Two posts feminists should read

First up is a post at AllyWork on the qualities of an ally. It’s an anti-racist focused version of a paper from the Gay and Lesbian Action Council called “Qualities of a GLBT Ally.” On the list of what makes a person a good ally to people of colour are being someone who: works to develop an understanding of issues facing people of color; understands how racism and other patterns of oppression operate; works to be an ally to all oppressed people; and chooses to align with people of color and represent their needs, especially when they are unable to safely do so themselves. The rest of the 12 point list is a must-read for… well, anyone who doesn’t want to be seen as racist, really.

The other post is by Donna at The Silence of Our Friends, More on Full Frontal Feminism and really speaks to one of the repeated themes of this blog, which is that feminists can’t just be in this just for ourselves we have to be committed to ending oppression for everyone.

Here’s what struck the deepest chord with me in that post:

There are very few white allies who are trustworthy, who will do the right thing when it is at odds with their own wants, needs, goals. I am convinced that most of the major white feminists, including bloggers, have no intention of dismantling the patriarchal system, they want to join the power structure, have power over other people, and have a higher position in the hierarchy. That’s why they only wink and nod when it comes to issues involving other oppressed groups then tell us to shut up while they go about their important business of getting the things that are only to their advantage, and eventually (*wink nod* never) they will get around to our “pet issues”. Paying lip service to anti-racism is always to their advantage, gives them the warm fuzzies, and leads their readers to believe they are actually progressive instead of as selfish and self serving as conservatives.

The problem of paying lip service to equality isn’t confined to any one movement, but feminism is my movement and we have the tools, and the knowledge, to be better than this, damnit. Perhaps feminism that caters to privileged women (white, cisgendered, straight, etc) is easier to grasp and less challenging to follow in some ways, but it’s just as Donna said: you can’t dismantle the master’s house using the master’s tools.

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This entry was posted in Feminism, Privilege, Racism. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Two posts feminists should read

  1. Katie says:

    Hi Tekanji -

    I’d be interested to know what you think of the satirical site, http://whiteantiracist.wordpress.com/. I read it and howled – it kind of brought to light some of the fuzzy language I’ve been frustrated with in antiracist discourse. It specifically references the AllyWork list, as well: http://whiteantiracist.wordpress.com/2007/06/19/7/#comments. It’s the comment down at the bottom.

  2. Aaron Karp says:

    On Qualities of an Ally: I’ve been thinking a lot about the pervasive hate speech heard in online gaming. I’m not sure exactly where it came from, but I’ve come to realize that it persists largely because the people who hear it and object to it do so only internally, rarely (if ever) speaking up and saying that such things won’t fly. Reading the Qualities has made it even clearer to me that this is exactly what needs to change in order to claim the ever-so-interesting online game space from foul-mouthed, hateful louts. Such a shame my 360 got the red ring of death yesterday (the second time my 360 has died). Otherwise, I’d go home and fire up Halo 3 and just wait for someone to mouth off inappropriately…

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