The Women’s March that took place this weekend did nothing for me. There. I said it, but don’t mistake me; the idea of the march itself is very admirable, really. I mean, there is A LOT at stake with the Orange One in office, especially women’s rights. If you look at the official website for the Women’s March, their Unity Principles and platform looks amazing and incredibly inclusive. However, I’m pressed to find where the inclusiveness and intersectionality went the day of. There were a few signs here and there that mentioned #BLM and Black sisters that were murdered by police, but still, POC issues did not seem to be a major focal point. Which, is even more sad when you realize that three women of color were organizers, but brought on only after much criticism for lack of inclusivity.
I can’t say that I’m surprised. It’s no secret that white, mainstream feminism struggles with recognizing issues that don’t directly effect middle class, white women, and this march was no different. I watched the Women’s March via social media. I saw a lot of witty signs, a lot of “pussy power,” but nothing (aside from the speeches and signs made by Black women for Black women) that truly inspired me. Black women were invited to the march, but it wasn’t really about us.
Because lack of intersectionality is something that women of color are all too familiar with, that wasn’t thing the thing that bothered me most about the march, but more so who put the march on. Listen, I can’t and will not get with a protest that was led by the group of women who supported a sexist, misogynistic, bigot the most. 53% of white women voted for Trump (compared to the 94% of Black women, and 84% of Latina women that voted against him). 53%. I’m sure (I think?) the women who attended this protest were not of that 53%, buuuuuut y’all also never addressed that 53% of white, Trump supporting women. Part of being an activist or feminist (or womanist, I’m not really into semantics), is checking people and calling them out on their ignorance and, well, bullshit. These women did neither. Black Americans are burdened with the task of calling out ignorance and educating. We are poised with the task of telling people, many of which are family and people whom we believed were friends once upon a time when they are being ignorant. I have lost many “friends” for doing this. I expect white feminist to have that same burden and to check your family and friends, yes, even your grandparents who are “stuck in their ways.” As a whole, white women failed all other women, and those who did fall in line said nothing to that 53%. How can I feel like you’ll have WOC’s back, when y’all couldn’t even come together? How, in good conscious, can I join hands with those who don’t continuously check their own? How can I feel a sense of solidarity, when clearly there is’t one.
I struggle with finding inspiration in the Women’s March because I simply do not trust mainstream feminism who constantly and consistently ignore the needs and concerns of inter-sectional feminism and WOC, and I have no issue with saying that. See, I am not asking for a seat at the white feminist table, I don’t need one. I do, however, question the genuineness of your activism. I can’t be comfortable with calling those who attended the march activist, or caring people, when the cries of women of color are often silenced and ignored. I question the genuineness of those involved who were silent when Black women are murdered by the police. I question your genuineness every time the body of a Black woman is beaten or raped by police and there is no outrage from women’s groups whose leaders are non-Black. I question your genuineness because of the simple fact that when income inequality is brought up, it is only in regards to the white man’s dollar, but not one mention of how white women make more than women of color. I question your genuineness when many white woman think the Women’s Suffrage Movement was all white women and there would be no feminism without y’all (please do your research because this is so incredibly wrong).
Misogyny, sexism, unequal pay, women’s/ reproductive health are issues all women face and very well should be addressed, but I can’t find solidarity with a group that refuses to acknowledge the issues that are specific to Black women and other women of color. There is no solidarity when we are called racist for bringing up issues specific to WOC. I need there to be as much concern, outrage and camaraderie when white women are not at risk. I need as much attendance at a Sandra Bland march as there is for a slut walk. I wish I could celebrate in this amazing gathering, but I can’t. I can’t overlook those things. The Women’s March was a nice gesture, but I’m not ready to sing “Kumbaya” with white feminism.
EDIT*** a quote from a writer, white feminist and someone involved with the Women’s March had this to say “it saddens me to see the inclusive liberal feminism I grew up with reduced to a grab bag of competing victim-hood narratives and individualist identities josting for most oppressed status.” She also referred to the points Black women would like to focus on as “trivial.” So if anyone was wondering why this post was made, there you go.