Posts tagged academia.
is terrified lest my anger trigger the explosion of hers; if I fail
to recognize them as other faces of myself, then I am contributing not only to each of their oppressions but also to my own, and the anger which stands between us then must be used for clarity and mutual empowerment, not for evasion by guilt or further separation. I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own. And I am not free as long as one person of Color remains chained. Nor is any one of you.
— Audre Lorde, The Uses of Anger: Women Responding to Racism, 1980. (via fuckyeahfeministartandliterature)
— Chomsky (via thartist72)
Cho, Lily. “The Turn to Diaspora.” Topia 17 (Spring 2007): 11-30.
— Michael Kimmel, The Gender Of Desire: Essays On Male Sexuality (via wretchedoftheearth)
Anthony Monteiro, professor of African American Studies at Temple University.
‘populist’ feminism: because I grew up poor now shut the fuck up
as I’ve learned from the editors of the vagenda, whenever the project of white feminism is put in doubt, just make recourse to a starving person (who you aren’t) and say ‘THIS PERSON CAN’T EAT YOUR ACADEMIC THEORIES!’ because, for some reason, that person can eat blogs. especially blogs about pop culture from a feminist perspective, starving people are sated each and every day by the brave work of defending the good name of lena dunham.
the flipside of the insistence that feminism only be ‘populist’ or ‘non-academic’ is that it takes all of the political struggle that went into creating and sustaining programs in women’s studies and casts it aside, because nobody told us that studying a topic in a post-secondary setting would mean that subject is difficult! feminism can’t be about intellectual heavy-lifting, we’re only talking about women, after all!
nobody says that about particle physics. who is this physicist who says things about physics that I, a lay person, can’t understand? the nerve of it! you’d almost imagine they had been studying physics for 15 years because it’s a complex field of inquiry…
and this isn’t to say that obscurantism (or just shoddy writing) isn’t a problem in the academy. but I’m tired of these played out caricatures being tossed around whenever a supposedly ‘populist’ white feminist is criticized for being facile and racist. the ‘Populist’ White Woman (mid-20s, dopey haircut, runs a blog) chastises the Academic Feminist (late-20s, chic haircut, wrote a book for an academic press that’s full of jargon and impenetrable analyses of the prostitute in Joyce), for not doing more to help the Starving Woman (resembling Pig-Pen from Peanuts and carrying her young child around with her).
and those are the three options: you’re either an academic feminist or you’re a real feminist or you’re one of the voiceless women that the real feminists are always talking about when they want the ‘academic’ feminists to stop calling them racist.
as always, it never enters the equation that there might be, especially now that it has taken up residence on the internet. a startling failure of imagination structuring white feminism. the white feminist imagination can only ever proclaim (from the Vagenda editors to Hugo Schwyzer and all points along the continuum) that ‘what feminism needs is more voices - a whole chorus of them.’
except no ‘academic,’ ‘esoteric,’ or ‘theoretical’ voices… and no actual poor women’s voices, and no Black women’s voices, and no undocumented voices, and no trans voices, because white feminism is only ever interested in those voices rhetorically. because ‘discussing the nuances of intersectionality isn’t going to have much dice if some of the teenage girls in the audience are pregnant, or hungry, or at risk of abuse.’
and that’s precisely where non-white women are in the white feminist imaginary: the audience. white internet feminism will bloviate about choruses of women’s voices, but they freak out when those voices get put to use because, as members of the audience, those voices aren’t meant to speak at all! they’re supposed to sit down and shut up while the dumb members of the panel chide the smart members of the panel for being too theoretical.
and that speaks to the persecution complex, the narcissism, the elitism, and the racism of the white feminist blogosphere. ‘other’ women can speak just as long as they’re not interrupting a white woman.
— bell hooks (via wretchedoftheearth)