:

The BW who wrote the post you are quoting from is a mammy and an idiot. And not just for supporting those who don’t give a rat’s crap about her or anyone who shares her ethnicity, but because she is willing to throw other BW under the bus to curry favor with such people. If I were going to swear my allegiance to a group of people, it would be one that actually has my back. I don’t need fair weather friends / alliances. None of us d

The biggest thing that stands out to me was when she used the word mammy. I honestly don’t think I could have used a better phrase than this. When I think about it, that is exactly the type of relationship that black women have with feminism. They are they Mammy’s. Further I have to call out “womanism” because to me it is a shell of something that had potential to be good for black women. In reality black women became Womanism’s wet nurse.

Let’s talk about how black women became feminism’s Mammy.

Dependable – Like a good mammy, and although feminists like to pretend black women are oh so unsupportive when really  black woman have always been the mammy to the movement and were dependable.  I think some people like to forget how during the 70’s there were black women who supported feminism.  Admittedly it wasn’t all black women but think about this, if a significant number of black women hadn’t supported feminism, black male /female relationships wouldn’t  where they are today.  Supposedly from what black men say (although I do consider it bullshit) black men wouldn’t hate black women if they hadn’t defected to the “dark side” and supported the “I don’t need a man”meme that feminism supposedly was/is.  So from at least one part of the population there is some*albeit ridiculous* acknowledgement that black women were involved in the movement. (although some bm try to say that wanting equal pay and reproductive rights is “defecting” but w/e)

Nevertheless black women were dependable and joined the movement. Classic signs of a good mammy.

 

Let’s look at another way that black women became the Mammy of feminism.

They do the dirty work. When it’s time for fat acceptance it’s time to fly in black women who are previously relegated to sidelines/sidekick, (While white feminists get to play desirable roles. (I’ve written about this before)  Or if there is any character that needs to “break molds” black women classically get the dirty work of being othered ( and given false acceptance for being progressive) meanwhile other races of women get to stay in the safe area and play roles that while may “ pressure them to live up to a standard” but still ends up in the long run. In the end black women have paved the way for other races to get feminist benefits that in the end black women, because of racism won’t get to enjoy. If you have seen the movie Pitch Perfect they had a black, overweight, lesbian (butch dressing woman) which if you are a butch lesbian I’m not indicting you because that’s not the point. This isn’t an indictment on sexual orientation. This is to point out a trend. In the movie it was made a joke that they thought she was a man only to find out she wasn’t. (which considering black women’s history and the jokes for women who aren’t butch lesbians and the propensity for the media to make black women asexual or treat them like men in wigs I’m not laughing) In this world all black lesbians are butch not femmes. Or if they’re not a lesbian they are completely asexual.  But it’s clear that when there are lesbians they are always the masculine (never feminine) woman that craves gentle white women (pretty much what happened in the movie). Because black women are just like every other MAN who just *loves* white female flesh.  What I want to know is this: If being a butch lesbian is something to aspire to, why are black women always the ones assigned that role?  Why aren’t there an equal number of supposedly desirable rolls for black women?  Why are the black women always assigned the masculine role.  AND NOTHING ELSE? Further why aren’t the majority of white women ever cast in this role? Why do we always see ( and are pushed to accept ) roles for black women like Mercedes on Glee, who doesn’t care about how overweight she is meanwhile white feminists get to women  like Rachel on Glee to look at. Why is the only representation of black women lesbian, masculine, fat, or unattractive, or all of the above? Why aren’t they ever desirable femme lesbians, or desirable straight black women?

I’ll give you the answer like a good mammy these women are supposed to do the hard work ( ie be characters that are “ groundbreaking”  in a time where there is no acceptance ) they are letting white (and other women of color) pretend  that they are accepting ( because like they claim “ there’s nothing wrong with the being (fillin in the blank)) while they get the high horse of being desirable. Just like a good ol’ mammy they do the work while Scarlett O Hara gets to have fun.

No reciprocity- Even worse than the other is there is no return. Like a good mammy black women never receive anything in return. They are “treated like family” just like many white people thought of their mammy’s in the old days except not only are black women (like the old mammy’s ) still treated like dirt with racism,  there is no time for black women to get anything back after their hard work. Instead like a mammy black women are treated as if they have no wants needs or desires, and if it is acknowledged it is well know that white feminist (just like the people with mammies in the old days) aren’t going to defer their dreams, wants, hopes, and desires, to a simple black mammy. Black women feminists are supposed to do/ support…. they are NOT supposed to ask, think, feel, experience pain etc.

Treated like family… but not really. People claimed to love their Mammy’s.  They claimed they were family.  Similar to the way non black feminists like to say the care about ALL women. But with a Mammy that obviously isn’t true because they were still thought of as inferior and you simply don’t treat a mammy like a non living, being if you truly care about someone. Same as if you claim to care about black women in feminism you simply DON’T relegate them to the sidelines while they do what you say and then use them like a tool when you’re ready. You also don’t ignore real problems they may have ( like racism) you would be concerned and try to help.

Only there to listen- Like any good mammy black women became great listeners in the feminist movement and just like a mammy there is never any return. We must listen to the rants and raves of white feminists about the white male patriarchy and how much the men (that they still marry/ mate/ birth mind you) are just oh so terrible. Meanwhile when black women complain they are told to hush or completely ignored. Really…. could you imagine if in Gone With the Wind the mammy (or any mammy who is supposed to be like family) took a seat and started complaining about her problems? Why I don’t think Scarlet O Hara character would know (or care) what to do. Instead black women would are looked at as if they are insane when they complain about sexist black men or told that they probably have less body issues because they don’t have to live up to standards (forgetting that the standards are racist and in their favor), or told that black men can’t be sexist because of racism, or simply shrugged at. As the mammy of feminism black women are there to listen while white women complain about white men (or whatever while male related problem of the month) until they go back and suck them dry (forgetting that they are benefitting greatly from such terrible men.) People only care about them because it is one sided, like a true fairweather friend they can have a living springboard but they don’t have to do anything. But imagine if the springboard started talking back or diminish their problems. Why… look out!

On to Womanism.

How black women became “womanisms” wet nurse…

I’ve always had a problem with Womanism. Simply because of the fact that it is basically is white feminism in a different name. Except in a way it’s kinda worse. Because now instead of black women trying focus solely on themselves, in an effort to be “inclusive” unlike that evil feminism.  Black women have to include everyone.  This includes black men (lol) gay white/black men (who despite what you think still have privilege  because they are white and male or just a male) , white lesbians (who still have privilege because they’re white) “Women of color”  who have shown time and time again that a lot of them can be more racist than white people, Men of color (who again still have male privilege),people who are able bodied, transgendered people, etc.

And I’m sure that these are worthy causes. Except that black women can’t handle it all. Nobody can. I sure don’t see white feminists attempting such a feat or black male activists for that matter. Because it’s simply NOT possible. Instead this movement becomes one big campaign to validate everyone. Except when the campaign is helping people who already have privilege, because of that privilege black women are again forgotten. Just like a wet nurse people line up to suck at the teat of black women’s movement where they get validation for all of the racist/ sexist / whatever bullshit that happens in their lives (without having to have the balls of calling out whoever(although usually it ALWAYS come back to Ye olde white man) instead of doing it themselves. Those same Asian/ white/ Latina/ women who may have treated you like dirt under feminism with their privilege can now come to womanism. Those same sexist black/ Asian/latino men who cat called and harassed you on the street are now protected… by you. Those same racist/sexist gay white men (it is possible) and the same (racist) white lesbians ( you’d be surprise at what I’ve seen…again it is possible) can come straight over to womanism and VOMIT ALL OVER YOU. Again.  But Yay! “Inclusion”.

  These womanist proponents are the same ones who don’t realize why it’s not fair to have biracial people be the SOLE speakers for the black experience. And let’s not even bring up the fact that there already is a movement that covers everyone. It’s called humanism.

Womanism fell under the great mistake (that may black women do) of trying to be everyone’s defender and ended up still in the mammy/ wet nurse role.  Black women (at this point) don’t have the political power to protect everyone when race and gender already put black women behind. But like a wet nurse “womanism” allows everyone to get fed at the proverbial teat except black women.

I would have liked to have movement that focused on black women. (That is where BWE and the like usually come in because like others they don’t claim to be able to defend everyone and acknowledge that it’s simply not possible.)

Finally I would like to say in the case of Womanism/Feminsm the biggest way that black women became the mammy/wet nurse was because ultimately they settled into a toxic relationship that gives nothing back and in fact asks to give up benefits that ‘supporters” are benefiting from. And like I’ve said before I don’t expect people to give up privilege… nobody sane would.  But that doesn’t mean I’m going to be a Mammy/ wet nurse/ general all around girl friday. That’s simply insanity.

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15 thoughts on “How black women became feminism’s Mammy… and Womanism’s wet nurse.

  1. I’m flattered. I don’t believe I have ever inspired a whole post before. 🙂

    “Black women feminists are supposed to do/ support…. they are NOT supposed to ask, think, feel, experience pain etc.”
    ~onelesssoldier

    Yep. This expectation of us being their non-Human helpers, with no feelings or needs of our own, is why I have absolutely no desire to jump on the feminist bandwagon. But, as I said before, good luck to those BW who think that they can benefit from doing so.

    I have a BW friend, someone I have known most of my life and love like my own sister, who believes that if she just hangs in there, the BW agenda will be taken into consideration by the WW feminists somewhere down the line. I don’t even talk to her about it anymore, because she refuses to see the truth. It’s just like arguing with the “Black unity” mammies. A complete and total waste of one’s time. As the saying goes, “There are none so blind as those who will not see.”

    “We must listen to the rants and raves of white feminists about the white male patriarchy and how much the men (that they still marry/ mate/ birth mind you) are just oh so terrible.”
    ~onelesssoldier

    Oh yeah. And not just at work either. I have had WW (before and even since I married) tell me that most WM were selfish a-holes who don’t respect or appreciate women, yet nearly all of these women exclusively date / married WM. But I’m supposed to believe that they tell me these things for MY benefit. LOL. They share this particularly ugly trait with BM, who will tell anyone stupid enough to listen how terrible BW are.

    It’s actually interesting that most BM hate and fear feminists because they are sooo much alike. In fact, I’d say they are two sides of the same coin, especially in that both seem desperate to use BW to further their political agendas.

    “Those same Asian/ white/ Latina/ women who may have treated you like dirt under feminism with their privilege can now come to womanism. Those same sexist black/ Asian/latino men who cat called and harassed you on the street are now protected… by you. Those same racist/sexist gay white men (it is possible) and the same (racist) white lesbians ( you’d be surprise at what I’ve seen…again it is possible) can come straight over to womanism and VOMIT ALL OVER YOU. Again.  But Yay! “Inclusion”. ”
    ~onelesssoldier

    It really irritates me how some BW will go to bat for anyone and everyone as long as they are not a BW. What is up with that? I just don’t get it. Are they trying to win a humanitarian award? No one cares. No one cares until BW refuse to give them what they can give themselves. No one cares until BW stop mammying them. Hence the shaming, pro-feminists anti-BW, article you sited in your last post. But when we give and give and give, we get no credit for it, BUT if there is any blame that can be passed around we will likely receive more than our share of it.

    Keep in mind, I have no problem being emotionally supportive of my individual friends and loved ones, many of whom are non-Black and some homosexual, BUT I will not expend my time, energy and resources for groups of strangers who have more power and privilege than me. That would just be stupid! I am a Black woman, and my main concern is for the betterment, happiness and safety of Black women, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

    “Womanism fell under the great mistake (that may black women do) of trying to be everyone’s defender and ended up still in the mammy/ wet nurse role.  Black women (at this point) don’t have the political power to protect everyone when race and gender already put black women behind. But like a wet nurse “womanism” allows everyone to get fed at the proverbial teat except black women.”
    ~onelesssoldier

    It’s like these womanists are afraid of seeming selfish for looking out for their own best interests, and the best interests of BW in general, and simply letting others take care of themselves. I don’t know what else to make of it. It’s truly bizarre. No other group is doing this, which pretty much proves that it’s a very bad idea.

    “I would have liked to have movement that focused on black women. (That is where BWE and the like usually come in because like others they don’t claim to be able to defend everyone and acknowledge that it’s simply not possible.)”
    ~onelesssoldier

    This reminds me of something that happened on a BWE blog called Acts of Faith in Love and Life. A gay/lesbian/transgender/etcetera activist accused the blog host of being homophobic for not promoting their agenda. I was pretty shocked at the time, because why would a group of people (few of which are BW), expect a BW blogger to take up a sword and go to battle for them? It’s absolutely ridiculous. But now I realize that many non-Black non-female people (in this country anyway) – who don’t care if we live or die as long as we do it serving their wants and needs – expect BW to ride to their rescue and be their mules / mammies, even while they treat us with utter contempt.

    As you said so well, “… I don’t expect people to give up privilege… nobody sane would.  But that doesn’t mean I’m going to be a Mammy/ wet nurse/ general all around girl friday. That’s simply insanity.”

    • Oh yeah. And not just at work either. I have had WW (before and even since I married) tell me that most WM were selfish a-holes who don’t respect or appreciate women, yet nearly all of these women exclusively date / married WM. But I’m supposed to believe that they tell me these things for MY benefit. LOL. They share this particularly ugly trait with BM, who will tell anyone stupid enough to listen how terrible BW are.

      It’s actually interesting that most BM hate and fear feminists because they are sooo much alike. In fact, I’d say they are two sides of the same coin, especially in that both seem desperate to use BW to further their political agendas.

      I have said this so many times. They very much two sides of the same coin. The dogging and downing of their supposed counterparts just always leaves me scratching my head. Honestly I think that bm hate black women feminists because according to them they are the reason they black community fell apart. So its not surprising that bm still feel sympathy for white feminists because y’know white women were “crushed” teh white man just like them….

      It really irritates me how some BW will go to bat for anyone and everyone as long as they are not a BW. What is up with that? I just don’t get it. Are they trying to win a humanitarian award? No one cares. No one cares until BW refuse to give them what they can give themselves. No one cares until BW stop mammying them. Hence the shaming, pro-feminists anti-BW, article you sited in your last post. But when we give and give and give, we get no credit for it, BUT if there is any blame that can be passed around we will likely receive more than our share of it.

      Keep in mind, I have no problem being emotionally supportive of my individual friends and loved ones, many of whom are non-Black and some homosexual, BUT I will not expend my time, energy and resources for groups of strangers who have more power and privilege than me. That would just be stupid! I am a Black woman, and my main concern is for the betterment, happiness and safety of Black women, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

      I think that black women think they’ll get some sort of award for caring more and proving they’re better than those “awful white women”.

      I agree I have NO problem supporting my family members who are part of the LGBT community. But I can NOT carry a movement for them like womanism is trying to do. Its just to much.

      This reminds me of something that happened on a BWE blog called Acts of Faith in Love and Life. A gay/lesbian/transgender/etcetera activist accused the blog host of being homophobic for not promoting their agenda. I was pretty shocked at the time, because why would a group of people (few of which are BW), expect a BW blogger to take up a sword and go to battle for them? It’s absolutely ridiculous. But now I realize that many non-Black non-female people (in this country anyway) – who don’t care if we live or die as long as we do it serving their wants and needs – expect BW to ride to their rescue and be their mules / mammies, even while they treat us with utter contempt.

      That really burns me up. I cant stand people who come to blogs that are specific and wonder why people don’t promote their agenda. And there are numerous LGBT blogs that one could go to if that is a specific concern.Why go on a website for BW? There are very few places in the public and online forum for black women to go and have their needs met. I think people are only angry because when they realize the group of people that should (and that they got so used to) being on the bottom getting out from under and not trying to help (because you know black women should repay their happiness with indentured servetude) others people get angry. Black women, in their mind are supposed to be on the bottom, black women are supposed to know how it feels to be “oppressed” and so we’re supposed to WANT TO work with other people.

      • “Black women, in their mind are supposed to be on the bottom, black women are supposed to know how it feels to be “oppressed” and so we’re supposed to WANT TO work with other people.”
        ~onelesssoldier

        Someone told me that a racist WM gay rights advocate said that very thing on an episode of Tyra Bank’s talk show a few years back, after the amendment to make same-sex marriage legal in California failed to be passed by voters.

        The guy apparently tried to convince anyone who would listen that BW have so much power and influence that we can stop the other 93% of the American population from voting for same-sex marriage. Yeah. Right.

  2. I would be careful in labelling BWE “for Black women”. The sad fact of the matter is that I have seen PLENTY of mammying/advocating for other groups on some of those blogs, and by other groups I mean the usual suspects: Black males, White females, and “women of color”, ie Hispanic/Asian/Middle Eastern/Indian women. Now WHY would they be doing that on blogs and in a movement that is supposedly “for” Black women? Especially when ALL of those groups are NOT shy about being racist jerks to Black women! I have even seen Hispanic /Asian/other non-White MALES defended on those sites, and sickeningly, at the expense of Black women too! Also, I disagree that Black women engage in this behavior to “prove they are better than those awful White women”. first of all WHO exactly is calling White women awful? Saying ANYTHING that people even THINK is negative about White women is a big no-no socially these days, ESPECIALLY for Black women. I think Black women engage in the self-harming behavior of womanism/feminism because Black women have been indoctrinated FOREVER that to care about their own issues is “wrong/bad”. and it seems like ANY time Black women try to stand up for themselves people who are not Black women (ESPECIALLY Black males & White females) go buck wild and act plain STUPID, VIOLENT, etc. And the behavior I have pointed out about anti-Black woman/girl comments/behavior on BWE sites proves it. Bottom line is, there appear to be A LOT of
    charlatans and liars who CLAIM to be “for” Black women, but their actions & words prove that they are ANYTHING but that.

    Black women & girls REALLY have to watch their backs these days, SMH.

    • I would be careful in labelling BWE “for Black women”. The sad fact of the matter is that I have seen PLENTY of mammying/advocating for other groups on some of those blogs, and by other groups I mean the usual suspects: Black males, White females, and “women of color”, ie Hispanic/Asian/Middle Eastern/Indian women. Now WHY would they be doing that on blogs and in a movement that is supposedly “for” Black women? Especially when ALL of those groups are NOT shy about being racist jerks to Black women! I have even seen Hispanic /Asian/other non-White MALES defended on those sites, and sickeningly, at the expense of Black women too!

      I think the biggest problem is that too many bwe women still identify as ‘feminist’. (i’m going to write about this separately soon) That means that the ones that do are mixing with bwe and really confusing the issues. That isn’t to say that you must call yourself bwe to be for black women. ( I mentioned that because in recent years it is the only movement to actually try and separate themselves from other movements)
      I am curious like blackfemaleculture to know which sites you’re talking about though. I’d like to know which blogs to stay away from.

      I disagree that Black women engage in this behavior to “prove they are better than those awful White women”. first of all WHO exactly is calling White women awful? Saying ANYTHING that people even THINK is negative about White women is a big no-no socially these days, ESPECIALLY for Black women. I think Black women engage in the self-harming behavior of womanism/feminism because Black women have been indoctrinated FOREVER that to care about their own issues is “wrong/bad”.

      I believe there is a vocal group of bwe who are fed up with white feminism (and are pretty vocal about it.) For example if you’ve ever been on beyondblack&white I have heard them complaining about it. And especially womanists (from what I’ve read before) always talked about the reason they left feminism was because they were treated badly. These women seem to go out of their way to be inclusive.( which is always at the expense of black women as you put it.)

      I think Black women engage in the self-harming behavior of womanism/feminism because Black women have been indoctrinated FOREVER that to care about their own issues is “wrong/bad”. and it seems like ANY time Black women try to stand up for themselves people who are not Black women (ESPECIALLY Black males & White females) go buck wild and act plain STUPID, VIOLENT, etc. And the behavior I have pointed out about anti-Black woman/girl comments/behavior on BWE sites proves it. Bottom line is, there appear to be A LOT of
      charlatans and liars who CLAIM to be “for” Black women, but their actions & words prove that they are ANYTHING but that.

      Black women & girls REALLY have to watch their backs these days, SMH.

      THIS!

  3. Hey soldier,

    Here is an interesting conversation that took place on FB in regards to BW and feminism. I found it interesting and felt you should take a gander. All in all in my opinion the pro feminism reasons are a bunch of hooey.

    Trigger Comment – Anything that is bastardized becomes harmful. Look at how the Bible and Quran are used to justify evil. Was Elijah Mohammad following the true tenets of Islam when he fornicated with teenage girls and denied them? Women were used by many groups. They were told that feminism conflicted with nation building. Black women stood by their brothers hoping to revolutionize the status quo. They saw these men as their comrades and victims of racism as we were. Little did they know that while they were bearing children for some of these men, some of those so-called brothers were screwing Patty Hearst. LOL! So what happened? Many Sisters went on to get degrees, serve the community, etc. while others ended up on Welfare with their children. There are shuckers and jivers in EVERY organization. But yes, ***** is correct. And we must ALWAYS question whomever we follow.

    For Feminism – This is why black women need feminism more than ever. And need to quit allowing black men who know nothing about what feminism really is to define it as something negative and destructive. When in reality it helps them too. Every LEGITIMATE complaint about black women is addressed in feminism.

    Against – Black women DO NOT need feminism. Feminism has had several chances to address the unique needs of Black women, and never have. Unless the ww at the helm had something to gain from it. Their response on the murder of Kasandra Perkins told me everything a bw needs to know about feminism. They were less concerned about her murder and more concerned with turning it into a gun rights issue.

    Against Any bw who follows ww into feminism will get the same treatment they endure from bdudes. Dismissal and usage. Ww feminists only need bw bodies to do their dirty work and make aberrations normal while they sit back comfortably awaiting the results. Bw need and deserve our own specific movement that caters to our needs ONLY. Not everyone else and then maybe when more important things aren’t needed bw. Feminism is for suckas. But if you wanna offer your body time and soul up to the ww feminism chopping block, I won’t stop you.

    For – And everything you’re saying is EXACTLY the reason why it’s needed. You just proved why it is.

    For 2 – A major reason black women need feminism is because people still claim feminism has more to do with race. And it does not.

    For 2 – Although cloaked in a religious argument, here President Jimmy Carter explains why feminism is important to ALL women, INCLUDING Black women.
    (link removed)
    Women and girls have been discriminated against for too long in a twisted interpretation of the word of God.

    For – Exactly. Black women denouncing feminism, only hurts, not helps. Black men with the superiority complex insist it’s about race so black women will go against it. Which ensures they will maintain their societal role as superior to black women, and that allows for us to be objectified, sexualized, breeders, and involved in ghetto polygamy more.

    For 2 – Black males have had the nerve to tell me to my face that Black women should ONLY focus on race, and FORGET our woman issues. WTF? So, if the race issue is solved, Black women will NEVER have our woman issues addressed from within the “Black” construct. Therefore, race issues will never be solved because gender issues within Black culture are a contributing factor to racism.

    For 2 ***** is correct? About what? Revisiting Black Power and Black Nationalism would require a major overhaul of the ideology that would include the well-being of Black women and girls. I am not holding my breath.

    Also, let me be clear: My comment is “But, Black Nationalism, particularly ghetto polygamy, directly harmed Black women… and children.” ***** did not say that. Nor would he.

    For – Proceeding with the idea that it’s all or mostly about race has hardly helped black women in general get anywhere near equality and respect to this point. Especially since going along with it has subjected us to the same treatment that white men give white women, mainly sexualization and objectification, having to fight for reproductive rights that being masked in the stereotypes about black women and having babies. But when the ability for black men to procreate and spread their seed is threatened, we will hear the same pro life narrative by white men, such as legitimate rape.

    For 2 – Some Black males have already openly stated rape is a legitimate form of procreation. Black women and girls don’t matter, at all.

    For – We have already had an uphill battle and we still have black women trying to chain boulders to our ankles.

    Against – Pfft. We will have to agree to disagree on this one. And my comment didn’t prove anything. You didn’t even address the issues I raised. Also, I thought feminism was about choice. Black women should not be quilted, shamed or made to feel bad for not joining any movement that they do not want to.

    Against – Or are we still mules and slaves as long as it’s for feminism?

    Against – I find your comment implying that Black women who don’t agree with feminism are tying boulders to their ankles. But as I stated earlier to each her own.

    For 2 – Here in NYC, Black women are going for what is best for us. We work on our own issues. But, when we find commonality with women from diverse backgrounds, we work together. Black women are not as stupid as some folk seem to think. Trust. In fact, Trust Black Women. #TrustBlackWomen

    Example: About a year ago, a billboard that stated “The Most Dangerous Place for an African American is in the Womb” was prominently erected on a Tuesday. By Thursday, the billboard was GONE. We Black women got it removed. We didn’t even have to hold a press conference, march… nothing. Black women in NYC were not having it. No one has had the balls to erect any other misogynistic, racialized anti-abortion billboard since.

    Against – I know. I just am at a loss with the whole we must support feminism rhetoric. Perhaps I am uninformed, but when was the last time feminism broached a topic specific to bw only and our needs. I mean without them having any skin in the game.

    For 2 – Umm, Black women are women, too. Black women want equal access to education, access to jobs and professional careers, equal pay for equal work, unfettered access to birth control so that we can plan our families, retirement income, medical coverage, ballot access and the right to vote, freedom from environmental toxins… I could go on.

    I get that you are not privy to back room feminist strategies. But, I am. One basic strategy is when Black women are targeted on women’s issues simply for being women, Black women step forward and lead and organize our response. White women stay in the background and provide support when asked. This is a mutual decision.

    And, when there is a serious problem, like when at a white women’s Slut Walk (because Black women are not going to a Slut Walk, or a Bitch Walk, or a Ho Walk), and one white woman held up a poster that said ‘Woman is the Nigger of the World’, feminists of all races immediately came together to correct the issue and clear the air. I sat in one of those meetings. How was it organized? White feminists sat and listened (without saying one word) as one by one, Black women and other women of color expressed the problem, how we felt, and that we did not want to see it happen again. (And, it hasn’t.) Admittedly, it was painful for them to sit and listen because we gave them an earful, but white feminist privilege is being confronted. Trust.

    BTW, white feminists have clashes among themselves along class lines.

    The methodology that feminists of all races use in order to overcome our differences should be a model for activism. It is an active work in progress. In particular, men of all races could learn from how we operate.

    Folk who don’t know, wouldn’t know unless they are privy to what is going on.

    For 2 – Also, white women are wary of speaking up for Issues that specifically target Black women for fear of being perceived as racist (against Black men).

    For instance, there are white women (and men) who have wanted to work to shut down (c)rap lyrics that single out Black women and tell the world we are nothing but Bs and hos. But, they know if they do that (defend Black women against misogynist rap lyrics), they will be called racist because it would look like they are attacking Black men who produce their lyrical hatred of Black women.

    So, regarding Black women’s issues, white feminists take their cues from Black women. As they should. It’s called respect, something most Black women don’t experience because respect is a rare commodity within Black culture.

    For 2 – One more thing: White women do not step up front to “defend” Black women from attack because it would look like Black women are incapable of speaking for ourselves. It would also make white feminists look patronizing, as if they were treating Black women as children who cannot handle our own issues and as if they know Black women’s issues better than Black women.

    So, there are many reasons why white feminists are not seen stepping forward and speaking out on issues that affect only Black women. Like I said, it is a mutual tactical decision.

  4. Pingback: Don’t Let them convince you the totem doesn’t exist « notyourgirlfriday

  5. Pingback: If these are the people Defending Your Honor, You’d Better Hang it up NOW. | notyourgirlfriday

  6. Racialicious is a good exemple of what you say. Interestingly, the founders of Racialicious blog were :
    -a Black woman
    -and a Transgender Mixed Asian woman.

    The Asian woman left after a few years to open a gym (maybe she realised sister soldiering was getting her nowhere) .
    The Black woman is still fighting (sigh)

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