Because I have random thoughts that shoot out of me, I am just going to keep one thread of questions that I update as the questions come.
How in the HELL does a "feminist" press claim "not thinking" when publishing a book about politics and include vulgar images of racism?
Why do people think I have any idea of what a white feminist should do to unlearn her upbringing?
How do you offer yourself without putting your neck on the chopping board of privilege?
Is there a prescription for being an ally?
Is it just me, or are these latest debacles reminiscent of extended recess in 7th grade (girl's side of the fence)?
It's not getting better, is it?
Why is it that when a womyn of color has a complaint, she's a loudmouth meanie who loves the fleshy attacks at white necks, but when a string of white folks say Hey! it renders apologies and San Francisco diversity trainings?
Do I really think, after all of that, change is possible?
Or, do I think community building is possible?
More importantly, do I want to?
Who do you build community with?
Who do I trust?
What would Gloria say?
Updated Lightning Questions and Random Thoughts
What should happen next?
A word on being my ally:
I don't know how other people identify an ally. WOC are all different (newsflash) and expectations vary.
Allies aren't the ones who simply make room for me. True golden allies are those who can temporarily excuse themselves to not only listen, but apply it into their own LIFE - not career, not social justice theory, not dissertation. I know I am moving into a better allying space when I realize I am walking next to uncertainty but I trust the walking partner to take me there even though I'm scared as shit to mess up.
Being an ally is not as dramatic as people paint it lately. I mean, how difficult is it to decenter yourself and your own life and absorb someone else's for a few minutes of your day? Do you realize it's not just about you? It's not just about YOUR definitions of what is an ally. DO you know acknowledge the larger systematic boot of violence against womyn of color and the knife of economic violence that shoves womyn of color into corners of poverty, rape, and silence? (I mean, really acknowledge it.) Being an ally is not ripping the mic from someone else and thrusting it in the face of WOC. Because, in the end, fast forward 60 years from now, the only person who can answer if you led a life of transformation and solidarity is you. Why ask me?
I can share this - Writers and fems and people that I gravitate toward are typically the ones who fight from their life, their life story. One of the more finer lines of division in "feminism" are the womyn who write and fight from their souls and the ones who fight from their head. For me, the clearest indication of an ally is the one who can tell the two apart. And then can articulate why that division exists in the first place.
And so, with that fundamental difference of online feminism, where DO we go from here? Wait for another conference, agree to go and see if we can be in one room without killing each other? Have a radical carnival that features not just rwoc or just white fems? Wait till everything dies down and then move forward when the next explosion occurs? Blame the patriarchy? Take a nap?
Why did I used to say that I was an "anti-racist feminist?" Shouldn't have someone told me that I was repeating myself? Shouldn't all feminists be anti-racist? Or should all anti-racists be feminist? Why do I feel the need to specify and spell that out to people?
If Stanton, Anthony, and even Friedan were reading the feminist blogosphere, would they apologize for their racist comments? Were they even aware that their agenda was racist? What is the difference between the agenda of the first "documented" US feminists and the feminist identified womyn today, minus the "waves" description?
If Lorde, Anzaldua, hooks, Smith, Zia were following the fem blogosphere, what would they advise at this point? Is it better to continue to move forward with clearly different agendas and definitions of feminism and just continue to battle it out each time there is a clear conflict, or do we try and actually agree on a few things and move forward together -- is that "together" even truly possible?
Why do I feel more hardened than softened by feminism? If the point was to work for equality, then I assume that means that I would learn to better perceive others as equal and work through my own prejudices and obstacles...It'd make sense that that would soften me. Instead, the roadblocks with the people who are supposedly "feminists" have angered me to the point of being a rigid rock wall rather than a rich ground of soil for grrls to learn from and grow. What happened there?
I just spent an hour reading posts about being an ally and I found it interesting how many good hearted folks are writing about their desire to listen to womyn of color. A question popped into my mind. Do folks realize that I am working through my own crap as well? I mean, aren't we all? Isn't that the point of...you know, life? To reach 28 and realize you must unlearn 27 years to truly move forward? Allies keep insinuating and emphasizing that womyn of color have the answers. Well, let me speak for myself: I don't have the answers. I just raise damn good questions.