I’m not using names because I don’t roll that way, but here’s what spurred this post.
Last week I had several White women decide that I owed it to them to provide a 101 anti racism education. Specifically, here are some of the things they did not understand:
- The acronyms WOC and POC
- Google this phrase “what does WOC mean”
- Please stop talking to me.
- I don’t want to deal with you right now.
Rather than posting their questions in the discussion out in the open, they took it to pm’s on facebook and spent a good hour trying to make me “teach” them.
Now I have done a bit of snooping and both of these women were all over the hashtag #giveyourmoneytowomen. Essentially, this hashtag was about women getting paid for their labor, including their emotional labor etc. Great thing. It’s important.
Now my experience with these two demanding ladies, TDL for the rest of this entry is something that happens 99% of the time when I engage with White women and race comes up.
Like most of these conversations, my “using esoteric terms” (anything in quotes is direct from what was said to me) was considered to be “aggressive, condescending and exclusionary”.
First things first.
If you are American and claim any level of social justice cred and you don’t know what WOC or POC means, you are not doing your job. If you claim anti-racism, but doesn’t know that WOC and POC are actual things, you’re a liar.
The real problem is not the proclamations of innocent ignorance and inability to look up an acronym on google. Those are just symptoms of a larger issue I have in mainly feminist type spaces.
The presumption that the White woman’s proclaimed innocent ignorance is pitted against the Angry Black Woman’s (me) refusal to teach and do the emotional heavy lifting for White women because presumably the White woman is too fragile, too busy fighting the patriarchy to either learn for herself because it’s just too hard to do, or to actually listen to the Angry Black Woman when she’s speaking. The presumption is that the White woman is too important to do the work by herself.
In any other instance, if I told any feminist that she’s too delicate, too ignorant to learn something for herself things would go real bad real quick. The very notion that any woman is incapable of learning or doing for herself is poisonous to feminist leanings.
Unless of course it means doing the real hard work not to be racist.
These women are the latest in a decades long list of White women who decide that their time and energy are too precious to do even the basics to learn about how to not be a racist.
Now when I say no I don’t have time to do this the respectful thing to do would be to say, hey, if you get time can you shoot me some links please? Or, okay do you have time to suggest some stuff? Or just shut the fuck up and leave me alone and go use the internet to learn a thing.
It is the epitome of disrespect and anti-intersectional feminism to me that this keeps happening.
What I’ve learned is that regardless of why (I’m exhausted, I’m busy at work, I have writing to do or I just don’t feel like it) if I the Angry Black Woman (make no mistake, it doesn’t matter what I say or how I say it, I am the Angry Scary Black Lady) say no in any form, it’s a problem
In the context of White women who are so into the idea of women getting paid for their work, unless it is a Black woman who has the nerve to speak in/on a public thing, it’s a problem.
The attitudes that ALL women of color must make time and space to gently lead White women by the hand into the promised land of not being racists anymore, is antithetical to #giveyourmoneytowomen.
It is typical of this sort of movement to on the front end have women raising their fists and getting excited. Until it means that they have to make room for WOC or 1 on 1 decide that no, it’s unreasonable for the Angry Black Woman to give a rate for private instruction.
The private instruction thing is my canned response to demands that I do the work of pulling resources, putting together readings lists and talking White women through their knee jerk I’M NOT A RACIST YOU’RE A RACIST to OMG I HAVE PRIVILEGE BUT I CAN’T HAVE PRIVILEGE OMG NO YOU’RE A RACIST WHY ARE YOU SO SCARY BLACK LADY HOW DARE YOU TELL ME NO-type meltdowns.
WELL I GUESS I’LL READ WHAT YOU WROTE BUT I’M GOING TO ARGUE WITH YOU BECAUSE I DON’T LIKE HOW YOU PHRASED A TEN WORD SENTANCE OUT OF 1500 WORS.
YOU ARE SO ANGRY AND AGGRESSIVE I CAN’T DEAL WITH YOU BECAUSE YOU TRIGGER ME SO YOUR ARGUMENT IS INVALID.
All based on shit actually said to me when I’ve tried to do the 101 education for free.
For years I gritted my teeth and waded in. I fully believed that if I just withstood the initial bullshit, I could in fact lead White women to the promised land where we’d hold hands and sing Old Negro Spirituals together and then BOOM we’d have solidarity etc.
Many experiences, especially in groups where I have been one of few WOC speaking have taught me differently.
I have learned to value my own time and my own sanity and peace of mind. I have learned that my voice has value.
Do y’all have any idea how hard of a thing that was to realize?
So now, I have my own shit to do.
I have a book coming out at the end of the month.
I have readings to get ready for.
I have food to eat.
What I don’t have are the spoons to be anybody’s gentle Mammy on demand.
To that end, here is what I quote.
25$ will net you links to my own work about racism, some commentary and some basic definitions. No conversation.
50$ You get the above, plus five minutes of conversation on the internet.
80$ You get the above and can ask me ten questions.
Now, shockingly, once I’ve quoted my prices I get told things like:
- You’re anti woman.
- You’re anti white.
- You’re the problem.
- You’re selfish.
- You’re why racism still exists.
- You’re a racist.
Blablabla add in some random ad hominem attacks, some being shaded in comments on other things and there you have the magical reasons why I will not engage whenever White women demand it.
Years of trying to do everything to help women like this got me headaches and zero thanks. It got my work stolen from. It has meant I watch the women who demand my time, emotional and literary labor for free, put quotes like that one about be nice because you don’t know what type of day someone is having, they quote Audre Lorde, bell hooks and Angela Davis but this is how they treat me.
So here’s the thing.
Officially if you do this, I see you. I understand what you’re doing and why and I know that your feminism and your #giveyourmoneytowomen is fucking bullshit.
The only thing I have left to say is this.
Check yourself and your fucking attitude before you come for me.
Now in related news.
My book is coming and we’re working hard on some promotion. You have TEN DAYS to get your awesome paws on one of our Self Care Like A Boss shirts. Check em out here!
Next thing HEY Portland lovers. Check this out. I’m reading with a SUPER BAD ASS group of women for Unchaste. No seriously look!
Click the photo to look at the facebooks page.
Now I’m off to go write stuff.
Tomorrow, I’m gonna talk more about the new book and do some more promoting.