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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Linkage And The "Good Ole Girl’s Network.” Racist, bias against Male, POC Feminist within the Feminist Blogosphere - Follow Up to Yesterday's Post

In this Statue of First Women's Rights Convention, are the photo are Jane Hunt, Mary Ann M'Clintock, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, James and Lucrecia Mott, Martha Wright,Thomas and Mary Ann M'Clintock...and Frederick Douglass, a Black male feminist who helped to Organize the First Woman's Rights Convention along with over two dozen other male feminists who supproted the Women's Rights Movement, as detailed in the Report on Women's Rights Convention Report Held at Seneca Falls, N.Y., July 19th and 20th, 1848.

This post is a follow up to yesterday's post that I encourage you to read as well. It should be noted that the above Woman's Rights Convention Report was produced after the First Woman's Rights Convention in the North Star Printing Office owned by Frederick Douglass, Rochester, New York. It was reprinted several times and circulated at national women's rights conventions. Even in 1848, when Slavery was still legal in many states, a Black, male feminist's committment to free speech in the feminist movement was unwaivering.

Male feminist people of color have been working in solidarity with women feminists throughout time. I have gone around the country giving workshops at conferences on 'Indigenous Lifestyles Free of Patriarchy' and I can tell you in vivid detail that in indigenous cultures, men empowering women, their sisters, mothers, wives, aunts, grandmothers and all women... only made sense in order to have a stronger family unity, tribe or clan. And yet there are those in our current capitalist culture who desire to not only silence us as Male feminist people of color as we seek to empower women...but even worse, they desire to silence us on the basis that we are Black people of color who dare to speak up for Women of Color and speak up about the effects of capitalism, globalization and anti-immigration policies that are oppressing women worldwide and they tell us:

#1. Our voices, as Black, male feminists aren't as important because we don't speak in the academic, grammatically pleasing manner that makes them comfortable.

#2. Our voices, as Black, male feminists aren't as important because...*gasp*... we are feminists who happen to be "male"...as defined by the patriarchal, capitalist society that we live in. Shortly after the article titled What if the feminist blogosphere is a form of digital colonialism?." I noticed there were several bloggers who posted links in the comment section, and then when you click on the link, it takes you to their blog where they have a full article response, and then after you read their article it states something like: 'I only consider Women of Color's voices important enough to be heard... People of Color such as Males, Trans, Cis, and other various Genders outside of the realms of the patriarchal, capitalistic definition of 'women' of color...are not worthy to comment on my blog.' Well, those weren't their exact words, but it might as well have been because the meaning and the censorship was the same. This is amazing to me, how a person will go into a public discussion on colonialism (a form of bias) within the feminist blogosphere...and then post a link so that you head over to their blog... only for them to then say if you are not one of eight clearly defined gender categories...and a person of color.... within the feminist movement...then you must be a victim of their bias within their blog. As you can imagine I immidiately stopped reading their biased blog and I felt nauseated, almost tricked, into even visiting their blogs. Indeed there is a time for learning, and there is a time for recognizing censorship that is facilitated and promoted through a public discussion on a public platform.

So I searched for some feminist definitions of Sex and Gender. I once disliked wikipidia because of so many problems they have had, but in terms of up to date gender studies, that incorporate the work of new third wave feminists, they often are a good place to quote.

So the Wikipidia definition on Sex and Gender distinction [a feminism-related article sub-topic], states this:

"Sex and gender distinction is a concept in feminist theory, political feminism, and sociology which distinguishes sex, a natural or biological feature, from gender, the cultural or learned significance of sex. The distinction is strategically important for some strands of feminist theory and politics, particularly second-wave feminism, because on it is premised the argument that gender is not biological destiny, and that the patriarchal oppression of women is a cultural phenomenon which need not necessarily follow from biological sexual differentiation. The distinction allows feminists to accept some form of natural sexual difference while criticizing gender inequality. Some third-wave feminists like Judith Butler, French feminists like Monique Wittig, and social constructionists within sociology have disputed the biological-natural status the distinction imputes to sex, arguing instead that both sex and gender are culturally constructed and structurally complicit. The most extreme view maintains that gender is totally undetermined by sex.
To learn more about Judith Butler and Monique Wittiq, click on their name above. Below, I have included a few relevant quotes about gender from each woman's profile:

Here is a Judthi Butler quote: " “I would say that I'm a feminist theorist before I'm a queer theorist or a gay and lesbian theorist.”
"Let's face it. We're undone by each other. And if we're not, we're missing something. If this seems so clearly the case with grief, it is only because it was already the case with desire. One does not always stay intact. It may be that one wants to, or does, but it may also be that despite one's best efforts, one is undone, in the face of the other, by the touch, by the scent, by the feel, by the prospect of the touch, by the memory of the feel. And so when we speak about my sexuality or my gender, as we do (and as we must), we mean something complicated by it. Neither of these is precisely a possession, but both are to be understood as modes of being dispossessed, ways of being for another, or, indeed, by virtue of another."
Judith Butler (Undoing Gender)

“Perhaps a new sort of feminist politics is now desirable to contest the very reifications of gender and identity, one that will take the variable construction of identity as both a methodological and normative prerequisite, if not a political goal.”

Here is a quote from wikipedia:
"In Excitable Speech, Butler surveys the problems of hate speech and censorship. She argues that censorship is difficult to evaluate, and that in some cases it may be useful or even necessary, while in others it may be worse than tolerance. She develops a new conception of censorship’s complex workings, supplanting the myth of the independent subject who wields the power to censor with a theory of censorship as an effect of state power and, more primordially, as the condition of language and discourse itself."
Here is a quote about Wittig:
Monique Wittig called herself a Radical lesbian. To avoid any confusion, she stated: "There is no such thing as women literature for me, that does not exist. In literature, I do not separate women and men. One is a writer, or one is not. This is a mental space where sex is not determining. One has to have some space for freedom. Language allows this. This is about building an idea of the neutral which could escape sexuality". A theorist of material feminism, she stigmatised the myth of "the woman", called heterosexuality a political regime, and outlined the basis for a social contract.
I have taken the time to give quotes about and by these two extremely prominent and well respected feminists and gender theorists, because I agree with them that the use of gender in discourse and communication only causes censorship and further imposes censorship as an effect of state power which is particularly devastating in the blogosphere...where we are supposed to have a greater voice without censorship.

I saw at least two people leave links in the comments section and state:

"only Women of Color can comment on my blog."

Yet, there are those who would not condemn than as the heterosezist, Transphobic, narrow-gender minded bias and discrimintary, first and second wave feminist, anti-solidarity, divisive action that I declare it to be and I find it to be restrictive to the purposes of people working together to create a better world.

I wholeheartedly support, in every way, the idea that people need private conversation, yet the idea that they should entre a public forum on a sentive issue about bias and then use bias to only permit certain people to partake in further conversation is an abomination in the worse way. I can hardly stay calm about it. It is without questions, the Good Ole Girl’s Network, regardless of the race involved.

Can you imagine if you walked into a public forum in which people were having a conversation on colonialism in your town...and then someone in the audience stood up and said:

"I want to continue this conversation about digital colonialism in the feminist blogophere... but not here... as a matter of fact lets take it to my private space...where I control everything... but then I only want to invite certain people.... of certain races.... of certain genders... to be able to talk and leave comments.... and engage in that conversation....oh, and by the way, I only want those certain genders to be defined through narrow minded first and second wave feminism definitions of gender that are defined within our heterosexist, patriarchal, capitalist oppressive system. "
Would that be acceptable?


What is most mind-boggling is that these are some of the exact same people who attacked Mandy and Brittanty for using the 'T' word, yet they are also discriminating openly on their blogs against certain LGBTI of color people who refuse to label themselves as 'women,' much like Monique Wittig, refused to label herself, as a writer and radical lesbian of the third wave feminism, as a woman.

#3. Our 'unacceptable actions' as Black, Male Feminist are somehow offensive to the feminist Good Ole Girl’s Network. Some how my actions are pissing people off. Imagine that! *happy laughter* In the case with Frederick Douglas, Susan B Anthony, a member of perhaps the first 'Good Ole Girl’s Network' within the American feminist movement, turned her back on Frederick Douglas and shunned him when he dared to... *gasp* ...marry a white woman (something which will to this day raise the unbridled anger of even some of the most progressive Black women feminists and White women feminists). Renee at Womanist Musing wrote a powerful article about Backstabbing Feminism [3], which was essentially about feminists who call for solidarity yet reject the issues or racism...and their own racism. Yes, what happened to Frederick Douglas was Backstabbing feminism. But allow me to detail the depth of this backstabbing betrayal:

The Biography of Frederick Douglas States:

He participated in the first Women’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls in 1848 and signed the Declaration of Sentiments. Elizabeth Cady Stanton later reported that the resolution calling for women’s suffrage was passed by that Convention to a great extent through Douglass’ efforts on its behalf. After the convention, Douglass published a positive editorial on "The Rights of Women," which appeared in the July 28, 1848 edition of the North Star. The History of Woman Suffrage notes that during the subsequent adjourned Women’s Rights Convention held in Rochester on August 2, 1848, "Frederick Douglass, William C. Nell, and William C. Bloss advocated the emancipation of women from all the artificial disabilities, imposed by false customs, creeds, and codes." In 1853, Douglass signed "The Just and Equal Rights of Women," a call and resolutions for the Woman’s Rights State Convention held in Rochester on November 30 and December 1, 1853. He also attended and spoke at that meeting.
During the years before the Civil War, Douglass was a close friend of Susan B. Anthony and her family, and often visited the Anthony home. He delivered a eulogy upon the death of Anthony’s father Daniel in November 1862.

Douglass’s first wife, an Black woman, died in 1882. In 1884, he married Helen Pitts, a feminist from Honeoye, New York. Pitts was a graduate of Mount Holyoke Seminary. While living in Washington, D.C. before her marriage, she had worked on a radical feminist publication called the Alpha. Frederick and Helen Pitts Douglass faced a storm of controversy as a result of their marriage. Douglass himself wrote:
No man, perhaps, had ever more offended popular prejudice than I had then lately done. I had married a wife. People who had remained silent over the unlawful relations of white slave masters with their colored slave women loudly condemned me for marrying a wife a few shades lighter than myself. They would have had no objection to my marrying a person much darker in complexion than myself, but to marry one much lighter, and of the complexion of my father rather than of that of my mother, was, in the popular eye, a shocking offense, and one for which I was to be ostracized by white and black alike. (Douglass, Life and Times... p. 534.)

Elizabeth Cady Stanton, however, remained a loyal defender. She congratulated the two and wrote:

In defense of the right to...marry whom we please -- we might quote some of the basic principles of our government [and] suggest that in some things individual rights to tastes should control....If a good man from Maryland sees fit to marry a disenfranchised woman from New York, there should be no legal impediments to the union.
Fortunately, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, shunned the racist, sexist actions of Susan B. Anthony and the 'Good Ole Girl’s Network.'

As you can see, despite all the Black, male, feminist will do for the feminist, even someone so close as a Black, male, feminist to help plan the Woman's Righst Conventions, circulate Womans' Rights material, marry a radical feminist and even read the Eulogy at her father's funeral... still, there will exist those feminist who cannot move past their own racism and sexism... who cannot move past their own little 'Good Ole Girl’s Network' ...in order to welcome Black, male, feminists... regardless of our 'unacceptable actions' that your priviledged minds may feel warrant our exclusion from your 'Good Ole Girl’s Network.'

Why have I shared this history with you?

Two reasons:

#1. This form of Good Ole' Girls' Network is alive and well within the feminist Movement...and more recently with the Feminist Blogosphere and I want to modify a few of Frederick Douglas's above quotes to describe the Backstabbing nature of it all:
People who had remained silent over the unethical censorship of feminists of color, and over the unethical censorship of Feminist Sex workers [1], and over the unethical censorship of LGBTQI feminists by so called 'radical' feminists [2] and by mainstream white feminists with their popular feminist group blogs... loudly condemned Mandy and Brittany, two women a few shades lighter than myself, who were brave enough to speak about the Good Ole' Girls' Network.

They would have had no objection to me and other Male, feminist people of color talking about the issues on our own blogs, but for them to allow us to guest post our opinions on this issue, or for them to link to a Black, male feminist blog is, in the popular feminist trend, a shocking impossibility, and one for which Male feminist of color remain ostracized by white and black feminists alike.
Below is an excerpt from Mandy and Brittany's article titled: "What if the feminist blogosphere is a form of digital colonialism?"
"These actions form a “good ole girl’s network” whereby feminist blogs are stratified into a formalized hierarchy, which enables the already privileged group to maintain and increase their privilege. We see this in the multiple book deals given to the feminist blogging elite by women-oriented publishers like Seal [12] Press [13]. We see this in books edited by feminist bloggers that feature other prominent feminist bloggers that hold a similar ideology. We see this when the feminist blogging elite are published by the same print and online publications. It’s difficult to believe that all of this is purely a coincidence, and not a result of recommendations, the putting in of good words, and other kinds of direct influence. All of this is a replication of the way corporations in America gain power and capital."

-Excerpt from
"What if the feminist blogosphere is a form of digital colonialism?"

So I went over to Renee's blog today at Womanist-Musings.com

I recommend it, as always. While there today I read her response to a blog post that she was told about that was published called:
"What if the feminist blogosphere is a form of digital colonialism?"

To see my entire response, with audio, that I posted yesterday, to "What if the feminist blogosphere is a form of digital colonialism?" please click here.

There are dozens of comments on Renee's blog about Renee's comment, and some of them involve a lot of people in conversations (debates? arguments?) with Mandy, cofounder of the Feminist Review website, and who is also one of the two authors of "What if the feminist blogosphere is a form of digital colonialism?"

So I am copying and pasting the comment that I left there below the dashed line. Keep in mind that everything in brackets is something that I added later once I posted to this blog.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Renee, Mandy, and everyone having this conversation,

Thank you very much for each one of you who are engaging in this conversation.

I am a Black Male feminist and I have been giving workshops around the country about this type of colonialism and oppression within the feminist and progressive movement for years…and writing about it and posting about it steadily for the last three weeks.

I have seen the crisis grow exponentially worse in the last year no doubt due to the economy getting worse…thus, in turn mainstream feminists needing to censor and disregard more of the issues of people of color.

For the sake of those who are probably tired of reading comments (or who have physical challenges that may find an audio response more convenient), I posted my text and audio response here:
http://savethepoorbrownchildren.blogspot.com/2009/02/stop-censoring-and-attacking-lucy.html

To all of those women of color and other marginalized people who gave input on this issue before and after Mandy and Brittany (the authors of the post) I say: Keep up the Great Work.

To Mandy and Brittany and the owner of the blog at Professor What if and to Renee, for starting this discussion and thread on this blog, I say: Keep up the Great Work.

Renee started this post on Wednesday, February 18, 2009 and I have taken the time to read every single comment (70 at last count) on this thread and read a few of the links given or mentioned and while I agree that conversation is important, I am still left wondering... when are we going to see something done to stop the way things are?

I definitely want to see a change. I want to see a change to the random censorship that WOC and POC face on the major feminist and the smaller feminist blogs. I want to see a change to all of the violent attacks that POC receive when we visit major feminist blogs and say something that non-POC don't like... and the owners of the blogs just sit there.

I want to see a change in the number of feminist blogs who censor conversation about immigration, capitalism, globalization..and yes, digital colonialism in the feminist blogosphere, because they think it doesn't exist. Renee eloquently said:
"Being a WOC blogger who is determined to insist that feminist conversations include race means that all of those who do not want to own their privilege often feel very off put by what I have to say. "
I feel that this type of bias is also amplified in the case of a Male, Black, feminist, such as myself, who are determined to insist that feminist conversations include race means that all of those who do not want to own their privilege often feel very off put by what I have to say. "

Although there have been many people supportive of what I and other male feminists have had to say, such as Renee, there are those who want to discount the voice of Male Feminists (or overtly discriminate) and they are every bit as gender biased as those Radical feminist who continue to practice transphobia [This links to a blog post by Renee that includes some Radical feminists who openly practice Transphobia].

To hear people, even on this thread, continue to talk about the importance of linking, is quite the spit in the face. Take a survey [
Please, take some time and actually take a survey] of the top feminist blogs (or even the minor feminist blogs)... and count how many Male People of color, feminist bloggers they link to. I've visited many of those major blogs and I already know you'll see several White Male feminists, and links to White males (some of whom are even Male porn profiteers)... you'll see lots of female people of color feminists, but what about the male feminist people of color? Not just Blacks but people of others races. If we are going to strengthen a feminist movement across gender lines at some point the linking has to be equal as well. In many ways the anger that some of you feel towards Mandy and Brittany was justified...yet, I cannot help to say that there is a double standard being used against Mandy and Brittany in regards to the linking issue [that many people mentioned in the comment section of Mandy and Brittany's article and in many of the other blogs that criticized their article] and a few other issues and I find it very offensive. I think the fact they they are White enables them to have a different perspective that should be welcome although I do acknowledge all the mistakes they made and as a POC who has also been speaking about this issue I do feel the pain of some of those who spoke up.

So when do we start working on the solution... together?
I think I also agree with Kristjan Wager's comment above when she said that "unless we actually move somewhere, it will end up like so many of these have done before - with anger, frustration, and no change."
Renee, if you are going to move somewhere with this, I welcome it and encourage it. Or, Mandy, or anyone reading this, if you are going to move somewhere with this, please do so we don't end up with more anger, frustration, and no change.

Thank you to everyone,

If I offended anyone it was not intentional.

I love you all.

Solidarity for a world of peace, equality and an end to patriarchy... particularly institutionalized patriarchy…within our lifetime,

Love for the people,
-T

p.s.
Often there are people who read about a crisis and say: "What can I do differently?" I recommend that they do exactly as Mandy and Brittany have suggested:
"...whether we’re pleased to admit it or not, competition among feminist blogs is a liability to the feminist movement. We should take a lesson from Cosmopolitan editor Helen Gurley Brown, who teamed up with Gloria Steinem to help Ms. through the magazine’s financial troubles in the late-70s. The two were viewed as enemies because of their public criticism of the other’s ideological stance. But when push came to shove, Gurley Brown not only donated $1000 of her own money to Ms., she also went with Steinem to her own publisher’s family foundation to plead Ms. magazine’s case saying, “If you have one good woman’s magazine, it does not mean you cannot have three or four or nine,” putting into practice her vision of sisterhood among women and looking for points of similarity that might bring them together."
I have copied and pasted links from a bunch of different blogs and placed them in one easy blog roll of over 1,900 blogs. Most of the are very progressive but I already know that I won't agree with all of them, and yet just like Brown and Steinem I have to put aside some of my difference. I have placed some of the most outspokenly feminist blogs at the top of that blogroll. If you want to do it, you can simply follow these three simple steps:

Step 1. Click here to see my blogroll and then open a second window to create a new blog post.

Step 2. Title the new blog post: 'Blog Roll.' Then copy and paste my blog roll into your new post area. Rearrange the order of the blog list if you like, add any blogs that you don't see there and delete a few that perhaps that are just 'too much' for you. Make sure to add your own blog to the top of the list, so that when you encourage others to copy and paste the blogroll, you will already be on there. Also, make sure you click on 'post options' at the bottom of the screen (if you have a blogspot account) so that way you can change the date to make the date older than your first blog post so the new blog post doesn't show up at the top of your screen.

Step 3. Place a link called 'Blog Roll' on the front of your blog and link the text to the URL (web address) of the new post. And you're done! :)

Here is step by step process on how to place a Blog Roll link on your blog:

Step A. If you have a blogspot (blogger account) you can do that by going to your dashboard, clicking on 'Layout,' and clicking on 'add a gadet' and then when the list of gadgets appear click on the blue button next to the gadget called 'Link List.'

Place the URL into the URL field marked: "New Site URL" and place Blog Roll into the two text fields and it will appear on your blog exactly as it appears on personal blog here and on this group blog.

Solidarity for a better world! ;)

Oh, for those of you have managed to come up with an excuse not to link to:
  • Black, Feminist women
  • Black, feminist men
  • Feminist People of color
  • Feminist Sex workers
  • or LGBTQI Feminists...Congratulations! You probably have membership in the 'Good Ole Girl’s Network.' Your prize is that I encourage you to read the below inspiring quote that was published on the Common Dreams website in May 2008t:

"The progressive blogosphere is segregated," said McCauley, whose What About Our Daughters blog was accepted to the DNC's blogger pool. Essence magazine named McCauley one of its 25 most influential people last year alongside Illinois Sen. Barack Obama and filmmaker Tyler Perry. "Black bloggers link to other black bloggers, and progressive white bloggers link to other white progressive bloggers," she said.

It was published by Common Dreams and was original published by the San Francisco Chronicle on an article appropriately titled:

"Black Bloggers Fight to Make Voices Heard."


Footnotes:

[1] http://renegadeevolution.blogspot.com/2009/02/tired.html

[2] http://www.womanist-musings.com/2009/02/radical-feminism.html

[3] http://www.womanist-musings.com/2009/02/backstabbing-feminism.html

The below two foot notes were from their original article and that is why you don't see foot notes 3-11 here.

[12] http://guyaneseterror.blogspot.com/2008/03/notes-so-far-from-wam.html

[13] http://www.sealpress.com/blog.php?p=http://www.sealpress.net/blog/2008/04/seal-and-women-of-color_03.php

6 comments:

  1. Howdy T!

    Thanks for your call to action, here. I would also like to see more than theory come out of this kind of post. So yeah, just chiming in to agree with you there!

    Re: WOC only spaces--for at least one blogger who made this request, I don't think it was an intentional slight against men of color; she has a strong history of advocating on behalf of both women *and* men of color; I think it was to keep out the voices of white feminists (male and female) who have done her a *lot* of harm within the past year. Some months ago she was basically driven off the blogosphere by the white feminists who appropriated her work and then ruthlessly attacked her as being "jealous" etc, etc when controversy over it broke out. She only came back to blogging after a long hiatus.

    You can see background on this, as well as her final post, here:

    http://highonrebellion.wordpress.com/2008/04/09/intellectual-theft-is-still-theft/

    http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2008/04/10/this-has-not-been-a-good-week-for-woman-of-color-blogging/#comment-163388

    http://bfpfinal.wordpress.com/

    I'll let these links speak for themselves because I don't know BFP personally; I really can't say what she did or didn't mean. But I do think this is relevant to your post.

    --- Ico

    ReplyDelete
  2. I came over from Octogalore's site.

    First of all, not all white feminists speak grammatically and academically. Surely you understand that not all white women are educated and middle class, while some black feminist men are. There’s a black feminist man teaching in the women’s studies dept that gave me my master’s, and I’m sure he can be just as academic as the women.

    Can you give me a citation about Susan B. Anthony rejecting Frederick Douglass for marrying Helen Pitts? I've never heard that before. I've visited Douglass' home in the D.C. area, which the National Park Service maintains. Anthony used a guest room there when she traveled in the area because it wasn't proper for a single woman to stay in a hotel. The preserved home includes at least one portrait of her. At his funeral, Stanton gave a eulogy for Douglass that had been written by Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

    Douglass' second marriage to Helen Pitts angered both her family and his. Another aspect of the controversy was that he was 20 years older. He lived only 9 years more, before dying at the age of 77.
    http://www.history.rochester.edu/class/douglass/part5.html

    I disagree with your characterization of Susan B. Anthony as being part of a “Good Ole Girls Network.” The majority of white feminists sided with Douglass and others who supported the 15th Amendment, saying it was more important to give rights to black men than white women. (Presumable, black men were supposed to look after black women.) Stanton and Anthony broke with Douglass over this, but were later reconciled.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Dear Suzie,

    Thanks for your comment. This link below will take you to three links on Black Amazon's website. I love the way she talks. Can you show me a White woman blogger featured on a Feminist group blog that speaks that way?
    < http://savethepoorbrownchildren.blogspot.com/2009/02/burning-my-bridges-and-feeling-reborn.html >

    I have had my writing featured in many newspapers, magazines and feminist websites. And I have noticed that when I spend an absurd amount of time spellchecking everything and making it perfect in terms of grammar, it is much more likely to get published. This is not only racist, but it is classist in the worst way of having colonized language forced upon us. Even worse, the editors will often reword it so it is even more colonized than when it started. The Ebonics movement was formed in large part due to such bias.

    Black Amazon mentioned in one of the three links how many feminist websites don't link to her.

    You asked for a reference in regards to Douglass. I am happy to provide a reference this time around because I recall the locations of one of the many places where it has been stated, however, I would like to take the time to share with you a quote from Renee on why so many POC don't appreciate being asked for references:

    "As a WOC I find that I must struggle to find a space within feminism. What I have to say is regularly challenged or met with great hostility. Obviously I am not expert on all subjects however, the continual demand that I supply academic papers to legitimate my work has become tiresome. Why must my work be validated by another, while white feminist bloggers are not held to the same standard? My work is often based in theory however, blogging is not an academic format and it is for this reason that I believe that the repeated request that I provide citations for my work is a sign of elitists trying to control a format that should be equally open to all. Just as academia discounts the voices of women of colour; the blogosphere renders our positions illegitimate and without value."

    That was here: http://www.womanist-musings.com/2009/02/i-am-womanist-because.html

    So I think it is important when you visit the blog of a POC, that you try to show some faith in what they are saying or in this instance, in what I am saying, without requests for citations.

    That being said, here is your reference:

    "...more radical positions included acceptance of interracial marriage. Despite her opposition to giving African-American men the right to vote without enfranchising all women and the derogatory language she had resorted to in expressing this opposition, Stanton had no objection to interracial marriage and wrote a congratulatory letter to Frederick Douglass upon his marriage to Helen Pitts, a white woman, in 1884.[66] Anthony, fearing public condemnation of the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA) and wanting to keep the demand for female suffrage foremost, pleaded with Stanton not to make her letter to Douglass or support for his marriage publicly known.[67]"

    footnotes to references found here
    Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Cady_Stanton

    You said you disagree with my characterization of Susan B. Anthony as being part of a “Good Ole Girls Network.”

    We'll simply have to agree to disagree. Finding that your role models are part of institutionalized racism and feminist betrayal even to the most dedicated, world famous Black, Male feminist can be very hard... even with all the proof in the world.

    You mentioned 'He lived only 9 years more [after his marriage to helen], before dying at the age of 77. Personally, I believe it was the stress from the notion of having so many White and Black feminist and other people turn on him who he thought were his friends in such a racist action..people who he supported for so long emotionally, financially and faithfully.

    I know that feeling well.

    Their is a definite lack of Feminist Linking in the current "Good Ole Girl’s Network.”

    Though, I understand it is because there is no standard code of conduct, so I hope to start working on one soon.

    Thanks for your thoughts.

    Love for the people,
    -T

    p.s.

    Today Sarah posted the following comment to the Colonialism article and it is worth noting in terms of the "Good Ole Girl’s Network.”

    ------------------------------------------

    "On February 23, 2009 at 7:15 am sarah Said:

    Interesting article.

    Also interesting to note that the first blog on the blogroll here, the Alas blog, was sold to pornography marketers for the equivalent of a years’ wages for the white male blog owner. He also receives annual sums from the pornography marketers to keep his blog sited at that domain and thus up the ranking for the links to racist-sexist websites like Bang Bros. I don’t think any female blogger has been able to make an equivalent capital sum from her blog. The owner also made full use of guest bloggers to provide content for his blog and was happy to host anti-feminists to drive up hit counts in wars between feminists and MRAs.

    It certainly bears out your argument that the people who are benefiting the most from feminist blogging in our whitemale supremacy are those at the top i.e. white men, with white women following closely in second place."

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  4. Dear Ico,

    Your comment is appreciated and especially your desire to take action. Here is my first question:

    Do you have any interest in cofounding a blog with me that would only be used for gathering people's responses to creating a feminist code of conduct, as RavenMn mentioned? We'd all decide on the layout, content, everything as a collective.

    Next...

    I have compassion for the pain that BFP and other POC and WOC have felt. I too, was almost driven off the Internet by a White Progressive feminist group blog and her owner and dozens and dozens of profane attacks and racial slurs and that is how this blog was founded. I keep a link to the post at the top under 'The History.' It is also here: http://savethepoorbrownchildren.blogspot.com/2009/02/1st-blog-post-about-this-blogand.html

    But even more importantly, I feel like I am almost driven off the Internet by biased Progressive feminists and their dozens and dozens and dozens of new methods for censoring, LGBTQI and male people of color. It is well repeated fact throughout history that the oppressed often become the oppressors.

    Just last night I posted a blog post specifically stating that I might give up this blog because of the overwhelming amount of bias I see and am learning about directed at people of color by other women (and that includes WOC). Read it here: http://savethepoorbrownchildren.blogspot.com/2009/02/burning-my-bridges-and-feeling-reborn.html

    If we had this conversation three days ago, I wouldn't be naming names. I would discreetly and kindly speak in abstracts as civilized people are supposed to so that no one thinks that someone is being demonized or singled out. Well, after my above blog post about feeling reborn as a result of reading all the barely comprehensible hatred and bias that Black Amazon had to suffer through, I no longer am going to speak in abstract terms because there is so much regular, standard and excused bias going around that no one can even understand what you're talking about if you don't name names. :)

    All I can do is try to speak from a place of love and solidarity.

    It is expected and easier to take bias when right-wing people are biased but it hits you (hits me) off guard when you are attacked by the feminists and the POC with bias.

    And even after all the pain I feel... that still would not justify me discriminating on who could comment on my blog on the basis of not only their 'perceived gender' but also their 'perceived' race...especially if I used a public discussion on colonialism and bias as my springboard blog to give that biased invitation to my private blog.

    I read the links you gave. Thanks for the time. You have a great blog too. Excellent links. I am familiar with the issue from finding out about that group blog owner on wikipedia. Still, your comment about the bias does not justify the bias at all, especially since you did not mention the bias directed towards Non-males (LGBTQI) who were left out of such a 'WOC only permitted to speak' call.

    I stand in solidarity with the LGBTQI who are increasingly being censored by Feminist People of Color. As Black people and people of color we particularly have a time honored disgraceful history of institutionalized, and religiously justified rationalization of transphobia. Renee has a large debate on a thread with at least 350 comments regarding feminists who try to justify their transphobia here: http://www.womanist-musings.com/2009/02/radical-feminism.html

    And those are women who call themselves 'radical feminists.' I once thought I was a radical feminist because of my post-capitalism views and much more but due to the large amount of the self-titled 'radical feminists' who openly, and hatefully practice transphobia... and have all kinds of academic rationalizations for doing so... I can't ever see myself using the label of 'radical feminism.' I live in area where there are a large number of LGBTQI and they are my friends and treat me nicer than many feminists and the idea that I might get confused with one of the hateful pack is just too much.

    So that is not a form of bias I can remain silent about. Furthermore, it was not just BFP, there are numerous people doing it. That is the way bias is as a standard..when it becomes acceptable, lots of people start doing it...hence slavery, Jim Crow, Etc..,

    Please answer the questions that I posed in the article:

    Can you imagine if you walked into a public forum in which people were having a conversation on colonialism in your town...and then someone in the audience stood up and said:

    "I want to continue this conversation about digital colonialism in the feminist blogophere... but not here... as a matter of fact lets take it to my private space...where I control everything... but then I only want to invite certain people.... of certain races.... of certain genders... to be able to talk and leave comments.... and engage in that conversation....oh, and by the way, I only want those certain genders to be defined through narrow minded first and second wave feminism definitions of gender that are defined within our heterosexist, patriarchal, capitalist oppressive system. "

    Would that be acceptable?

    It doesn't look so pretty when you stop to detail all the people being excluded. It only seems justifiable when you phrase it as: 'WOC only.'

    And here is another question...when conversations that only permit WOC begin to produce results that exclude Black LGBTQI and Male feminists of color from the conversations... is that a “Good Ole Girls Network” or is the fact that they have been oppressed justify their oppression (perhaps accidentally) to others?


    Thanks for your thoughts.

    Love for the people,
    -T

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  5. I've long known that Stanton and Anthony were flawed, as are we all. Much as I admire Douglass, I also am disheartened that he did not always walk his talk, in regard to women’s rights. But I’ve yet to find the perfect hero.

    Years earlier, Stanton and Anthony had felt betrayed by Douglass over strategy.

    I appreciate your supplying the link in regard to Stanton, Anthony and Douglass. I didn't know that, and I always like to learn new things. I tried to convey that I wasn’t ignorant of these people, and I’ve done a fair amount of research. I wasn’t asking for an academic citation on theory; I just wanted to know where you got a particular piece of history, especially since you had links to other statements.

    I also asked for a citation because, as you know, people say all sorts of things on the blogosphere and it can be maddening trying to figure out what's true or not. If anyone wants me to accept what they write on faith, I’m less likely to visit that particular blog because I come to the Internet for information.

    I do know that some POC don’t like whites to ask for references. Some women also feel that way about men. On the blog where I guest post, men ask for links, evidence, references all the time, and women get annoyed. I’m disabled and I spend a lot of time educating people who are not. I try to balance my exasperation with my desire to communicate.

    Do you think that men should accept whatever women write on faith, without asking for further information?

    I'm newer to the blogging world than many people. I don't regularly read the big feminist blogs, but when I have seen them, they do seem to be written in standard American English, as do some popular WOC blogs, such as Racialicious.

    To me, one of the most important things that a blogger can do is communicate. I think grammatical and spelling errors get in the way. Grammar and spelling exist to further communication. You mention Ebonics, but that has its own form and function – its own grammar. Here’s an interesting article on the subject:
    http://privatewww.essex.ac.uk/~patrickp/aavesem/EbonicsQ&A.html

    You may know that a number of feminists have complained that most languages are male-centered and sexist. Many of us are trapped in language that doesn’t suit us, and it’s a struggle to communicate with others, without subverting our own identities.

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  6. Dear Suzie,

    No problem at all. If you felt upset about what I said, I ask you to forgive me and I would forgive you for anything wrong you said though I don't think you said anything wrong.

    The forgiveness movement and the feminist movement must go hand in hand in order to bring people from different backgrounds together.

    :)

    Love for the people,
    -T

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