Written by Grandpa Dinosaur

“I am a Die Hard Feminist.”

That sentence made me snap back to reality… A reality past, when I once said I was a die hard Feminist.

Today I’ll still die hard, but not for Feminism.

Flash forward to the future. Things are different, I’m older and having a hard time with White Feminists these days. “The Amanda Marcotte incident” is still a huge reminder of the great let down that White Feminists have instilled within me and the distrust of the Feminist Flag.

Amongst the huge divide White privilege and those of colour, White privilege has become a terrifying White Female Privilege amongst feminists. Time and time again, I talk with Feminists about my own problems when it comes to backwards perception of my gender and race and am met with stone faces. There was no feeling worse than the ignorance of the women I sought for help, not only did they not care: my problem was not a Feminist problem.

I remember reading on a blog of how Feminism was becoming a private conversation between a White man and a White woman and I am beginning to believe this to be true.

I want to work with White Feminists but I don’t want to sacrifice my racial identity, my personal identity and my personal ethics. Davita often laughs and teases me for “wanting to be a Feminist” and is always reminding me that “Feminism doesn’t care for us.” Us being coloured women.

It was like when I was a child, and wanted to be a Martial Artist and my parents shook their heads and said: “No, because you’re a girl.”

Because I had to deal with constantly being assaulted by men and being beaten up was a reality despite being “just a girl,” I ended up mastering my own martial art.

Someone ended up telling me the way I fought was reminicent of an existing Martial Art; Jeet Kune Do. I had been fighting and practicing a skill that had already existed before, using its basic moves and the inertia of my opponents and deflecting attacks by flowing through them like water. My upper body strength is laughable, but my legs are strong. Eventually, a lot of men feared my prowess and acknowledged my self-confidence. I held my own and was proud of myself, even when I lost fights.

Despite being a girl, fighting gave me autonomy and made me acknowledge that I could win fights and take care of myself.

To me, Feminism was something I had been practising for ages. But I had my own approaches and beliefs, my stances were different but equally strong and powerful. But when came to Feminism with my self-honed skills (much like the training schools) I was laughed out, my stances were all wrong, I had no form. To me, Feminism became the Martial Artists that laughed me out.

With book knowledge over my human experience, all of my experiences and ideals feel useless to the standard.

But I remembered why I grew to gain those skills, why I fought back against those who would try to jump me in dark alleys or mob me under the pretence that I was a race traitor… I grew them to have autonomy and self-respect, to protect myself from those who would try to hurt me.

I say, fuck those who downplay my experiences and say that they weren’t real and continue to be ignorant of my struggles.

It fucking annoys me. The IGNORANCE.

When I criticize the racism or the inequalities in the distribution of support for non-White causes, I’m often called a traitor of the Feminist cause and told I do not believe in sisterhood.

The truth is, I do not believe in a sisterhood that plays lip-service with promises of discussion and services to the causes of Women of Colour, but does not deliver. I do not believe in a sisterhood that asks me to abandon my race and concerns pertaining to its perception at the door because it is “too mean” or my words are too harsh. I lower my eyes… Understanding that if we all became equals, then White women would lose their power and privilege and I understood they feared that.

I look back and look now and I can’t ignore what people say about women if it’s going to effect me and my people.

I won’t let others shape my ideas and beliefs and warp it into a twisted charicacture of what Feminism is. I believe women should be treated like human being and allowed to have autonomy… I don’t believe in the Feminism that tells coloured women if they support feminism, they will one day gain respect and autonomy, but instead create problems for Coloured women and then eject them from the movement if they refuse to assimilate.

I won’t be silent about the power struggle between White women and women of Colour when it comes to being allowed to speak. I won’t overlook the bullshit of “Anti-Racist” Feminists that refuse to acknowledge racist acts are happening “for the fear of being called Racists.” I will not accept a lack of experience I will not support the idea of colour-blindness if it sacrifices the identity of Coloured people.

I won’t let anyone silence me, if they continue to play a game of inconsistencies by saying I am allowed to talk and changing the conversation when it is my turn to speak, I will take the conversation elsewhere.

I fight for equal love, autonomy and respect for all women.

Call it Feminism if you’re lazy.

This is my Kung-Fu.


~ by l on September 12, 2008.

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