White Feminism Strikes Again

White women and a few non-Black POC are beside themselves that I dare write a criticism of Emma Watson’s UN speech and campaign, #HeForShe. They’re calling me divisive, angry, saying I have attitude and am negative, saying I’m not helping the conversation and am instead detracting from it, should be happy that ANYONE is speaking out, etc. There’s also a lot of ULTIMATE EMMA WATSON FAN GIRLS who are mad that I dare not consider this marginally well-spoken famous actress is the apex of feminism, and think my criticism of the speech and her is some personal attack on who she is and her politics.

What was also interesting to me was that many of them mention how young she is and how I have to be sympathetic to how that lends her a level of ignorance that is OK, never mind that I am the exact same age as her and have had way less opportunities to learn and travel and see the world and get involved in international politics. The idea that white women are precious creatures that have been protected and sheltered their whole lives and require patience because they haven’t been exposed to real life comes at the expense of Black women and other marginalized groups and their experiences with marginalization that happens REGARDLESS of their age, it is thrust upon them and no one goes “oh, she’s too young to experience racism!” “She’s a baby, she shouldn’t have to live through the police state!”.

Meanwhile, many Black feminists like Black Girl Dangerous, Black Feminist Killjoy, and Samoodzee get what I’m talkin’ about. They understand. They out here. So it’s very clear what’s happening here and I’m not too pressed about the opposition.

I got so many white women maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad as hell at me for my Emma Watson piece over at Feminspire, holy shit. The comments are soooo bad because they entirely miss the point and go into “privilege defensiveness” mode. You know, the whole “I’m criticizing this privilege and group on a whole” somehow devolving into “You hate EMMA WATSON YOU WANT TO KILL HER DON’T YOU” and I’m just like “Nah this is the most thought I’ve ever given the girl (and I ain’t even really thinkin’ about her so much as how irrelevant she ultimately is to me because there are much more important people who have done feminism better that I can pay attention to) and I guarantee you I will forget her again by tamarrahh”

But then so many of those comments were “Oh wow see you ARE a man hater” and “WOW HOW DARE YOU USE THE WORD WHITE LIKE THAT” and then I realize “oh wait these fucking white people really don’t have any fucking clue about feminism that’s why they were so impressed by Emma Watson’s bullshit and mad that I criticized it or didn’t think it was any shit”

Also someone was like “She’s 24 I don’t think you can expect so much from a 24 year old” and I was like “You mean a white woman who is 24, because I’m 24 and ya’ll are rolling your eyes at me saying what I am but fucking falling over yourself to give accolades to this white girl for saying ‘women deserve to be equal lol’”

the most goddamn transparent boring simple foolishness, I swear….

This piece pretty accurately sums up how freakin’ WEIRD racial identification in the Latin@ community is. It’s true that the racial lines that exist in other parts of the world, specifically North America, do not really fit so well with us because we are so racially mixed. My mom once while we were having a discussion about how we identify racially (and I mentioned Anti-Blackness), told me “While there is a lot of racism/anti-Blackness in Dominican culture and identity, I don’t feel comfortable exclusively identifying with my Blackness because I am not exclusively Black.” While I turned out looking Black and my experiences have been those of a Black/mixed girl (which is why I identify with Blackness), my sisters came out light/passing as non-Black POC, and they have thus had radically different experiences. BUT, given their sister and how many members of their family look more Black and they realize that Black ancestry is in their blood, culture, and identity, Anti-Blackness has still had an effect in their lives.

That said, there has to be a decolonizing of our identity and a realistic look at privilege, race, and colorism. The fact of it is, many “light-passing” Latin@s/Hispanic folk are just WHITE Latin@s, because they are of either exclusively or majority (like less than a quarter) European ancestry. They’d be seen as such in their countries of origin. So, it does not surprise me that politically and socially, they are more “adjusted” to the majority culture, affluent, and will identify with statist, supremacist, traditionalist values, because those benefit them the most. For the passing Latin@s it is a matter of them getting socialized into it despite them not even being white (because still a huge aspect of Latin@ culture is “purifying the race” and moving up the caste system), and for white Latin@s, well, they’re white.

Yes, even white Latin@s experience anti-Latin@/racist sentiments here, but that’s because of the othering of Spanish because it is associated with Brown an Black Latin@ folk when the language comes from a damn European country (it’s a colonialist tongue!). It’s more xenophobia at that point, and they can easily shake it if they learn English, while someone like me who’s main language is English and was born here still gets asked “Where are you from REALLY” all the time BECAUSE OF COLORISM AND ANTI-BLACKNESS AND RACISM.

White and Passing Latin@s both experience and enjoy almost all the privileges of whiteness, while their non-passing/darker/full Native and Black community members do not. So, when voraciously anti-Native, Anti-Black anti-Latin@ sentiments come to the foreground, we cannot default to some pan-Latin@ identity and not speak to the problems for what they truly are-colonialism, whiteness, supremacy, neoliberalism, anti-Blackness and anti-Nativeness. When we’re being tokenized and having only the palest, richest, most assimilated and adjusted Spanish looking, Spanish speaking of us representing us, we’ve got a huge problem. Passing Latin@s have to respect that, even if they are of color and have a right to identify as such, they are experiencing much less LESS or a different kind of racism than their not-passing/more or full Black or Native Latin@ brothers, and white Latin@s just have to stay in their lane and exit this conversation completely because they’re the colonizers. They HAVE NO place in these discussions.