Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Another Example of the Privilege Existing Within Mainstream Feminism

BlackAmazon came and commented on my last post and, as I try to do whenever someone visits my blog, I went to her blog. I often forget about blogs that I mean to check regularly, so I usually wind up losing track with people until they happen to come back to my site and leave a comment. Anyway, when I visited her site, I found this post entitled "I'm gonna go work out pray on this and then respond here" and my curiousity prompted me to take a look at the post in question. Sometimes I really wish that I was more apathetic to what I read.

As if I needed more reason to believe that mainstream feminism has nothing to offer me, I found yet another self-professed feminist who's completely clueless when it comes to the experiences of non-white, non-western individuals. In her post, "The Difference Between Sexism and Racism", Reclusive Leftist asserts that sexism is less stigmatized than racism. In other words, all around the world, people are more likely to hide their racism than their sexism. At least, this is where her argument began. It became a lot more ridiculous when her comments spilled over to the response section.

Even if you do go and take a look at her post, which I'd suggest to anyone who'd like to argue that mainstream western feminists have women's best interests in mind, you won't get to see all of the comments that were left. She decided to remove the last few comments and to change her last comment as well. Fortunately, I happened to get a look at them before she removed them, so I'm posting them here:

67. Blackamazon says:
I posted the longest respons eto this in creation but thought this was STUNNINGLY ( fitting. I like how you avoid all specific criticism of your points within the COMMENTS that actively demonstrate both your privilege,disrespect,and condescension in favor of questioning at least ten people’s reading capacity.Sheeleszebub understood AND STILL AGREED WITH SHANNON but you keep omitting that.
And until you have a crystal ball unto all the tenets of every culture and how they relate globally how dare you presume you know what any culture feels about anything. What “large scale agreement” have you seen ? How many cultures you have intimate knowledge of that say that?
You want to be wrong or keep your opinion fine But we can read , we read you ( in all meanings of the word) and our “grip” is plenty fucking good.
September 6th, 2006 at 9:33 pm EST

68.bint alshamsa says:
Angry Black Woman: I notice that anyone who disagrees with you gets painted with the “you can’t read” brush.
I noticed this too. It’s really just one step up from the “you mispelled something ergo you aren’t educated enough to talk to me” argument that often comes up when some people find out that they can’t defend their views as well as they thought they’d be able to.
I really giggled when I read Violet’s comment about post #55 being “very eloquent”. Maybe Violet can explain how in the world that’s pertinent to this discussion.
September 6th, 2006 at 9:33 pm EST

And then because she decided that the conversation was too much for her, Reclusive closed off the comments for that post. Nevertheless, I had already written a response to the silliness she wrote in her last comment. Here it is for those who might want to read it:

bint alshamsa, gracious! Four comments in a row?

Yes, indeed it is four. Thank you for noticing this very irrelevent point.

Your view of human history is certainly interesting — very dark, really — but I must say it doesn’t correspond to what I know of anthropology and the history of civilization.

Well, I find your view of history to be quite inaccurate according to what I know regarding the development of our species.

Weirdly enough, people didn’t sort out that we were all human even before we, er, evolved into humans. Or for quite a while after.

Weirdly enough, you're absolutely wrong. If people didn't realize that these separate groups were indeed members of the same species as them, then they'd have all branched off into different species. As a matter of fact, there has always been a mixing of groups for as long as humans have existed.

The single most common self-identifying name for an ethnic group is some word meaning “the real people.”

That doesn't mean that they believed that others weren't the same species as them. Even groups that considered themselves "the real people" intermingled with those who fell outside of that designation.

Other tribes were useful for slavery and could even be mated with, but somehow they weren’t fully human.

If they were able to understand that these people could be mated with then how can you prove that they believed these people were a different species from them?

As late as 1900 it was still being debated in the United States whether Native Americans had souls.

There are people who are still making the same arguments today. Likewise, back then, there were plenty of people who understood that Native Americans were humans too. If they didn't understand that then we'd have seen the same percentage of marriages/intermingling with them as there were to horses or chickens or any of the other living creatures within that population. How many instances do we know of where people in the U.S.A. were trying to marry and have kids with their farm animals? People aren't as dumb as you're claiming. It seems you're confusing what was expedient to claim with what had already been established as fact.

It only began to be outlawed a couple of centuries ago. It’s now illegal in every nation in the world. Is it still practiced? Of course. But the fact that it is officially illegal, and that nations attempt to disguise its presence within their borders, tells us something about cultural evolution.

Actually, it's not illegal in every nation of the world. Many nations do not make much of an attempt to disguise its presence. That certain nations deny the existence of slavery within their borders only proves that they are simply saying what is most convient for them to claim despite the fact that their actual position has not changed.

Which is what I’m talking about when I mention “moral evolution.” There is a rather stunning gap between what people think is right and what they actually do, but the point is that what people think is right has actually evolved. And continues to evolve.

So you're not talking about morality at all when you use the term "moral evolution"? That doesn't make sense. If you believe a cultural evolution has occurred, why not just refer to it as that? A moral evolution is quite a different matter altogether. Furthermore, what people think is right has not changed or they, we, would not still be engaging in the same practices that were present in our societies from the very beginning of our species.

The mystery is solved: I’ve been alerted that my sudden new visitors, whom I’ll dub “Shannon’s Friends,” are a self-appointed group of blog police with a history of going about accusing people of racism.

I guess it's most convient for you to believe that very erroneous assumption just as it's convient for you to believe the other assertions you've made here. Frankly, I've never even conversed with Shannon on any of the blogs I frequent and it's rather juvenile to attempt to group very different people as one united group. However, since we're mostly colored folks disagreeing with you I suppose you won't have a problem ignoring the fact that we've shown that your position is simply fallacious.

If anyone here wants to contact Violet regarding her post, her e-mail address is:


belledame222 said...

Okay, I read that thread.

That was some serious fucking shite.

What is this "you can't read?" I read it as well as the rest of you. Jeezus, it really says something; i have seen thread s on her site get much MUCH flamier and she takes a lot longer to shut them down. Sure, I can read. The real question is: why does she feel it is necessary to come trumpeting out with this in the damn first place?

Blackamazon said...

Bint Alshamsa wins at LIFE .

Anybody says different will have to fight me and by fight I mean I will cut them.

* wonders how to make Bint's birthday a holiday*

Bint Alshamsa said...

BA, you really brighten my day! I hope you know how much I appreciate the encouragement you give me.

And as far as I'm concerned, every day's a holiday as long as I have my sisters around me.

Bint Alshamsa said...


It is more than just a little disappointing to see what happened on that post. I think some people like Reclusive Leftist don't have blogs in order to engage in dialogue with others; They're just looking for a platform where they might be able to find a few lonely souls who are willing to agree with them no matter what they say. What a boring way to live!

When she jumped out with the "you people" line, even I was a bit taken aback. Isn't it funny how the same old epithets that were used in reference to people of color a few hundred years ago are still in use today and being propagated by those who would like to think of themselves as "the nice ones"?

Infidel said...

"you people" = "some people like Reclusive Leftist"

And that's what equality is all about.

Infidel said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bint Alshamsa said...

Hello Infidel,

I've been busy at the doctor's office for much of the day so I didn't see your messages until now. I'm usually pretty fanatical when it comes to checking my moderation box because I do vet all comments before allowing them to go through in order to make sure that this remains a safe space for those I care about most.

As long as nothing you say is sexist, racist, ableist, ageist, or hopelessly illogical, what you send will likely be let through by me. Of course, I have been known to occasionally allow a comment that does meet one or more of those descriptions but it's usually because I think the person is unaware of the implications of their message and I think they may be willing to engage in dialogue that I will find productive.

Sooner or later I'm going to get around to posting some sort of guidelines for commenting at My Private Casbah. Anyway, with that said, I suppose I should actually respond to what you wrote now. I'm going to reply to them both in this post.
First Message:
"you people" = "some people like Reclusive Leftist"

No, this is incorrect. When Reclusive Leftist wrote "you people" she clearly wasn't talking about herself.

And that's what equality is all about.

No, that isn't what equality is all about. In order for two things to be equal, they have to have the same value. Unless you know of some way to objectively determine the value of completely different terms, there's no way for you to prove that the two are indeed equal to each other.


Second Message:
Hi, I think Violet is ok. Will this post?

Hello to you too. Is there some reason why you think your expressed view is relevant to my post? This assessment of yours is far too vague to be of any use to me. Do you mean she's okay as a bridge player? Or do you mean that she was in some tragically-freakish running-with-scissors accident but the doctors have looked her over and decided that, despite the loss of her favorite pair of jeans, she's going to be okay because she had on clean underwear?

In other words, can you be a bit more specific?

Blackamazon said...

Bint it is an honor to make the say of you and all sistren who so continually rock. Is it not great that even as peopel seem to feel that crazy and stupid is more acceptable you fnd peopel being more awesome in more ways than you could dream of.

belledame222 said...

oh jesus fuck, i missed that she'd DELETED those last few posts. That really is, well, that is, yeah.

i'm a little too disheartened to email i think, esp. in the light of i just finished smacking (again) another mainstream white major feminist blogger from hell to breakfast, and now ANOTHER one has royally pissed me off, and well y'know i've liked VS and had a number of good talks with her, but ech, this, i dunno. needs some serious processing. i've always at least admired what i thought was her ability to consider all sides and change her mind, even apologize, so, well, yeah; i expect she will see these posts of mine somewhere or another around the 'sphere sooner or later. i am tired. seriously.

Infidel said...

When you wrote "some people" were you talking about yourself?
I don't think you were.
In that regard, both "you people" -Violet, and "some people" -you, can be equated in that it is one talking about the other and it is one upset talking about the other with whom one is upset with.

I had been asked on Violets' thread, or rather corrected on Violets' thread about a post I had made without support of any kind. I had made a post without support of any kind. I earlier in that thread had made a post about the difference between accepted and acceptable. I meant one being an adjective(acceptable) describing a noun(racism/sexism)and the other an adverb(accepted) describing a verb(is). Neither racism or sexism is acceptable but both are accepted in my estimate and in my ignorant and very limited experience I would have to conclude racism is accepted less than sexism. It is a personal observation. I apologize if it offends you. It could very well be my privileged existence. Being aware of one's own privilege does nothing for oneself and there is, I suspect, some evidence of an unawareness by Violet. Still on the whole her comments and my experience concerning her make me think she's ok and one thread, though telling, is not comprehensive enough to condemn.
What little I can glean leads me to believe in your ok-ness- your bio, your posting guidelines, and the way you post.
"Hello Infidel..." I am pleased to make your aquantance and that's about all I have to say.

Suzanne said...

While I was reading this post, it once again got me thinking about how often I really live in my own little world, and that my blog so often reflects that.

delux said...

Women of color critiquing mainstream white feminism = a clique of friends?


Thanks for breaking it down again, Bint Alshamsa.

Infidel said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Infidel said...

I am saddened to read your other post. I hope our doing well and I wish you only the best.

Violet was my first.
She lets all posts post then she deletes them later- I guess after she reads them, but I haven't seen any pre-censoring to post and I, like belledame222, am a bit surprised by the treatment you and others rec'd on the thread in question.

By the time I see my posts on your site I have convinced myself you have blotted me out of existence, but then it posts. As regards this posting delay thingie- I like Violet better than you. As regards racism vs. sexism I can tell you from the perspective of a moderately privileged(not suffering poverty or descrimination) white male, the experience I have had lends credence to what I believe to be Violet's assertion.

As proof let me just provide you with two examples.

1. Mass Media will not show blatantly racist scenarios either on commericals or programming while blatantly sexist scenarios-women in negative light(dumb blondes, girls Swedish{what's the sport?}Team,...
but it occurs to me as I write this that there are plenty of examples of say, black rapper gangsta dudes-can be seen as racist if seen in negative forget example 1.

2.Religion: I don't know what portion of humanity follows or abides by the dictates of the major religions but those dictates tend to be more sexist than racist. More attention to role of women and usually as submissive role while men rule and are dominant-there is no mention of caring for the widowers in Christianity, just widows-for instance. Meantime little formally about race, or if there is; it is about how there is such thing as a good Samaratin, which only inferrs Samaratins as lesser people.

There is rape vs hate crime statistics which may indicate acceptance of women as sex objects vs acceptance of violent acts towards people outside your own race.

quantitative acceptance might be gleaned from number of laws that apply and/or number of applicable laws broken and/or number of law breakers and/or number of law writers and/or number of broken laws per law breaker and/or religious directives towards ?ism and/or number of religious directives followed for ?ism and/or religious directives against ?ism and/or minutes of television devoted to sex roles that are seen as offensive vs number of minutes devoted to race stereotyps seen as offensive...

It can be very complicated and at the end of the day, even if quantified, the result would surely be contested even if the equations were accepted the gathering and critereon for the data would/could be questioned. So I guess my question to you would be why do you think Racism is less accepted than Sexism? Do you think they are equally accepted? or do you think it would be too difficult to ever have an opinion?
Be bold! Have an opinion! Choose either and present a number- I will.

Sexism is 80 to 85% of humanity accepted.

Racism is 60 to 65% of humanity accepted.

Sexism is 20% more humanly accepted

all that and neither is acceptable.

belledame222 said...

>Do you mean she's okay as a bridge player? Or do you mean that she was in some tragically-freakish running-with-scissors accident but the doctors have looked her over and decided that, despite the loss of her favorite pair of jeans, she's going to be okay because she had on clean underwear?>

i have to admit, this made me laugh out loud