tressiemcphd

The history of white feminism and white feminists’ problems of inclusion when it comes to women of color, lesbians, trans* people, queer folk, fat people, people with disabilities, the poor and working class have been heavily documented. If privileged white feminists want those who have historically been left out of the movement to trust us ever again, we have to stop thinking that our reactions to attacks against those groups or people in those groups are obvious. That places the burden, once more, on the excluded and the oppressed to do the work. And, once more, we reinforce that this movement isn’t really about them. That is, in fact, what is obvious. If you had a completely different reaction to Quvenzhané Wallis being called a cunt than you did to Sandra Fluke being called a slut, you should probably be asking yourself why.
— 

Jessica Luther (@scATX)

This quote is from her essay On Quvenzhané Wallis. In this essay, she lists many of the major essays primarily from Black women (and other people of colour) in defense of Quvenzhané (I read them all–excellent), and the muted or difference in support from White feminists versus feminists of colour. The piece itself is great–she calls her fellow White feminists to task. What’s interesting is how another person that I tweet often, @tressiemcphd, who is Black (and wrote one of the essays that @scATX mentioned in her post) received attacks for saying the same things that @scATX said, who is White. So amidst the problematic stances of White feminists on the issue of Quvenzhané, they’re still approaching messengers through the veil of White privilege? Further, I think the attacks on @tressiemcphd also differed since she took an empirical approach to examining the response to Quvenzhané from White feminists, and we all know that any methodology that involves any skill set that White men respect is held at a higher regard and thus opens the door for attacks on people of colour for stepping out of “our place” for using such a methodology, as I tweeted about yesterday.

White feminism needs to do better. No, really.

There is empirical evidence that women and people of color are judged by appearances differently and more harshly than are white men. What is remarkable is that these gatekeepers told me the story. They wanted me to know how I had properly signaled that I was not a typical black or a typical woman, two identities that in combination are almost always conflated with being poor.
—  This is an excellent essay, especially after a conversation this week about what my immigrant latino parents could be expected to own (not on this list: timeshare, apparently). The first time I wore my Micheal Kors coat while shopping, I remember thinking that the sales people would magically recognize it as “designer” and know that it was okay for me to be shopping there. Only later did I question why I needed a status symbol to feel comfortable doing a basic human activity.  The Logic of Stupid Poor People | tressiemc
I get how it can be news to some of you that people are victimized by systems legitimated by your nation, countrymen, and god. But I’m black and female and southern. I call that Tuesday.
— 

Tressie McMillan Cottom (@tressiemcphd)

WELP! Whew! But I’m sayin’ tho!

This is from her essay The Privilege of Righteous Indignation and Why You’re Not The Boss of Me, where she discusses someone who misconstrued her doctoral research on for-profit schools and how their (privileged people in general) luxury of disconnected righteous indignation regarding these programs don’t speak to the experience of students who consider these programs for a plethora of reasons. MUST READ.

Where in the world can a Black woman ‘be’? The answer, of course, is nowhere and anywhere. We be when we are vocal. We be where we stand and where we lie down for awhile. We be in the pages of our journals, our yoga practices, our spiritual safe houses. We be when others demand our silence, when doctors deny us the right to be sick, when institutions deny us the right to get well, when insurance companies deny us access to medical care, when women deny us allies, when men deny us humanity, when academe denies us tenure, and when our society denies us basic human dignity. We be.
— 

Tressie McMillan Cottom (@tressiemcphd)

Read the whole essay here. Powerful stuff. The intersection of womanhood, Blackness, academia and health.