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MY FEMINISM WILL BE INTERSECTIONAL OR IT WILL BE BULLSHIT!

Now picture this: me screaming the above. Angry. VERY ANGRY as a matter of fact. Screaming this at my computer screen. Screaming it at nobody and everybody. At you. You, person I might have never heard from who might have not even commented on this blog or any of the other publications where I can be regularly found scribbling my discombobulated ideas. Even though we never met before, I AM ACTUALLY, SCREAMING AT YOU RIGHT NOW. MY FEMINISM WILL BE INTERSECTIONAL OR IT WILL BE BULLSHIT!. And I am screaming this because I want to convince you, I want to get it through you that this is not a choice or an abstract concept or an intellectual exercise. I am not screaming because well, you know, I just discovered intersectionality and OMG SO COOL GUYS. YOU NEED TO READ THIS. No. My feminism NEEDS to be intersectional because as a South American, as a Latina, as someone who knows certain parts of the Global South intimately by virtue of being a Southerner, as an immigrant living in Europe, as a woman, I am in the middle of what I like to call the “shit puff pastry”. The shit puff pastry is every layer of fuck that goes on above me, below me, by my sides, all around me. And in this metaphorical puff pastry with multiple layers of excrement, I am the dulce de leche that is supposed to make it palatable so that someone else, more specifically the kyriarchy, can eat me.

And here’s the thing: while I am screaming at you, I am also asking, nay, DEMANDING that you scream with me. And I am asking that you become as angry as I have been this past week. Because without anger and without righteous indignation and without the deep, relentless demand for change, my feminism, YOUR feminism, everyone’s feminism will fail. It will be bullshit.

This past week I’ve been screaming this a lot. Because I like to play “connecting the dots” (s.e. smith ipse dixit) as a matter of political practice. I play “connecting the dots” even though sometimes I might not get a properly outlined landscape but the equivalent of what my 1 year old niece playing with a bunch of sharpies on the coffee table would produce. Which is to say, sometimes, the pictures I draw when I connect dots might not make sense or might be inaccurate or might have missed a few dots to be totally accurate. But I am willing to pay the price of not making sense sometimes if I do eventually get it right. I would rather sometimes come across as far fetched than miss the landscape that the shit puff pastry provides. And these past few days I’ve been playing connect the dots more often than usual. Hence my anger. Hence my disappointment with feminism. FEMINISM! I AM DEEPLY DISAPPOINTED IN YOU. To the point that I even considered ditching the label altogether. And if that happened, I would use a new label that pretty much sums up my politics: Flame-throwerism. Wherein I set feminism on fire and with its ashes I fill my cats’ kitty litter box and let them pee on it. That’s how angry I’ve been at feminism this week. Kitty litter levels of outrage.

Layer one of this week’s shit puff pastry

My anger was inaugurated with a simple photograph. Just a yellow sign, written with what pretty much looks like a sharpie. And this sign states that “woman is the N* of the world”. Held by a White Slut Walk participant in New York. I am sure by now you know the story. And I became a bit angry. Angry that someone would not realize what a hurtful, shitty thing that was. Angry that someone would not even know the history behind that word. That a woman, a fellow self identified young feminist would not have done some pretty basic homework. I was sad and angry. And then sad again and angry. Basic homework does not entail having read academic works dissecting the history of slavery, it’s legacy, colonialism and the idea that for centuries (and pretty much to this day) Black women have been considered unrapeable, that those N* bodies were (and sometimes, painfully very often still are) considered non-human. No, I did not expect a nuanced knowledge of all this. Just basic human compassion skills. A minimum understanding of the meaning behind a word. Wikipedia levels of knowledge, which is, like the ABC of feminist activism. And when I saw that sign, I screamed “MY FEMINISM WILL BE INTERSECTIONAL OR IT WILL BE BULLSHIT” for the first time this week. I screamed at all of you, at everybody and nobody. (Incidentally, at this point, my youngest cat got a little bit scared with my screams but let out a meow of pleasure at the prospect of feminism making its way to her kitty litter box). And I can hear you now say “But Flavia! Why do you care?! This one sign was in Slut Walk New York! In another continent altogether! What is that to you?!”. It is that my politics are all about anti racism. Moreover, racism is probably the one thing I struggle with the most. In my feminism, in my political activism, in my writing, IN MY FUCKING DAILY LIFE. When I am met with snide remarks because of my accent, when people openly dismiss my political ideas in a debate because I mispronounced a Dutch word, when I am told about “those people” (my fellow Non Western immigrants), WHEN I AM PUNCHED IN THE FACE as I was once, while the drunk asshole throwing the punch called me “cunt alien”. My feminism HAS to be about racism by virtue of being a significant layer in my very own shit puff pastry.

Layer two of this week’s shit puff pastry

After this photo made the rounds in some online blogs and magazines, it ended up posted in Slut Walk New York’s very own Facebook page. And commentary ensued. And oh yes WHAT A COMMENTARY THAT WAS! WHAT A SIGHT TO BEHOLD! This commentary, which Latoya Peterson has documented extensively (bless her, the degree of patience and nuance she attempted to provide, along with several other WoC who tried to have their voices heard in that discussion made my heart sink). This commentary ranged from the usual “But it’s just a word!” to “We live in different times now!” and then the EPIC FAIL, the shameful, disgraceful remark: “you are all jumping to side and rally against the black version of “n*”; we are simply rallying against the human version of “n*””, which, as Eli_Betta pointed out, bears the painful question: “Is the black “version” separate from the human “version”?”. And I sat there reading this discussion. I refreshed it for hours. These people were supposed to be my fellow feminists. This, I’ve often been told, IS MY SISTERHOOD! These are my people! BECAUSE I AM A FEMINIST! And of course, I screamed again, so many times that, at this point, my throat started to hurt. I was unsure if it was hurting because of my screaming or because of the tears I was holding up. MY FEMINISM WILL BE INTERSECTIONAL OR IT WILL BE BULLSHIT! I screamed it every time I hit refresh and a new, unknown up to that point level of fail showed up on my screen. I was not just disappointed that my supposedly fellow feminists were capable of such vile. I was disappointed that the very same organizers would allow this commentary to go unchecked. That, in the name of some misguided version of the old “freedom of speech” trope, they would not intervene and end the carnage. That the people behind Slut Walk New York’s Facebook page would not jump in and delete those comments. BECAUSE YOU CANNOT CLAIM TO WANT TO PROVIDE SAFETY FOR WOMEN WHILE YOU ARE LETTING *SOME* WOMEN BE RACIALLY ATTACKED. BECAUSE IF YOU DO THAT, YOU ARE A FUCKING HYPOCRITE AND YOU SHOULD JUST GO AHEAD AND SAY IT “WE WANT TO PROVIDE SAFETY JUST FOR *SOME OF US* WHILE THE REST, THE BROWN, BATTERED BODIES OF BLACK WOMEN ARE CALLED NAMES”. Because that’s a more accurate description of what transpired. Can you tell that I am still screaming as I type this? Can you tell I am angry? And if you are not angry with me right now, then I do not want to be part of your feminism. Then I do not want any fucking sisterhood with you or whatever nonsense we can come up to excuse our movement’s failures. If you are not angry at this, like I am, then I know we are not part of the same team.

And then something else happened: the whole thread was deleted. Just like that. Because, well, PEOPLE WERE SAYING RACIST THINGS. What.The.Fuck. People had been saying racist things for hours, without one single page moderator intervening by curating the ensuing discussion. Without a single deletion and a warning for those commenters who had suggested that Black women were “non human”. Instead, they deleted the whole thing (at Racialicious there is a good summary of significant portions of what is now gone, plus, for those who are on Tumblr, many people have made screen captures of some salient commentary). However, that deletion is unforgivable. Because the mere action also erased the commentary from Black (and non Black, in fairness) people who vehemently opposed the apologists. The act of erasure also did away with the opposition. Now we are left with third party accounts and commentary but we can no longer gauge the full extent of the offense. And I am sorry, but that is fucking lazy and irresponsible. If you cannot keep a thread in check, if you cannot provide a safe space, then perhaps you have no right organizing supposedly safe spaces for others; spaces like, oh, I don’t know, a massive march over New York City. If, instead of owning up for what happened under your watch, you delete the whole thing, I want no part in your feminism. I am going to say this now, loud: I AM NOT PART OF YOUR FEMINISM. I hope I am clear on that.

Layer three of this week’s shit puff pastry

I am not supposed to be angry at any of the above. Or better said: if I am angry at any of the above, I should weep in silence and not tell anyone. Because if I say as much as one word, I am ruining Slut Walk for everybody. Or at least, that’s what Shira Tenant told me in her piece at The Huffington Post a couple of days ago:

The point is there is strength in numbers. We need as many as possible involved in preventing rape and sexual assault. Critical self-reflection is important to any political movement. But, at some point that self-critique becomes unproductive — or worse, it divides a movement from within.

In the spirit of loving critique, instead of writing about the shortcomings of SlutWalk, what if Keli Goff wrote an entire piece about the problem of rape? What if Wendy J. Murphy used her media reach to attack rape, not other feminists? Rather than reducing SlutWalk to an event that involves “stripping down to skivvies and calling ourselves sluts” — then quickly dismissing this as “passing for keen retort” — I’d like Rebecca Traister to consider the far deeper concerns about sexual assault that underscore these events. I’d like to request that Gail Dines stop perpetuating divisive misinformation about race and anti-rape protest.[…]

Today, we don’t need COINTELPRO to divide feminist groups. We’re doing it to ourselves.

MY FEMINISM WILL BE INTERSECTIONAL OR IT WILL BE BULLSHIT! Do you see where I am coming from with this? Am I not supposed to apply that lens to Slut Walk? Am I supposed to ignore the violence that ensued in the N* word discussion? Am I supposed to overlook its blatant violence in the name of sisterhood?! IS THAT WHAT IS EXPECTED OF ME?! Then again, I want no part in such movement. The rotten, reactionary mandate that claims criticism as divisive and undesirable has no place in my politics. Whether they are called Feminism or Flame-Throwerism.

See? I never said anything about Slut Walk because it is a movement I do not necessarily feel as mine. And that is OK. Not every initiative has to include me to be valid and valuable. It is valuable to some people and that is fine for me. That was always my stance towards the movement. I have little interest in publicly reclaiming the word “Slut” because it is a word towards which I do not have an emotional connection. Puta, on the other hand, the Spanish language equivalent, is another story altogether. Because that’s the language of the man who beat me up while calling me “puta”. Because that’s the language of the world I grew up in and where women labeled as “putas” were also unrapeable and pretty much unworthy of being considered human. Because “puta”, is also the derogatory word used to refer to sex workers. Putas, a whole lot of women who deserved violence. But “slut” does not mean much to me, personally, so I always looked at Slut Walk from afar. When it happened in Amsterdam, I did not go. But I did believe it was OK for other women, for those who did feel like reclaiming the word to do so. My politics do not need to be identical to everyone else’s. We can differ in strategies or modes of action without those differences becoming gaps that cannot be filled. After all, the strategies might differ but our end goals are the same.

But after the debacle with the racial discussions, I no longer feel the same way. Now I need to publicly stand against Slut Walk. However, I am told, I am a bad, bad feminist for doing so. I am divisive. I am now part of the problem. However, any movement, be it feminism or something else that demands that I ditch my overall intersectional lens is not a movement I consider worthy of my allegiance. It is a movement that is actively against me. It is a movement that tells the xenophobic man who punched me in the face that well, that is somewhat acceptable because we do not actively stand against racism. Moreover, in our supposedly safe spaces, racism is openly allowed. And if people complain about it, we will delete the proof of our wrong doing.

I am not supposed to say any of this because now I am part of the Slut Wars. Why yes, I will now reclaim the word Puta and this angry puta Latina now tells you this: I am not part of your feminism. In fact, I have never been. Because if I am supposed to ignore racism in the name of your initiative, it means we are pretty much against each other. Even though racism has been historically used as an excuse to rape certain women. The very same action you are supposedly against. Free of charge, I have a new slogan for you then: Racist rape for some, miniature slut walks for others!

Layer four of this week’s shit puff pastry

OMG GUYS OMG THREE AFRICAN WOMEN WON THE NOBEL PRIZE! OMG A VICTORY FOR FEMINISM! Pretty much my Twitter stream was inundated with similarly celebratory expressions. RAH RAH CHEERS! Picture me, at this point, giving intense side eye to my computer screen. A victory for feminism, you say? How is that? Which feminism? The feminism of the three previous layers of the shit puff pastry I just described? You are now celebrating the Nobel Prize of three African women as yours when, a significant and visible portion of your movement did not stand for the countless other African American women who are being called names RIGHT NOW, ONE CLICK AWAY ALSO IN THE NAME OF YOUR MOVEMENT? But suddenly THESE three African women are a victory for feminism?! Sorry, but what?! I am missing something here. Oh right. Yes. I am missing my “connect the dots” game, which cannot separate all of these events from one another.

Moreover, and again, free of charge, I am going to provide further intersectional analysis for YOUR FEMINISM! These three African women won the Nobel Prize IN SPITE OF YOU. In spite of your actively working to oppress them and fuck up their lives. Because if you live in a Western Nation, in your name, your State has been making these women’s lives miserable. These women have achieved something enormous, of epic proportions, in spite of the fact that the State you are part of, the State that acts on your behalf and in your name, has been crushing them for decades, perhaps even centuries. But in celebrating their achievements as a victory for feminism, all of this is erased. We demand their inclusion in our movement! SISTERHOOD! A ROUND OF APPLAUSE FOR OUR SISTERS THAT WON THE NOBEL PRIZE!

Except that no. Because your other sisters, the ones who make the more visible face of mainstream Western feminism today are allowing unspeakable acts of racism to happen under their watch. And you cannot celebrate these three specific African women without situating yourself in their realities and the realities of all WoC around you. Without asking yourself why your movement has been so often accused of alienating WoC, of not acknowledging the legacy of slavery and colonialism in rape culture, of not actively opposing violence against WoC and without examining the role that your State has had in the on going, persistent violence perpetrated on people from the Global South even today, as I type this. Unless your feminism is actively engaged in all of this multi dimensional analysis, YOU HAVE NO RIGHT CLAIMING THESE WOMEN AS YOUR OWN. Because in the Western city where you are reading this now, WoC, women who look very much like these Nobel Prize winners are subjected to racial violence on a daily basis. And if these three Nobel Prize winners are your sisters in feminism, I must ask you the obvious and difficult question: why are you not standing with your other, local WoC sisters while their bodies are violated; while their sons are sent to prison in the name of your safety; when they cannot find jobs because of institutionalized racism; when they are being deported; when their children are called “anchor babies”; when the State acting in your name sterilized them; when these women are being called N****rs?! How can you morally justify selective solidarity with *some* WoC whose achievements are not unlike a Sisyphus burden while you are not actively working in the causes of the WoC who live around your corner? How can you not see that the two are tragically interconnected?

Layer five of this week’s shit puff pastry

I am hurting. Like real, physical pain on the right side of my torso. It’s been going on for a few days and I have no idea what’s causing it. I do know it’s gotten worse since I have been letting out all of this anger. I hurt even more so while I was researching my last post about the corporate profits behind the business of undocumented immigrants. Obviously this is not evident in the post itself but I spent days reading accounts of abuses perpetrated on immigrant bodies. I also saw the trailer to this film which Eli recommended in one of the comments. And I cried, when one of the Ethiopian women spoke of her abuse in the hands of smugglers and how she connected it with the European Union’s complicity. She had been raped in the name of my safety. Because I am a legal resident in a European country, I have to acknowledge that the State, on my behalf, deemed it acceptable that this body was abused. And I am also hurting because even though I put a lot of effort into that piece, nobody seemed to care much about it. AND YOU FUCKING SHOULD. Not because I wrote it, fuck that, no. But because all of that is done IN YOUR NAME. Because if you are a legal resident in a Western country, the State is actively abusing these people on your behalf. These immigrant, non White bodies are treated as worthless because YOU HAVE ALLOWED YOUR STATE TO DO THIS. And yet, few people seemed to connect to the piece or even find it worthy.

I do not give a damn that I wrote it. Moreover, I hereby give you permission to use my words as yours. Do not credit me if you do not feel like it. Use the words in that piece to discuss the subject. Tell people you wrote it if you need to. BUT IF YOU CALL YOURSELF A FEMINIST AND YOU DO NOT CARE THAT SOME WOMEN ARE GIVING BIRTH IN INHUMAN CONDITIONS AND THEIR CHILDREN ARE UNDER SUCH GRIEF THAT THEY HAVE SEWN THEIR LIPS TOGETHER THEN I AM NOT PART OF YOUR MOVEMENT. And if you cannot actively unpack your share of responsibility in these actions, which are happening right in your backyard, then one of us cannot call herself a feminist.

And if you cannot see how this issue is so deeply interconnected with all of the above, with racism, with violence on WoC, with rape culture, with colonialism, with our disdain for people from the Global South, with whose bodies are deemed human and whose are not (and as such, unrapeable), with institutionalized violence, with wars waged by our Nations on the countries where these people come from… if you cannot see all of this as part of the same landscape, as part of the same gigantic, oppressive shit puff pastry, then maybe I should not call myself a feminist. Maybe, indeed, throwing flames in the direction of feminism is all I have left.

I am not going to do that just yet. But FEMINISM, I MUST WARN YOU: MY FLAME THROWER IS LOADED AND YOU HAVE DISAPPOINTED ME. My cats would be delighted to pee on you.

102 Comments

  1. SSH wrote:

    On Layer two, someone needs to look up the mathematical term “superset” and while at it also “metaphor”. But probably this comment will be interpreted as somehow saying about racial superiority (it isn’t, by the way).

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 7:12 am | Permalink
  2. Racial superiority? Nah, I wouldn’t have subscribed your comment to ideas of racial superiority. I would have blamed your entitlement to type bullshit without addressing the issue I wrote about. I would have blamed your lack of care in addressing the issue at hand because you prefer to act like an asshole instead of commenting on the bigger picture.

    See? Not everything has to be about racism. Sometimes it is just about asshatery.

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 7:22 am | Permalink
  3. Spatula wrote:

    Flavia, I am angry with you right now. The levels in the shit pastry make me furious and wanting to puke and throw flames out of a flamethrower and also go out and do something to stop the bullshit. Thinking of strategies right now.

    The fucking idiots in the slut walk alone. WTF.

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 7:32 am | Permalink
  4. k wrote:

    Thank you. This shit is exhausting.

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 7:42 am | Permalink
  5. Stella wrote:

    Hi, I’m Stella! I know I just met you all, but I had a swell idea! I thought I would post a YouTube link to A Certain John Lennon Song. The caption under the song tells us all to “listen before you make judgments.” I thought this would be super-productive! Because I’m Stella, and this is how I roll. Sadly, since I did not include an actual comment, Sady now gets to edit my comment to tell you what I was actually saying, which is “stupid ladies of color worryin’ bout racism and gettin’ mad, why can’t you chillax and listen to the luscious vanilla-flavored tones of a dead hippie as he tells you I’m oppressed?”

    <3
    Stella

    STELLA:

    WE AT TIGER BEATDOWN HAVE CONSIDERED YOUR COMMENT SUBMISSION. REGRETTABLY, WE ARE NOT PUBLISHING ANY MORE STUPID COMMENTS IN THIS ISSUE. ATTACHED, PLEASE FIND A YOUTUBE VIDEO WE FIND SUITABLE TO REPRESENT OUR DETAILED RESPONSE.

    LOVE,

    TIGER BEATDOWN

    PS: YOU LOSE. GOOD DAY, STELLA.

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 8:06 am | Permalink
  6. Vivian wrote:

    I completely understand your anger, and in many ways I share it, although I am much, much angrier at the perpetrators of violence than I am at the naive woman in New York. I hesitate at telling you how you _should_ feel, but since you spent a lot of time telling me (a feminist) how I should feel, I think it is ok to give some of my opinion. Anger is not always an appropriate response. People don’t deal well when confronted with anger, they shut it out. They entrench, convincing themselves that because they were well-meaning, what they did must have been right. They come up with complicated explanations. And then they try to move on to a different topic, because they can’t handle the anger directed at them. Right now, you are probably angry at me, because you were right in your reaction, and right to be angry. And I am feeling defensive, because I am right that anger is not good for communication. But I strongly believe that dialog about race is hard and painful and totally worth doing, even if you mess it up sometimes. Now tell me what I said that was wrong, and why, and I will try to learn from it.

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 8:20 am | Permalink
  7. tew wrote:

    thank you, thank you, thank you.

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 8:21 am | Permalink
  8. Vivian, the gist of my anger is not directed at the woman holding the sign. I blame the organizers for what ensued though. For not taking a swift and clear position when the Facebook thread got derailed, for not taking a stand. That I see as much more serious than the young woman holding the sign. And as I said in my post, in the context of ALL THE REST it becomes pretty much unbearable. It is not one isolated thing that angers me, it is something that looks pretty much structural. And if anger is not an appropriate response, then what will it take to change it? Should we accent *these* fuck ups? Or can we also start to become apologists for others, like rape, like domestic abuse, like colonial interventions? (not that I am implying you are apologizing any of this, I am talking collectively here). Where do we draw the line at WHAT specifically angers as?

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 8:26 am | Permalink
  9. Vivian wrote:

    I don’t know where that line should be drawn, I guess it will be different for every person. But I do think that we have to push ourselves to err on the side of having a dialog. The facebook people failed at that. The dialog upset them, so they got rid of it. Marches and protests are good against people who are so distant from your point of view, that dialog is impossible. We can demand to be heard, even if we know that we aren’t going to convince them by the strength of arguments, but only be the strength of numbers. But to get those numbers to increase, we do have to convince, through dialog, the people that are close to us on some issues, but not on others, whether it is due to ignorance or racism. And on the other side, we have to constantly question our own biases and our own assumptions and be willing to be confronted on those issues.

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 8:41 am | Permalink
  10. Anon wrote:

    Hi, I’m “Anon!” You may remember me from that comment I left under another name, that comment I left under another other name, or that comment I left under my other other other name. Or you may remember me from none of these comments! I’m “Anon,” and don’t have to stand by anything I say here! That is my special power. Also, getting my comments edited and rewritten. I have many special powers, as “Anons” tend to do.

    Anyway, I’m here to tell you that I used to read Tiger Beatdown like, all the time, and I liked it, but this post just RUINED TIGER BEATDOWN FOREVER because Flavia is THE REAL RACIST. Don’t believe I used to read Tiger Beatdown? Don’t believe I used to like it? No, trust me! I’m just “Anon” right now, as if for some weird reason I don’t want to sign my name when I say that I don’t like it when people get mad about racism, and that it makes them racist to do so! Anyway, I could totally be a Tiger Beatdown reader. Any Tiger Beatdown reader! I could be your mom! In fact, I am. I am your mom. And I’m “Anon.”

    And Tiger Beatdown is RUINED FOREVER NOW due to LADIES OF COLOR GETTIN’ MAD ABOUT RACISM, so don’t bother coming home for Thanksgiving, because I am so not making that kind of stuffing you like this year.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is: YOU BLEW IT UP! GOD DAMN YOU! GOD DAMN YOU ALL TO… oh, wait, here’s a YouTube video of me. Turns out, I’m deceased character actor Charlton Heston after all.

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 8:42 am | Permalink
  11. Aunt B. wrote:

    Vivian, then how could we as feminists ever be angry at men? Many men are close to me on some issues and not on others, due to their ignorance and sexism. And that is what is at the core of my being pissed off enough to become a feminist–that men, men I love and am close to, are ignorant and sexist. And that they want me to be nice about it.

    I feel like my anger is appropriate. Even SlutWalk started because women were angry at being told we just needed to not dress like sluts if we didn’t want to be raped.

    And I would be even more angry if a man said I shouldn’t be so angry, that it was preventing him from feeling comfortable being an ally to me. My suffering is not secondary to his discomfort.

    From my perspective, this looks like the same situation–that some of us women still want our comfort to come first. Even if we screw up so terribly that we hurt other women, we want them not to be angry, to put our discomfort first, ahead of their suffering.

    We wouldn’t accept that argument from a man in a feminist space–that we needed to treat him a certain way if we want to be heard. As feminists, we should not accept that argument from within our own ranks–that some women need to be treated certain ways if other women want to be heard.

    And it’s on those of us who are uncomfortable to set aside our discomfort and face the people we want on our side and hear their pain and anger at our actions.

    We can change and be better. That’s the whole point of a social movement.

    If we withhold our good behavior until the people we’re hurting approach us in a way we deem acceptable, we’re insisting on an abusive dynamic.

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 8:59 am | Permalink
  12. The Rotund wrote:

    Vivian, one of the things that troubles me in feminism is the idea that we must always speak with the intent of helping oppressors to understand. Sometimes anger IS the appropriate response, particularly when discussions about the need for intersectionality in feminism have been going on for decades.

    Hell, even without a specifically intersectional approach to feminism, that sign was appalling and the justifications of it are grotesque. If this were the first time something like that had happened… sure, maybe discourse would be the logical result. But it isn’t. And I think anger, I think that flame thrower, might actually be the only way to get people to pay any damn attention at all.

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 9:06 am | Permalink
  13. J. wrote:

    Thank you for writing this, SO, SO MUCH. I’m Asian-American and identified as a feminist for years, but the past couple years have really strained my relationship to the movement as my racial identity was marginalized and consumed in the “service” of the movement as a whole, and then being told that my hurt and indignation was “divisive” and didn’t show enough solidarity.

    To which I say now, WELL FUCK YOU GUYS AND YOUR “SOLIDARITY” THEN. If feminism doesn’t want to show basic solidarity – nay, decency – to ME by refusing to pander in racist bullshit, then I will take my solidarity somewhere the fuck else, thank you very fucking much.

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 9:10 am | Permalink
  14. Vivian wrote:

    @Aunt B. If a man said to me, or implied, that I shouldn’t dress in a certain way if I didn’t want to be raped, I would be angry too. And I wouldn’t consider that to be a person who was a potential ally to me in pursuit of feminism. But most of the men in my life would not say that, even though they sometimes say things that are ignorant and sexist. I think each person draws the line differently. As far as setting aside our discomfort to approach others, I think that has value, up to a point. Dialog is uncomfortable, but it is valuable. However, it is a two way street. I am certainly not saying that one side has to be accomodating and the other side gets to be comfortable.
    @The Rotund I guess it depends on who you see as the oppressor. I am saying that the woman holding the sign, although her actions were hurtful, ignorant, and racist, is not the enemy. She is a potential ally, but she needs to understand that what she did was wrong, and why. And the organizers of the march need to accept this dialog, despite its distraction from their message. Because in the long term, the more allies we have, the better, and the less harm we do to others, the stronger our message will be.

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 9:19 am | Permalink
  15. The Rotund wrote:

    Vivian, there has been a lot of conversation surrounding the racism involved in Slut Walk since its inception – again, I think if this were a first-time offense, we’d be having a very different conversation.

    But that person holding that sign? I’m a fat, middle-class, white American woman and that person is STILL not my ally because, yes, racism hurts us all but mostly because that person is actively and harmfully participating in and perpetuating the ongoing oppression of people who I DO value as allies.

    That does not mean that person cannot be a potential ally as well – but given the responses I’ve seen surrounding this whole thing… No.

    The people who need to tell her what she did wrong and why it was wrong are not the people she is hurting the most. It’s the other women around her in that photo. It’s the organizers of Slut Walk. It’s the other white women who are participating in feminism who have placed and emphasis and a priority on intersectionality and, frankly, placed an equal emphasis on just not being a douchecanoe.

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 9:42 am | Permalink
  16. Jane O wrote:

    Wow. This is one angry post. And quite rightly. As was pointed out, a simple check in wikepedia would have given the organisers a clue. My experience is that the younger feminists are simply not knowledgeable enough to know when or how they are going wrong. So the woman with the sign and the moderators probably didn’t know what to do. Not sure what the answer is, except keep on talking to each other and educate each other. And one of the ways of talking to to get angry in my view.

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 9:53 am | Permalink
  17. Heather wrote:

    Flavia, I hear your anger and I am glad you wrote this post. I hope other folks hear it, too. Spreading the word.

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 10:15 am | Permalink
  18. Kiri wrote:

    This is the first post in a while that has caused me to mentally fistpump and go, “FUCK YEAH!”

    Everyone needs to listen. I need to listen. Thank you for screaming at us.

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 10:32 am | Permalink
  19. Eli wrote:

    Yes. Thank you.

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 10:33 am | Permalink
  20. Uh-ti-Uh wrote:

    I’m angry. So angry that I can hardly type. And I’ve been this angry for a very long time–balling my fists and turning all kinds of red. No Body listens. Maybe a handful of disheartened friends. Maybe the sympathetic pat on the shoulder from a white scholar-friend. As an Asian-/American-/feminist, I’ve found that (neo/)liberal feminism has no space for me. Even worse is when you have the anti-imperial/POCO feminists exclude you from spaces too (intentionally or otherwise).

    But you’re right. I don’t want to be a part of those movements. I don’t have the time or patience or desire to be included in movements that are catered the beneficiaries of white privilege.

    Thank you for posting this.

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 11:26 am | Permalink
  21. I will scream with you. Our feminism will be intersectional or it will be bullshit

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 11:37 am | Permalink
  22. Flavia, I’m stood next to you with my flamethrower primed and waiting. Just give the signal and we’ll raze this shit to the ground. Amazing post.

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 11:37 am | Permalink
  23. Edward Current wrote:

    Not sure what else to say besides an incoherent scream of rage that you had this shit to get angry about in the first place.

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 11:45 am | Permalink
  24. Edward Current wrote:

    Wait, now I know what to say.

    Saying “Woman is the N* of the world” is like saying Rape is like anything. You’ve instantly lost me, because you’re clearly an idiot. You’re making a comparison that isn’t worth considering.

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 11:49 am | Permalink
  25. desu evol yaw wrote:

    Hi! I’m Hektor. I’m a dog. I have eaten two separate cell phones, and sometimes my own feces. I spent a month or two figuring out why there was another dog in a room exactly like our bathroom, and why I could only see him through one long window in our bathroom, and then I learned mirrors. I get very angry when there are dogs on TV because they are in my home and I have got to show them that their two-dimensional burglar ways are inappropriate in our three-dimensional society. It also took me a month to learn stairs.

    Basically, if anything you say is so obviously stupid that I can tell it’s stupid, I will edit it. Because I do that. I’m a comment moderator editor now. Also, a dog.

    This person claims that the title of A Certain John Lennon Song is not “racist” because it is “ironic.” I am but a simple dog, one who has eaten two Palm Pixis and (I must remind you) my own feces. And yet, I can tell that this comment is stupid.

    Off it goes. I banish it, I say! Off it goes! I will bite it if it comes any closer! Do not think I am merely posing, I assure you my growls denote a real urge to bite! Bad comment! Bad! Down! Bad!

    Regards,
    Hektor
    Comment Moderator / Dog

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 11:53 am | Permalink
  26. Molly wrote:

    You are right Flavia, it is complete bullshit.

    I felt sick when i saw that woman holding up that ill-thought out slogan. I wondered who her friends were, the people who would let her walk out with such a stupid and thoughtless slogan.
    They can’t be her friends really. Because if my friend wrote something like that on a sign, the first thing out of my mouth would be WTF??!!

    I think to get any sort of satisfaction, our anger should be controlled into making reasoned and logical arguments. Challenging anyone we come across to discuss and defend their beliefs. Most people have no idea why they think the way they do, i guess its subtle brainwashing from childhood onwards.

    If we all carry on challenging ill-thought out and narrow minded beliefs then we have to get somewhere eventually. It will take time, but seeing as the shit puff pastry has been around for thousands of years we got a lot of prejudice to get through.

    We all have to stick together on any sort of social injustice. It is ALL connected.

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 12:10 pm | Permalink
  27. Ms. Elise wrote:

    I have little to add except that I am angry, too. And I’ll stand beside you, because my feminism, too, will be intersectional, or it will be bullshit.

    Thank you, Flavia.

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 12:24 pm | Permalink
  28. Annaham wrote:

    Amazing post, Flavia.

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Permalink
  29. MadGastronomer wrote:

    Vivian, what you are saying is called the tone argument, and it is utter bullshit. Anger is an entirely appropriate response (and your mealy-mouthed shit about “every person draws the line differently” is just a poor cover for you, in fact, trying to tell other people where they should draw their lines). Not every statement about oppression needs to communicate with the oppressor, but furthermore sometimes anger really is the best way to communicate.

    And that young woman is not even a potential ally, not until she gets her head out of her ass and admits what she’s done.

    You don’t catch more flies with honey that with vinegar, not literally, and not figuratively. (No, seriously, it doesn’t work literally. Try it sometime. Vinegar or sweet alcohol, water, and a drop of dish soap catches the most flies.)

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Permalink
  30. Beth L. wrote:

    @Jane O: We need to NOT chalk all this up to youthful naivety (I’m speaking to the general urge to write all this off as youthful indiscretion, not just to your comment on this post). It’s too easy to say “They’re young, they don’t know yet, they’ll learn!” instead of saying “They’re young, sure, but they’re also willfully disregarding the experience and comments and criticisms and needs of women of color-just like feminism always has!” It’s easier to say “They’re young!” and move on than it is to acknowledge that this isn’t a standalone issue, that this both reflects and constitutes racist oppression within feminism at large.

    I’m a young feminist. I don’t want to be let off the hook, thanks to my age, when I fuck up. I want to be held accountable and I want to do the work I need to do in order to do better.

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Permalink
  31. tiernafeminista wrote:

    ANGRY AS HELL.

    MY FEMINISM WILL BE INTERSECTIONAL OR IT WILL BE BULLSHIT!

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Permalink
  32. tiernafeminista wrote:

    PS. This is probably one of the best blog posts I’ve ever read. Thank you. I know that will mean more trolls and entitlement posts for you all to deal with. I am sorry for those. Sending some positive energy your way.

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Permalink
  33. MikeV wrote:

    Thank you for this well-deserved and much-needed smack upside the head. The first four layers resonated heavily with me already, but I think that caring about layer five requires a great deal of concerted effort for me. It just doesn’t hit as close to home; the rage doesn’t flow as readily. But I will no longer just skim those kinds of posts, I promise!

    Also don’t mind me, just peein’ myself laughing at Sady’s edits.

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Permalink
  34. Princess R wrote:

    There isn’t a whole lot I can say except yes, thank you.

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Permalink
  35. topaz_grrl wrote:

    Agreed.

    MY FEMINISM WILL BE INTERSECTIONAL OR IT WILL BE BULLSHIT.

    No, there is no other way out than the above. I wish people would stop trying to find shortcuts away from oppression, like allowing racism to fight sexism will make it easier to fight racism in the long run. No. There is only one way and it means EVERYONE gets heard, EVERYONE comes with, and EVERYONE matters ALL THE TIME FOREVER.

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Permalink
  36. Stevie McFly wrote:

    The thing that got me about the facebook issue was the girl in the picture and her friends getting defensive, pulling the tone argument, and saying they were sorry we got offended but they didn’t do anything wrong. That just made it way more insulting.

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Permalink
  37. Snowflake wrote:

    This comment is about depression. It will probably end up full of suicide-related triggers. (Addendum after writing: It did. Please proceed with caution if you are susceptible.)

    I cannot be angry. I have read your anger and I saw it, I understood it, I agreed with it, but I did not feel it myself. I don’t know why. I cannot feel anything, right now, so I cannot figure it out.

    I cannot feel anything because if I felt anything it would be soul-crushing despair. I did not get angry. I did not feel your anger with you. And if I did not feel your anger I must be against you; you told me so. I am hurting you, hurting feminism, with my failure to feel. My distance from my emotions is causing harm and suffering in the world. I am causing harm and suffering in the world.

    If I am causing harm and suffering in the world I should stop. The only purpose of my life is to promote health and pleasure and happiness and understanding and knowledge and good and beautiful things. If I fail at this I am worthless. If I cause harm or suffering I should die. I cannot make myself feel your anger; I cannot make myself stop hurting feminism; I should die.

    I don’t want to die, most of the time. I take medication so it will be easier to stop wanting to when I do. I cannot feel anything right now because if I felt anything, I would feel a strong urge to die, and then I might do something about it, so not feeling anything helps me to avoid killing myself today.

    I don’t know what I expect, leaving this comment. It is hard to think right now. Not feeling anything will do that. I don’t know what I want or what response, if any, I think would be appropriate. I think maybe the reason I don’t know is because it’s not my place to decide.

    I would not leave this comment if this were any post about race and feminism. Sometimes I have similar reactions to those, but I shut up and sit on it because I am not a woman of colour and the conversation is not about crazy white people. But this is a post about intersectionality, and intersectionality means everyone, doesn’t it? Crazy white people included. And maybe there is someone else out there, someone who is not me, someone who is worth something, who read this post and could not get angry and blamed themselves, and maybe if I leave this comment, what follows will help them somehow.

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Permalink
  38. Copcher wrote:

    So much awesomeness in this post. I completely agree that anger is quite frequently the correct response, and I hate when people use others’ anger as an excuse to not engage with the very important topics that they are discussing and being angry in. It’s absolutely true that anger is sometimes difficult to respond to and makes people uncomfortable, but it’s and important part of activism and progress. One of my favourite things about Tiger Beatdown is the productive and action-oriented anger I see on it. We (as a culture/society/movement/whatever else we are) need to stop shying away from anger and engage with it productively. Thank you so much for writing this.

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Permalink
  39. Susannah wrote:

    The SlutWalk controversy has been keeping me up at night, and this article really makes me feel why. MY FEMINISM WILL BE INTERSECTIONAL OR IT WILL BE BULLSHIT. Why has it taken me so long to learn this? Why is there a gap between the feminism I learned about at thirteen and the intersectionality I am only now learning at about at eighteen? Why were these movements not presented to me as not just equally important, but INHERENTLY RELATED? Why were these different injustices taught to me as separate units- sexism, racism, classism, homophobia, xenophobia- and why was I told that I only had to concern myself with the movements that “directly” affected me? I feel betrayed by my teachers and mentors in feminism, but at the same time I know that I, as a white American woman who has benefited greatly from the oppressive system that raised me, am as accountable for my ignorance as all of my teachers and mentors. I am culpable, I am guilty, I, I, I have held this sign above my head and I have divided the “black” from the “human” and I have punched you in the face and called you an alien. I am surrounded by the shit puff pastry, but I am also a part of it.

    And what I want to know is, what the hell do I do? It’s not enough for me to read your article on undocumented immigration and weep (which I did) and it’s not enough for me just to recognize racism in the society around me (which I do). I KNOW it’s not enough. I know, I feel, and this article reinforces, that I owe a debt to my sisters of color and my sisters in poverty. But I don’t know how to repay it. I know how to be angry with you, but I don’t know how to pull that anger out of me and make it into a tool. I want to stop contributing to a hypocritical feminism, to a white feminism that screams KYRIARCHY but can’t recognize it in itself, but I have no idea how to begin. Recognizing my racism is not enough. I need to help.

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Permalink
  40. Kiri wrote:

    I feel you, Snowflake. I myself have raged in the past against the “if you’re not angry, you’re not helping” concept.

    Thing is… well. I don’t want to put words in Flavia’s mouth, so I hope y’all will forgive me if I’ve misinterpreted her post, but the way I read it, it wasn’t so much intended to be emotion policing as it was exhorting feminists to care. I do wish she hadn’t put it quite the way she did, but I get where she’s coming from.

    But I can definitely see how it’s unclear as written (especially for us neurodiverse folks) and that, yeah, there does need to be recognition that disabled folks have limited resources and can’t be doing everything they “should” be doing, even if it’s just feeling an emotion. So… I guess what I’m saying is that I’m with you on that, even as I’m enthusiastic about Flavia’s larger message.

    (I hope that makes sense. I know I kinda mangled the grammar in this comment.)

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Permalink
  41. Kiri wrote:

    Oh god, that came across as really insensitive. Uhh, please don’t approve my last comment, as it’s terribly hurtful. >_<

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Permalink
  42. Kiri wrote:

    I just realized that what I wrote could be read as dismissive of the position that you, Snowflake, are in, and I apologize for that. I should know better, as a depressed person myself.

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Permalink
  43. @Kiri, I went ahead and “unapproved” as per your request. If you’d like me to re-approve it let me know.

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Permalink
  44. Kiri wrote:

    Thanks. I’ll try either rewriting it, or just leaving it be. I am in a really awful headspace right now, and that’s affecting my ability to engage helpfully.

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Permalink
  45. Snowflake wrote:

    Kiri, I read your comment in the brief window of its public existence and I didn’t interpret it as dismissive or hurtful towards me at all; it seemed very supportive. For what that’s worth.

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Permalink
  46. samanthab wrote:

    Vivian, seriously, are you not getting that insulting WOC is not about “discomfort;” it’s about shoving them out the door. You can’t have it both ways, that “nigger” signifies structural oppression when white ladies are involved,but is just an uncomfortable term when it comes to WOC. As was stated in the Fb comments repeatedly, did anyone investigate how WOC might feel about the use of the term? Why are white women entitled to “dialog” but WOC should shut the fuck up when forcefully stating their case?

    Nevermind that there was a dialogue here. At least until the thread was deleted, the white women supporting the racist message were given ample opportunity to learn and listen. They couldn’t be fucking bothered, or, perhaps more likely, they valued the opportunity to affirm their structural superiority. So whose being shoved out of the picture here? Hint: it ain’t the poor white ladies. It’s the WOC who are being told that their intersectionality doesn’t belong in feminist spaces. The extent to which you yourself have failed to absorb a key point of Flavia’s- that the white ladies will get somewhere when they/we integrate WOC- is rather astonishing. I tend to think it’s you that’s shutting out dialogue in this thread, given that you’re perfectly willing to turn Flavia’s point on end.

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Permalink
  47. samanthab wrote:

    Snowflake, I think about suicide at least four days a week for a few hours at the end of the day, when my SAD and bipolar disorder intermingle. As a fellow sufferer, can I just suggest that you try at some point to reconsider that you have to be fucking perfect to matter? You’re perfectly entitled have weaker, frailer, disengaged moments. Ideally, in turn you will maximize your brighter ones? I’ve had to learn over time to cast aside a lot of perfectionism in order to keep my depression mitigated. It doesn’t go away, but I can keep the notion that my weakest moments will pass on the backburner of my thoughts. And stay alive, at least in part because of that notion.

    (I do realize this is a derail, and I apologize. But I’m also aware that she’s right, that depression can fucking separate you from others’ perspectives. I’ve just been there too much to not have a shit ton of empathy here.)

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Permalink
  48. @samanthab, FWIW I don’t think this is a derail, in a post about intersectionality we need to be able to situate this as well. Disability and mental health are fundamental to what I was trying to get at. Analysis of kyriarchy MUST take them into account or else it will be an incomplete perspective.

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Permalink
  49. JL V. wrote:

    Thank you for this, Flavia. I’ve only been following Tiger Beatdown for a couple months but it seems like across the board, you and the other writers here are so good at articulating what it means to live and struggle as conscious people. “My feminism will be intersectional or it will be bullshit”– I actually smacked my hand down on my desk like ‘fuck yeah!’ when I read that. That’s the truth. As a WOC, intersectionality never stops; there’s no experience I walk into where I’m not all of my identities, histories, even emotions, all at once. And if I can’t be recognized as an actual person, not a token or a sidekick or just one more body to count in the crowd, why would I want to be part of these movements. So, yeah, thank you for writing this piece, your fury is beautiful and inspiring.

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Permalink
  50. Kiri wrote:

    I guess that, if Snowflake wasn’t hurt by my comment, I’m okay with it being restored. Thanks, and sorry about the drama.

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Permalink
  51. alanna wrote:

    Flavia – thank you for this post. I found myself feeling uncomfortable and maybe a little defensive while reading it, which I think is ultimately a good thing. It reminds me that I still – always – have work to do in understanding my white privilege, and that I cannot be complacent about it because it can cause real harm.

    Snowflake – I am groping for words here and I’ve rewritten this so many times… I hope I’ve managed to convey what I’m trying to say. You feel how you feel (or don’t) and you do not need to apologize for that. I’ll say here that I don’t feel very angry about this myself – because I am white and therefore don’t have the lived experience that Flavia and other people of color bring to this. So intellectually I understand, but emotionally? I’m not in the same place. I’m not really angry, but I’m definitely disappointed and ashamed on behalf of some of my fellow feminists. But that doesn’t make me (or you, or anyone else) “worth” any less. The important thing, I think, is to acknowledge this anger, listen to it, apologize if you’ve caused harm, and make the effort not to cause harm again. To sum up: not sharing an emotion isn’t erasure. Insisting that no one feels that emotion, even as they’re telling you they do? That is.

    Hektor – Who’s a good dog? I think someone deserves a steak!

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Permalink
  52. Molly Bandit wrote:

    THANK YOU for writing this! This is amazing and much needed.

    I tried to look at that comment thread on the Slutwalk Facebook while it was active and had to shut my computer off because it was making me physically ill.

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Permalink
  53. James wrote:

    In the absence of anything more substantive to offer, I merely suggest that ‘MY FEMINISM WILL BE INTERSECTIONAL OR IT WILL BE BULLSHIT’ would do well to find its way to the Tiger Beatdown merchandise section. =)

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 6:18 pm | Permalink
  54. Romie wrote:

    Thank you. I feel and see these things every day and don’t understand why not everyone is yelling. This website is worth so much to me.

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 6:48 pm | Permalink
  55. Romie wrote:

    Also, I second the desire to buy “MY FEMINISM WILL BE INTERSECTIONAL OR IT WILL BE BULLSHIT” merchandise. In almost any form. Because sometimes my throat needs a rest and I like my clothing/coffee mug/flag/babyjumper/button to shout for me.

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 6:50 pm | Permalink
  56. whimseywisp wrote:

    YES THIS OMG YES. I WILL THROW FLAMES WITH YOU. Because as a cis-gendered white lady I am ashamed that there are women that look like me that are acting like THAT. IT PISSES ME OFF. FUCK YEAH INTERSECTIONAL FEMINISM.

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 7:25 pm | Permalink
  57. Angela wrote:

    Thank you for this Flavia.

    Vivian, sometimes anger is the only response left. When you’ve tried packaging these ideas up into a palatable non-offensive argument you get the shit that was written on the Slutwalk wall (and thankfully reproduced on Racialicious). I find this post by Flavia moving precisely because it is angry and because there is no other response at this point.

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 8:05 pm | Permalink
  58. Scarlet wrote:

    Hi! This is Hektor, the dog, again. I had a pretty nice day. I napped a lot. Then I moderated your comments. Then I napped. I also attended to my business interests in the local community, such as peeing on trees in it, and on one part of the sidewalk there were a lot of chicken bones. I tried to eat the chicken bones. I also licked the side of a bus stop. I think there was pee on it, I don’t know. Possibly it was chicken. Either one is good.

    As I’ve established in prior comments, I’m a dog. Also, I’m extremely stupid. And if your comment is so stupid that I can identify it as such, I get to delete it and tell you why.

    This comment said that “racebloggers” talking about SlutWalk were “derailing.” I am but a dog, but I know what “derailing” means. It is when you try to stop walking so you can eat the chicken bones on the sidewalk. It means you start doing something that is not the thing you are supposed to be doing. Like when you stop talking about women to talk about something else.

    So, if “SlutWalk” is for feminism, and feminism is for women, then why would “racebloggers” be “derailing” when they talk about women of color and feminism? Is the thing they are doing not relevant? Is there a difference between “racebloggers” and “womenbloggers?” But Flavia is talking about feminism AND race! “Feminism” is in the title of the post! It starts with “MY FEMINISM!” So confusing!

    That’s when I figured out what this comment was saying. This comment was saying that people who talk about “race” can’t technically be women or feminists, and feminists and women can’t technically talk about race! The only way you can talk about women is if you talk about the kinds of women that don’t experience racism, the white ones. So what this comment is saying is that women of color are not women. And that is why it is “derailing” for them to talk about what they think and feel. Because we are supposed to be talking about what women think and feel, and women can’t be women unless they are white.

    Ha ha, stupid commenter! I am but a simple dog who licks bus stops, and I still know what women are! They are not just the white women, those are just one kind! White women are not the only women, stupid commenter! One time a blanket fell on my head and I could not get out from under it because it was advanced blanket technology so I walked around with it on my head and everybody laughed at me. Is that what it is like for you when you meet a woman who is not a white woman, Stupid Commenter? Are you very confused? I bet you are! Ha ha, now it is my turn to laugh at YOU. Because everyone is laughing at you. Because it is very funny, how stupid you are.

    Commenter, because you are stupider than I am — and I remind you that I am but a simple dog — I get to delete and edit your comment. No commenter! Bad commenter! Bad! Sit! Stay! Lick bus stop! That is much simpler than blog commenting, I think it is the career for you.

    Regards,

    Hektor
    Comment Moderator / Dog

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 8:28 pm | Permalink
  59. Helen wrote:

    Thank you, Flavia. I’ve been following the slut walk sign controversy. I’m tired of the reminders that my brown skin isn’t welcome, even as people use it to sell their brand of feminism. It is hurtful and exhausting and how the hell do you not renounce feminism on a daily basis?

    I did read your post on the treatment of undocumented immigrants. I was one of the people too upset to comment, but I definitely read it and it has stayed with me. I wanted to let you know that that post wasn’t ignored at all. It’s just that there’s so much to fight and sometimes I don’t have the words. I am listening though. And I’m angry right along with you.

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 9:23 pm | Permalink
  60. Kat wrote:

    Although I read every post, I rarely comment. I was so angry about your last post discussing immigration that I didn’t know what to do. Thank you for writing about these issues and for screaming so loudly about them. My feminism will be intersectional or it will be bullshit.

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 9:52 pm | Permalink
  61. Other Becky wrote:

    I’m not sure where to start. There are so many things I want to say and I’m not sure how to say them, or whether I should say them. I guess I’ll begin with this: Your piece on corporate profits and undocumented immigrants was really powerful. It made me think and rage and feel ill, but I didn’t feel like I had anything meaningful to say, and I’ve been trying to suppress the assumption that every passing thought and opinion of mine needs to be shared with the world, especially when it’s on a subject that disproportionately affects people who are oppressed in ways that I am not. Extra-especially when it disproportionately affects POC; I’m still unlearning a lot of racism and I’d prefer to do my processing in private rather than wound people with my ignorance.

    Second, speaking as a middle-class white cis straight woman, I agree with virtually everything you’ve written here. Racist feminism is not my feminism. Classist feminism is not my feminism. Any feminism that asks less-privileged women to set aside parts of their identities is NOT MY FEMINISM.

    Third, I stand in awe of your ability to articulate your rage. That’s something that’s way, way beyond me.

    Fourth, many thanks to Sady and Hektor for their excellent modding of the thread.

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 10:23 pm | Permalink
  62. Hayley B wrote:

    so many comments here, getting a little out-of-hand/difficult to read completely…

    i just want to say i empathize with your feelings and respect you so much. when i attended slutwalk seattle, i was incredibly ashamed by the blatent trans-ignorance by the speakers. several of us did some yelling about it but no one seemed to get it. it was all about “women” versus “men” and the “two genders” and all this nonsense that completely marginalized an absolutely integral group of people. really disappointing.

    sigh.

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 10:35 pm | Permalink
  63. oatsofwrath wrote:

    I just wanted to say that I found this post completely awesome. I am filled with awe.

    “My feminism will be intersectional or it will be bullshit” – now THAT’S what should be on signs at rallies and marches.

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 10:58 pm | Permalink
  64. Laura wrote:

    I hope you *will* continue calling yourself a feminist, Flavia – lor’ knows feminists need more people around reminding them that there is kyriarchy as well as patriarchy.

    Also, Hektor, I hope you don’t eat chicken that still has the bones in it. That stuff is dangerous, even for superior dogs such as yourself.

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 11:41 pm | Permalink
  65. SaraDee wrote:

    Thanks Flavia. I’m angry with you. I shared the immigration post on my Facebook, and now there are more people who didn’t know what was going on who are angry, and ready to do something about it. Your anger is productive, don’t let people Tone Argument you out of it. (But please don’t have a heart attack – then the assholes win).

    Tuesday, October 11, 2011 at 12:59 am | Permalink
  66. Megpie71 wrote:

    I got furious about That Sign when I heard about it at Hoyden About Town. At least part of what I got furious about was the sheer level of historical and cultural ignorance the sign implied – the whole horrible sinking feeling of “didn’t we already have this conversation repeatedly”? SlutWalk as a movement annoys the heck out of me because it picks up territory (and chants, and arguments) which were covered by the Reclaim the Night movement back in the 1970s and the 1980s, and the 1990s. The stuff SlutWalk was supposed to be covering wasn’t new or original territory – but it was treated as such, not only by the mainstream media (who are always willing to reset the clock of radical progress) but by the organisers of the various SlutWalks.

    Those who fail to recall history will be forced to repeat it. And we’re repeating the same damn sets of arguments that were raised back in the 1970s when the original Reclaim the Night marches raised the point that nobody asks to be raped; that were raised in the 1980s, when women of colour pointed out that actually, yes, they’d been there in the movement all along, but nobody was fucking well listening; that were raised in the 1990s, when it was pointed out by people at multiple points of intersection that most of the “triumphs” of feminism were largely achieved at the expense of persons who weren’t white, upper-middle-class, heterosexual, able-bodied, neurotypical Christians in a Western cultural hegemony.

    I don’t want to repeat the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. I did them already, the first time around. I don’t need a thirty-year refresher course. But it appears I’m going to have to sit through one, as we explain all of this at 101-level once again so the white, upper-middle-class, heterosexual, able-bodied, neurotypical, Christian-identified twenty-something feminists who are so busy trying to re-invent the (seven-sided, chartreuse) wheel can get an idea of what’s gone before them. Because apparently History is Hard, and Listening is Hard, and Learning is Really Hard.

    (And people wonder why activist burnout happens?)

    But fuck it all, Intersectionality is NOT HARD. Intersectionality is about recognising oppression doesn’t bother with exclusive OR. Oppression is AND, all the way. It doesn’t let you pick and choose between the various types. It gives them to you all at once. Kyriarchal oppression gets you because you’re a woman AND you’re a person of colour AND you’re working-class AND you’re mentally ill AND you’re not heterosexual AND you’re disabled AND you’re not Christian AND you’re not Anglo-Celtic Western AND….

    The more ANDS on your list, the more hurdles you have to jump, and the further back you start. Then the kyriarchy announces that the race is a 50m sprint (even though your personal track looks more like the 1500m hurdles) and how dare you not complete it in under 10 seconds?

    Well, fuck that. My feminism will be intersectional, or it will be bullshit. And if that means a newcomer to feminism has to sit down and actually read something and learn something and listen to the folks who have gone before them before they get up there with signs and placards, well, all the fucking better.

    Tuesday, October 11, 2011 at 2:39 am | Permalink
  67. blessedjessed wrote:

    I’ve never commented on this blog, although I do happen along here quite often. I read this (and the details on Racialicious) and as a white cis feminist woman I now feel ashamed, sullied and very very angry. I’ll be standing next to you with Molotov cocktails – let’s burn it all and start anew.

    Tuesday, October 11, 2011 at 6:39 am | Permalink
  68. LBS wrote:

    Flavia, thank you for writing this post, and thank you, especially, for standing up and being divisive. A feminism that can’t take criticism is not my feminism either. We have to do this right, and do it together, or we’re no better than the kyriarchy.

    Thank you for reminding me what I can do better.

    Tuesday, October 11, 2011 at 11:20 am | Permalink
  69. anarres wrote:

    Thanks for writing this. What some people have called “divisive” I would call “constructive criticism, given by smart, thoughtful and generous people giving their time and energy to make feminism better”.

    Tuesday, October 11, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Permalink
  70. DiSnazzio wrote:

    It makes me so angry that it’s women like you and Latoya who are accused of divisiveness and harming the movement. It wasn’t harmful and divisive when that sign was hoisted and caused pain and harm to women of color? The people who took to the internet to defend that bullshit and silence the expressed pain and hurt of women of color, they weren’t being divisive? Why is it only divisive when you’re pointing out divisiveness? This is the same “logic” that brings us the asinine idea that reverse racism exists. It’s not the pointing out of divisiveness that divides, damn it! Anyway. I am angry right along with you. Fuck any feminism that doesn’t joyfully embrace that anger and openly welcome intersectional critique.

    Tuesday, October 11, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Permalink
  71. Hillary wrote:

    I can never remember the proper meaning of “ironic” (and whether it applies to some of the comments in this post) but the derailing, awful responses to this piece seem to prove its points. “Anger is not constructive”??? Talking about racism infiltrating feminism is “derailing”??? What the actual fuck.

    Thank you, Flavia, for writing about your anger instead of, I don’t know, working on your sampler? Doing yoga? Fuck that shit.

    Tuesday, October 11, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Permalink
  72. tenthmoon wrote:

    My feminism will be intersectional or it will be bullshit.

    Wondering how the defenders of The Sign would react to its hypothetical counterpart held aloft by a man in an anti-racist protest rally, if it read something like: “Blacks are the bitches of the world”. I bet that would go over great.

    Tuesday, October 11, 2011 at 5:20 pm | Permalink
  73. Carol wrote:

    Flavia, thank you for writing this piece.
    And please get that pain in your side checked out. Could be bad.

    Tuesday, October 11, 2011 at 10:41 pm | Permalink
  74. Evan wrote:

    Thank you, Tiger Beatdown. I have loved you for a long time but never so much as recently. You were the first blog on my path to informed feminism and your evolution into an incredibly thorough, inclusive, intersectional blog has taught me along the way. Now my cis, het, white, upper middle class lady self has my eyes opened to my privilege and I am SO ANGRY with you and my feminism will be intersectional or it will be BULLSHIT. These recent pieces, especially the last two by Flavia, have been fantastic and heartbreaking and inspiring, and though I didn’t comment on the last one it made me cry and think and I’ve been carrying it around with me. What I’m trying to say is, I’d be honored to throw flames with you at any movement that calls itself feminist and silences people because they don’t share my privilege.

    Just as long as we don’t literally throw any actual flames–I have to get accepted to the bar in 2.5 years so I can go out and use my JD to fight for change, and to make money to donate to Tiger Beatdown, and I probably can’t do that if I get arrested for arson.

    Also, t-shirts. We need them.

    Tuesday, October 11, 2011 at 11:04 pm | Permalink
  75. Liisu wrote:

    It bothers me when it’s suggested that we shouldn’t be angry about things like this. If nobody was angry about wrongdoing and failures, would there be ‘a feminism’ now for us to be pissed off with for its failures? Anger can be healthy and women sure as hell don’t need to be told to calm down any more. If feminism isn’t intersectional, what’s the fucking point?

    Someone else may have made this point already, I have not read the entire comment section, it is 1AMish here.

    Wednesday, October 12, 2011 at 8:20 am | Permalink
  76. Leia wrote:

    I’m shouting and angry right along with you, Flavia.

    MY FEMINISM WILL BE INTERSECTIONAL OR IT WILL BE BULLSHIT.

    Thank you for your anger and your eloquence. Anger is powerful and if you aren’t angry about the racist bull shit that went down, I have to inform you that you are part of the problem. See also Melissa McEwan’s post On Anger.

    Wednesday, October 12, 2011 at 9:10 am | Permalink
  77. Leia wrote:

    Also, I want to make it clear that I completely agree with Kiri and SamanthaB.

    Snowflake, as a fellow sufferer I offer you all my empathy and hopes that things get better for you. My thoughts go out to you!

    There’s a HUGE difference between “I’m having mental health problems of whatever kind which makes emotions, including anger, problematic in some way” and “Meh, whatevs.”.

    What I’ve seen falls almost exclusively under “meh, I don’t care about your issues”, and it was that strain that I referred to in my comment as being part of the problem.

    Wednesday, October 12, 2011 at 9:22 am | Permalink
  78. nktw wrote:

    Thank you.

    These are the reasons I am sometimes reluctant to call myself a feminist. I’ve been called one in a derogatory way, for reasons like this, and I cannot defend them. As Flavia says: it’s bullshit.

    Wednesday, October 12, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Permalink
  79. renniejoy wrote:

    Fuck Yeah, Intersectionality!!!

    Wednesday, October 12, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Permalink
  80. Jess Banks wrote:

    Perfectly brilliant, Flavia. I’d even go one step further and say, “My ACTIVISM will be intersectional or it will be bullshit.” I guess I’m an idiot for thinking that that was a pretty obvious point that didn’t really need to be made, right along with the “don’t shoot yourself in the foot” rule, but apparently no. I’ve got to give the current college-age generation props for being genuinely engaged in social issues, but there’s a level of tone deafness I don’t recall seeing before. It might be a product of the Special Snowflake upbringing Americans lavish on their kids, I don’t know. But just like nobody seems to actually proofread their own writing anymore, nobody seems to check for tone either.

    As for not getting angry, fuck that. People have been telling women that getting angry is a sign of weakness and instability (or demonic possession) for MILLENIA (historian here–not exaggerating). It’s not. Sometimes, it’s the only reasonable reaction to events around you.

    Wednesday, October 12, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Permalink
  81. MK wrote:

    Thank you.
    I was talking with an acquaintance recently, a self-identified feminist, and she said that I should join her for the local Slut Walk. I expressed hesitation, said that I had mixed feelings about the Slut Walks. She said that she understood, but it was still good to show solidarity.
    No. She did not understand. And I did not clarify because the words were not in the right order in my mind, because I felt no pressing urge, but I thought, no. No, you do not understand because no, solidarity is not the most important thing.

    @Snowflake Empathy from a fellow sufferer. Sometimes, we have to protect our own selves by creating some distance. There is a point I teeter on, the point of productivity, wherein I am angry enough to stay motivated but not so angry as to be paralyzed by it. When I can scream about it, then I can be productive. This past week, it has been paralysis, and all I can do is cry. And I cry so much.

    @Hillary I would like to make a sampler that says “My feminism will be intersectional or it will be bullshit.”

    Thursday, October 13, 2011 at 1:07 am | Permalink
  82. Eva wrote:

    All I’ve gotta say is, hell yeah, pass me a flamethrower, too. MY FEMINISM WILL BE INTERSECTIONAL OR IT WILL BE BULLSHIT!

    (I can’t believe how hard it was to caps lock that. I need to practice more screaming when it’s called for! Thank you for your beautiful, articulate, and powerful example, Flavia.)

    Thursday, October 13, 2011 at 1:13 am | Permalink
  83. Stella wrote:

    I read your article on the immigration industry last week and I’ve been thinking about it since, without commenting. I’m not doing enough, I’m not fighting those fights, and from now on, I fucking will, because I’m sick of congratulating myself for my privilege. I live in Australia, and I’m sick of the shit that gets done in my name. I’m sick of my part in the pastry, and I’m sorry.
    My feminism, my activism will be intersectional, or it will be bullshit.

    Thursday, October 13, 2011 at 9:13 am | Permalink
  84. Joy wrote:

    Yes. MY FEMINISM WILL BE INTERSECTIONAL OR IT WILL BE BULLSHIT!
    I don’t wear t-shirts that say things, but for that one…well, I just have to make an exception.

    And I have had that anger becomes pain. The pain of knowing, of actually actively paying attention, the exhaustion of being angry physically manifest. And it does not help to be in chronic pain.

    @Snowflake and others who talked about the anger and the feeling lost in it. Yes. That too. I am endlessly disappointed in myself that I cannot ACTIVELY be a part of the solution at this time because (insert the reasons, but hey, that’s just excuses, whatever, but VICIOUS CYCLE) and it hurts me, then the anger is self-directed, then the big bad THEY win. Again. Because the anger, directed at ourselves, offers exactly the same effect as the shame, as the terrorism from threats to violence of all sorts: it is silencing, hiding, fear. When we turn that anger in, those that are not in OUR FEMINISM WHICH IS NOT BULLSHIT don’t have to deal with us because we’re too busy holding our own selves back in the guilts and the shames and the fears.

    I read most post, though some I skim because I know it’s going to hurt my ability to do the things I must do in my day. It doesn’t mean I don’t care. It means it hurts. There are triggers we don’t even know we have, am sometimes mine cause skimming as self-protection. Some posts I can only take in to a point so that I can try to align my headspace to correct at least the language, at least my own thinking.

    I welcome your anger. I feel it too, when I can allow myself to. I can’t always. I’m working on that not spiraling me into deeper inability to act.

    But I will stand at your side as you scream MY FEMINISM WILL BE INTERSECTIONAL OR IT WILL BE BULLSHIT! even when I cannot scream it with you outside of my own head.

    You are teaching me and I thank you.

    Thursday, October 13, 2011 at 9:37 am | Permalink
  85. Ursula wrote:

    Amazing. Thank you for your articulate and spot on article. MY FEMINISM WILL BE INTERSECTIONAL OR IT WILL BE BULLSHIT! rings loudly in my heart.

    Thursday, October 13, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Permalink
  86. naomi wrote:

    Thank you for the fine article…but there is one group, invisible, smashed between the layers you missed – old women. we are so unrapable that in the UK the National Health Service is mandated NOT to keep any kind of statistics on rape if the woman is 60 or over. the reason? we are so addled that we may have got it wrong that we weren’t really raped we just thought we were or we were confused about what actually happened.

    Thursday, October 13, 2011 at 5:41 pm | Permalink
  87. oh @naomi, I KNOW! There is so much more to intersectional analysis than what I covered. So.much.more. I just picked this past week’s events as a starting point to get through how intersectionality looks like. However, as you rightly point out, there are so many painful and terrible issues that we must not overlook or forget. This piece was meant as a starting point, certainly not as a pointer of which issues matter in detriment of others.

    Thursday, October 13, 2011 at 5:49 pm | Permalink
  88. Perla Buttons wrote:

    MY FEMINISM WILL BE INTERSECTIONAL OR IT WILL BE BULLSHIT!

    Thanks for the reminder. I’m young and brown. I don’t excuse others’ hurtful, privilege-blind foolery on the grounds of age or “Mean WOC (and non-fool non-WOC) aren’t coddling me enough when they talk!”

    Also, thank you to whoever recommended that fly trap recipe earlier – it’s getting bloody hot here in Oz and the flies are starting to buzz in. Will try it tomorrow!

    Friday, October 14, 2011 at 7:20 am | Permalink
  89. strato wrote:

    I see. I understand. I agree.

    I believe there is a second problem, which is difficult for me to phrase… I could describe it as this unconscious tendency to think that things would be better for us, as women, as a feminists, if people around us were more “european”, more “swedish-like”. As if the way to feminism had to be travelled by ignoring words like “puta” (which has a powerful resonance for me personally, of course). As if the end of patriarchy had to be a gift from up north.

    Does it make sense? Is it relevant to this discussion?

    Anyway, this thing does blur things out -deceive, inveigle, obfuscate, whatever.

    Saturday, October 15, 2011 at 6:36 pm | Permalink
  90. Danielle wrote:

    I’ve read all of this as well as your post about immigrants. I’m from the Netherlands, so the latter article left a very uncomfortable, complicated impression on me – that is, being all white middle-class and feminist and living in a country that handles immigration in a terrible way, it is a lot to take in and think about. And I will think about it, and re-read what you wrote, and think about it again. I don’t have an opinion. This is all stuff I have to sit down for, listen, read and learn. So thank you for writing down all of it. It is difficult for me to take it all in at once, but I will try. I don’t want to be a part of making feminism bullshit.

    Sunday, October 16, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Permalink
  91. Chloe wrote:

    “My feminism will be intersectional or it will be bullshit” I need this on a t shirt now.

    and @Snowlfake as a fellow depression sufferer you have my empathy and I completely understand where you are coming from. I am fucking sick of it being implied I am ‘less’ of a feminist for not having the health to go to as many meetings/demos/general activist things; sometimes it’s so hard just to exist. The onus is not on you to prove anything or to live up to a neurotypical/able bodied idea of what you ‘should’ be; espcially as that ‘should be’ is often something you genuinely CAN’T be for a whole host of reasons.

    Sunday, October 16, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Permalink
  92. Jackie wrote:

    Hi, as a brown, mixed woman in the UK who has to deal with a *LOT* of asshattery by self-proclaimed “non-racists” and men who are “all for equality” but still treat women like crap – this speaks so much to me! I don’t know a lot about intersectionality or feminism but I know what I am angry about! And that is when women and/or race issues get swept under the carpet or laughed at and trivialised. Thank you for this!

    Monday, October 17, 2011 at 8:44 pm | Permalink
  93. My feminism will be intersectional, or it will be bullshit.

    When people ask me why I get so angry about issues that “don’t apply” to my TAB white self, I always struggle for words. Now I will tell them: my feminism will be intersectional, or it will be bullshit. Otherwise, what use is it? What are we trying to achieve, if not total equality? This post should be required reading.

    Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at 8:26 am | Permalink
  94. ontological wrote:

    Flavia. You rule. This is the first post I have read here, and I’ll be coming back. I appreciate your anger, and the fact that you used the word asshattery in a comment, and that you can write about this in a way that made me smile AND get angry at the same time.

    Can I just snag your line for all the activism I’m involved in? As in, “My advocacy as a privileged attorney will acknowledge privilege or it will be bullshit!” or “My social justice organization will be anti-racist or it will be bullshit!” or……yeah. Mine aren’t as catchy as yours, but you get the idea.

    Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Permalink
  95. @ontological, snag away, my friend! Snag away! :)

    Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Permalink
  96. FEMINEOPHYTE wrote:

    my comment is that i too am angry!! and i am anxious. anxious because i will get an inch and then i question if i should keep on pushin or be happy with that inch, which deep down i know i am not! the butterflies start and i know i’ve got to say something, because assuming that all transgendered people identify as homosexual is not in fact OK, and not in fact true… here’s the story: i will be in a conversation with someone with privilege, someone who is not aware of their privilege (as i once was, and i’m sure i still am on some accounts), and someone who is my friend, who i want to keep as my friend because of all of their great qualities, but they also need to know and understand who i am- so here i am expressing my feminist self and just maybe i can get them to see my perspective (hooray! an inch!) that yes your greatgrandfather was an immigrant, but was he a slave?? no, he wasn’t, so the oppression he faced when coming to North America is NOT the same experience as it was for Africans! and the legacy of racism no longer affects your family because you are now “white,” not Irish American! so yes, i get some distance, a modicum, but let’s say i try to put in any intersectionality- OVERLOAD! OVERLOAD! ALERT! ALL SYSTEMS SHUT DOWN! and now i get labeled as a bleeding liberal or over the top or emotional- and it makes me crazy!! i try to use my voice, but it is such an uphill battle and it is still not that strong- so i thank you for helping to make it louder and stronger and echo my everyday struggles within my own life, and allowing the use of your rhetoric: MY FEMINISM WILL BE INTERSECTIONAL OR IT WILL BE BULLSHIT!!

    Wednesday, October 19, 2011 at 8:12 pm | Permalink
  97. SH wrote:

    Just to say–as a white woman, for whatever that might mean, but I stand with you–MY FEMINISM WILL BE INTERSECTIONAL OR IT WILL BE BULLSHIT!

    Sunday, October 23, 2011 at 3:20 am | Permalink
  98. So – I am totally down with the message of intersectional feminism. But I just have to say that I had the best laugh of the last few days reading Hektor’s responses to your trolls. I had tears in my eyes, and gave my abs a workout. So thank you.

    PS – My feminism will be intersectional or it will be BS!

    Monday, October 24, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Permalink
  99. Free wrote:

    Flavia, Don’t you know that WoC are not allowed to get angry ’cause when we do, white folks can’t hear us. But we must hear their anger, loud and clear because their anger is much more righteous and truthy than ours.

    Seriously, I am with you Flavia – flametrhrower at the ready and kitty too.

    Monday, October 24, 2011 at 6:10 pm | Permalink
  100. Sarah wrote:

    Imagine me, fists in the air tears streaming down my cheeks screaming yes. That is how much I agree with and feel what you’re saying. Feminism was and is important to me as a white woman because it made me see that it wasn’t just me who was getting the shit end of the stick, but all of us. How can I possibly stand here and advocate that only SOME of us become free? Until we’re all free NONE are free. And if feminism can’t do that, then as much as it breaks my heart I have to load the flamethrower and find a new sisterhood. I really hope I don’t have to do that, so I’m going to work my ass off to educate myself and listen to WoC and call out bullshit that is perpetrated in the name of feminism. I’ll scream with you at the top of my lungs, YOUR FEMINISM WILL BE INTERSECTIONAL OR IT WILL BE BULLSHIT!

    Wednesday, October 26, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Permalink
  101. Dominique wrote:

    My feminism will be intersectional or it will be bullshit.

    Thank you for sharing your anger.

    Wednesday, October 26, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Permalink
  102. Newonetotheclass wrote:

    FLAVIA TAKE THE WHEEL.
    Reading those comments (and some of the ones here! Whoo boy!)…I mean, I am feminist, and a white lady one with a middle-class privilege as well as an able-bodied (for having a disability that isn’t immediately “visible”) privilege and I can’t with these people. How folks responded so damn ON POINT with these guys is beyond me, and I aspire to be as angry!articulate as yourself and all of Tiger Beatdown are. I lose my point with my cool, which invites the tone derailing argument pretty quickly. ONE DAY THOUGH, ONE DAY.

    The sign was unbelievable. It really…it’s not rocket science, other white ladies, seriously. My first reaction upon seeing it was “Uh…and Black womennn?” with a serious side order of side-eye and confusion. What has really got me raging (and confusing my family – bless, they think I have had too much coffee! Nope. Just too much wilful ignorance), are the RESPONSES of these people! The goddamn GALL of people supposedly walking for something feminist, whilst using the SAME TYPES of argument used against us in gender-based debate – against WOC? WHAT THE FRESH HELL IS THIS. It doesn’t even make any sense, the level of hypocrisy is just…how can they not notice?! How can they just turn around and silence WOC, when we are supposed to KNOW about privileges, and when we have spent a great deal of time being very gentle – and blunt – with men about how *their* privilege shows, when we white feminists are telling WOC we’re sorry that “they got offended”?! Fauxpologies? THE TONE ARGUMENT? REAAAALLLYYYY.

    As much as I hate this, I also will admit to loving your rage. Loving your rage, because it IS rage inducing, and because the gently-softly approach can be so tiring. This article is getting posted on my own facebook, and I don’t give a flying crap who this makes uncomfortable or what apologist/wilfully ignorant privileged person decides to ~defriend me, because I have people who are singing the praises of SlutWalk, and this goddamn well needs to be heard.

    Can I also steal MY FEMINISM WILL BE INTERSECTIONAL OR IT WILL BE BULLSHIT for a sign? If I ever go to some activist protest (as with SlutWalk, they always seem to be very…non-intersectional)? THIS is a sign I could get behind. THIS is a sign I would love to see plastered all over the internets. You are no feminist to me if you don’t grasp intersectionality.

    Saturday, November 5, 2011 at 7:38 pm | Permalink