Thursday, February 19, 2009

Professor, What If...? Helps Remind Professor Tracey Why She Has Completely Stopped Reading The White Feminist Blogs

My blogging sista Tami of What Tami Says pulled my coat about Professor, What If..?'s blog. This particular post made me realize that I had not even bothered to read a white feminist blog in months and a few of the reasons why I didn't miss not reading them.

Tami and I have had a few discussions about how it gets tiresome repeatedly dealing with the endless limitations, missed opportunities, and continuing marginalization about issues important to feminists of color. There are serious pressing questions about how the voices of feminists of color get presented and shaped in the majority white feminist blogosphere and I believe that a serious discussion on this subject is long overdue.

I will be addressing this subject again in the near future, but check out her blog and let her know what you think. Please feel free to come back here and let me know what you think as well.


SjP February 19, 2009 at 11:54 AM  

The post reminds me of why I on't read white feminist blogs. Count SjP into the conversatio when it starts.

Professor Tracey February 19, 2009 at 2:36 PM  

SjP -

Please promise not to hold your breath waiting for that conversation to happen, I don't want you to pass out.

Sassy J February 19, 2009 at 3:26 PM  

I thought it was one-sided. I also know that I don't even attempt to read non-black blogs. Maybe that makes *me* one-sided, but I know that in most cases, black/brown blogs are presented from around the box.

Professor Tracey February 19, 2009 at 5:30 PM  

@Sassy J -

One-sided to whom and how exactly?

TD1016 February 19, 2009 at 5:36 PM  

@ Sassy J -

I know what you mean by one-sided, but don't see it as that.

My reader is probably 95% black blogs. For me its because I feel that in watching CNN and the news on society in general its from the "white" perspective and since the black community doesn't necessarily have this in the form of tv news its nice to read black blogs and get a perspective of society from that point of view.

Black Artemis February 19, 2009 at 8:06 PM  

This topic is particuarly raw for me given the exchange I had yesterday on Facebook.

In a nutshell, my best friend and business partner posted a blog I had written some time ago about the dearth of working female directors of color in the film industry. A white woman -- a classmate of my friend in film school -- had only one thing to post. "What I about all women period?" When I respectfully -- yes, I was truly restrained - told her why that question offended me and tried to engage her in a conversation about race, she couldn't hang not a second. She engaged none of my points and, with a quickness, devolved into some childishness and then disappeared, further evidence of her racial privilege to assert her opinion and withdraw when it no longer served her. She even went as far as to "unfriend" my business partner because she was angry at ME! Now how many feminist of color in any field -- especially Black feminist -- cannot say that they have not has this disheartening experience over and over again?

Not too long ago I saw an interesting documentary on White privilege. One woman said that part of what moved her to become an anti-racist activist was this profound, heartbreaking comment by a woman of color. I'm paraphrasing here but she basically said, "When a white person wants to befriend a preson of color, all they have to do is get up, walk across the room, extend their hand and say, Hi, my name is Jane. But when a person of color makes the decision to become friends with a white person, they come crawling over miles of shards of betrayal."

I lost my day to that exchange for nothing substantive to come of it. It became evident that she wanted to cling to the privilege of her Whiteness even as she demanded me to be in solidarity with her because of our common gender. When I wasn't compliant, she had no "use" for me and excused herself out of the tough but necessary dialogue upon which genuine solidarity can be built.

In order to shake off the funk, I had to remind myself of the white feminists I knew who were truly committed to racial justice.

msladydeborah February 19, 2009 at 8:18 PM  

I see that they are still struggling with the same old issues that they were in the early days of the movement. *sigh*

I stopped reading midway through because I got bored with the topic. Which may not be good-but what is the point?

RainaHavock February 20, 2009 at 3:12 AM  

Feminism was created by the visions of American White Woman's point of view. Womanism was made by the American Black Woman's point of view. Need I say more.

wisdomteachesme February 20, 2009 at 6:27 PM  

BA said ="In order to shake off the funk, I had to remind myself of the white feminists I knew who were truly committed to racial justice."
yes that Is what you have to do in order to be at the table and contribute worthy, workable, growing help to the whole of women's issues inclusivly.

Feminism was not 'started' by only white women nor is womanist just for woc.

there is too much history-too many names to mention-- which prove that woc were at the forefront of the feminist movement. and their are a few reasons as to why many of the woc broke off and created their own groups--or stopped working for equal rights for woman outright.

A lot of men/husbands, fathers brothers- forbade their 'women' to be involved with the women who were fighting for women's equal rights. that is the reason a lot of woc stopped working in the cause. and also some white women stopped also.

other woc were feed up with the 'group' for not examining nor working hard to improve the woc problems/issues.

And it has always been the self-entitled ones that think that anyone not concerned with 'their ' issues is not down for the cause on a whole.
when in fact they never have been down for every woman to have equal rights--just the ones they deem to be important. And they have issues with white women that are not on 'their levels' also.

BA's experince is one that is needed and to share in order to navigate the people who really only want to be in 'some cause' to elevate themselves in society's eyes and praises--and those that really want to see some changes for All women regardless of skin color and socio-econ status.

there are all kinds of groups, and the one that pt has pointed out would be one that many of us do not fit in. and the woman that BA spoke of. it's a way to know where you need to spend your time and where you don't.

if you don't know who your enemy is-you will end up fighting windmills your whole lifetime.

that's all it is.

i also don't fit in with the mission of a lot of teachers (white or woc) concerning which way public education should go.

i don't fit in with a lot of groups of black women and what is important to them --their missions and concerns and how to go about dealing with them.

i dont' fit into many groups of artists because their understanding of art and vision of art is nothing like mine.

no big deal-
this little group of feminist that pt highlighted is not a group with a mission(s) that includes a lot of the woc fem's concerns.

it is what it is.

good topic though- i pray that through understanding a unity will form in order to be able to speak with a voice that many will hear and take seriously.

~on feet of peace,

Sassy J February 21, 2009 at 10:26 AM  

Hmmm, I think it felt one-sided in the sense that it didn't engage me or that i felt it was "inclusive". Yes, they had reference to some WOC blogs, but... Let me re-read!! LOL

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