Thursday, October 6, 2011

NOT MY FEMINISM: SlutWalk, feminism & racism, part 2

Woke up this morning and read this:

Oh, my. I have little hope or confidence in a movement that makes space for people to think it's acceptable to behave this way (specifically, to be as defensive as Kassidy, the young woman who made the sign, is in the cited comments).

Generations of women have invested themselves in pointing out why this kind of reaction is unacceptable and ineffective. What good reason should I have, regardless of my identity, for continuing to invest time and energy in a perversion of feminism that permits people to bully unchallenged and indulge their blinkered worldviews?

I was thinking overnight that maybe I had been too harsh or judgmental--this is all definitely wrong, but from a tactical perspective, would it make sense for me as a white feminist to reach out to other white women to try to move them through some of their (our) racism? Isn't that part of my responsibility as a person in a movement? To reach out with compassion when people are engaging in violent and destructive behavior? And to step out to share the responsibility that too often falls on feminists of color when these conflicts come up?

Lord. I don't know what the right thing to do is. But I want to organize with others who are thinking along these lines because the SlutWalk momentum keeps growing and it's making my stomach twist to imagine that the pain, anger and frustration of being here AGAIN (only a month after being here with The Help) will not be cared for and transformed. That people won't stand up. Who can intervene in this movement in a way that retains the importance of female agency?

This is not my feminism.

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