Posted by: Ophelia | April 27, 2008

Fetch the smelling salts

Hillary’s Scarlett O’Hara Act

“Black feminist politics is not simple identity politics. It is not about letting brothers handle the race stuff, or about letting white women dominate the gender stuff. The black woman’s fight is on all fronts. Sisters resist the ways that black male leaders try to silence women’s issues and squash female leadership. At the same time, black women challenge white women who want to claim black women’s allegiance without acknowledging the realities of racism. They will not be drawn into any simple allegiance that refuses to account for their full humanity and citizenship.”

I’ve had this bookmarked for a while, and I’ve pulled it out and dusted it off because I think the argumentYou mean feminists aren\'t automatically anti-racist? *ooooh*! parallels to the Seal press debacle. There’s a whole lot of delicate flowers who really don’t want to hear the truth because they don’t like the way its being said. This is a bogus attempt to dodge culpability and admit wrongdoing and its a tale as old as time. I’m sure they’re familiar with it, since anti-feminists employ the same methods. You know the ones: “Well why do we have to talk about that when x is so much more important?” “Well maybe I would listen if you weren’t so angry.” “You’re attacking me!”

When you see posters running to tattle on angry black women who said things they didn’t like on a blog trying to discuss issues of racism in feminism–you know its bad.

Racism is ugly and the responses to it might not be the gumdrops and rainbows you want to hear, that doesn’t make the responses any less valid. Moreover, feelings of confusion and anger are normal if you have no idea that you’ve done something wrong–I’m not snarking that (though really, the wrong here is rather obvious and I am feeling snarky about it), I’m snarking the idea that the feelings of the people who are in the wrong trump those of the people who have been wronged. Where’s the safe space for women of color to vent without being called too angry and therefore not worth listening to?

They say genetic disorder, I say someone has harmed their delicate sensibilities.


Sweet Perdition comments on “Safe Space


  1. Those goats had it coming.I heard from a reliable source that they were attacking white women somehow.

  2. You know what I am glad about? Feminism has helped prepare me to take a more pro-active approach to the problem of racism, in that I have been called angry, I have not been listened to, I have benn called names. It makes me more sympathetic to other who face the same problems, but for different reasons (and often the same, too!). I don’t know where I’d be if I wasn’t a feminist when it comes to talking about racism.

    I don’t have any solid ideas yet, but it’s in my mind.

  3. That’s as it should be, I mean being a feminist doesn’t mean a free pass for all other social problems, but it can open eyes to problems that previously seemed unrelated–the problem comes when people think that their cause is the only one and truly no one suffers as they do so they can’t focus on anything else until their problem is solved. It’s called multitasking and it seems incredibly disingenuous that in a movement meant to help women that the problem of women doesn’t include all women, but only some. Being ignored and cast aside isn’t something women of color should be experiencing in a movement that claims to accept them–as if there isn’t enough of the same shitty attitude outside the movement from racists and misogynists. When feminists are too busy calling women angry and “engaging in negative dialogue” to listen to the points being offered by other women–are they really feminists or simply dedicated to a movement that has been sympathetic to their personal struggles alone? I think there’s a difference.

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