Wherein cis white feminists continue to exhaust me and require callouts

via Digby

So, once again we seem to be on the verge of opening up the Big Tent to anti-abortion politics, thus giving the 100% unified Republicans an ability to make bipartisan deals with Democrats to deny women’s rights. It was ever thus. Whenever Democrats lose they go right to abortion rights as the first place to start compromising. It certainly works to keep the feminists in their place which is always good. They tend to get uppity

So, fellow White people: could we just… not do this? Please?

Reclaiming a denigrating term with racial connotations for feminists is not the best thing.

I’d tolerate accusations of nitpicking if it wasn’t very much of a piece with the rest of it.


 

I also think that human rights are fundamental and as some awful old biddy once said, women’s rights are human rights. Or, at least, I thought they were. They seem to be expendable when the need arises.

What’s it like to live in a world where the law defines people’s having of human rights? It sounds nice there.

I don’t seek to disrespect the importance of access to abortion and birth control. But there seems to be some deep disconnect between what is legal and what is happening, that is associated with being in a position of relative social power.

As an autistic-y person, for whom it’s just gone out of style for the leading advocacy organization to wish to remove me from the gene pool, I don’t have a super big expectation of the law to be helpful for me in feeling safe, accommodated, and respected.

As a trans woman, being part of the hot new target demographic for gay-bashing and general cultural hostility doesn’t make LGBT anti-discrimination laws quite as important in my daily life as people not considering me an abomination.

Meanwhile, feminist spaces are spaces where I expect disgust and am on guard against some of the most violent rhetoric you’ll ever find from a cis feminist. I’ll highlight this post of atonement from a cis woman feminist as an example of what cis woman feminists need to be doing.


 

The law is extremely important. But so is cultural acceptance. And what I don’t see enough of in my corner of the political Internet is honest conversations about abortion being a difficult and scary subject that raises basic questions about spiritual and ethical values, no matter how it is regulated.

And, as a person who has faced and continues to face genocidal political rhetoric about my very being, those conversations would help clarify what human rights I in practice actually have.


 

…But just in case you thought I was just going to be whinging about nuance and being a snowflake the whole time, let’s get to the heart of the issue.

The coup de grace of being problematic:

One thing they can always count on is that the mainstream Democratic women will swallow their concerns and their pride and at least vote against the worst of the two evils. What else are they going to do?… But it’s a hell of a way to treat your most loyal voters.

Okay.

But meanwhile…

White women, as a demographic, favored Trump by 6 points.

That was a thing.

I don’t know who you’re defining as ‘loyal’, but it smells.

It’s an insult to the top-line demographic that is actually the most loyally Democratic:

African-Americans.

The voters in this country who voted for Hillary Clinton over Trump, 88 to 8.

It might be worth exploring the gap between African-American men and African-American women… except that white women, as a whole, favored Trump, and you’re actively suppressing that.

The pro-Hillary women vote is from women of color. Not from white women. White women are the part of that demographic that’s dragging things down.

And blocking that out actively makes things worse.


 

So, cis white women who think like the above: it’d be nice if you could, like, stop exploiting people, especially Black folk and women of color, to bolster your notion of feminism?

That’d be super awesome.

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Author: The Blogger

Profile picture is Death, by Jacek Malczewski (1917)

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