If you follow me on twitter, then you're already well familiar with the #SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen hashtag that's taken over the past couple days. It was started by Mikki Kendall (@karnythia) in response to white feminists sympathizing with Hugo Schwyzer (and ignoring his victims) after his recent public meltdown, but it quickly became much, much more than that-- a global conversation about the need for diversity in feminism, for including ALL women not just superficially but in action.
Here are several great write-ups about the hashtag and the conversation it's sparked:
- BitchMedia: We Need to Talk About Hugo, Race, and Feminism
- Gradient Lair: How Everyone Works Together to Silence Women of Colour's Critiques of Mainstream Feminism
- TransGriot: Still Ain't Feeling Feminism
- MochaMomma: Black Feminism; On Feelings and Misplaced Priorities
- Huffington Post Live: watch Mikki Kendall and Tara Conley talk about #SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen
- The Guardian: Kendall herself talks about the hashtag
- And as if to prove the very point of all this, Jezebel finally wrote a piece on the hashtag...and failed to include the context for it or even mention (let alone give credit to) the woman who started it all.
Reading the tweets is not easy...they are painful truths to face. But worse still was watching the reactions of many white feminists who took them as an attack and became defensive and combative, often using the same sort of silencing and derailing arguments that we get so aggravated at men for using when we call out sexism. Owning up to your own privilege, and realizing that however unintentionally you've been hurting whole groups of people, sucks. But what sucks even more is remaining willfully ignorant when others point out the truth. You cannot claim to want solidarity and sisterhood and for all women to unite together in this fight against sexism, while simultaneously ignoring and silencing women of color. Our feminism MUST be intersectional or it will be bullshit.