SERIOUSLY THIS IS A THOUSAND TIMES MORE FUCKING LIKELY
Hi! Thanks for the question. I do understand where your concern comes from; however, this is not a rape case. They started dating when she was 17....
It’s fascinating…the things that I am supposed to be “flattered” by. People practically demand that I be flattered by certain mistreatment, injustice and oppression, and then question my level of “sensitivity” or even my intelligence when I am not flattered.
Last night I was discussing white feminism after a tweet from Sandra Fluke about how we don’t talk about poverty in America. She linked to was a release from Legal Momentum that talked about poverty based on gender without acknowledging the racial divide between poverty rates of WOC and white women. This is a really good example of how white feminists like Fluke completely erase the experience of WOC and treat the category of “women” as a homogeneous group. (Click photo to see the tweet / release)
I’m really sick of the idea that white cis-gendered middle / upper class thin white women’s issues are treated like the default within the feminist movement and this kind of continual erasure of experience is incredibly harmful for all women who do not fit into that category.
I also started receiving a few responses from people about this (Why I stopped trusting white liberals) post that I reblogged last night. I’m starting to see a pattern in response to posts like this where my fellow white people want to push away from authors who want to treat white racism as a problem with all white people but completely ignore the content of the post. This form of distancing from racism is incredibly problematic because instead of addressing the horrible acts that other white people are doing we try to distance ourselves from it. We really need to start acknowledging when we do that we become part of the problem. We don’t get cookies when we are derailing a conversation about racism because we don’t feel comfortable being lumped into a category with other white people. If we were actually trying to work against racism this wouldn’t be the first action we wanted to take, instead we would probably accept that we do live in and benefit from racism. Work against that.
I also just got this response from an anon. I’m going to use it as an example of what a better response would be to these situations.
This will be several asks long. I apologize. I have been thinking about the activity on your twitter/tumblr last night a lot today, and interrogating my own response to it. My first instinct was offense and protestation. I wanted to say, “hey, I’m not racist!” And then I realized how absurd that is. It is not enough to say that I am not a racist, that I don’t hate people of color. I don’t have to be spouting hateful racist ideology in order to be participating in a system of racism.
We are all participating in widespread, systemic racism. We are all consumers of an entertainment industry and news media that is racist (and size-ist/classist/able-ist/sexist). I don’t know that it’s possible to grow up in America without internalizing racial stereotypes. It is important, I think, to acknowledge those seeds of racism that have unconsciously sprouted inside of us, to examine them, admit our white privilege and bias, and actively work to pull them. Like weeds.
If, as a white person, you hear someone’s experience with racism, your first response is to be angrily defensive and feel attacked, I think there is more internal work to be done. We live in a society of freedom, but not one of equality. To deny that is fail to look outside of your sphere of privilege and acknowledge the struggles of others. In fact, I challenge fellow white folk to consider their mental images of various archetypes: a beautiful woman, a rich man, a smart person, a criminal and then consider what the images they come up with say about our culture and their own perception of race and class. Racism is not a thing of the past. And to take offense to the fact that it is not just present but prevalent, and to the fact that white privilege exists is to, in my opinion, dismiss and deny the pain and work that our brothers and sisters of color experience. Why do we think racism is all about spouting racial slurs? It’s so often just remaining silent.
So I would like to thank you, honestly, for how you refused to remain silent last night. It challenged me to think deeply about my own reactions, and to realize that I, myself, can do more.
Just a side note, I don’t need to be thanked for talking about this. There are way cooler WOC who talk about this stuff daily. I just don’t think they should be the ones who have to constantly put themselves out there. White people need to start speaking up about the racism we perpetuate on a regular basis.