Everybody wants to be a feminist until it's time to stand up for the black girl. Which is why I choose to disassociate myself from the movement and curate my own. No, I'm not marching with you. Yes, I'm offended and the color of my skin is quite obvious so I know you see color.
It can be very challenging 'ouchea' to be a Proud Black Feminist within a movement that was built on a lie. A lie that is intersectional feminism. Apparently, white women woke up one day and decided to take accountability for their actions and give us black girls a seat at the table as if it wasn't our backs that bent over to build the table to begin with. It's all a ploy to keep up the idea in mainstream media that we must all remain unified. Aint no white woman ever stood up for me and I don't see it becoming anything common. Yes, maybe you have your 1s and 2s here and there and though I appreciate them for being the bold few it's still not enough. Until you can openly admit the part that you play in keeping the black race down and at arms length, then there is nothing we have to talk about and their damn sho isn't a reason for us to be seen protesting together.
As a black feminist, I represent for the women that live in constant danger because of their gender and race. The concept that because I'm a woman I am not worthy of being taken serious at the top of the hierarchy. Because I am a woman my body is subject to being abused and taken advantage of because it was never mine to own. Because I am a woman I must be submissive and put myself last. The notion that because I am black, I am automatically violent, angry, dangerous and considered to be Amerikkka's most wanted and most hated. Nevertheless, it's never been a better day to be a black woman.
If you're white and you're here and you just so happen to be reading this (as you should), I know what you're thinking. Why am I alienating myself from a positive movement that claims to be in it for equal opportunity and gender equality? My response is, because we're still protesting for this shit in 2018 and therefore something is off. It's your ignorance towards the struggle that I as a black woman deal with that will continue to keep us divided. By acknowledging the trials that we as women encounter, we must expose all hinderances. While white women were busy getting their freak on with our black men until it was time to call rape, black women were busy trying to stay alive on the plantations. While black people were fighting for their right to vote, white women were pleading to be given that right before black people. (White Supremacy at its finest) This is what we call, toxic white feminism.
Today, we as black women are continuously subject to the actions of narcissistic white feminists. Though not surprising at all, many claim to have good intentions until its time to pass the mic and you're a whistleblower:
I had just got back to my division after being sent to the security department for a little over a year because I refused to fudge numbers on inventory. Welcomed back with open arms, I, a black woman, E-5, in the navy all of only 3 years at the time, strong, smart, ambitious, formerly a watch commander supervising over 40 individuals and firearms, former records-keeper managing over $1,000,000 in inventory was sent straight to the coffee shop. Yeap, I said the coffee shop. It's like being the Manager of your department, going on maternity leave and returning back to work to find out that your position has been filled with someone 'less mouthy' and you'll now be working at the front desk making coffee runs and picking up mail. All of this because I chose integrity over ass-kissing.
I was thrilled to be going to the coffee shop because one I love coffee however I was not thrilled to know that my years of hard work, knowledge, skills and rank meant nothing. Therefore, here I am again at the forefront of fighting for my rights, freedom and worth. That was until I was reported to the psych for being crazy because I had the audacity to speak up (mouth off) to my chief. Another case of angry mad black woman. At this point I was over it and ready to sign over my life to the civilian sector that is freedom. However, it wasn't that easy. I had to sit in front of a white woman who hadn't experienced feminism in my shoes, that was supposed to give me advice on how to "not be angry".
"But I'm black, she'll never get it!"
At this point I was furious and damn near ready to jump off someones bridge. Every time I attended one of our sessions I was tasked with handling things in a different manner as if I was the one that had done something wrong. But why should I apologize for being a black woman? Why should I apologize for standing up for myself? To make matters even worse, the man that reported me to psych was black. (Jim Crow at its finest). I had had enough of being told by a black man and a white woman in a white man's world that I was the problem. So against the advice of my psychiatrist I reported him to the EO (equal opportunity officer) who then referred me to a moderator. (Anything to get us out of their hands and make us someone else's problem right.)
Long story short, the claim had dissolved and I was forced to suck it up and deal with it until my time ran out. I still question why my case was never sent to authorities. If you ask me, this is a strong case of "it's not that serious". Instead, we'll dominate the narrative and silence her.
Why We're Not A United Front
Through reading the words of historical black feminists and witnessing the journey of black women currently dominating in their field, I don't plan to give up on feminism and its potential. It took me enduring my own personal struggles to cultivate what is now my thriving livelihood that is black feminism. We as black women still struggle with making room for ourselves in a space that was never meant for us. A space that uses us simply as a number to reach the masses. This is why it is important for black women to stand up for black women and like Alice Walker, "not allow mainstream feminism to step all over us".
We were never a united front! Wouldn't it be nice if we were? The moment we open up to white women, they immediately (maybe even unintentionally though naturally) find a way to dilute our frustrations. Now we're considering whether we might be too sensitive or maybe even crazy. (Sista You're Not Crazy! You Never Were!) If we were a united front, when addressing the wage gap in America it would be dully noted that black women are paid only 64 cents for every dollar a white man makes. However, when white women protest for the wage gap, we only see that women make 77 cents to a white man's dollar. So, how could we be a united front? It's as if we're just supposed to suppress our grievance for this so called united front. Advocating for women means advocating for all women, black included.
The depths of our grievances even go as far as frustrations with white women. Then, when we choose to confront it we're considered racist. Prime example of toxic white feminists dominating the transcript in support of white feminism. But apparently when race is acknowledged by a black person to a white person it's a problem. It's not our fault that white feminists lack the ability to dissect the difference between what is considered racism and what is not when that is all they know. It is not the job of the black woman to help you unlearn what has been instilled in you. However, it is our job to speak up when confronted with oppression.
And we don't care if its not all of you. Talk to me about it not being all of you when all black people aren't generalized because we know all about that. When the majority can make up for the few acts of the minority then, and only then all white feminists won't be generalized. This is a sad excuse for removing yourself from the situation as if it has nothing to do with you. The only way for us to truly get to a united front is by talking about it. All of it! The good, the bad and the ugly. The conversations that make you feel uncomfortable. The fact that you say 'nigger' behind closed doors. Its about attacking the root cause of the divide and come up with realistic solutions to discard white supremacy.
And of course, you're not offended because it has nothing to do with you. We're accused of being angry as if nothing is even worth being angry about. As if we were born with this bone that automatically makes us more sensitive than white people. It's like we're not allowed to challenge anything that challenges our color unless a white woman agrees and she too is offended. This is the epitome of toxic white feminism. A black woman's feelings and her opinions matter just as much as any other human being on this earth.
And if I hear another white woman say she don't see color I'm going to knock her blue. (Inserts LOL just in case this is taken as a serious threat considering I am black and therefore a criminal). I'm honestly sick of it. I'm clearly black and you're clearly white and the racial divide is as clear as it was the moment we were dragged off the boat. By telling me you don't see color (as if that's even cool to say. NEWSFLASH: It's not) you might as well acknowledge that black lives don't matter. I then, lose my right to speak up about the social injustices my people face. Now that wouldn't be fair now would it?
As much as I want to pivot on to the conversation of black lives matter I'll save that for another article. The point is we all can do better but this time I'm going to go against everything I believe and admit, especially you. You stand at the forefront of change and refuse to do anything with that power, because well, it doesn't have anything to do with you. While I can understand why white feminists want to leave race out of it, I don't agree. It will be a never-ending fight for equal opportunity, equal pay, equal rights, and women's rights. There is power in numbers and we will never see the power of it until we address the obvious divide.
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