"All white women in this nation know that their status is different from that of black women/women of color. They know this from the time they are little girls watching television and seeing only their images. They know that the only reason nonwhites are absent/invisible is because they are not white. All white women in this nation know that whiteness is a privileged category. The fact that white females may choose to repress or deny this knowledge does not mean they are #ignorant: it means that they are in denial."
— bell hooks
"Sometimes people try to destroy you, precisely because they recognize your power — not because they don’t see it, but because they see it and they don’t want it to exist."
— bell hooks (via thecouscousqueen)
(Source: tisfortoni, via guerrillamamamedicine)
"There is a problem when we (little black girls) are taught to be strong from an early age and we have that expectation reinforced by everyone in our lives from other black women, to churchfolk, to white folks, to the (wo)men we love or want (to love). It is further complicated when our (supposed innate) strength is celebrated and memorialized in ways that make us territorial of it. We are encouraged to embrace it. Black women’s strength is the single stereotype that is disguised as a compliment, and we oftentimes don’t want to relinquish it. But what does it mean to be strong? What happens when we don’t feel it, when we are tired of it, when sadness, hopelessness and strength trade places?"
— "Life Is Not a Fairytale: Black Women and Depression", The Crunk Feminist (via wocrecovery)
"My goal has always been to redefine what it means to be a woman, especially a Black woman, and when I did come into the industry, I didn’t see people dressing this way and I felt as though there was going to be some some pressure to look like somebody else. And, I’m into fashion and I just think the tuxedo is cool; it also is paying homage to the working class. My mother, her last occupation, she was a janitor. And my father worked at the Post Office. So I like to pay homage to them and continue on that legacy to help the community, through music. And so it just keeps me humbled, it keeps me grounded. But my goal is never to dress up because I don’t want to show skin but it is to say I’m in control of my body. And as women I think we should be in control of our body, whether we’re naked or whatever. But let that be your decision, not, ‘these are the standards, you are a woman, you need to do this.’"
Her stance on clothing and perceptions of sexuality and objectification in the music industry. The fact that people continue to try to use her wardrobe choices—ones she CLEARLY stated are not about the politics of respectability—as some sort of faulty comparison to shame other Black women who CHOOSE to show more skin and are in control of their bodies, means that people really are willfully ignorant and are not engaging her words (and I know they aren’t; they think her music has no erotic power, for example) nor the words of the Black women that they choose to shame. By not engaging her actual message and using her as an object to shame other Black women, they objectify her and them.
This is misogynoir. It’s not what she’s about. It’s other people’s projection onto Black women through a very Patriarchal and White Gaze. Every time they use the word “classy” for her and immediately degrade another Black woman they juxtapose, they seek to degrade all Black women by denying our choices and agency and demanding we prove “acceptable” in the patriarchal gaze made of binaries, especially the cishet Black male gaze, for Black women. It’s tired.
"Cyrus did not just have black women gyrating behind her. She had particularly rotund black women. She gleefully slaps the ass of one dancer like she intends to eat it on a cracker. She is playing a type of black female body as a joke to challenge her audience’s perceptions of herself while leaving their perceptions of black women’s bodies firmly intact. It’s a dance between performing sexual freedom and maintaining a hierarchy of female bodies from which white women benefit materially."
— Tressie McMillan Cottom, When Your (Brown) Body is a (White) Wonderland (via jessicavalenti)
"And that brings us into the messy reality that often someone’s politics and their kinks can be at odds. Does that make casual references to violent men and domestic violence okay? No. But you’d be hard pressed to find anyone with feminist values who ascribes to them in every aspect of their lives. In fact, feminist theory is rife with internal conflicts over what attire, what jobs, what relationships, even what kind of political party affiliations are feminist. Like anyone else, Beyoncé’s feminism is tailored to suit her upbringing, her experiences, and her life. None of us are The Ultimate Feminist—in fact there is no such thing. So why do we expect a pop star to be a model of an impossible concept? Beyoncé is a human being with a messy complicated view of herself, her life, and society. In turn, our perspectives on her work and her feminism are complicated by our own biases and expectations. Beyoncé isn’t the only one whose life and body of work both embraces conventional feminism and flies in the face of it; that is true of all of us and it’s time we just accept it."
— Mikki Kendall, ‘Why Beyonce’s Feminism is the same as yours: Unconventional and Flawed’
"Within patriarchal culture, the girl who does not feel loved in her family of origin is given another chance to prove her worth when she is encouraged to seek love from males. Schoolgirl crushes, mad obsessions, compulsive longings for male attention and approval indicate that she is rightly pursuing her gendered destiny, on the road to becoming the female who can be nothing without a man. Whether she is heterosexual or homosexual, the extent to which she yearns for patriarchal approval will determine whether she is worthy to be loved. This is the emotional uncertainty that haunts the lives of all females in patriarchal culture. From the start, then, females are confused about the nature of love. Socialized in the false assumption that we will find love in the place where femaleness is deemed unworthy and consistently devalued, we learn early to pretend that love matters more than anything, when in actuality we know that what matters most, even in the wake of feminist movement, is patriarchal approval"
— Communion by bell hooks (via maga-capturandomariposas)
"Part of the racialized sexism wants everyone to think that a 15-year old Mexican is not a girl, she’s a woman. We know she’s a girl. We can never emphasize this enough, because this is the fate of colored girls globally right now: the denial of their girlhood, the denial of their childhood, and the constant state of risk and danger they are living in."
— bell hooks, Homegrown: Engaged Cultural Criticism (via fajazo)
(Source: a-spoon-is-born, via feminist77)
"White, middle-class gender norms in the United States have generally asserted that women belong in the domestic sphere. These norms have limited white women’s opportunities for education and employment. But the story has been different for women of color and those from poor or working-class origins. These women have had to work, and they have shouldered the extreme burden of being effective parents while providing financially for their families. Black women were full participants in agricultural labor during slavery, in the backbreaking work of sharecropping, and in the domestic services of Jim Crow. Even middle-class and elite black women have typically worked as teachers, journalists, entrepreneurs, and professionals. At every level of household income and at every point in American history, black women have been much more likely to engage in paid labor than their white counterparts. In exchange for their labor and independence, they have been labeled with ugly terms like Sapphire and matriarch, told that they are emasculating their men, and punished by a public discourse that sees them as insufficiently feminine."
— Michelle Harris-Perry, Sister Citizen (via sociolab)
(Source: brutereason, via fuckyeahwomenprotesting)
""I am a feminist, and what that means to me is the same as the meaning of the fact that I am Black. It means that I must undertake to love myself and respect myself as though my very life depends upon self-love and self-respect. It means that I must seek to cleanse myself of the hatred and contempt that surround and permeate my identity as a woman and as a Black human being in this world. It means that the achievement of self-love and self-respect will require hourly vigilance. It means that I am entering my soul in a struggle that will most certainly transform all the peoples of the earth: the movement into self-love, self-respect and self-determination is the movement now galvanizing the true majority of human beings everywhere." ~ June Jordan"
— Jordan, J. (1990). Where is he love? In G. Anzaldúa (Ed.) Making face, make soul: Creative and critical perspectives by women of color (pp. 174-177). San Franciso: Aunt Lute Foundation. (via sincecombahee)
"Sexism has never rendered women powerless. It has either suppressed their strength or exploited it."
— bell hooks
"I want to emphasise the importance of approaching both our theoretical explorations and our movement activism in ways that enlarge and expand and complicate and deepen our theories and practices of freedom. Feminism involves so much more than gender equality and it involves so much more than gender. Feminism must involve consciousness of capitalism (I mean the feminism that I relate to, and there are multiple feminisms, right). So it has to involve a consciousness of capitalism and racism and colonialism and post-colonialities, and ability and more genders than we can even imagine and more sexualities than we ever thought we could name. Feminism has helped us not only to recognise a range of connections among discourses and institutions and identities and ideologies, that we often tend to consider separately. But it has also helped us to develop epistemological and organising strategies that take us beyond the categories ‘women’ and ‘gender’. And feminist methodologies impel us to explore connections that are not always apparent. And they drive us to inhabit contradictions and discover what is productive in these contradictions. Feminism insists on methods of thought and action that urge us to think things together that appear to be separate and to disaggregrate things that appear to naturally belong together."
— Angela Davis, “Feminism and Abolition: Theories and Practices for the 21st Century” via between the lines