I have already denounced my allegiance to feminism, so some of you may find what I’m about to write as redundant and unnecessary.
There are times when I need to stay away from Twitter. Everyone’s favorite feminist Roseanne Barr once again laid bare her transphobia for all the world to see. Myself and a few other trans* activists called the actress and comedian out on her bigotry, and she of course stuck to her guns.
I shouldn’t be surprised that Barr clings to the Bathroom Meme whenever she spews her transphobia; it’s the only argument trans-exclusionary radical feminists make whenever they are faced with whether they’ll continue down the path of hate or actually see trans* women as human. A woman who continuously links to some blog that drums up the fear campaign against “gender identity” laws and who has pretty much made her stance on trans* women known via books and social media is bound to not have any apologies for her bigotry.
Barr’s tweets and opinions and her legions of fans backing her transphobia reminds me why I can’t identify as a feminist. Traditional mainstream feminism, or Feminism, Inc., has never looked out for me or other women of color; feminism has never had a desire to reach out to women of color and other women who face intersectional marginalization. Feminism as it once was and is regularly excludes women who look like me from their ranks and, in the same breath, turn around and ponder why they have a problem with getting more women of color involved in their organization.
Feminism doesn’t want me and I want no part of feminism.
I reject any idea that women have to go through unwritten auditions be accepted into the ranks of feminism, meaning I reject the idea that a woman must meet a list of criteria to be accepted into Feminism, Inc. I don’t believe in advocating for any form of biological feminism or radical feminism, both of which works to exclude trans* women. I don’t believe in any form of feminism that centers around the trial and tribulations of cis middle to upper middle class straight white women who are insulated from the experiences of other women who face multiple forms of oppression.
I don’t believe in a feminism that uses the old Bathroom Meme scare tactic as a way to drum up support to discriminate against trans* women. I don’t believe in any movement that tells trans* women they deserved to be treated like second class citizens because they don’t fit into a box built by cis straight white women and used to protect the interests of cis straight white women. I don’t believe in a movement that backs a celebrity who perpetuates said myth about trans* women lurking in women’s bathrooms seeking to hurt so-called “real women.” That’s total bullshit, and the feminist movement continues to turn the other cheek instead of fighting that transphobic myth head-on.
I reject the idea that feminism, as a movement, is excluded from addressing white supremacy. Gaining full women’s equality does not and never will lead to the dismantling of other oppressions. Women of color who are interested in feminism are reluctant to join forces with the movement as many of the women in power are more interested in preserving their limited role as the oppressor, granted by way of white supremacy.
Don’t bother to approach me if your feminist organization has no active women of color involved. Any movement towards full women’s equality should have the backing and support of women of color, who are more likely to be on the front lines of the war against women due to the mechanics of kyriarchy. Working towards creating a feminist organization committed to intersectionality isn’t that hard if you’re dedicated to true social justice activism.
I have no interest in serving in a feminist organization that only uses me to gain token points when they need a black face to show diversity purposes. I have no interest in any sort of feminism that believes people of color, particularly women of color, should serve as de facto educators; educators whose sole purpose is to be on call 24/7 to answer any white woman’s question about race and its intersection with gender, sexuality, class, religion, etc.
I have no interest in feminism that feel it’s a-okay to appropriate and exploit the struggles of women of color just to score activist brownie points.
Until feminism fixes itself and rids its ranks of women who have no problems with fighting to end one form of oppression while refusing to acknowledge they collude to maintain other forms of oppression, then I have no interest in feminism. Until feminism checks the likes of Hugo Schwyzer, Roseanne Barr and others who are touted as feminists while trampling on the backs of women of color and trans* women alike, then I will have no second thoughts about shunning a movement more interested in publicity than true social justice activism.
I have no interest in bending and contorting my beliefs and values just to gain acceptance into Feminism, Inc.