Meet the Editors.

Mikki Kendall a writer and occasional feminist divides her time between two careers, a family, and brunch. The last is necessary to provide the energy she needs for everything else on her to-do list. Her writing can be found at XO Jane, Salon, NPR’s Code Switch, Guardian, and a host of other places willing to let her rant. She commits occasional acts of fiction largely focusing on black people in every situation under the sun, and a few under undefined celestial bodies. She can often be found on Twitter engaging in the highest quality shenanigans.

Jamie Nesbitt Golden is a wife, parent, and recovering journalist who hails from Chicago. She has written for a number of sites, including Salon, xoJane, and Ebony. She loves liquor, historical biographies, and silence. Like most tech-savvy navel gazers of her generation, she can be found on a variety of social networks, including Twitter (@thewayoftheid), Tumblr, and Nerdgasm Noire Network, where she co-hosts a weekly podcast with four other nerdy, opinionated broads.

38 thoughts on “Meet the Editors.

  1. Kendall, an “occasional feminist,” has made a name for herself by attacking feminism — well, nothing new for feminism. Women have always attacked feminism and particularly women of color who haven’t had much to add to the discussion outside of claims of exclusion that I have yet to see corroborated. Feminism is an anti-racist orientation by definition, and feminists have always worked for all women. You have benefited from their work. But because the experiences of people who don’t look like YOU are represented, you feel that your experiences are not represented, denying the commonality of being a woman in a man’s world and putting the onus for representing your experience onto people who may or may not share them. Expecting them to. Get real!

    Commonality and solidarity don’t mean we have the same issues or experiences. But we are all women. Disgruntled pseduofeminists of color like you want to deny that and use white women as a whipping post, but this white woman isn’t standing for your racist and baseless attacks anymore — just as your forebear Audre Lorde attacked the most important work of feminism to date — Mary Daly’s Gyn/Ecology. There is no woman anywhere whose experience is/has been unaffected by what Daly elucidated. Yet she is tarnished forever as a “white feminist” by ignorant attackers like you. This has to stop.

    You obviously feel that race is more important than sex such that it should consume all discussions about feminism. Feminism is already anti-racist as mentioned, so if you have something to bring to the table — which is as diverse as we all make it — then BRING IT.

    Solidarity is for white women? Well then maybe it should be. I certainly don’t want to waste my time with ignorant and resentful people like you (and what do you resent? really, because white women don’t exactly have it so great). Do feminism in your own ways and if you are so advanced as to want to include people who don’t look like you — ie white people, then maybe it can work out somehow. But you need to stop hating on white women and start using your intellect more. You have nothing intellectually to offer for feminism. Absolutely NOTHING.

    Your smearing of feminism is disgusting, and your smearing of white women won’t be tolerated. I think you are the racist and need to realize the depths of your resentment. Wake up, girl. And don’t worry, i feel absolutely NO solidarity with you (despite the fact that i live in a black neighborhood and see all the issues women face there — by the way you might want to tell some of them to stop hitting their kids. I’ve tried. But it doesn’t matter because of course i guess i am just a racist white woman… trying to look out for the black kids whose mothers are too stupid to not abuse them.)

    • Claiming that someone else lack intellect and then spewing underhanded and racist comment is a kind of irony that I can’t even comprehend. Before you say that feminism is the pinnacle of anti-racism maybe you should remember that the history of feminism is rooted in the accomplishments of racist white women.

    • Sophia, it’s really easy for us, who do not and can not experience oppression because of our race, to deny that that oppression exists. It’s almost too easy. This is similar to how men, who do not (for the most part) experience oppression because of their sex, deny that feminism is legitimate. It’s hurtful and ignorant for you to declare that the experiences of others are incorrect simply because you have not experienced the same yourself. If, as you say, feminism truly were inherently antiracist, then you as a feminist would know to listen when someone speaks her truth.

    • Trigger warning:

      Additionally, Sophia, you should but probably do not know that the father of modern gynocology, J. Marion Sims, used dozens of black slave women as (unwilling) test subjects so that he could invent the speculum. This monstrosity could never have happened to white women in America on such a scale. These women’s oppression was compounded by their sex AND their race, each informing the other.

      As for the only three of these women whose names we know, Anarcha, Betsy and Lucy, I hope that you educate yourself, and honor them by going here: http://www.mnwelldir.org/docs/history/biographies/anarcha.htm

      To the site moderator: Though this is an extreme example to bring up here, I find it is the one that truly shakes white women out of their comfort zones. Please feel free to delete if you see fit. Apologies if this wasn’t my place to come into the conversation.

    • Excuse me, Sophia, but I’m going to have to ask you to come with me. See, I’m a white feminist and people like you are fucking shit up for feminists, both black and white. Please stop bothering the women of color here. If you are sincerely so ignorant that you’ve never seen evidence of feminism being exclusionary to women of color, feel free to contact me on Twitter, my handle is @SallyStrange. Honestly? I think you know on some level that it’s true. I mean, here you are spitting in the face of women of color, throwing your deliberate refusal to stand in solidarity with any women but white women in their faces. You were never planning on being anything but racist, and your supposed outrage about the “smearing” of white women (no honey, just racist ones like you) is just the most convenient excuse at the moment.

    • This white feminist thinks you’re an appalling racist, Sophia, and entirely emblematic of the problems with the public face of feminism today. I could say a lot more, quite a bit of it profane, but I’ll leave it at this: you don’t speak for me and you’re an embarrassment.

    • I just… I can’t… Oh my goodness gracious. Really. I’d ask you if you could even hear what you’re saying, but I’m pretty sure you can’t. Which is sad. It’s people like you who make me cringe, and then make me go check my privileges to make sure I’m not fucking up in similar ways.

    • I’d ask if you were serious, but I’ve known to many with the same ignorance. No, feminism is not anti-racist, I wish to god it was! And the fact that you (and others) feel free to tell WoC what THEIR experiences are and they are fucking up YOUR movement is just one more example. If you cannot see the parallels between your comment and the way many men treat ALL women, I’m sorry for you.

    • You admit this: “Commonality and solidarity don’t mean we have the same issues or experiences.”

      … and yet somehow you still don’t see the problem with asking women of color to jump silently-but-supportively onto the bandwagon of white feminism and shut up. (And surely once we achieve all our goals, then we’ll be behind them when it’s their turn, right?)

      At least you’re part of the way there. You’ve made the first step, and several people have already offered explanations that might help you understand more, if you’re willing to listen.

    • I’m sorry–what!? Audre Lorde is a pseudofeminist? Is this supposed to be an ironic post because that’s the only tone in which it reads as marginally appropriate? Also, maybe we need to unpack that word “women” you keep slinging around like you know what you’re talking about.

  2. Sophia, it’s really easy for us, who do not and can not experience oppression because of our race, to deny that that oppression exists. It’s almost too easy. This is similar to how men, who do not (for the most part) experience oppression because of their sex, deny that feminism is legitimate. It’s hurtful and ignorant for you to declare that the experiences of others are incorrect simply because you have not experienced the same yourself. If, as you say, feminism truly were inherently antiracist, then you as a feminist would know to listen when someone speaks her truth.

  3. Trigger warning:

    Additionally, Sophia, you should but probably do not know that the father of modern gynocology, J. Marion Sims, used dozens of black slave women as (unwilling) test subjects so that he could invent the speculum. This monstrosity could never have happened to white women in America on such a scale. These women’s oppression was compounded by their sex AND their race, each informing the other.

    As for the only three of these women whose names we know, Anarcha, Betsy and Lucy, I hope that you educate yourself, and honor them by going here: http://www.mnwelldir.org/docs/history/biographies/anarcha.htm

    To the site moderator: Though this is an extreme example to bring up here, I find it is the one that truly shakes white women out of their comfort zones. Please feel free to delete if you see fit. Apologies if this wasn’t my place to come into the conversation.

  4. “Feminism is an anti-racist orientation by definition”
    BWAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHA….breathe…..HAHAHAHAHA!

    Black women were thrown out of 1st wave feminism so that Southern white women would not get the vapors from being that to close Negresses. Only one white woman, Jessie Daniel Ames ever protested against lynching, all others stood by or advocated for the murder of thousands of black men, women & children. No white women ever advocated for the black women’s legal protection from sexual assault.

    The ennui that fueled Betty Friedan’s 2nd wave feminism was possible because white women had black and brown women cleaning their houses & caring for their children. White feminists have shown their ignorance about women of color time & time again, all the way from the events the led to the founding of the National Black Feminist Organization to the vile hit piece by Michelle Cottle last Friday.

    Do me a favor, why don’t you tell those black women how they shout raise their children. You may just get some of that “solidarity” that you so dearly deserve.

  5. Sophia,

    I think that you’ve proven the point that feminism is not inherently anti-racist. You call yourself a feminist but you clearly are a racist. For goodness’ sake, you called a black WOMAN a “girl”!

  6. Sophia – as a white man I think the only thing I can add to this discussion is something I’m glad was hammered into me and saddened it had to be, and that is in relation to your comment about exclusionism that you’ve “yet to see corroborated”

    As part of a group (one of oh so many) that excludes, it’s NOT UP TO YOU TO JUDGE THE VALUE OF THAT IN ANY WAY. You’re free to make such statements of course, but they carry absolutely no weight whatsoever.

  7. I second Louisa.

    It would take an entire essay to tackle everything wrong with your charming contribution to feminist discourse, Sophia, but it doesn’t deserve the effort. Thanks for being such a perfect example of how NOT to do feminism. Or being a human. I’m sorry for the black women who have to live in your vicinity.

  8. I’m white. Feminism is not inherently anti-racist (THOUGH IT SHOULD BE) and I’m deeply ashamed of the people of my race who are so racist.

    Sophia you are wrong with a side topping of wrong and extra wrong on top. I hope you take the time to go learn why.

  9. I’m a White Feminist and I’m embarrassed that Sophia thinks she speaks some kind of Universal White Feminist Truth.

    I won’t counter any of your racism or misrepresentation of Black Feminisms and Womanism because my Sisters here are more than able to do that. How have you not noticed the high quality of thought and analysis happening in BW writings? How have you not noticed the relative paucity of White Feminist intersectional thought and writing?

    I’ve just come to collect you, and to apologise to my Sisters that we still haven’t solved the racism problem in White feminism.

  10. I’m with you Sophia. I mean, you come onto a site written by black women and tell them black women need to sit down, shut up, listen to the wisdom of whites and stop beating their kids. Clearly you’re doing the lord’s antiracist work right here. Clearly you’re not just a privileged woman so far embedded within the structures of white supremacist capitalist patriarchy that you cannot see which parts of that structure support and sustain your invisible racist assumptions. You, like every other dime-a-dozen white lady telling black people to step it up and stop being so ungrateful, are clearly special. So special your experiences of living amongst those child-beating savages in your neighbourhood clearly enable you to speak to the experience of being black far more articulately than actually being black or living that life from a first hand perspective could ever be. Because you’re white, you see, and pointing out how white people are better at understanding black people than black people are is never, ever racist. Ever. And this totally isn’t sarcasm.

  11. Sorry folks, Sophia escaped our clutches. We’ll track her down and remind her that saying black women are too stupid to raise their children is the height of racism, despite her protests that feminism is anti-racist. We suppose that she’s never heard of intersectionality…

  12. Sophia – just another comment from another horrified white feminist. Wow. It’s not worth even trying to educate someone like you whose ignorance is so entrenched, so I’m just going to add my voice to the chorus: you are a racist, and really not much of a feminist either.

  13. Damn…white feminist tears in the damn bio section? Chile….I caint. Feminism is inherently anti-racist but Elizabeth Cady Stanton felt comfortable using words like sambo? SWERVE.

  14. I just heard your interview on we are citizen radio. Such a great conversation! I support everything you represent and are working towards. Keep up the great work. Lots of love and support.

  15. @Amy Pratt:

    There are enough strawmen, weasel words, and such in that paper that it would have gotten an F in the Critical Thinking class I took.

    There are several problems with that paper, most notably that it does not answer the question of why Sims’ experiments were on slave women in the first place. If the condition is so bad that any woman would jump at the chance to get therapeutic medical experimentation, why did it only occur with slaves?

    The author completely doges the question of informed consent by going on about how bad the condition is. Just because the condition was awful does not mean we can assume that the slaves gave their consent. Nor can we assume that just because there’s no account of them thrashing on the table. There were slaves who did not attempt to escape, that does not mean that they consented to their enslavement.

    Even if we suppose that they did consent, whether the slaves understood the chance of success, the risks, or the number of attempts that could be needed is unknown. Here, the author simply takes the doctor at his word but that is insufficient. Despite stating that they understand that being slaves made them vulnerable (what’s with the scare quotes the author uses there anyway), the author does not consider that their master could have coerced them into giving the doctor their consent. Why are we supposed to believe that a slave master who has already given the doctor permission to use his property would be OK with said property refusing to cooperate? A slave owner would not be OK with the slaves refusing to till the field or clean the house, so why should we think they’d make an exception here?

    The author also conflates experimentation with previously successful operations. McDowell performing an ovariotomy on slaves *after* having done it successfully is not the same thing as Sims trying to figure out how to treat vesicovaginal fistual, even though the problem of consent remains.

    Furthermore, if the information on McDowell and Long prove that consent and ethics were not common place in the South that still does not prove that there aren’t legitimate problems with what Sims did.

  16. I’m not a feminist. I’m white. I am a man. I also stand in solidarity with both of you for speaking to elephants in the room. This is not considered polite by the academic theorists who live about as far from the hood as possible. The only time I see any of these spineless fools spouting off gender studies rhetoric–or queer theory or postcolonial theory or take your pick–within a mile of my apt is when they drive on down to South Tucson to partake in some “authentic” Mexican food on Friday nights in hybrids with the windows rolled up and the doors locked and only the NPR bumper stickers giving them away. Back when folks knew how to organize and get shit done, the Black Panthers and the Vietnam Veterans Against the War had each other’s backs. The agendas may have not have been identical, but that didn’t keep them from standing shoulder-to-shoulder with each other when shit hit the fan. It didn’t keep them from keeping the underground network,intact. It didn’t keep them from placing strategy before ideology. Keep it real. And keep calling out the spectators for who they are.

  17. Sophia, you need to read Peggy McIntosh’s (a white female feminist by the way) Unpacking the Knapsack of White Privilege… and then you need to learn the TRUE definition of RACISM as well as WHITE SUPREMACY. I will say this: You are right not all white women ‘have it made’ or are living an ‘easy life.’ However, most white women, due to skin COLOUR privilege, can always cash in ~ even on the worst day~ on SOME (and I do mean some because again…not all white women ‘have it made’) of the social capital of white skin privilege. I’d love to know the ‘feminism’ you are part of…because many of the most prolific WHITE feminists I know will be the FIRST to engage in conversations about the feminist, heterosexist, and classist begins of “feminism” (and yes even in today’s contemporary feminisms there are still remnants of these earlier times). It’s a shame that when a Black feminist speaks rather than engage in healthy debate you hit below the belt with personal attacks. Now THAT’s feminism. Yah right!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s