There is feminism yes, but how that transpires in the action of each “feminist” ultimately defines the movement as a whole. For US feminists, the access to feminism opens most easily for privileged womyn whose minds and lives have been formatted to privileges of comfort, entitlement, and therefore ignorance. The “movement,” of feminism is drowning in a pathology of privilege, a forgetfulness of its use and potential, a permanent amnesia of truly liberating the oppressed. By simple biology, feminism will take a different face in womyn because of race and privilege. It’s as if our priorities are completely different. These days, I feel like we don’t even speak the same language and we are hurt by completely different things.
The question of liberation for privileged feminists will always remain unanswered because they are not equipped, they never learned to self-analyze beyond their own profit and gains. Privileged feminists will remain, I believe, fumbling in the dark with nothing but their oversized dry hands, their desire to be a good ally but inability to acutely challenge their darkest shadows of moral responsibility and fragile egos. In the meantime, the backs of womyn of color have been broken.
This division in feminism breathes in my generation, my feminism. It has filled me with an anger I cannot explain, a frustration beyond my reach. Each day my anger is different and I can’t say it in more simple terms than this: I expect more.
Feminists like Sudy, and all the other women who have been hurt and ignored and stomped on over the past few weeks (and years and years) deserve more. And I know there’s only so many times that we can trip up and try to recover and then trip again before people finally start to think we’re unforgivably clumsy. So I’m trying to keep in mind what Holly wrote:
The question for all of us is, what do you do when you’re unvaoidably embedded in a system like this? Where disproportions and inequities are become evident — getting called out, even? If you get handed the mike, who are you going to stand in solidarity with, and how?
When any of us have a soapbox, an opportunity to get up and talk, we must continue to stand by those who aren’t called on. If you want to consider yourself an anti-racist or a white ally to people of color — if you want anyone else to consider you those things — then it behooves you to swim against the current.