all 98 comments

[–]Thatstealthygal 57 insightful - 1 fun57 insightful - 0 fun58 insightful - 1 fun -  (65 children)

Intersectionalism is a black feminist thing and it is very important. Hijab being a choice is not an intersectionalist position. Intersectionalism merely identifies multiple nodes of oppression alongside the one we all share, ie being women, and asks us to take those things into consideration.

[–]medium_tomato[S] 42 insightful - 2 fun42 insightful - 1 fun43 insightful - 2 fun -  (63 children)

I understand that you might have different issues than I have in my culture in regards to your gender roles but it honestly just sounds like oppression olympics tbh. It would be so much better to address the issues of black women without fracturing the whole feminist movement.

[–]our_team_is_winning 39 insightful - 1 fun39 insightful - 0 fun40 insightful - 1 fun -  (3 children)

I agree it's the Oppression Olympics. I hate victimhood culture. Yes, people need to stand up for themselves, but the victimhood approach is setting whichever group up to be beyond criticism. Intersectionality seems like a tool of division to me. What all women have in common is the crappy way we are often treated simply because we are women. Do other factors come into play? Of course. Older, heavier women are going to get worse treatment than young, slim women, for example. Too many tangents for me. Right now we have laws denying that women even exist as women! Suddenly men are legally women. I don't want to see women's rights fracture over race, religion, or whatever else. We're back at square one when we have men claiming to be women.

[–]spinningIntelligence 14 insightful - 1 fun14 insightful - 0 fun15 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

How is pointing out racism "victimhood culture"? Is pointing out misogyny victimhood culture? Are we part of victimhood culture by saying the trans movement is anti-woman?

This hatred of the "Oppression Olympics" is honestly laughable. Yes, liberal idiots have turned being oppressed into a checklist. That does not mean that we can ignore oppression!

Why should women of colour feel more connected to white women than to their own families? A Black woman may not be friends with a single white woman, but her brothers, her lovers, her SONS may be Black.

So really, what is this unity you are proposing? What value does it have? Because it sounds like you're expecting women of colour to drop everything to campaign for white women to be free, even though a woman of colour may be oppressed far more directly due to her race (she may inherent her family's poverty, for example). And if she is a lesbian, than what direct benefit does she get from the feminist movement rather than the gay rights movement? She's not going to get pregnant, and the gay rights movement supports single sex spaces too. Sure, the gay movement won't care about single sex bathrooms as much, but that may not be a pressing concern for her. There are other things happening in the world apart from transgenderism; we don't get to demand that everyone focus on this one thing that we have decided to fight. There are people in the world without access to clean water; why are we worrying about bathrooms?

Racism is an out growth of patriarchy, like transgenderism; we cannot ignore it because holding ourselves to the same standards we hold other oppressive groups (for example, men) to makes us uncomfortable. Feminism, unlike many other movements, cannot be divorced from class, or race, or country, or orientation, because misogyny is the ur example of oppression. All manner of foul things grow from it.

Real unity requires recognizing these hideous outgrowths. It requires fighting them, and standing beside our disadvantaged sisters as much as we can. We do not get to create a "victimhood culture" in response to transgenderism, but berate others for doing the same.

[–]Terfenclaw 9 insightful - 1 fun9 insightful - 0 fun10 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Thank you for saying this. As a WOC, the OP and the number of agreeing votes with it make me feel alienated from this sub.

TRAs insist there is no difference between transwomen and women and thus remove the language we have to speak meaningfully about our oppression. Saying that we can't reference "white feminism" in contrast to black or any other woc would remove our ability to speak about ways in which actual racial issues affect our oppression as well.

[–]voi_che_sapete 7 insightful - 1 fun7 insightful - 0 fun8 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

No. Differences among women, especially racially, are important. That's why it's even worse that TRAs have co-opted this important concept which helps feminists of color articulate the way their experiences differ from white feminists. They have weaponized it to disguise the real difference between themselves and women, which is biological sex. WOC feminists, I'm sorry this idea is being put forth at all. Screw this.

[–][deleted] 31 insightful - 1 fun31 insightful - 0 fun32 insightful - 1 fun -  (2 children)

It wasn't the oppression olympics nor did it fracture the whole feminist movement (anymore than white feminists did by ignoring the sexism/racism combination faced by black women) until it was appropriated by the woke crowd. Instead of demonizing an important tool black feminists needed to describe and get others to understand their reality was a different one, perhaps we should demonize those who stole it and colonized it for use in their political movement.

[–]MenAreFragileBabies 25 insightful - 1 fun25 insightful - 0 fun26 insightful - 1 fun -  (43 children)

I don't think intersectionalism in itself is bad. But intersectional arguments that black women have it so much worse, for example, do really take the wind out of white women's sails.

White women are particularly harmed by gender stereotypes of white feminity-- that we are coddled, babyfied, weak, and we are even more sexually objectified than black women are. Yes, it gives us some privilege over black women which is not right, but it also harms us more in other ways.

It is also much less acceptable for us to stand up for ourselves than it is for black women. I think sometimes black women take advantage of that. Other times, they are right that white women weaponize their femininity against black women. It would be nice to get back to basics and just be respectful of differences.

[–]lefterfield 25 insightful - 1 fun25 insightful - 0 fun26 insightful - 1 fun -  (20 children)

white women weaponize their femininity against black women

Do they? What does this mean?

[–]MenAreFragileBabies 16 insightful - 2 fun16 insightful - 1 fun17 insightful - 2 fun -  (19 children)

Things like crying when criticized for being racist, for example. It can be done in a calculated manner to shut black people up, including black women. The K*ren slur originally comes from white women doing things like that, or calling the police on black people for being black. Of course now it's just used to oppress white women generally or to ridicule any older white woman who has a complaint, which shows how fuzzy these lines can get. The tools we use to attack black people, as white women, are usually the same things that are our oppression.

[–]lefterfield 39 insightful - 1 fun39 insightful - 0 fun40 insightful - 1 fun -  (18 children)

Skeptical about the crying thing. This has been a misogynist attack against women generally, that we manipulate men with our tears. Being called racist would be upsetting if you're a generally nice person, and could cause some to be so distressed they start crying. Most people don't have that much control over their emotional reactions. The "Karen" slur originally came from a misogynist male on reddit who wanted to bash his ex-wife.

[–][deleted] 25 insightful - 3 fun25 insightful - 2 fun26 insightful - 3 fun -  (1 child)

The Karen slur actually started with a Dane Cook comedy skit in 2005, before being started up in 2017 by the reddit user fuck_you_karen. I keep hearing it originated in black women circles, but I've yet to see the evidence of that, while there's plenty of evidence it started with and is mostly used by white men.

[–]MenAreFragileBabies 10 insightful - 2 fun10 insightful - 1 fun11 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

Fair enough, I keep hearing that too and just assumed it was true. All the more reason to oppose it-- I absolutely hate it, it's sexist as hell to throw that term around and giggle.

[–]MenAreFragileBabies 6 insightful - 2 fun6 insightful - 1 fun7 insightful - 2 fun -  (13 children)

Sure, it's a natural reaction to cry. It's also something that shuts down criticism. It can be both. I personally think that our being socialized to cry easily is very handicapping, as is men's socialization to not cry ever. Crying should be a rare but powerfully meaningful social cue that anyone should respect when it happens. As it is, white women cry so much that it is just a commonplace defense mechanism. No one really takes us any more seriously when white women cry; quite the opposite.

Fair on the origins of the K*ren slur, I've been beat over the head with that story so many times I assumed it was true. But I don't really know if it is.

[–]Shesstealthy 19 insightful - 1 fun19 insightful - 0 fun20 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Survey of one, but I cried very easily as a girl and was vilified for it. It's not applauded or encouraged.

[–]lefterfield 15 insightful - 1 fun15 insightful - 0 fun16 insightful - 1 fun -  (4 children)

That suggests it's not an effective weapon, though, nor a racist one. I don't think women should be criticized for bad socialization lessons - acknowledge that it's the product of socialization and work to undo the harmful effects, sure. But accusing them of weaponizing a behavior they were taught to do, and in some cases punished for NOT doing... not really fair.

[–]MenAreFragileBabies 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (3 children)

Should we accuse men of weaponizing their behaviors, even if they were raised with them and it's hard for them to undo that socialization? Of course, we do it all the time here. Why should we treat ourselves any differently? Radical change starts with us, and it's not supposed to be easy.

It really is not fair, but it IS our responsibility to change the things about ourselves that are holding us back. I think crying too easily is one of those things. It's a really hard thing to curb in yourself, no doubt. But it is performing femininity, and it is manipulative, even if we don't mean for it to be that way.

[–]Anna_Nym 8 insightful - 1 fun8 insightful - 0 fun9 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Crying is an emotional reaction. It's rarely something people do on purpose and I don't know of a single "Karen" story or video that actually includes tears. The idea of tears as manipulative is something that I've always seen on MRA sites, and I think it's weird and troubling that it was imported into contemporary feminism with so little data or pushback.

[–]lefterfield 4 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 0 fun5 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

No, I don't agree that we accuse men of "weaponizing masculinity." We accuse them of being violent, of being entitled to our spaces and our bodies by their actions and their words. But accusing women crying of being manipulative is saying that crying itself is harmful - you're assuming that when certain groups do it, they intend harm. In that case, raise the question: Who is allowed to cry, under what circumstances, in order to prove that they're not being manipulative?

Now, I agree that people should change socialized behaviors that cause harm to them or to those around them. But accusing women of being manipulative by showing emotion is a misogynistic tactic, and it's not an argument for why women shouldn't cry in public. Sometimes, women should cry in public. Sometimes, men should cry in public. This bullshit about women being manipulative is just that - men are every bit as manipulative, emotionally or otherwise, just their behavior is rarely called such.

[–]jet199 15 insightful - 1 fun15 insightful - 0 fun16 insightful - 1 fun -  (5 children)

Any evidence that women are socialised to cry more rather than it being a biology based reaction? Seeing as that difference between men and women crying exists in every culture in the world while gender roles differ.

You seem to have fallen for the misogynistic lie that woman only show emotion to manipulate and don't actually have human feelings you need to worry about.

[–]Realwoman 8 insightful - 1 fun8 insightful - 0 fun9 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

No evidence. Women cry more than men, that's why crying is considered inferior. It's pure misogyny

[–][deleted] 8 insightful - 1 fun8 insightful - 0 fun9 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

In my culture, there was no punishment for men crying. Women on the other hand had to take abuse with a smile. Kind of like Ju Li from the Earth Kingdom. Women don’t cry more than men. That’s an American manifestation of gender.

[–]Realwoman 9 insightful - 1 fun9 insightful - 0 fun10 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I wasn't socialized to cry. I was socialized to not let other people see me cry and I would hold back my tears as well as I can. I still cry easily. I try not to let others see me and I cry in private unless I can't help it. I've been accused of crying manipulatively. Don't spread this myth

[–]PenseePansy 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

Most people don't have that much control over their emotional reactions.

THIS! Esp. since professional actors, no less-- including the most highly-skilled ones-- often can't cry on command! (It's apparently not a common ability, even for them.) So I've always had my doubts about the average woman being able to pull this off.

Which doesn't mean that they (or, for that matter, men/boys/girls) don't TRY; I've witnessed numerous public examples of fake-crying over the years. But there's something I've noticed about these: the tip-off that they ARE fake. Remember Susan Smith? Young, white, claimed that some black guy came outta nowhere and murdered her kids, turned out that she did it? Memorable playing-the-sympathy-card-via-ostensible-bawling there (at least till she 'fessed up): whole lotta sad facial expressions & sobbing voice... but never any actual tears. 'Cause THAT'S what "crying" really is, apparently: overwhelming tearful emotion. If you remain suspiciously dry-eyed throughout? Odds are that you're just pretending.

Also, though? "Genuine crying" is NOT proof that you're the victim! Could just mean that, as the victimizer, you're sad about, and/or scared of, being held accountable for your shitty actions.

[–]Marsupial 17 insightful - 1 fun17 insightful - 0 fun18 insightful - 1 fun -  (21 children)

I don't think you could have been more wrong tbh. It's a fact that there are variances to how women are percieved in different cultures. I believe few women are as priviliged as white women. White women are still hurt by sexism but I believe it is inaccurate to portray it as white women having a more difficult time overall than WoC.
It's not a competition. Feminism includes all women. Different cultures have different problems. Different groups have different ways of oppressing women, it's the misogyny that's universal. White women are exposed to sexism but are NOT the most vulnerable group of women.

[–]Realwoman 7 insightful - 2 fun7 insightful - 1 fun8 insightful - 2 fun -  (16 children)

White refers to so many different ethnicities in so many different countries you can't generalize. Are Ukrainian women privileged?

[–]odateya 13 insightful - 1 fun13 insightful - 0 fun14 insightful - 1 fun -  (2 children)

Now come on, don't do that. Black women have globally been spat on for hundreds of years, please list all of these countries where black women's voices are actually valued. If I, a black woman go to Ukraine will I suddenly be swimming in privilege greater than a white woman's? If not there, then please tell me where this magical country is located. White woman are globally regarded as the most "respectable" voices among women and you know that.

[–]Anna_Nym 8 insightful - 1 fun8 insightful - 0 fun9 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I think you're illustrating the OP's point, though. Sexism disadvantages us all, which is what feminism is supposed to focus on. It's also frustrating to see these conversations get reduced down to black and white, as though those are the only two options in the world (if we're going to play Oppression Olympics, why don't we talk much more about Native American/First Nations women for example? Why don't we acknowledge Asian women's economic success in the US?). I also don't think it makes sense to speak of black and white like these are homogeneous categories when there are many differences within them.

Our goal should be to understand the ways in which our various identities make our experiences of sexism specific. But to do that, we need to actually listen to each other rather than project beliefs onto each other. My personal experiences with feminist spaces is that "intersectional" spaces instead do encourage Oppression Olympics. (The actual concept of "intersectionality" does not do this, but the term has come to be used very differently than what Crenshaw originally wrote about.)

[–]Realwoman 7 insightful - 1 fun7 insightful - 0 fun8 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Are you American? If so, you live in the richest country on earth. You would never need to go live in the Ukraine because why would you live in an impoverished country with a war next door? You have an American privilege. The vast majority of Ukrainian women will never reach your affluence level and will never get a chance to live in an affluent country. Even poor Americans have a better quality of life than many middle class people around the world. Your American privilege outweighs any racial privilege by a lot.

[–][deleted] 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (3 children)

WRT black or African women? Yes. WRT Western Europeans, less so.

[–]Realwoman 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (2 children)

What is WRT?

What about Albanian women compared with Korean women? Or Russian women compared with African American women?

[–][deleted] 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

With respect to.

Albanians in America would be in a better position than Korean women in America. A Russian white woman will be in a better position to an African American woman. The last one is a no brainer.

[–]Realwoman 7 insightful - 1 fun7 insightful - 0 fun8 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Why is everything about them in America? The vast majority of people cannot emigrate to another country. Compare them in their native countries.

And why do you think that Muslims such as Albanians will be better off in America than East Asians?

You can't ignore privilege based on the affluence of the country you live in. People in affluent countries have an enormous privilege and it's rarely acknowledged.

[–]MenAreFragileBabies 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (4 children)

I'm really only talking about Anglophone, or maaaaybe Anglophone + Western European women. But mainly just American whites. Ukraine would probably feel more foreign to me than South Africa, TBH.

[–]medium_tomato[S] 10 insightful - 1 fun10 insightful - 0 fun11 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

Oh then maybe stop using the word white? We are not a fucking monolith. Just like guess what, black women in the US have a buttload more privilege than women in Africa but no one wants to talk about that now do they?

[–]MenAreFragileBabies 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I mean you're the one who doesn't want to talk about intersectionality anymore? I'm sorry if it's confusing to some, but most of us on here are from the US. I don't really feel the need to clarify further when we are all mostly from the US here and speaking English.

[–]Realwoman 6 insightful - 1 fun6 insightful - 0 fun7 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

What about women that are white but they're immigrants to the west from poor countries? They stand out, they have accents, they have little in common with white people in the the host country, they didn't grown up using that white privilege, they grew up with parents making $200 a month. Are they privileged?

[–]voi_che_sapete 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

You can absolutely generalize in Western countries.

[–]MenAreFragileBabies 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (3 children)

I absolutely agree that few women are so privileged as your average white woman. My point is that even though we are very privileged, we have struggles too. I am having a hard time understanding why you think I am turning it into an oppression competition-- I tried to explain as well as I could that I am not. Even if Western white women have a lot of privilege, arguably the most of any women ever, we still have struggles. Of course every kind of person will have different kinds of struggles. They aren't the same, and we shouldn't try to rank them. But we should support each other in our mutual struggle for radical change, to be respected as individual humans and not simply the woman of some man.

The double edged nature of white female privilege is the main struggle for white women, to my mind. It offers a lot of protection, but in order to use it, we have to perform femininity. That keeps us from achieving our goal of liberation.

It's really hard to notice the things that make up your privilege-- but stuff like how easily we cry, since we are talking about that. That feels natural, because we've been socialized to perform this. But only babies and toddlers cry more than an American white woman. Every white American girl knew who was crying in the bathroom at a school function or whatever, and probably was that girl at one time or another. It's performing femininity, but it feels really natural, very comforting, and it's very hard to not cry when you are used to crying whenever you want. I should know, I have always been an infamous crybaby. It has taken me a lot of work to get to the point where I don't cry every time I say no to something. Do I mean for my crying to manipulate people into doing what I want? No. But is my crying manipulative? Yes.

Radical change starts with us, and it's never comfortable or easy. How can we expect men to respect us as fellow humans if we resort to childish, manipulative tactics like crying? How can we expect them to change things about themselves, if we refuse to change anything about ourselves? I get that it's hard, and it's not our fault we were raised this way. It isn't fair to have to work so hard to curb such comforting habits we've had since birth. But it's our responsibility to fight for ourselves, and this is just one example of a way that I think intersectionality is important even for privileged women, to target the kinds of radical changes that we need to make for ourselves. And also to work together to fight for radical change on behalf of each other.

[–]RestingWitchface 11 insightful - 1 fun11 insightful - 0 fun12 insightful - 1 fun -  (2 children)

That feels natural, because we've been socialized to perform this.

You can fuck right off with this. I have never received any kind of praise or benefits for crying in front of someone. I have been called "crazy", "manipulative", "weak", and all manner of other things though. The idea that women's crying is manipulative is right out of the misogynist's handbook. My tears are not a "performance", they are in involuntary reaction to feeling a strong emotion.

[–]Lemonade_Masquerade 6 insightful - 1 fun6 insightful - 0 fun7 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

Fucking THIS. This "women are allowed to cry, men aren't" is such bullshit. We aren't taken seriously when we cry, we are "over emotional" and "hysterical." I mean, sure, I guess little boys are told to "man up" when they cry, but that's about it. The entire world takes men's emotions more seriously than women. After all, look at that sad rapist. He feels bad for getting caught making a mistake! Let's not ruin the poor man's life!

I'm a crier. I can't help it. My mother would spank me if cried about something she deemed "unimportant" and it didn't make me less of a crier as I got older. It just ramps up my anxiety when I feel tears coming on now and I cry harder because I get more upset by the fact that I am crying.

[–]immersang 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I'm a crier. I can't help it. My mother would spank me if cried about something she deemed "unimportant" and it didn't make me less of a crier as I got older. It just ramps up my anxiety when I feel tears coming on now and I cry harder because I get more upset by the fact that I am crying.

Same. My mom wouldn't spank me but she also couldn't deal with it and would snap at me to "stop wailing". It didn't change anything. If I would have been able to basically switch a button to stop the waterworks from starting, I would have done so in a heartbeat.

[–]Spikygrasspod 9 insightful - 1 fun9 insightful - 0 fun10 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I guess there's always a trade off. If we're more unified we're a bigger, more powerful group and can get things done, but people with multiple disadvantages may not be as well served by our movement. If we pay attention to other aspects like race, we may be more divided but more capable of helping women in the ways that work for them specifically. I think racism is one of the big issues, as is class/poverty, so I'm happy to consider those in my feminism. But I'm wary about being too fine grained or splitting into too many groups. ETA It seems like people are using intersectionality to mean different things. If it means include everyone and get distracted from the core idea - women's rights - then it's a problem. If it just means consider other social justice issues... shouldn't that be fine?

[–]Marsupial 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

It's not oppression olympics. It's a fact that some countries and some cultures are further along when it comes to women's right than others.

[–]medium_tomato[S] 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

And the west is starting to go backwards in that regard. So are we just going to ignore it until we don't have this mythical privilege anymore, and then we can focus on clawing our way back from oppression?

[–]notcisjustwoman 15 insightful - 1 fun15 insightful - 0 fun16 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Yeah the OP didn't exhibit even a slight understanding of what intersectional even means :-/

[–]endthewoo 44 insightful - 1 fun44 insightful - 0 fun45 insightful - 1 fun -  (8 children)

The original concept (Kimberle Crenshaw) was fine and made sense in context. The problem is it being twisted beyond recognition such that it has lost any useful meaning at all. It was originally about material realities (workplace discrimination and recourse under law) but is now all about identity-oppression-olympics IOW complete bullshit.

[–][deleted] 16 insightful - 1 fun16 insightful - 0 fun17 insightful - 1 fun -  (6 children)

I'm cynical enough to think that pretty much everything that describes the situations of a vulnerable minority will either be hijacked or ignored because the average person wants theory to include them or they ignore it. Anything else requires a lot of empathy.

I'm disabled, and remember when non-disabled people were being told not to use spoon theory for situations where a good night's sleep would fix it – does anyone even talk about spoon theory anymore?

[–]Lemonade_Masquerade 21 insightful - 1 fun21 insightful - 0 fun22 insightful - 1 fun -  (2 children)

Woke circles use oppression points like currency. It's no wonder they want to try to cheat the system as much as possible.

Definitely could use some more empathy. The ability to say "your situation and my situation are different and we have different needs" is missing from so many of these people's mindsets. It's like they think their feelings and experiences are universal. Spoon theory was also my first thought. I had only heard it from people who use it when talking about mental health for so long before I found out that it was a concept for disabled people. "Trigger" has gone through a similar process as it was specifically a PTSD term before it became a word for "generic thing that makes me uncomfortable."

I am so uncomfortable with how much those circles promote self-diagnosis for mental disorders, for this very reason. Many mental illnesses are normal thought processes taken to the extreme. That's why so many people can read a list of vague symptoms and think "Oh, that's me!" in the same way you can read any random horoscope and feel the same way.

It seems very related to how they don't appreciate the need for clear language. They only use language to express their subjective experience. If men can be women, then "spoons" can apply to any mental illness you want. If penises are female, then getting bored sometimes can be ADHD.

[–]puffball 9 insightful - 2 fun9 insightful - 1 fun10 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

It bugs the hell out of me when people self-diagnose and then turn around and use their status as a weapon to silence others, to gain favorable treatment or exceptions to rules. Not just because of the dishonesty and despicable acts they try to have excused, but more so for the incredible damage it does to those who are actually diagnosed and suffering from the consequences of their actual, real, ailments.

These assholes' abuse of their appropriated status turns the very real problems and suffering of those who actually are affected by these ailments into a joke, a stereotype and significantly erodes the average person's willingness to make the allowances and provide the help that the real sufferers so desperately need. Not only that, but they also soak up many of the scarce resources intended for those with actual diagnoses.

And as a final "fuck you" to the actual victims, when these fakers eventually get caught out having faked their illnesses, the result usually is for the general population to treat everyone who claims these ailments with skepticism or even outright dismissal, again making life even worse for the actual sufferers.

If reading a list of symptoms cause you to think "Oh, that's me!", go see a freaking doctor about it, don't update your damn Facebook and Twitter status with your newfound "diagnoses". It's what you'd do if you thought you genuinely had cancer, so why are these illnesses any different?

[–]Complicated-Spirit 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I can’t count the number of times I’ve had white males tell me that white male privilege applied to them, but not really, because of X, Y and/or Z.

“White male privilege doesn’t really apply to me because I’m on the spectrum. No, I’ve never gotten a formal diagnosis, but that’s just evidence of how disadvantaged I am.”

“White male privilege doesn’t really apply to me because while I look like a regular Western European white male and my name seemingly reflects that, I’m actually more Eastern European, with a strong Romani and Syro-Turkish background. My family denies it, but that’s just because of their shame due to internalized racism.”

“White male privilege doesn’t really apply to me, because while I am a white male, I am also queer. If you don’t know what ‘queer’ means to me, I’m under no obligation to define it to your bigoted ass. It can mean whatever I want. The fact that you seem to think that I’m bullshitting that white male privilege doesn’t really apply to me because I’m queer due to some ‘demand’ on your part that ‘queer’ meet some predetermined definition of your own choosing only goes to show how disadvantaged I really am.”

[–]endthewoo 11 insightful - 1 fun11 insightful - 0 fun12 insightful - 1 fun -  (2 children)

Yeah but spoon "theory" was terrible anyway. Not a theory, and not even a particularly good metaphor (since when were random bits of cutlery analogous to lack of energy ?) It was actually a good example of internet in-group speak, but like anything, yes, even that was hijacked.

[–]puffball 5 insightful - 1 fun5 insightful - 0 fun6 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

It was an attempt to explain something that is very hard to imagine for someone not personally affected. Spoons were just a currency to help keep track, and if they'd been sitting somewhere other than a restaurant, something else would have been used to denote the currency.

The real point was only the idea of energy/willpower/ability to act being a severely limited resource that some of us need to carefully manage throughout our days, lest we find ourselves at a deficit before our day ends. And where such a deficit will usually have serious, often catastrophic, immediate consequences.

As metaphors go, it's actually a pretty good one and captures the essentials pretty well, as long as you realize that it IS a metaphor, and that the "spoons" just as well could have been pebbles, pencils or damp pieces of navel lint.

If the use of cutlery as the currency is what's confusing to you, then I don't know what to tell you other than that metaphors probably isn't something you're quite ready for yet.

[–]cybitch 6 insightful - 1 fun6 insightful - 0 fun7 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

The real point was only the idea of energy/willpower/ability to act being a severely limited resource that some of us need to carefully manage throughout our days, lest we find ourselves at a deficit before our day ends.

That's all human beings. As someone with chronic pain, the best way to explain it imo is fight or flight. When you're in pain, your body is essentially in fight or flight mode, so you're on high alert and the same environment that you would normally find it easy to focus in is too much for you in that state. This leads to you becoming tired much more easily. The whole "spoons" thing is maybe good when you're explaining things to a child but it won't lead to adults taking you any more seriously.

[–][deleted] 6 insightful - 1 fun6 insightful - 0 fun7 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I think her point was that certain axis of oppression is cumulative rather than mutually exclusive and that people who face those challenges need to have their concerns heard. It was never meant be used to silence people. The fact that white trans women ( in other words white men) took her words and formed another but mirrored hierarchy where they get to be top victim is basically white heterosexual males managing to be on top just as before. It’s patriarchy managing to wrap themselves in a different wrapping paper.

[–]censorshipment 41 insightful - 2 fun41 insightful - 1 fun42 insightful - 2 fun -  (1 child)

This is why the GC subreddit was not only reported by TRAs but also black women (such as the blackladies sub mods and members). There is a thread on lipstickalley about the GC sub where although they agree that trans women are men, they also saw the GC sub as racist. Black women cannot exclude antiblack racism from our feminism. We are black first, women second, in the world.

As I pointed out on the gc_woc sub before it was banned... first wave feminism started after the anti-slavery movement... abolitionists became suffragists... and then second wave feminism started after the civil rights movement... civil rights activists became second-wave feminists. You cannot remove racism from feminism... black women started the movements.

Just like Stormé DeLarverie started the Stonewall riots.

With that said... I don't support intersectional feminism lol it's too messy, and educated/upper middle class women never listen to uneducated/poor women regardless of race/ethnicity. In my little city, there are two black feminist groups divided by class. It's sad but necessary because the educated black women are so uppity and conservative.

Feminism needs the Fannie Lou Hamer type of activist... she scared a feared president, Lyndon B. Johnson. A powerful white man feared an angry black woman. Fannie started a new Democratic party in Mississippi since white Democrats were racists.

At a 1971 National Women's Political Caucus event, she gave one of her most famous speeches titled  “Nobody's Free Until Everybody's Free."

"Now, we've got to have some changes in this country. And not only changes for the black man, and only changes for the black woman, but the changes we have to have in this country are going to be for liberation of all people — because nobody's free until everybody's free,” she told the crowd.

“And this is something that should have been done for a long time because a white mother is no different from a black mother. The only thing is they haven't had as many problems. But we cry the same tears and under the skin, it's the same kind of red blood," she added.


[–]Complicated-Spirit 5 insightful - 2 fun5 insightful - 1 fun6 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

I agree that privileged/upper class people never listen to those they consider lower class. It’s funny, because they’re always speaking for them. It’s the educated, Masters-Degree-Possessing libfems of both sexes who started telling women of all colors that their feminism wasn’t real feminism unless it included transwomen; who decided - with zero input or impetus from the Latino community - that the term “Latino” was passé, and needed to be replaced by “Latinx”, and also that “Latinx” needed to be explicitly acknowledged as a Latin adjective “for all genders”; that symbolic acts and gestures were more important than resolving pay gaps and reducing needless debts; that this art and architecture was good, and that art and architecture was bad (even if everyone else who actually had to live with it every day felt differently - what do those peasants know?); that it was their job to speak, and everyone else’s job to listen. Never the other way around, unless you were trying to get a photograph for a campaign mailer, in which case one could fake listening for a few seconds.

[–]meranii 27 insightful - 2 fun27 insightful - 1 fun28 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

I have no problem with intersectional feminism in the academic sense, but online it's been misunderstood as sort of a "privilege tally/ladder" where you have more or fewer privilege points than someone else and you are automatically an oppressor or a victim, i.e. a "cis" woman is more privileged than a transwoman and therefore the individual transwoman is justified in endlessly shitting on "cis" women, despite women as a class having been systematically oppressed and used as breeding stock for thousands of years, and the transwoman might just be a horny straight neckbeard with an AGP fetish whose family has coddled him his entire life.

It really has created an "us vs. them" feminism and I'm not sure how we're supposed to get out of this toxic mode of thinking, because currently I think feminism is much more fractured and weaker than it's ever been.

[–]anfd 22 insightful - 1 fun22 insightful - 0 fun23 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

It has also been said that we don't need feminism dividing the workers' movement. Or we don't need the workers' movement dividing the national movement. We're all just people etc. (which is also true of course). But it seems it happens quite easily that, for all practical purposes, the more general term starts to refer only to the currently dominant group. So when discussing what "the people" need, it's really about what men need. Ditto for "national" interest, which might turn out to be the interests of the propertied and educated classes; "women's issues" = white heterosexual women's issues etc.

There is no idea someone will not take to a logical extreme and blow out of all proportion. I can't say whether or not this has happened to intersectionality to some extent, but if it feels that for some it's now a worldview and a confession of faith rather than an analytical tool, then to that extent it probably has happened. But that doesn't discredit the idea itself. Thatstealthygal's comment has it right IMO.

Also, an organisational split based on different political approaches might be principled and useful, or it might be a sectarian adventure. Which it is would have to estimated on a case by case basis, rather than on principles like unity or independence. Like intersectionality, organisational unity and organisational independence are tools, not principles, and there will always be disagreement on which tool is the right one in a given situation.

[–]mrh2 12 insightful - 1 fun12 insightful - 0 fun13 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Well said. Intersectionalism makes absolutely no sense.

[–]cybitch 10 insightful - 3 fun10 insightful - 2 fun11 insightful - 3 fun -  (0 children)

Yes, this is why I don't call myself a feminist anymore. Because now when you call yourself a feminist people assume you stand for a whole bunch of things that have nothing to do with women's rights or go against them, like islam - if you point out that muslims are not exactly pro-women you're "islamophobic". The only feminist views I hold are those that involve standing for women's rights. Unfortunately that's no longer what the word means.

[–]Complicated-Spirit 10 insightful - 2 fun10 insightful - 1 fun11 insightful - 2 fun -  (2 children)

I feel like intersectional feminism sounds good on paper and was founded with good intentions, but has devolved into:

  1. The idea of: fuck white women. Seriously. More than once, I’ve seen commands for white women to sit down, shut up, and stay quiet by people speaking “on behalf” of all WOC. The idea that white women are privileged has extended to the idea that white women have it so good that they never even really needed feminism. They’re all racist, they’re all wealthy, they’re all Trump supporters, they’re all selfish, they’re all shallow, they’re all fake libfem “sex-positive” assholes who think nothing of throwing any WOC under the bus to prevent their kids from attending the same school as their own. White women went from “women who are still women, and thus subject to sexism and the female experience, but also possess white privilege” to “human garbage universally deserving of hatred and derision”. White women who attempt to speak on feminism often find themselves reminded not to do so because they’re white - the fact that they’re women is irrelevant.

  2. The focus on TiMs as “women” has pushed whatever focus there may have been on WOC out of the spotlight and instead, has made what was supposed to be a feminism that recognized WOC, a false feminism that glorified black TiMs and couldn’t be bothered to remember that WOC actually exist. When “intersectional feminism” met BLM, the result wasn’t “Black Women’s Lives Matter”, and there is little-to-no recognition of lesbian, bisexual, or asexual WOC in either the BLM, intersectional feminism, or Pride movements - instead, it’s simply “Black Trans Lives Matter”, and by Black Trans Lives, they mean Black TiM lives. Every discussion on WOC or feminism in general seems to be derailed to “But what about transwomen, why aren’t you including them?” and when it gets pointed out that, say, a talk on menstruation taboos doesn’t really have a way of explicitly including TiMs in a way that they can provide their own experiences to the group in a way that is truly relatable to females, we get smugly reminded that we’re not being “intersectional” enough. “Fuck white women” includes shutting white women down for not being WOC, and for not being trans.

  3. It goes with the assumption that anything criticizing Islam as a religion, and not Muslims as a people, is “Islamophobic”. Yes, Christianity and Judaism are old-fashioned, oppressive belief systems, but Islam, we’re told, is liberating for women, because Islamic leaders tell us it is. A Christian woman who covers her hair during Holy Week is giving in to patriarchal oppression (and is probably white too, so fuck her), but a Muslim woman who wears hijab is “empowered”. How does this relate to intersectional feminism? In intersectional feminism, we can tell our stories of how our religious upbringing has held us back - and only if it has held us back, since if someone has had a positive experience of Christianity or Judaism is going against the narrative, which is that those religions are dominant, and thus always oppressive and monolithic by their nature. But in Islam, the narrative switches back: one can only have a positive view of it. The same requirements that were perceived as repressive and backwards in other faiths, even taken to a further extreme in Islam, are now represented as being progressive and pro-women. It’s an inherently dishonest and internally illogical way of reasoning.

[–][deleted] 9 insightful - 2 fun9 insightful - 1 fun10 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

I don't understand how there isn't a way to make something similat to this model work. Why not have feminist groups that have women of color and/or black women, depending on the area, take on topics that are important that they see in their community and introduce the topic during a town hall. Ideas for what to do to fix it can be discussed (who to start mailing/contacting, whether there needs to be protests, etc.) And then (wo)manpower delegated to start on those projects. This allows black women and or WOC to be heard, allows them to introduce a possible solution or what they would like to do, and then hauls in support without stepping on toes.

Am I making it sound too easy? I just feel like it shouldn't be as hard as it seems to be to work together to get things taken care of.

[–]Marsupial 9 insightful - 1 fun9 insightful - 0 fun10 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Intersectionalism in terms of working for equality over races and culture is important and is definitely not the worst thing to feminism. If feminism is for all women it needs to be intersectional. Feminism needs to act for the freedom and safety of all women regardless of race and class.
Accepting oppression because it's part of a culture, like the burqa and similar, is a different thing.

[–]slushpilot 7 insightful - 2 fun7 insightful - 1 fun8 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

Yup. Intersectionality is a virus that has infected every progressive movement, feminism included.

It preys on the goodwill of anyone who believes in fighting for the less-privileged, by subverting the movement towards addressing the needs of smaller and smaller fractions of people, instead of addressing major themes that are common to all.

[–]kr66t 7 insightful - 1 fun7 insightful - 0 fun8 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I've been listening to some talks with Helen Pluckrose recently and I've found myself thinking a lot about this constant victim mentality that a lot of everyone seem to be stuck in. I would also ask - is intersectionality black feminism or is it part of the postmodernist theory?

[–]spinningIntelligence 6 insightful - 1 fun6 insightful - 0 fun7 insightful - 1 fun -  (3 children)

Men are raped, too, you know? And women can be abusers, so why talk about MALE violence specifically? We're all in this together, and this is just creating unnecessary division.

And why talk about the misogyny of liberal men if we're all fighting for other causes together? We need to be united, so don't bring up their misogyny otherwise you're "ruining" the movement.

Women's oppression is inextricably linked to family. If a woman's family is under constant threat of violence she cannot be free. You cannot ignore how racism impacts women, and pointing out racist behaviour isn't a threat to our "unity". Being racist, however, is.

Men aren't a monolith either but we still talk about men as a class. There are poor men, disabled men, men in developing countries without access to clean water let alone the internet, men who've been horrendously abused, men who've been beaten for being gay. And still male privilege exists.

I'm not sure what your point is here; don't point out racism if women do it? We should all be judged as individuals and we have no collective interests? Does this apply to obscenely wealthy women, too?

[–]ThisSiteIsUnusable 3 insightful - 2 fun3 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

I'm not sure what your point is here

"I don't like the way this idea makes me feel so it's wrong." Just an idiot throwing a tantrum. Ignore it.

[–]yishengqingwa666 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

Yes, WATM, and Women Do It Too.

The vast majority of all violent crime is committed by males.

[–]jet199 6 insightful - 1 fun6 insightful - 0 fun7 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

My main problem with it is it ignores culture and it ignores every problem a person or group might have which isn't oppression. It's a blunt tool.

If might work in a middle class area of America where everyone, no matter their race, shares the same culture but most places don't have racial division like that.

One thing which struck me was when people were arguing "what if a white person was terminally ill wouldn't that make them worse off that a black person" and the answer was "but a terminally ill white person would still be less oppressed than a terminally ill black person." Maybe but you just can't assume one category always has it worse than another in every situation without proof. Intersectionality was a thought experiment not a throughly researched and evidenced theory. One shitty thing about white culture is they often don't stay close with their families. If you get old and ill as a white person you are quite likely to be stuck in a home by your children and abandoned while in a different culture you could be looked after in a family home with loved ones around you. This is the difference culture makes to outcomes, they can be very different to what you might predict from models which put groups in power categories.

[–]mambean 6 insightful - 1 fun6 insightful - 0 fun7 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

First off, intersectional feminism only includes women, so TIMs should and will never be a factor because they are men, even if they believe they are not.

I think you might be misunderstanding what intersectionality is (and actually also confusing it with libfem values, which imo can be separate). I'm a black woman, and a bisexual radical feminist, my feminism needs to speak to the unique issues I have with race and sexuality that would be different because I am a woman, things that a black bisexual man would not encounter. Let me give you an example of intersectional thinking in feminism:

Case A: During the suffragette era, black women were made to march at the back of protests because white suffragettes felt it would make their message harder to absorb to the public. There were even racist suffragettes like Elizabeth Cady Stanton who wanted white women to vote because black men's votes were being considered - and thus wanted to strengthen the white vote and race. This is an example of race-exclusionary feminism. Thankfully we also had race inclusionary feminists like Sylvia Pankhurst.

Case B: During the rise of radical feminism, many radical femininists were still sadly homophobic - sidelining lesbian and bisexual women from the movement. The movement was failing to acknowledge the sexism of "stereotyping mannish man-hating lesbians" and distanced themselves from lesbians, they also had issues with addressing the other sexuality specific forms of misogyny such as corrective rape. A movement called The Lavender Menace: rose to confront this - they were very influential.

Case C: When it comes to gender stereotypes and the unique face of oppression each woman faces, sometimes race can alter how a woman is viewed. White women are stereotyped as chatty, feminine, demure, feminine. Black women are stereotyped as masculine, loud, aggressive, sexual. Asian women are stereotyped to be submissive, serving, quiet, exotic etc. These are all sexist stereotypes, and affect the groups differently.

Feminism gets called "white" when it only really tailors to the needs of white women. When white feminists banded up with women of color sometimes they would mess up - when challenging stereotypes that applied to them they would assume (often by ignorance) that what works for them must also work for others. For example, when white feminist or even black male authors made "positive" black female characters who were strong, independent, a bit aggressive/assertive, or sexual (things that white women fought to be seen as) - they did not realize they were furthering damage by solidifying a black stereotype that was harming black women from being seen as multi-faceted and even vulnerable human beings and aiding in their dehumanisation.

A lot of black women were attempting to find other modes of expressions where they could be seen as more rounded individuals, emotional, even feminine or demure if they wanted. A lot of them struggle with being seen as sex objects not worthy of a serious romantic relationship, a lot felt that even childhood and womanhood was taken from them very early on. The unique ways that colorism affected women more than men, etc. White feminists can not relate to such matters, thus a space needed to be made to talk about it.

Black women often felt that neither black men or white women understood that they felt confined to a small box of expressions - where white feminists embraced both masculinity and femininity in the cultural revolution, black women often felt they were stuck in the black strong female stereotype role which entrapped them in an epidemic of mental health issues. A lot of women of color in general felt they had to choose between their racial identity vs their womanhood which caused a lot of issues.

In short, intersectionality isn't, and shouldn't be (since there is a general cultural confusion even from intersectionalists) about calling this person a Karen, or culture wars. It's about acknowledging our differences, knowing how sexism has many forms based on culture and identity and acting on them. I know there's a lot of BS going around with white libfems calling other people "white" as an insult even with matters that don't even have to do with race, but that's just libfems being stupid with their identity politics bastardization. The concept of intersectionality is a good and positive one that all feminists should adopt and I am sorry they ruined the idea of it for you.

[–]voi_che_sapete 6 insightful - 1 fun6 insightful - 0 fun7 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I would like to express a fuckton of dismay at this and point out that is sanctimonious white women calling out other white women using the 'intersectionality' concept the vast majority of the time. It's not black women's fault intersectionality (which is a very useful, very specific concept that they innovated) has been used to tokenize their perspective and ratify libfem bullshit for white women and TRAs.

[–]Badmammajamma 5 insightful - 1 fun5 insightful - 0 fun6 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

I think the specific problem of white women and feminism may not apply to your cultural experience. In the US it’s a very big deal. Black women were systematically excluded from the US suffragette movement, for example.

Feminism is for women, and we would be ridiculous to conclude that the experiences that impact women of different races or cultures are not relevant. They are relevant. There’s billions of women in this world who are not white, and their voices should be heard and we should make space for that. No one is free unless we all are.

[–]Anna_Nym 4 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 0 fun5 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I've been on an early US feminist history kick lately, and based on what I've read, it's more nuanced than saying Black women were systematically excluded. For example, in the famous incident of Ida B. Wells and black suffragettes being told to march at the back of the Woman Suffrage Procession, Virginia Brooks and Belle Squire both offered to march with Wells at the back. When Wells joined the IL delegation out of the crowd, Brooks and Squire linked arms with her to demonstrate racial solidarity and universalism. Alice Paul, the main organizer, was supportive of Black women marching, but was also willing to segregate the march to placate some of the Southern suffragettes.

And in a lot of ways, that experience captures the development/schisms of the US suffragette movement over time as a whole. Many of the initial white suffragettes were abolitionists who worked in partnership with Black women and men and saw the two causes as linked. Black women organized and were part of the US suffragette movement as a whole. But as Southern overt white supremacy became a clear political obstacle, there were schisms around how to negotiate that political reality. Women weren't always organizing together across racial lines.

[–]coffeedrinker 5 insightful - 1 fun5 insightful - 0 fun6 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

What? This post is so nonsensical. Non-intersectional feminism ignores the plight of poor women, WoC, queer women, etc. This was a major criticism of 1st and 2nd wave feminisms - why do you think such a term was needed in the first place? you can criticize lib feminism, but don't throw the baby out with the bath water.

[–]Maeven 5 insightful - 1 fun5 insightful - 0 fun6 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I don't like the attacks on issues that are considered white. Primarily because, even if we are white and aren't affected by racism, we are affected by sexism and shouldn't be attacked for having our own unique issues. I can sympathize with black women who experience sexism differently and still advocate for the ways sexism affects me. I can have uniquely american-centric problems and there's nothing wrong with that any more than Korean feminists who focus and discuss uniquely Korean problems.

I'd rather we not tear each other down. Just recognize that different people have different needs and leave it at that.

[–]luckystar 3 insightful - 2 fun3 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

It's the "all lives matter" of feminism.

[–]Liz-B-Anne 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

We can stand united while still honoring our differences & asking for empathy. The two are not mutually exclusive.

I'm white & American but OP's language sounds like how men talk down to Western women when they claim we "have it good" compared to women in developing nations & say we shouldn't be bitching/don't need feminism. It's not the 'Oppression Olympics' for Women of Color to point out the ways in which they're struggling beyond simply being female. As long as they're doing so in a way that's respectful of the humanity of this group, they should feel comfortable speaking on those issues here just as freely as any white woman complains about being called a "Karen" or whatever. Because let me tell you, that's annoying at worst compared to what minorities go through in this country (and probably elsewhere).

[–]moody_ape 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

i think intersectionality can be a great tool of analysis and it can even unite feminists if used correctly. the one problem i have with intersectionality is something that i think is more related to how people apply the theory than the theory itself. when i was a newbie to feminism i was part of an intersectional feminist collective at college. i remember countless times when certain women in the group simply were not allowed to disagree with anything that other certain women said. i'll give you 2 examples.

  1. i have always been skinny and i know it's a good thing considering the beauty standards for women. however, i think i'm way too skinny and would like to have more curves. after all, being skinny doesn't necessarily = being 100% happy with my appearance. when i tried talking about this insecurity with my feminist peers, they called me names and said i was complaining about non-existing "skinny-phobia" and that fat women were the ones that had to deal with insecurities about their weight because "tumblr is full of skinny girls showing off their bones". i never mentioned any "phobias". i just wanted to talk about how i felt about my body.

  2. on another occasion, i was talking with two black friends of mine (also part of the feminist collective) about a music video by a white singer. the video was a cover of "survivor", by destiny's child, and featured women from different races, sizes, ages and sexual orientations - they were all fans who volunteered, not hired models or anything. it was pretty much a feminist move from that singer. she had just left an asshole of a boyfriend and she even donated all the money from the video to a feminist NGO that helped vulnerable women. at some point in the video, the women were handed a red lipstick and they did whatever they wanted with it. some used it normally, other wrote "dyke" in their chest, others "ate" it and many painted their whole faces instead of using it to look "beautiful". my friends trashed this singer soooo much! they said she was a white bitch who was tokenizing black women, appropriating music from black women and wearing red lipstick, which according to them is the utmost representation of femininity. they also said things like "she's upper class, she knows nothing about being a survivor! her boyfriend is white trash" etc. on top of that they were really angry at white women at that particular moment because of some statistics about how black women were 10% more likely than white women to be killed. and of course they used it against the singer (like wtf?) i hadn't seen the video when they trashed it to me. when i got home, i saw it and loved it. so i wrote a post on my facebook saying i thought maybe they were wrong on their judgement and explained why. i did this politely because i didn't want to attack them - they were my friends after all - and i didn't even mention any names, just said "i had a converstaion with some friends about this music video and i disagree". i just wanted them to think about that issue. their response? "you're silencing us"

this is the sort of thing i hated about being part of an intersectional feminist collective. i was not allowed to disagree. i had to say "amem" to everything all the time because i'm white/skinny and i have it better. i couldn't question anything, i couldn't even ask questions because "no one has the obligation to explain anything to you". i eventually got sick and tired of that group and left after another "shut up and agree" discussion involving cultural appropriation.

although i've had a bad experience with that particular collective, i still think discussing various issues regarding the differencies in material reality of different groups of women is very important and useful. however i also think people need to chill the f out. humans can't change their minds after reading some comments on facebook. it takes time and a lot of reflection.