by andre briggs

The Musical Chairs of Online Feminism

Two days ago this happened on Twitter. The online Women of Color (WOC) feminists broke off into African American feminists, reloaded their guns and aimed at another target. Both the #solidarityisforwhitewomen and #blackpowerisforblackmen conversations are ongoing but both have plateaued in media mindshare.

One of my favorite tweets from #solidarityisforwhitewomen.

Let the music play

In no way do I claim to be well versed in Feminist theory but it’s clear that the mainstream online feminism movement is a cafeteria style agenda that has historically ignored instances of exclusion and imperialism. Groups like FEMEN (of #FreePussyRiot fame) take a paternalistic maternalistic approach to imposing their views on so called victims of oppression. This means that that on one hand wearing burqa is being oppressed, but walking around topless is liberating. I get it….I really do, however they lack the interpersonal and intercultural awareness to realize that not every woman in the world has their views.

The mainstream online feminism seems to believe the TV show Girls is the answers to all problems:

How the shuffling happened

  • Feminism as a whole is failing since WOC don’t feel included in the agenda.
  • Rogue African-American Twitter “feminists” have commandeered the message and are tweeting brain farts of personal issues they have with African-American men.

It’s a shame, as soon as WOC as a whole were getting the attention of White feminists, the messaged turned into a derogatory bashing of Black men from a subgroup. Cliched ramblings from many black “feminists” without reasoning skills soured the atmosphere. It reminds me of the fragmented Occupy Movement. When ever there is a platform someone is sure to abuse it. It really diminishes the impact that #solidarityisforwhitewomen had in my mind.

I’ll go one step further and say that African American males are the easiest target to pick on. I can’t give #blackpowerisforblackmen more than a few seconds of thought without attributing idiocy to the creators of this hashtag “movement”.

There can only be one chair left

I asked what is the next step now that WOC have the attention of White feminists. Turning to attack African-American men was the wrong move for the fraction of WOC who decided to engage in it. African American feminists in particular have lost the advantage in the conversation due to this.

Do non-black WOC Feminist need to disassociate themselves from Black Feminists? Perhaps…but then these particular Black Feminists would be back where they started a few days ago. Being sidelined from the conversation…asking themselves what did they do wrong, and starting a new hashtag to comfort their ego. The cycle will continue until they focus on the real problems.

Complaining about some Black guy dumping you isn’t Black Feminism.

There needs to be a separation of anecdotal experiences and institutional structures that effect all WOC. Have a simple and focused message. The difference between White Feminism and WOC Feminism is marketing.