alli white

Let’s be really real this morning before 7 am: if The Get Down was about the (white) history of Rock n Roll in the 70’s and starred white teens, a lot more people would’ve been like “OH THIS IS SO COOL, MUSIC HISTORY” and Netflix would’ve marketed it differently. Tumblr would’ve lost its mind if Dizzee Kipling was a white kid who thinks he’s an alien who is in love with white Thor. Mylene and the Soul Madonnas being an all-girl rock band would’ve been a huge draw. Merch would’ve been everywhere. Coming of age for a moody poet and his reckless and troubled friend trying to make it big with the music they love? They would’ve eaten it up.

This tea isn’t even piping.

6

White women elected Trump. Black, brown, trans and queer women have been doing this for far longer and at far greater peril.” Any kind of real solidarity from allies has got to start with acknowledging these truths.

Acknowledge white privilege, and acknowledge who has been fighting for equality from day one, and then use that privilege to help put marginalized people in charge.

I’m really tired of white LGBT people sanctimoniously preaching to LGBT people of color what constitutes “good” vs “bad” LGBT representation. You expect us to put up with heavily white-dominated, often toxic and racist representation that harms us, in the name of progressiveness, but at the same time you turn around and make fun of our sources of representation and tell us that they aren’t “good” enough or don’t hold up to your racist, exclusive standards. 

You’ll tell us to endure racist writing and racist white characters but then mock LGBT characters of color using all sorts of absurd reasons - “there wasn’t enough time for them!” or “they just aren’t realistic!” or “I’m going to rant about how a children’s cartoon is reinforcing bourgeois, imperialist conceptualizations of class”. You never give LGBT people of color a chance to celebrate the few sources of representation they have. You rant endlessly about white LGBT characters being tokenized or killed off, but when the same things happen tenfold to LGBT characters of color, who are also brutalized, fetishized, and sexualized by both their creators and their fandoms, you use all sorts of justifications to whisk away any criticisms LGBT fans of color have. 

Stop telling us what to prioritize and what not to like. Stop making us feel bad for finding representation in sources that you might decry as not “good” or “intellectual” or “radical” enough for you. Stop condescendingly informing us that the shows we love are bad but that the shows you love are good using x circular logic. 

You’ll celebrate 0.2 seconds of a same-gender couple’s appearance in a children’s movie (like Finding Dory) but if a show begins to flesh out a storyline for LGBT characters of color (as in The Get Down), you’ll say “lol Dizzee only kissed another boy for a couple seconds so it’s terrible representation and you’re an idiot for liking it”. You’ll lament Commander Lexa’s death but justify Poussey Washington’s death. You’ll fawn over Clarke Griffin but claim that Asami Sato is a “bourgeois light-skinned imperialist”. You’ll drool over Connor Walsh but call Magnus Bane “predatory”. You’ll say “lol Barb from Stranger Things is clearly a lesbian because she died” but remain silent when lesbians of color are brutalized or killed off. You’ll claim needing LGBT representation and use that as a reason not to watch shows with people of color in them but when The Get Down and Queen Sugar both have LGBT representation, you won’t say anything about them or give them the time of day. You’ll glorify Carol, which had sex scenes, but claim that The Handmaiden, which also had sex scenes, involved “the male gaze”. You’ll get angry at cishets for expecting us to put up with heternormative media but tell LGBT people of color to shut up when they criticize how white and racist LGBT shows are and how they alienate LGBT people of color. 

And I am completely exhausted by this. It is not “divisive” or “whiny” of me to bring this up because guess what? White LGBT people use the exact same arguments against cishets when they talk about how “LGBT representation is unrealistic and blah blah blah”. Yet you turn around and pull the same line of rhetoric when LGBT people of color try and express themselves. You’ll either use our media (all the “foreign” LGBT movies that you watch and consume, all the iconic LGBT characters of color who broke boundaries and stereotypes, all the LGBT celebrities of color who are outspoken and compassionate, etc) without giving credit where credit is due, or you’ll tokenize our media, stamp it as not good enough, and glorify your often racist, exclusive, and frankly bad media and demand that we put up with it. It is immensely hypocritical, not to mention self-righteous. 

DO NOT FOLLOW ME IF YOUR FEMINISM DOESN'T INCLUDE:

• Trans women
• Trans men
• Intersex people
• The LGBTQ community
• Queer people of colour
• People with disabilities
• Autistic and neurodivergent people
• Sex workers
• Immigrants
• Women of colour
• People with mental illness
• The Black Lives Matter movement
• The poor and homeless
• Male advocacy
• Sexual assault survivors (men and women)
• Muslim women (with or without the hijab)
• Jewish women
• Sikh women
• Mothers

On a personal level, being misogynist, ableist, homophobic, etc. is not just about feeling hatred for marginalised groups. Hatred is a symptom, and not everyone has that symptom. Sometimes it’s pity. Or creepy dehumanising fascination. Or indifference. Or ignorance and a self-absorbed refusal to learn to be better.

But it’s not about your feelings at all - it’s about actions and whether your actions support an oppressive system.

That’s why you can’t say, “I’m not misogynist! I love women!” and have people go, “well, you know your feelings best!” It’s not about your feelings. It’s about what you’re doing and if it’s harmful. And you do not get to decide if you’re harming others.