Helen Lewis’s rebuttal of Julie Burchill’s ridiculous and horribly formatted Spectator essay on intersectionality (I won’t link it because I may contract something) left many of us doing this:
…because for all of their good intentions, white feminists still cannot get it right. Maybe they don’t want to get it right. For all of this talk about infighting and hurt feelings and waxing!–the things we really need to address keep getting ignored. When Piers Morgan went after Janet Mock–the first time–only two notable white feminists took to their sizable platforms to address it. Unfortunately, neither of them were very helpful, and seemed more sympathetic to Morgan. (Oh, how I miss the days when he was regulated to judging 80 year-old ballerinas on talent shows.)
“Intersectionality is really, really hard, guys!” Yes, it is. And no one expects white feminists to be perfect. We DO expect you to try, and not expect people to be nice to you or hold your hand when you fuck up. If Helen Lewis’s idea of handling criticism is to call out another white woman for referring to herself as a womanist? I just…I don’t know.
At some point you have to give up the ghost. In the case of us “marginalized people” (I hate that term) it might be time to stop getting angry over the latest mainstream feminist blunder and look at them the same way you would a puppy that pooped on your floor. Or an old Three Stooges episode. Because the best we can expect at this point is some really great slapstick comedy.
Anyway, enjoy this kickass piece from Bitch’s Tina Vasquez on the mainstream movement’s failure on transgender issues, if you haven’t already.
So Erin Gloria Ryan, the Jez writer responsible for this elitist schlock, writes a deliciously long tl;dr post about the evils of selfies in response to Rachel Simmons’ Slate piece. She writes:
Retaking a photo 12 times until your chin looks right is in no way analogous to asking your boss for a raise. Nor is it the sort of self-promotion that results in anything but a young woman reinforcing the socially-engrained notion that the most valuable thing she has to offer the world is her looks. If culture were encouraging women to be smart, the word of the year would be “diplomie” and the definition would be “a photo of an academic achievement posted to social media.” “Here’s my face!” is not an accomplishment. Feeling pretty is nice, but goddamn — “beauty” far from the most important thing about being a fully-actualized adult human person.
Where would we be without another mainstream feminist site telling us how we’re DOIN IT RONG? In a better place, I’m guessing. Luckily for us, Bad feminist @convergecollide had the awesome idea to start #feministselfie and the rest was hashtag history.
As others have pointed out, self love is a radical act, especially if you aren’t white (or close to it). Given recent conversations I’ve had with friends about self-esteem, daily women-bashing on #BlackTwitter and the huge response to #feministselfie (trending topic, yo), it’s clear just how necessary it is. It is a beautiful act of self-affirmation and if one chooses to draw power from it, more power to ’em. Check out Mommyish and xoJane for a more thoughtful take.
…and with that, we can now go back to debating Beyonce’s feminism.
Yesterday marked the 15th International Transgender Day of Remembrance. According to the TVT Project, 238 trans people have been murdered worldwide. The Advocate has a moving tribute to the trans women and men slain in the past year, and Janet Mock’s letter to Islan Nettles is still one of the most powerful pieces we’ve read this year. HuffPo offers a beautiful essay from JamieAnn Meyers. Over at Colorlines, Vonn Diaz writes about the barriers trans workers face in the workplace.