I’m glad you are fully aware of some of the complexities women of color have when it comes to being apart of feminist movements (which I already knew). Meeting are rarely in places convenient for many Women of Color, and they often have meetings in places like restaurants, etc. which requires patronage… an expense some women may not have, and are too embarrassed to show up for fear of highlighting lack while illuminating the “appearance” of inferiority. Sometimes it’s pride. These women hold meeting where they feel safe. Why not rotate meeting places to make it conducive to lower income Women of Color?
I attended a few meetings here in FL to support Bernie Sanders (among other activities) with really upper-middle class and wealthy women. Like you, I freelance from home and at the time I had a hubby who worked
I didn’t even touch on the “heir” of White women (my personal experience). I’m Southern, and we have invisible class systems which still exist.
I can’t tell you how many times since elementary school White girls have been rude, excluding, and down right disrespectful to me just because I was Black (and smart) because of our class systems. Those impressions left by those interactions caused me to look at White females differently. Granted I knew some nice ones, but more privileged and ones who know you when you are alone. When they are with friends and family, they can walk right by you in a store and not speak as though they can’t see you.
Fast forward today. When I go walk alone, White women walking in pairs won’t move. They expect me to move off the side walk. Even if they speak, they don’t move. My personal space has to be violated. When going in stores, can’t tell you how many times they’ve let the door close in my face. When being interviewed by White women working in the nonprofit sector, they’ve always question why I want to work with them with all of my education and experience. As a Director of the nonprofit rape crisis center, I can’t tell you how many times the White women on my staff undermined me (I was the only Black leader in the entire judicial circuit and the only Black director in the state). In that field we were supposed to be pro victims, pro- women and pro-children, but their work ethic coincided with the color of the victim. Most were happy to help young White college girls, but when kids of color came in, especially those re-victimized, I saw them not take it seriously.
Once in a multidisciplinary setting where I was the only Black leader in the table discussing cases we had all worked on collaboratively in the past month, there was a case that social services had worked no several times where a Black brother and sister (elementary age) were incestuous, and had been caught several times having sex. I watched their two White social workers crack a joke about how if they didn’t stop, the girl was going to be pregnant by her brother by middle school.
Everyone at the table laughed, except me.
Another friend of mines (Italian, older woman, feminist) moved to Texas and I helped her move by driving the truck from South FL. We were in our hotel room when one of her upscale White realtor friends called to bitch about her cheating husband and leaving him. My friend put her call on speaker, which was the worst mistake ever. The friend on the phone went on to talk about some excuse her husband gave her about his whereabouts, and her comment to her husband’s excuse was…”there was a dead nigger in the woodpile somewhere.” The two ladies kept on talking as if it was everyday talk. I had met her friend only once, casually in passing. So he knows I’m Black
As soon as the call ended, I politely inquired about the statement, and my she said her friend didn’t mean any harm. We had a discussion about it, and basically that’s how some White people talk when not in mixed company. Needless to say that friend and I are distant now. This just happened last year. While those words didn’t cut me, they made me more aware than even in the age of Trump that racism and racist language are still alive and thriving in the South, heck everywhere.
I’ve learned White feminism is selective and situational. I can tell you story after story about White feminist who rage they are tolerant, not racist, and care about people of color, but catch these types of women at the right time and in the right place…they show you who they truly are. They give good White women and allies a bad name. This is another reason why so many women of color are not engaged in the movement. We are neither fooled or impressed by them anymore. Blame their many bad apples for the movement become unpalatable. I’m educated, middle class, and I get to see a side of these women many poor women don’t. But it’s the White female heir that’s unmistakable every single time. It’s privilege vs. everyone else.
Too many White women time and time again have shown themselves to be untrustworthy and a danger to our lives.