Not that I needed you to be fine with any decision to opt out of feminism I’ve made based on MY personal experiences, but you’ve blessed me with another Feminist White savior platitude/attitude, so allow me to elaborate for you and those who share your views.
First and foremost: Let’s get into your attitude that comes through this post, the kinds that turn women like me off. This is why women of color are leaving the movement in droves. When we disagree with feminists and describe how we have not benefited from it, women like you come through proselytizing to us about how we’ve benefited from feminism. How do you know? Where’s your proof? Did you ask women of color (in particular Black women) about their experiences in the areas you noted you believe we’ve benefited? We’re all sisters, right?
I know you haven’t because of your comment, but since you don’t know but felt the need to lecture me on how you’ve saved me and you’re continuing to save me, I’m going to tell you why I won’t be fighting with you ladies anymore.
Next, let’s talk about that gender discrimination you mentioned: You say you and other feminists will continue to focus on gender discrimination, and that’s cool, but will you focus on the gender discrimination within the ranks of feminism (I’m going on a hunch by your response, the need to reprimand my decision and how it was done you’re White)? Among genders and ethnic groups within our gender, Black women are STILL not treated the way other women are treated.
For example, Black women are paid less than other women in the group in America, yet the movement enlisted our (Black) help to join the feminism movement first. How is feminism helping us and why is that gap so wide? White women are helping White men by gatekeeping that’s why! Feminism can’t seem to grapple with the White Supremacy within it’s ranks which helps keeps us Black women behind the power curve, occupationally segregated, poorer, and dying earlier than any of the other ethnic groups feminism claims it supports/fights for.
You feminists can’t fight gender discrimination without dealing with the racism within your ranks, and we don’t have another 100 years to wait on you White ladies to figure this out. You didn’t even mention it as a problem because you aren’t impacted by the discrimination personally, therefore, you cannot possibly understand my perspective. If you consider Black women being paid 20 cents less than White women an achievement since the movement was founded and since slavery, well I’ll just reserve my sarcasm. I hope you understand my lack of enthusiasm.
I guess I’m supposed shut up, sit down on the back of the bus and be quiet as you continue to fight for me and be happy about it all. Not in 2020.
Women in the Workforce: While you may believe women/mothers coming out of the household to join the workforce is great, you fail to note it came with many unintended consequences for any Black women and women of color. A lot of us (I’m Black and that’s who I speak for) followed White women out of the homes, but now we can’t afford child care, so we have latch key kids. We’re paid less so we work more. And because we’re always trying to compete with other groups (because that’s the American way), most of our two parent households have two people working for less money than other groups because of racial and gender discrimination. We’ve learned it’s actually cheaper for us to stay home because we can’t afford the expenses that come with working outside of the home.
White women have one less strike to deal with. We are Black and a woman, so we must always contend with racism in our workplaces and racial discrimination. We’re (Blacks) promoted less than you White feminist ladies despite us having more education and more qualifications because of the color of our skins. Again, you don’t have a clue which is why you feel the need to lecture me on my decision to opt out of following feminism!
Even when we get all the education a White woman has or more, we (Black women) still must work harder and longer to achieve what White and Asian women achieve at the first go at it! And then someone moves the goal posts.
So we have the freedom to work for less. Yea……Great!
Pursuing justice for rape victims: What a joke! First off, I don’t know whether you realize this, but THE ENTIRE criminal justice system is unfair and impartial and was created to police Black bodies. It wasn’t designed to be fair or just for us Blacks. Since feminism isn’t working to address the institution of racism, you’re not doing ANYTHING to help me or that benefits me with your fighting. From the way jurors are selected to the system being overwhelming White and male, there is no justice when the scales are so imbalanced.
Justice looks different to me because White men and women control if I receive it impartially. From White women sitting on all White juries, to the White prosecutors (which are state, local, and federal elected officials working for the government) striking us from juries pools (the government). Again, feminism isn’t about seeking justice or equality for all of us, just White women apparently. Feminism forgets how systems works. It doesn’t have to even consider how it works really. Feminism only seems to care when things aren’t fair for White women, and it hasn’t figured out how to put all the pieces in place to make justice fair, just, and impartial for us all.
Justice for rape survivors. While some progress has been made, there is a long way to go. I don’t see feminism addressing rape and survivors equally. Black women don’t trust the justice system because historically we were raped by White men and not believed. Many instances occurred simultaneously along side the first wave of the feminist movement. Our distrust is valid, yet feminists don’t care about our lack of distrust. We don’t trust America.
And while we talk about justice, does your justice include justice for the many children of color sexually abused by the swath of White female teachers who have been caught abusing their positions of power?White women are not treated the same way as men who sexually abuse children, and the movement is silent about that abuse. The movement is laser focused on the abuses by men, but not by women.
Additionally, the #MeToo movement was coopted by White women from Black women who created it out of a need to have a safe place or space to address our issues that weren’t being addressed by white feminism/feminism. Do you know why we needed this movement? It was because feminism wasn’t addressing our needs. Should we continue to be silent about sexual assault issues in the Black community not addressed by feminism when White women have shown us time and time again they aren’t going to protect us or advocate for our specific needs directly? I don’t think so and I’m insulted if you believe we should.
So while you and women like you pat yourselves on the back “pursing justice” for rape survivors, please note the praise is an insult to some of us who believed in you.
I myself served as an Executive Director of a sexual assault center in Georgia was literally harassed by the entire judicial circuit made up of White men in power (police and sheriff), White social workers, White social service providers for bringing up the LACK of justice Black women, boys, children, and men received when it came to rape and sexual assault. In some instances, Black children had reported sexual assault 2–3 different times with 2–3 different perps and White police could never find enough credible evidence to bring forth charges to send to a secret grand jury and our White prosecutor. Race matters when it comes to justice and your beloved feminism has a terrible track record of ensuring Black and Brown women and children get justice.
White prosecutors control the doors of the courthouse, which means they determine who gets justice and who remains free. Again, race plays a role in justice. Feminism doesn’t address race often enough for my comfort levels.
One national study estimates only 37% of reported rapes are prosecuted, and only 18% of prosecuted rape cases end in a conviction. Additionally, studies have shown for every 1000 rapes reported, 995 rapists walk free. Okay, we have this information, but my question is what is feminism doing about this besides alienating and bashing the group who can fix this (White men)?
White feminists have more power than any group under the feminists umbrella, but how you all choose to exercise this power often lacks long-term strategy and consideration of how your use of the power you ladies possess impacts others. Being a victim long-term is not a good long-term strategy, so far that’s all you offer.
The “justice” you speak of has been fleeting for sometime and does not address our (Black) unique needs, the lack of respect/trust for the police/criminal justice system, or the current process for reporting rapes as it relates to us. Feminism, and in particular White feminism, is blind to the lack of justice and impartiality in America’s systems. That’s a problem.
You don’t know what you don’t know. The problem is, feminism isn’t interested in knowing much! I’m not interested in helping you understand problems you support with your ignorance anymore. Feminist is indirectly act as pillars for White Supremacy.
Reproductive rights: It’s an argument about choice and another area where we likely don’t see eye to eye. The history of reproductive rights are rooted in racism, and the movement has never really apologized for their part in using people of color to test what works and what doesn’t for the benefit of White women. The mother of reproductive rights was racist and believed in/practiced eugenics. often via Planned Parenthood. For instance, the Pill was first tested on poor women in Puerto Rico and Mexico who had few other options than sterilization. Your rights came at the expense of people of color.
While White feminists are pro-abortion, you often fail to realize a large number of Black women tend to be very conservative in this area, declining your abortion rights olive branches because of America’s past history of sterilization abuse of Black women and girls by Whites. Those stories have been passed down through our families for generations.
White women helped facilitate this abuse. The rights you White feminist revel in are at the expense of Black and Brown female bodies, so spare me your performative fighting please! When White women have been needed the most to protect us, you’re no where to be found. You also have amnesia which is the reason for my long post.
I’m not going to bother about address the complaints of sexual harassment, and Title IV as it relates to the Clery Act and Violence Against Women because at the end of the day, it’s the same thing. The only reason we have these topics is because White women were bothered, and White women sought justice on behalf of White women. We’ve suffered in the same systems for decades and we’ve been invisible. Honey, we’re tired!
Any who, I just wanted to know why I’m fine with my decision and why I didn’t appreciate your lecture. Feminism doesn’t have a track record of fighting for Women of Color. Many women if color have just gone along for the sake of getting along, and most women in the feminist movement don’t know it because they really don’t care. Sherry Kappel is a great ally who may be able to help you understand why many Black women are seeking spaces free from women with attitudes like yours.
In closing, don’t lecture Black women for opting out of a shitty racist movement, try lecturing White women. Save your savior syndromes for yourselves. They no longer impress us.