"You have to act as if it were possible to radically transform the world. And you have to do it all the time."
— Angela Davis - from a lecture delivered at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. February 13th, 2014. (via ninjaruski)
"Again and again, I have to insist that feminist solidarity rooted in a commitment to progressive politics must include a space for rigorous critique, for dissent, or we are doomed to reproduce in progressive communities the very forms of domination we seek to oppose."
— bell hooks, Outlaw Culture: Resisting Representations, 1994, p. 67
If white American feminist theory need not deal with the differences between us, and the resulting difference in our oppressions, then how do you deal with the fact that the women who clean your houses and tend your children while you attend conferences on feminist theory are, for the most part, poor women and women of Color?
What is the theory behind racist feminism?
— Audre Lorde, “The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House,” 1984 (via ethiopienne)
(Source: owning-my-truth, via loveyourchaos)
It is the great ruse of white feminism that we are all women and therefore we are all the same or at least pretty similar. White supremacy has put us in distinctly different places. Therefore, Black feminism cannot play “follow the leader” with white women and never has.
Black women’s writings continue to not be widely disseminated. However, it is clear that the pieces and essays that are well-known always almost address white feminists. It continues to be more comfortable for white feminists to highlight Black feminists focused on white women’s racism than Black feminists centered on Black women’s issues. The negative placement of whiteness is preferred to the erasure of whiteness.
-Danielle Mertina, "Black Feminism 101: It Was More Than a Fight to be Included in White Feminism"
WOW. This hit right here.
"If women are allegedly passive and fragile, then why are Black women treated as “mules” and assigned heavy cleaning chores? If good mothers are supposed to stay at home with their children, then why are U.S Black women on public assistance forced to find jobs and leave their children in day care? If women’s highest calling is to become mothers, then why are Black teen mothers pressured to use Norplant and Depo Provera? In the absence of a viable Black feminism that investigates how intersecting oppressions of race, gender, and class foster these contradictions, the angle of vision created by being deemed devalued workers and failed mothers could easily be turned inward, leading to internalized oppression. But the legacy of struggle among U.S Black women suggests that a collectively shared Black women’s oppositional knowledge has long existed. This collective wisdom in turn has spurred U.S Black women to generate a more specialized knowledge, namely, Black feminist thought as critical social theory."
In Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness and the Politics of Empowerment, published in 1990, Black feminist Patricia Hill Collins extends and updates the social contradictions raised by Sojourner Truth, while crediting collective struggles waged historically with establishing a “collective wisdom” among Black women: (x)
(Source: exgynocraticgrrl, via flamingculture)
"Oppressed groups are frequently placed in the situation of being listened to only if we frame our ideas in the language that is familiar to and comfortable for a dominant group. This requirement often changes the meaning of our ideas and works to elevate the ideas of dominant groups."
— Patricia Hill Collins (via ethiopienne)
(Source: queerintersectional, via thefistofartemis)
"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)