This week I read “Hashtag Feminism, #SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen, and the Other #FemFuture” by Susana Loza and “In Defense of Twitter Feminism” by Suey Park and David J. Leonard.
“When feminist theory and politics that claim to reflect women’s experience and women’s aspirations do not include or speak to black women, black women must ask: ‘Ain’t We Women?’ If this is so, how can the claims that ‘women are’, ‘women believe’ and ‘women need’ be made when such claims are inapplicable or unresponsive to the needs, interests and experiences of black women” – Loza
In all honesty, I’ve drafted this piece about four times. I want the words I’m about to write to mean something. Although this is only one tiny blog in the infinite web, I want whoever reads this to know my eyes have been opened.
Gentrification is spilling over to virtual spaces. Women of color have resorted to online spaces like Twitter and Tumblr to voice their stories, opinions, feelings, and they are receiving horrible, negative backlash. And because of this, some are deeming these online spaces “toxic.”
“‘Facebook was safe and protected; MySpace was dangerous and full of predators.’ History is repeating itself. Twitter is the new MySpace: a ‘dangerous’ online ‘ghetto’ that threatens white middle-class users.” – Park & Leonard
When I scroll through the front page of a website that is categorized as feminist or openly promotes feminism. There are mostly Caucasian writers. Zines, magazines, television staffs and hosts are composed of mostly Caucasians. Why am I just realizing this? Probably because I am white. Probably because I haven’t forced my eyes open or read enough articles that challenge me to take a second look. Well, I hope from now on, my eyes see what’s right in front of me.
I read something in “Hashtag Feminism, #SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen, and the Other #FemFuture” that struck me, pulled me out of the text:
“Trudy of Gradient Lair reminds us that ‘this quest for ‘unity’ through erasure and silence has another word for it: oppression.”
Isn’t this what’s happening? The online presences of WOC has been stuck into a little corner of the Internet. Through erasure and silence WOC are being oppressed.
After reading these two articles, which I highly recommend you reading, I realized the reason I drafted this blog post more than once is because I want to do something more than open my eyes. My eyes should have already been open! (And by this, I’m not saying that I’ve never noticed oppression of WOC, I’m just saying I haven’t been as aware as I have been since reading and putting more thought into these articles.)
So, what I’m trying to say is: now that my eyes have been fully opened…how can I be an active advocate for WOC?