1. Sometimes the amount of space that white queer fat femme women take up drives me up the wall. 

    Like I get it, you are oppressed. No question there. 

    I’m not even upset at those white women I’m frustrated at the folks who make them tumblr famous when there are a lot more folks of color on here that are doing their thing and it’s all crickets. 

    And it’s like this overwhelming narrative of white fat women saying that they are claiming space and taking back their bodies and I just don’t get how more white folks saying hey look at me is really helping out anything that is possibly intersectional. I guess I am thinking of one blogger in particular with a large following that acts like they OWN this identity and community (referring to folks as their’s in a hierarchical manner) and gets accolades for simply posting images of them blowing snot and if a brown queer fat person did that well everyone would be like damn, gross and move on—not send accolades of presenting fat femininity as nuanced and inclusive of the “ugly.” Maybe my frustration stems in reclaiming ugly only works if you are presumed as anything but—just by being white. Hard to reclaim ugly as a brown queer fat person when you are invisible to start with and ugly by default. 

    A rant and an unpopular opinion but I don’t care.

     

  2. Honest and raw moment:

    Sometimes I get so exhausted and frustrated thinking about whiteness and white folks. All the issues, the movement forward and back, the stagnancy of discussions, and the impact on global, macro, meso, and micro. 

    But sometimes I feel spending all that energy even thinking about whiteness and white people still means I am directing my life in response to whiteness, that I waste so much energy I could be using for my own gente, for my community. 

    I know I know that if we don’t individually and collectively deconstruct and challenge colonialism, racism, whiteness, and oppression then we are not working for real paradigm shifts. And I know how much relief there can be in naming and shaming your oppressor—hell my last six years of college involved getting drunk and screaming “Pinche gabachos” at 3am in the middle of campus.

    But shiiit, I still feel like even what I think about is controlled by whiteness by simply devoting my time to thinking about it. Like all that energy I put out still somehow comes back to whiteness, white power/privilege, and fuck if I don’t want my energy consumed like that.  Like how many white folks consistently think about me, my community, mi gente, etc? Yeah…..I doubt many and definitely not in the same reflective and trauma based way that I and many of my closest friends think about whiteness. 

    Is that weird? Anyone else get what I am saying? Am I using the wrong lens?

     

  3. Sometimes I feel like “Queer” is such a white term.

    I was almost happier for the first 23 years of my life when I refused to label myself with it. 

    Misanthropic Cor coming at you today. 

     

  4. corigami:

    If you support me you support me.

    If you are in solidarity with me you are in solidarity with me.

    Is you act or speak in a way that raises the movement up without utilizing your privileges that’s cool too.

    If you bare witness.

    But you can do all that without a title “Ally”…

    Yes, there are obviously plenty of definitions and experiences with being an Ally. However knowing the way it is used in this sense, as I have described, I would hope more people would be willing to challenge their own use of it. I think the issue for me is that it is a way in which people take on a role, perform, and are given credibility. If the issue is that you support something than you support it, that is an action not an identity. 

    I can see where it can be used to help us understand where we belong and where don’t like you described but I don’t think that being an ally comes with that mindset automatically. Allyhood and Allyship has gone past being an ideology of support and become a community of people who claim to know as much, feel as much, have experienced as much, or are equal stake holders. 

    This is not true and concerns me most. 

    I’ll even give you a personal example of my journey as  an “ally.”: My best friend is trans, my parent is trans, my uncle is trans, hell even my possible love interest is trans. Good job me—sarcasm of course. At one point in my life I thought I was an incredible trans ally, an incredibly knowlegable and well informed trans ally, and I felt like I could speak on behalf of trans folks when they were not being represented or when I perceived it be unsafe for them to do it themselves, I even stopped going to cis-privilege workshops because somehow that wasn’t addressing me at all. I was the best fucking trans ally out there!—sarcasm again. I was totally out of line. My best friend very directly and lovingly told me that I was not trans and so could never be part of the trans community even as an ally. My love and support was appreciated but I need to act and to think and to educate but never to take pride in how great I was as an ally. I tried to argue—“Wouldn’t it be better that I spoke one behalf of trans folks them someone else? All the trans folks I have in my family. It would be like me talking about African-American oppression if I had someone in my family who was Black and I wasn’t—as a family member isn’t this right? okay?” Again he put me in check. I can never speak on behalf of a community that is not mine, I can never participate in dialogues under the presumption that I know enough to be an equal voice. He was clear, show and state your solidarity, walk beside me when we rally, Keep me steady when I am weak, but never never use give yourself a pat on the back for being my ally. 

    Huge learning moment for me and one I am for ever grateful for. 

    Yes this is long but I feel I owe you my understanding and explanation since obviously you seem like you are a good person trying to understand me and why I feel the way I do. I’d love to keep this conversation going. 

    (Source: tierracita)

     

  5. corigami:

    If you support me you support me.

    If you are in solidarity with me you are in solidarity with me.

    Is you act or speak in a way that raises the movement up without utilizing your privileges that’s cool too.

    If you bare witness.

    But you can do all that without a title “Ally”…

    Exactly.  

    I think community, support, solidarity, and vision are beautiful things. 

    But when there becomes a push to give credibility and title to those who already have existed as the oppressor, that’s when I say no. 

    I know I am bringing up heavy shit and when I first was challenged on this it led to an angry shouting match. But if you really care then not being seen as an ally shouldn’t hurt that much. If being an ally didn’t provide privileges or a false sense of equal voice, than it would not be such a coveted title or culture to belong to. 

    As always, love your commentary and your willingness to engage as a white person in these conversations. 

    (Source: tierracita, via clatterandclank)

     

  6. I don’t support Allyship.

    If you support me you support me. 

    If you are in solidarity with me you are in solidarity with me. 

    Is you act or speak in a way that raises the movement up without utilizing your privileges that’s cool too. 

    If you bare witness. 

    But you can do all that without the title of”Ally” or without an Ally identity, allyship culture, or shiny gold ally star. Walk in solidarity with me but don’t expect to get a t-shirt for it. 

    This is not what people want to hear but you know what, I’m tired of reading
    "17 ways to be a great ally!"—what we should be writing is "17 ways to know how to bare witness" or "17 ways to learn about the movement without co-opting the time and energy of those within it to teach how to be in solidarity!" 

    And yes, I most specifically mean White Allyship because there is a very specific  white people 9=culture of gaining access and privilege using Allyship as another form of entitlement. But I do not want to limit my frustrating to just white allies, but also straight allies, etc…anyone who inherently has access to privilege and has the ability to be/is an oppressor and tries to enter community through Allyship. 

     

  7. laborreguita:

    corigami:

    This recent blood boil has made me want to articulate my concern around something else—one of my interests that I kind of backed off of due to school work.

    Queer People of Color and Size.

    I don’t think there are enough discussions of fat people of color (see fatpeopleofcolor for being…

    wow. i have been thinking about this a lot too lately. sometimes i even feel bad for always framing my thoughts in terms of people of color (mostly because i know i have white friends who are interested in the same things but feel left out when it only pertains to POC) but then i realize that this is one way that the world has worked to silence us and our experiences and stories. i wish that allll my tumblr favorites so we could just go hang out and chat, or that tumblr had a better way for us to cross communicate (forums? chat? messaging that let us actually write how much we WANT). 

    all of the FA or size acceptance stuff i see is mostly fat cis womyn who are white. this space is obviously needed, but i wish the FA movement and fat positivity stuff was more diversified, in terms of gender and color as well. i applaud fatpeopleofcolor for being one of the only spaces dedicated to non-white fat people, as well as trying to break down other fat barriers. :)

    i’m not sure what else to say because i’m forgetting what else you wrote now, but hopefully we can get some notes on this and see others thoughts. 

    Yes! It’s frustrating since I am glad this FA and body positivity has become a large enough movement that I can go to a dance night for fatties….but inevitably white fatties, maybe some queer folks but mostly white fat people. And why is the majority of the fat discussion centered around femme identified individuals? Where are the amazing fat butchies? The gordita tortillerias? The fat queer brown men of color—even has more coverage with the bear community. I think this is tricky because it’s obviously a representation lacking in other communities too. What about fat trans folks, fat trans folks of color? Or what about fat young people—why is fatness consider a choice and one for adults to make with their bodies. Anyway you see where I’m going with this. 

    In my dream of dreams I would see hot and sweaty articles about fat sex and fat queerness in the QPOC community, or hear people’s stories how being fat, poc, queer, trans*, femme, androgynous, butch/dyke, and even class dynamics all come together in people’s lives. 

    If I am queer, if I am brown, if I am fat, where am I represented? Why is this not discussed as its own experience/culture. I’ll try and reblog my earlier piece on this too. 

    (Source: tierracita, via laborreguitina)

     

  8. QPOCAS on my mind.

    This recent blood boil has made me want to articulate my concern around something else—one of my interests that I kind of backed off of due to school work. 

    Queer People of Color and Size. 

    I don’t think there are enough discussions of fat people of color (see fatpeopleofcolor for being awesome but singular in this area) or how fat people of color could and do experience fat differently than white fat people. 

    I don’t think there is enough discussion surrounding fat people in the queer community, let alone discussions of being a person of color in the queer community. 

    I truly believe that there needs to be a place for queer people of color to talk about their experience, how identity is formed in this intersection and pluralism, how we talk about our bodies in these ways or how they are viewed, reclaimed, commidified, ignored, or exotified. 

    I think the FA and fat/body positivity movement is wonderful but like these recent discussions of feminism, they are not without dichotomies or issues of whiteness, privilege, and generalized experience. In the midst of revolutionary movements there is still the need to question and to check each other. If we don’t then it’s not even worth the movement we make. 

    Thoughts? 

     

  9. strontiumbitch:

    corigami:

    Affordable and safe reproductive health/access. 

    Body hair and body policing. 

    Deconstructing slut shaming and valuing sex positivity. 

    Marriage equality and queerness as part of institutionalization.  

    Reclaiming terms/language: bitch, whore, slut, cunt, etc…

    ETA: Westernize view of woman and feminism. 

    Anti-corporatism. 

    Allyhood.

    People of Color/Mixed feminist issues:

    Access to everything, deconstructing white privilege and resulting oppression.

    Social justice/Solidarity with other communities—queer, trans, immigrants, etc. (ETA: Not that these are inherently separate). 

    Having our bodies allowed agency in the conversation of sexuality and sexualization. 

    Intersectionality of class, race, gender, ethnicity, ability, age, spirituality, sexuality. 

    Maintaining and honoring cultural traditions/values and creating new ones.

    ETA: Localized and global contexts built on heritage.  

    I’m not advocating these lines should or shouldn’t exist or that there isn’t cross over but this is what appears in my life and on my dash 24/7 and it’s getting exhausting. Not offering a solution just an observation. It’s hard to feel like a fourth wave is coming when these separations still exist. Thoughts? I will add more to this later when I am not overwhelmed with things on my plate. 

    Ready to engage with this properly now.

    I find the situation with regards to feminism exhausting also. I see a lot of it on my dash, some of it in real life, though I am avoiding actual feminist groups like the plaque because, to a large extent, that is what they are - when I was in one, we would talk about how we could be “more inclusive” and “include more women” from this long laundry list of variously euphemistic terms for people with not a lot of money, people with a bunch more melanin than us, people with all different kinds of religion, people who like to fuck other people every which way and people with children. But we never once asked ourselves “how are our actions so important that these folks might want to come to our meetings? all we do is read women’s magazines, drink tea, talk about our lack of husbands and our dads, and the chicks who do feminist crochet representations of vaginas are actually getting more fun than we do, even though they eat vegan sushi, and really, isn’t this just a pretext for some girl-on-girl hatefuck and we just want a few minority interests in there so we can get a power-related thrill out of marginalising them?” well, you can see from that I’ve narrowed down your list of “white feminist interests” somewhat. But, to us, we were activism (in the way that Judge Dredd is the law). People did bring up this problem, that we were the feminist group with the mentions in the Guardian and so on when there’d been women’s rights campaigners in town for decades and decades, how awful that was, but… there were allegiances in place (“allydom” can be spoken or unspoken and the two are usually different and the unspoken is much, much stronger) with people in zines and in the press, and you did well not to challenge those or endanger them (otherwise you were “critical of feminism”). And, really, the question “how can we be more inclusive?” without asking the question “what do we have to offer? why are we so damned important anyway?” really starkly reflects that.

    A lot of what I see in any media under the guise of feminism, I’m actively hostile towards, and I’ve been known to use “feminist” and “anti-feminist” interchangeably. Of course, I am a feminist. I’m from a very European tradition of feminism that places “the feminine” as a social construct, as a psychoanalytical term, as a vector for denial of personhood, at the centre of its analysis. The fundamental thing there is that “the feminine” does not necessarily relate to women, even though it relates to them most immediately perhaps. It’s a feminism that comes from Simone de Beauvoir (mind you, she mentioned even after writing the Second Sex that she was trying to avoid “falling into the trap of feminism”), that is based on the work of philosophers such as Hegel, Heidegger, Adorno (Frankfurt School generally), that has its roots, in practical terms in the far left and anti-colonial politics. I would say that Betty Friedan is very much the American equivalent to this tradition.

    I like mainstream feminism. I think it’s an excellent thing: equal access to health, universal suffrage, access to reproductive healthcare, equal rights in the workplace, labour rights… those are all excellent fights and I wholeheartedly support them. They have nothing to do with media feminism for the excellent reason that getting media attention would be more of a hindrance than a help in those causes, mostly they get on with the work and go celebrated only by such unimportant entities as the people they affect and the legal framework that integrates them.

    Media feminism is a different thing altogether, and is centred mainly around representation and identity, angrily claiming lack of identification with certain popular culture where ”it doesn’t speak to me” actually means “if it speaks to you you’re not a real woman” and complaining about not being targetted effectively-enough by tampax adverts (subtext, “I could do the job better than those bitches on the advertising boards”). In effect, it’s preserving a certain kind of femininity, and passing sanctions on anyone who doesn’t fit. Of course, it’s impossible to fit, and the women involved end up fucking each other up and, if no one else is around, fucking themselves up. In fact, it’s probably a pretty good indictment of the idea that the individual self actually exists because it’s impossible to enact that kind of fuckedupness in any other forms than big mushroom clouds of no-touching hatefuck.

    A lot of this kind of feminism, at more cell-based level, in small feminist groups who, in practice, are a worse experience to be part of but who I’m vastly more sympathetic to than their huge media counterparts in that they tend to really believe it (the worse, the more bigotted and nasty they are, the more that tends to be the case), involves discussing, well, exactly, how we can be better allies, how difficult this is, how we can’t relate… well, exactly like that chick I reblogged from Zuky yesterday who didn’t want to read African American literature cause she can’t relate. This isn’t a straight up “we don’t want to because we can’t relate”, more like “we’d love to but we can’t relate and, no, it would be disrespectful to try, really, well maybe we can just diss on other white feminists for not even caring enough to wring their hands instead”. But, it all relates to protecting this certain kind of femininity, to actively avoiding analysing the feminine because it’s so disturbing - I mean, we can build effigies of it and shoot those but they’re just decoys to preserve the real thing intact and (dare I say) virginal. That is why this kind of feminism is so co-optive (it calls itself “feminism” after all while being actively hostile to, well, feminism) and why it’s so racist, homophobic and, well, bourgeois. After all, for all the fact that no one is ever going to fit that feminine ideal, that it’s radioactive to anyone that goes near it, it’s also being actively protected from, well, women who are seen to maybe endanger it, a lot of whom are going to be in the euphemistic categories mentioned above. Plus, a lot of media feminists like to keep an eye on those folks they want to “include”, much like they want to see feminism itself in safe hands (i.e. theirs), so they can dispose of them.

    Personally - you mention queer integration and institutionalisation and so on - and this was the catalyst for me, that I set off all these people’s gaydars like nothing else, so they wanted to “help me” by “getting me into queer culture” or imply I couldn’t possibly be queer until I got into this same culture. Of course, most of it was very white, middle-class and anglo-centric and besides I was reading Colette when I was eight. But, I would centre a lot of the “white feminist” struggles you mention in that kind of tradition, reclaiming words is another good one, I would say creating new words for ways folks have slapped you is another.

    I think from this it’s perfectly obvious why such a division, between white middle-class feminists and basically everyone else, exists. I’m not much less middle-class than many of the women I’ve encountered in person in the feminist movement, but there are other factors that don’t even have anything to do with degree of oppression, but, when they were all hand-wringing about “we can’t ever possibly relate to women of colour, we’re not worthy, we’re too white and middle class, it’s like oil and water…”, I can’t lie about the fact that encountering the (mostly white and middle class end of the) feminist blogosphere for the first time almost made me physically sick, I found it very fucked up, a lot of it abhorrent, the majority of it indefensible. But, reading people we supposedly are too white (er, special?) to relate to, such as for instance Blackamazon, or Ms Radically Hott (Brownfemipower at the time), or Lisa Factora-Borchers, actually I found them a lot more relatable. Mainly, I think, because we’re on the same side in terms of that “femininity” deal. I mean, fuck it, panafrican and post-colonialist literature and politics have been hugely formative for me, pre- fucking internet, as has liberation theology and, perhaps more personally, having chicks telling me how to dress properly and behave more feminine, which actually means primary school through to high school but feminism was kind of a redux of that.  

    In fact, I think the division you’re looking to solve is, in part, use of media, because it is an industry, so it commodifies everything it touches. Identity and representation are forms of commodification, but, beyond that, it commodifies politics, geography and ontology by converting them into identity and representation. But, there’s something else, it severs a link between people and their access to literature. Or rather, it co-opts that link. It takes credit for introducing people to ideas when public libraries, communities and families already exist. I learned a lot more about feminism in the library, I got to read so many books there in my lunch break or during my commute or whatever, or I used to print out stuff from marxists.org and archive websites like that. After I googled feminism though it was a huge turning point because all I got introduced to a whole world of crap that I have no respect for: Mary Daly, media feminist pamphlets with pink covers, basically stuff that you had to have read because “this is who you are” and, somehow, more solidarity was owed to Mary Daly, even though she is officially indefensible, than to someone whose position and method you actually respect.

    So, you factor in that “safe space” politics, well, it’s mainly about keeping out anything that threatens that precious femininity: geography (safe spaces are trying incredibly hard to be nowhere), ontology (leave your personhood at the door, bring only your femininity), sex (unless it’s the gigantic penis the whole thing is built around).

    I think the key to resolving the division you have noticed is to analyse the feminine itself, I don’t think building bridges or talking about “being allies” or “having common causes” will help, because those things mean something completely different on either side of the divide.

    And this^ is why I do love tumblr. Read this commentary!

    (Source: , via elasti-capybara-deactivated2013)

     

  10. karnythia:

    definatalie:

    heavyaura:

    Turquoise Traipsing: Feminists

    extrafunsized:

    melissikins:

    corigami:

    melissikins:

    corigami:

    I have a short fuse today and I am sure I will get flack for this however:

    From observing tumblr and real life conversations recently, feminists are disjointed along these lines. 

    White feminist issues:

    Affordable and safe reproductive health/access. 

    Body hair and body policing. 

    Deconstructing slut shaming and valuing sex positivity. 

    Marriage equality and queerness as part of institutionalization.  

    Reclaiming terms/language: bitch, whore, slut, cunt, etc…

    Anti-corporatism. 

    Allyism. 

    People of Color/Mixed feminist issues:

    Access to everything, deconstructing white privilege and resulting oppression.

    Social justice/Solidarity with other communities—queer, trans, immigrants, etc. 

    Having our bodies allowed agency in the conversation of sexuality and sexualization. 

    Intersectionality of class, race, gender, ethnicity, ability, age, spirituality, sexuality. 

    Maintaining and honoring cultural traditions/values and creating new ones. 

    I’m not advocating these lines should exist or there isn’t cross over but this is what appears in my life and on my dash 24/7 and its getting exhausting. Not offering a solution just an observation. It’s hard to feel like a fourth wave is coming when these separations still exist. Thoughts? I will add more to this later when I am not overwhelmed with things on my plate. 

    This is absolutely true. Like an social movement, there will always be divergences and separations within feminism. To some extent this is a good thing as dialogue and diversity of experience help us work through issues and have better informed opinions. But this racial divide is really problematic.

    The problem, I think, is that a lot of white feminists are aware that there is a disconnect here, and are aware of white privilege, but are not really changing the power structures within the feminist movement. I don’t think a fourth wave is possible until we critique and dismantle power structures within our own activist spaces. I think the fourth wave will be revolutionary instead of reformist and that this is a fundamental piece of moving in that direction.

    I think this is an important post and I am glad you wrote it.

    Thank you! I was so worried that all I would hear is a universal “stop complaining and be grateful” response back.  What I do think is interesting is the near silence by white feminist in bringing this up…just putting that out there. I do think there is the issue of how we question feminism in the same where we should always question all paradigms and pedagogies, whether or not this division is useful or important, and if we want to bring these sides into dialogue how that is done without making POC/Mixed folks the educators or the essentialized voice. I lean towards the ethnocentric and thing community for and by that community however if we are talking about access we need to have white folks in solidarity with our issues if only to use their privilege until we gain our own ability to institutionalize our needs. Although just looking at the sentence makes me disagree with myself and think this division reflects how little we need white feminists in a POC/Mixed movement of change and feminism. 

    Let’s keep this going!

    Yeah, the lack of response from white women on your post is disheartening to me, as well. I mean, I am white, but I am really only seeing WOC engaging with you on this. And I have, like, 60 followers so it’s not like I’m able to signal boost this competently. :/

    This is part of the problem, yes? I understand that when you are an activist and you are part of a dominant group that you don’t want to overstep boundaries. I certainly do not want to speak for POC or in any way imply that I know what their lived experiences are like. But this leads to a timidity that often reads to me as a justification for ignoring POC within the movement. Like, I’ve heard white women talk about how they don’t want to overstep…which is why they never, ever analyze race or engage with POC. And that is not cool. I mean, this work is out there! POC write, they organize, they advocate for themselves (like you are doing right now!). We are the ones not listening. It’s not your job to drop your work into our privileged laps, its our job to seek your work out.

    Feminism needs to be redefined, I think. Right now it’s like blanket term - feminism, which is basically just white feminist issues. POC’s issues and concerns get shoved to the margins and treated like ‘special interests.’ Making these white feminist issues the default just reproduces the existing racialized power dynamics.

    I think I envision a fourth wave as a collaborative thing across communities, one where diversity and inclusion is actively sought after and developed instead of just being paid lip service to. I would like to see feminists exploring the wide range of feminisms instead of trying to pin down what ‘real’ feminism is - an exercise, I think, that almost always ends up with privileged members of the community minimizing the experiences of marginalized members of the community.

    i agree with all of this - except - i’m a little through with considering body image issues as solely the realm of white feminism. I wish this was an issue more discussed by feminists of color.

    This will likely be truncated because I’m on my phone but please read everything!

    I do see some feminists of color talking about body issues, but I think that convo often gets folded into larger discussions of colorism & media representation. I think (in a very dysfunctional way) we are in the middle of a 4th wave. It just doesn’t seem that way intra-community because the same issues have persisted for so long. I know I often say that feminism isn’t really for black women because it seems like so much of mainstream white feminism’s rhetoric is still about reaching the point of being equal to white men in every way including being oppressors of POC. This is not an indictment of every white feminist individually, but when I see articles defending The Help because it could “open a dialogue” (I still want to know what dialogue there could be about Mary Sue Might Whitey Doesn’t Really Help Anyone But Herself with black women who are maids or the children of maids, but I digress), or arguing against the idea of a black woman’s agency in fighting the use of her name in The Help it is hard to believe that things have changed enough to form any kind of unified movement.

    That’s part of the issue, so many comments I’ve read have said they do not have a connection to feminism. To each there own, but if white feminism is pushing back those who would be and want to be feminist that that is an issue that has to be addressed by white feminist not POC/Mixed folks. I don’t think we need a unified movement but some honesty about the divergence that is taking place and why and how this could or should not change. Just some honesty is all I dream of. 

    (Source: )