Posts tagged woc
Posts tagged woc
What: Nearly There is a zine project meant to address the serious absence and silencing of stories about the experiences of queer people of color. After years of going to zine fests, libraries, bookstores looking for queer zines and POC zines and finding few to none, after…
When there is discussion on how to be sex positive and what that entails, the analysis usually erases the group that needs sex positivity the most: WOC. We as a group encounter higher rates of gendered violence, sexual assault, and rape than our white counterparts. Stereotypes of WOC and history of racialized misogyny is overlooked for the more friendly, fun, “comprehensive” version of sex positivity. Lastly, WOC and our experiences are almost altogether left out in the conversation. How do we change that? White feminism is really good at overlooking WOC and our unique experiences in exchange for a type of feminism and sex positivity that is suppose to be one size fits all generic rhetoric. This is part of the reason why I created this space. To give those groups that mainstream feminism often overlooks. I’ve been thinking about what it means to be a sex positive WOC and how we can reclaim that space and share our stories. In addition, how can white women be more aware of whiteness in feminism and sex positivity as well. These are a few points I’ve come up with and I would love for WOC to sound off on this and contribute.
- Understanding the histories of sexual violence and it’s ties to racialized misogyny.
Understand that yes, women as a whole suffer from sexism and violence, but WOC suffer at higher rates and that the idea of race and womanhood make our experiences different.
Understand that imperialism, white supremacy, and poverty affect how WOC experience violence and it’s rates.
Understand that as white women, you can uphold white supremacy and can oppress WOC just like your male counterparts.
When WOC talk about racialized misogyny it is misogyny that affects WOC specifically due to white supremacy and patriarchy. Because the patriarchy favors whiteness just as it favors maleness.
-Understanding the history of words and language.
This is something I see often. White feminists and white people as a whole ignoring cultural and racial differences of language. A perfect example is the use of ”slut” and it’s reclamation by mostly white feminists. For WOC, the word “slut” is not a word many of us feel comfortable reclaiming. WOC has been over sexualized and fetishized for many years and the word slut can be painful for many. In contrast to white women, whose womanhood is seen as ideal and precious to the womanhoods of WOC. This goes for the word “jezebel” as well. It is a term historically linked to Black women and a sexual stereotype. However, this does not mean WOC do not have words to reclaim and white feminists must be open and accepting to language other women use and want to reclaim. From personal experience in my family, the word “bitch” has been a reclaimed word. All too often when a Black woman speaks up, she is labeled a bitch. This may happen to women of other races, but it happens more often to Black women. We are often labeled “angry”, “irrational”, “mean” even by other women. These labels often are used to silence us, thus making her voices even less visible in movements such as feminism. Another word I’ve had experience with as a Black woman is the word “hoe”. Now as many Black women I know (this is my experience), we don’t use the word “hoe” to mean a prostitute or sex worker. It simply is another way of saying slut. Words like “hoe” and “whore” have been used to label Black women and other WOC as sexually promiscuous regardless of our sexual behavior. So to wrap things up, I think we need to be more aware of how our experiences relate to words and language and not ignore WOC lived experiences/histories and culture around it.
-Understanding cultural differences around sex and how we talk about it
This is similar to the language section above. The language we use to talk about sex, sex education, sex acts, body parts differ. How we have sex is different. This can depend on culture. So when white sex posi feminists write posts that are suppose to be universal to all to how all women should have sex, they’ve erased many groups (fat women, trans* women, disabled women, and of course WOC). And it becomes really irritating when WOC speak out and say, “hey this isn’t something I’m comfortable doing or talking about”, we are labeled as backwards, ignorant, or close minded. A good example is period blood. Not all cultures or religions condone or look at menstruation the same way. Folks not wanting to embrace period blood isn’t necessarily a sign of not being comfortable with their bodies. It could be that their culture have beliefs differ around the disposal of it, the significance of it, or it could mean that person may be triggered by the sight of it. And those are valid reasons and to ignore them is very ethnocentric and cissexist. Another example is how we express our sexuality. Now, white women and white folks in general need to understand that WOC have been sexually stereotyped, over sexualized, exoticize, brutalized, and fetishized for centuries. So when we aren’t comfortable with certain acts declared as sexually revolutionary, it has a lot to do with our histories. On the same token, WOC are very constrained on how can express our sexualities due to the previously mentioned problems. Our bodies are automatically deemed sexual in anything we do. Dancing becomes almost a sexual act in the eyes of others because of this. We are seen as objectifying ourselves and playing into the patriarchy when we express our sexuality or when we are just having fun while white women’s act of sexual liberation is seen as better or good. This is where white feminists must listen and check their white baises before they judge what is a feminist act or a sexual revolutionary act. Even before feminism as a movement was a thing, WOC have been fighting for sexual autonomy. We’ve been trying to reclaim our bodies for centuries before the first wave was even thought of. So when white women write off our acts of sexual defiance as anything but, they are playing into white supremacy and the patriarchy and oppressing WOC.
-Understand that there needs to be spaces just for WOC.
No, this does not mean we’re dividing up the movement or that we are excluding white women to be mean and spiteful. It’s means that, to put it bluntly, y’all fucked up, a lot! For years, we’ve been erased, silenced, and forgotten. This means we have to create spaces for survival and community. We need spaces to share our stories and to create community.
Sorry that was a long post. If you actually read through the whole thing, kudos! Fellow WOC, please feel free to add or even critique what I’ve said. A lot of it is based on my lived experience as a Black woman and what I’ve observed.
and you have spaces you can safely be out in that are not bars that you hope the police won’t raid and publish the names of everyone they pick up in in the next morning’s newspaper
THANK A TRANS WOMAN OF COLOR.
(Courtesy Mary Gonzalez)
Mary Gonzalez told them she was the best candidate to represent them and El Paso voters agreed, but along the way, the 28-year-old doctoral student at the University of Texas at Austin broke her share of barriers.
Sonya Renee- “What Women Deserve”
Culturally-diversified biracial girl with
a small diamond nose ring and a pretty smile
poses besides the words
“Women Deserve Better”.
and I almost let her non-threatening grin
begin to infiltrate my psyche
until I read the unlikely small print
at the bottom of the ad:
Sponsored by the US Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities
and the Knights of Columbus
On a bus
in a city
with a population of 553,000,
4 teenage mothers on the bus with me,
1 Latina woman with 3 children under 3
and no signs of a daddy.
One sixteen year old black girl
standing in 22-degree weather
with only a sweater
a book bag
and a bassinette,
with an infant that ain’t even four weeks yet
tell me that Yes ….
Women do deserve better.
Women deserve better
than public transportation rhetoric
from the same people who
won’t give that teenage mother
a ride to the next transit.
Won’t let you talk to their kids about safer sex
Have never had to listen as the door SLAMS
behind the man who adamantly says,
“That shit” ain’t his
leaving her to wonder how she’ll raise this kid.