Feminism | Posted by Sarah Colome on 11/4/2013
Where Are the White Women? A Response to Halloween, Blackface, and Missed Opportunities
It is always important to make sure that white folks are not taking up space in a racial justice movement whose very problem is derived from our privilege and racism: it is important to stand in solidarity and support. This is particularly true of white feminists, whose own fights for justice are steeped in a history of segregation and intersectionality. But where is that solidarity with communities of color who perpetually suffer from injustice? Where were white women during one of the more recently publicized incidences of racism: the preponderance of blackface on Halloween?
Halloween conjures up a plethora of imagery: children walking down the street costumed and candied, ghouls and goblins running amuck in haunted houses…and blackface. I have come to dread going out on Halloween not just …
Feminism | Posted by Rachel B on 06/26/2013
Will Girls Really Rise?
I recently watched the documentary film “Girl Rising” with my high school (of about 80 students) and subsequently helped to lead a forum to discuss it. The movie artistically illustrates the stories of nine girls in the developing world who overcame seemingly insurmountable barriers to get an education that culturally only their male counterparts are entitled to. Their struggles included extreme poverty, bonded servitude, sexual harassment, rape, physical abuse and gender discrimination just for starters. Most of the stories ended positively with the girls overcoming their oppressive situations and making better lives for themselves, but others, such as the girl from Afghanistan, did not fare as well. The bravery these girls exhibited by speaking out (they could be killed for this effrontery) should be lauded.
Once the movie …
Feminism | Posted by Amanda P on 06/29/2012
On Street Harassment
I vividly remember the first time I ever experienced street harassment. I was on my way to class and saw in the distance a group of young men drinking and carrying on in a very loud and obnoxious manner. A young woman, who was a great distance ahead of me, lowered her head, tightened the grip on her shoulder bag, and walked by as quickly as possible. As I approached, their attention quickly turned to me and they shouted, “HEY…HEY, YOU…HEY…!” Now, ladies and gentlemen, I could have easily lowered my head and just ignored these comments but it’s hardly in my nature not to respond to such idiocy. I didn’t even have to say anything — my mere middle finger in the air sent these three young men into …
Feminism | Posted by Regina on 02/23/2011
The Link Between Beauty, Privilege and the Media
We don’t live in a vacuum. Our ideas, our lexicon, and our beliefs are shaped by outside forces like society, culture, environment, and religion. Fields like sociology and anthropology prove that.
Words matter. You said something heterosexist because your parents / the media / your religion told you; you weren’t born a bigot. Forces like that reflect and shape your ideas. When people, especially celebrities, say transphobic things they fuel transphobia and other people think it is ok because their ideas aren’t challenged. Their bigotry is reinforced every day by outside forces like that. We are conditioned to say things that hurt other people, but we don’t change it because it seems like it doesn’t affect your reality.
That’s where privilege comes from. If the dominant culture constantly puts out …
Feminism | Posted by Anna M on 09/21/2010
An Unabashed Imitation of An Article by Peggy McIntosh
In 1990, Wellesley College professor Peggy McIntosh wrote an essay called “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack”. McIntosh observes that whites in the U.S. are “taught to see racism only in individual acts of meanness, not in invisible systems conferring dominance on my group.” To illustrate these invisible systems, McIntosh wrote a list of 26 invisible privileges whites benefit from.
As McIntosh points out, men also tend to be unaware of their own privileges as men. In the spirit of McIntosh’s essay, I thought I’d compile a list similar to McIntosh’s, focusing on the invisible privileges benefiting men.
Due to my own limitations, this list is unavoidably U.S. centric. I hope that writers from other cultures will create new lists, or modify this one, to reflect their own …