Race, Feminism and the Academy: I Got Out of Pocket

March 4, 2013
By

2082f91b9b234521220f6a706700447bWhen The Onion called nine-year-old Oscar phenom Quvenzhané Willis a gendered, sexualized slur, like thousands of others I watched it unfold live on Twitter. In the days following the uproar, apology, and media attention there developed a sense among many of the black feminists I engage with that white feminists either ignored or did not fully engage the incident. In fact, a well-circulated and well-written article at The Clutch argued exactly that. As a sociologist, I thought that the question of whether or not white feminists did not show up for Quvenzhané could be an empirical question. What I did not realize is that as a black woman, I was not allowed to ask that question. I learned from white feminist scholars, and a few non-white ones as well, that there are questions beyond the scope of empirical analysis. Black women like me should just professionally nevermind.

I asked a general question about the feelings expressed by some black women. Then, as I am trained to do, I made decisions about how I would measure and observe available data to provide one specific version of an answer to my question. That is what we call guided inquiry where I study. It was casual but ethical. I was detailed about each decision I made in the process of selecting white mainstream media organizations to examine. I took a look at their blog and online responses to The Onion tweet and then drew some pretty tame conclusions.

In effect, I made the mind-blowing suggestion that race could be salient to the experience of an event with a black girl at its center. I did not even conclude that white feminists ignored Quvenzhané. I made the more nuanced conclusion that some white feminist media covered or responded to the event but few interrogated race and intersectionality. I never use the word “racist” and I certainly did not post an honor roll of all the bad white feminists.

Within 24 hours of posting the commentary to my small blog, I was charged with deliberately publishing research designed to deny a “white male feminist” that wrote “arguably the most influential” article on the Quvenzhané attack his just due. Next, colleagues began forwarding responses from women’s studies scholars. The comments ranged from an argument that I am trying to brutally constrain what constitutes a feminist argument to I conflated feminists organizations with individual feminists to intentionally profit from a cottage industry of racist race-baiting as I plot to destroy feminism from the inside-out. I received long, personal emails from white feminists telling me the high price they have paid professionally and personally for being an ally. They said I spit on their sacrifice by asking how white feminist media responded to Quvenzhané.

I know how trolling works. This was not trolling. These were comments, emails and tweets from scholars who mostly signed their own names or acknowledged that they are in the academy. That is more than trolling; it is a debate among colleagues.

Some of my colleagues do not think that I should be asking questions about white feminist organizations.

I find that fascinating because women’s studies, not unlike the black studies departments to which they owe an institutional debt, organized themselves in refutation of the idea of some questions being illegitimate. It was a male-centric canon, which made inquiries about women “illegitimate”, that galvanized the founding of women’s centers and women’s studies. Most of the contentious comments I received to my post were aimed at assumptions about what motivated me to ask the question. Those assumptions were mostly grounded in who I am, not what I did. There are frequent references to “people like me” with a racist ax to grind. They argue that I am a part of “the some” that want to divide and destroy women’s studies and feminism. In particular, I noted that other articles with almost carbon-copy arguments as my own did not receive the save level of rancor. I concluded that there was something more than the question I asked. I believe that it was that I asked an “illegitimate” question and sought to answer it while being what I am.

I suspect there is a lot of intersectionality at play here. One, I’m a junior junior scholar. I do not get to ask big questions without the institutional patronage of peer review, an adviser, or a senior colleague. More than a few commenters bypassed anonymous commenting to include their titles and institutional affiliations. It was a message about the power differential between us. In the event that I had forgotten my place, they wanted to remind me.

I got out of pocket.

Two, I’m a black woman. I asked a question about race while black so I must have some vast conspiracy to discredit white women and feminism, as one commenter argued. I must, because my interests and curiosity are surely, inextricably grounded in a particular narrative of blackness that bubbles as an undercurrent  just below my every thought, action, and intent. I am black feminist Django on a revenge quest. I am either in step or I am launching an attack. Those are my options.

I got out of pocket.

Three, I was angry and I was not angry. This one I would lose no matter which way I went. Other articles examined experiential awareness of the feminist response to The Onion’s tweet about Quvenzhané. I respected that experience – shared it even – but I wanted to use a different kind of data. I do not propose a hierarchy that puts numbers ahead of lived reality. Experiential and observable data inform each other. However, I went in another empirical direction.

And that really pissed people off. There are several references to my deliberate focus on white feminist media organizations. According to some, I used that decision to write poor women and Arab women and other non-powerful white women out of feminism. I was clear about why I focused on media organizations. I’m an org theorist. I get into media. I like the two of those together. Angry detractors sent me google search results for “feminism” and “Quvenzhané,” saying I did not look for these responses because I have an agenda. In fact, I did not do an analysis of blog hits in a general google search because that would take more time than I dedicate to blog posts. It also wouldn’t answer the question as it would only return results of feminist media and bloggers that did respond. It would not capture the extent of response and non-response, which was what I was interested in. Further, for a quick analysis I think that mainstream organizations are a good proxy for the allocation of resources.

Still, it struck many people that my empirical approach must be cynical. The idea was that I do not get to decide that feminist media organizations are important sites of inquiry.  I can be angry with amorphous “white feminists” but when I start asking concrete questions about how some actual white feminists did and did not devote observable organizational resources to the coverage of a current event featuring a black girl, I am the wrong kind of angry.

I got out of pocket.

As I posted in a response to the many angry commenters, I do not have the resources to make the argument that race matters. I also wouldn’t have the resources to convince you that the sky is blue and not purple. Like blue skies, I thought the idea that race matters is a pretty pedestrian argument at this point. Of course race would matter when the subject is an attack by a white media organization on a little black girl. Of course it would. I thought that went without saying.

And I was right.

It does go without saying when you are not allowed to say it.

I took the comments from scholars to heart as I respect collegial knowledge production and community. You told me I have a secret agenda, a racist ax to grind to pay my bills, and some nerve asking questions I want to answer. Thank you for the feedback. As Eduardo Bonilla-Silva said in the preface to his fourth edition of “Racism without Racists,” you let me know that I am on the right track.

It must be the right track because there is a long history of the wrong people asking the wrong questions at the right time.

The critique has been painful. The attack on my ethics and intentions have been particularly so. I won’t even talk about how it feels to hear it from black women scholars. But, there are many others who engaged the content as I presented it. They did not all agree with me but they also did not attack my right to interrogate the subject.

In the final analysis I decided that if I am not supposed to talk about race in feminist circles then talking about race in feminist circles must be the exact right thing to do.

I just won’t do it in Women’s Studies.

116 Responses to Race, Feminism and the Academy: I Got Out of Pocket

  1. Vernellia Randall on March 4, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    I applaud you on your posting. I strongly urge you to keep critiquing on race AND to do it in WOmen Studies. Otherwise, Women Studies becomes White Women Studies. I say that as person who critique race in a hostile academic profession – law. I have been at it for over 23 years. It is a hard row to hoe but your voice is not necessary. Your perspective is what makes having us in the academy important. If you allow this to silence your voice, (1) you may not regain it even after tenure. I have seen that happen to many people (2) you allow white women to think who are shaping the minds of both white and non-white students to live in a delusion that there are no racial perspective that matters.

  2. Vernellia Randall on March 4, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    I applaud you on your posting. I strongly urge you to keep critiquing on race AND to do it in WOmen Studies. Otherwise, Women Studies becomes White Women Studies. I say that as person who critique race in a hostile academic profession – law. I have been at it for over 23 years. It is a hard row to hoe but your voice is not necessary. Your perspective is what makes having us in the academy important. If you allow this to silence your voice, (1) you may not regain it even after tenure. I have seen that happen to many people (2) you allow white women to think who are shaping the minds of both white and non-white students to live in a delusion that there are no racial perspective that matters.

  3. Vernellia Randall on March 4, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    I applaud you on your posting. I strongly urge you to keep critiquing on race AND to do it in WOmen Studies. Otherwise, Women Studies becomes White Women Studies. I say that as person who critique race in a hostile academic profession – law. I have been at it for over 23 years. It is a hard row to hoe but your voice is not necessary. Your perspective is what makes having us in the academy important. If you allow this to silence your voice, (1) you may not regain it even after tenure. I have seen that happen to many people (2) you allow white women to think who are shaping the minds of both white and non-white students to live in a delusion that there are no racial perspective that matters.

  4. Vernellia Randall on March 4, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    I applaud you on your posting. I strongly urge you to keep critiquing on race AND to do it in WOmen Studies. Otherwise, Women Studies becomes White Women Studies. I say that as person who critique race in a hostile academic profession – law. I have been at it for over 23 years. It is a hard row to hoe but your voice is not necessary. Your perspective is what makes having us in the academy important. If you allow this to silence your voice, (1) you may not regain it even after tenure. I have seen that happen to many people (2) you allow white women to think who are shaping the minds of both white and non-white students to live in a delusion that there are no racial perspective that matters.

  5. fightingwords on March 4, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    Thank you.

  6. fightingwords on March 4, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    Thank you.

  7. fightingwords on March 4, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    Thank you.

  8. fightingwords on March 4, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    Thank you.

  9. Corie on March 4, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    I am very moved both by this posting and your original piece, and I agree with the previous comment that you should absolutely continue to do this work in women’s studies!

  10. Corie on March 4, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    I am very moved both by this posting and your original piece, and I agree with the previous comment that you should absolutely continue to do this work in women’s studies!

  11. Corie on March 4, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    I am very moved both by this posting and your original piece, and I agree with the previous comment that you should absolutely continue to do this work in women’s studies!

  12. Corie on March 4, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    I am very moved both by this posting and your original piece, and I agree with the previous comment that you should absolutely continue to do this work in women’s studies!

  13. Dr. Cookie Newsom on March 4, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    You did nothing wrong except run into two of the unfortunate delusions of some white feminists. First, despite their own frequent habits of saying things like “women and minorities ” in their writings as if woman only applies to white females, they assume that feminist covers all social justice bases, which if course , it does not. Second, you invoked their not so latent need to participate in the Oppression Olympics. “Yes you are black and have suffered but I am a WOMYN, you have no ides the burdens I have carried,. I have white sisters who get race, but they are definitely in the minority amongst white feminists!

  14. Dr. Cookie Newsom on March 4, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    You did nothing wrong except run into two of the unfortunate delusions of some white feminists. First, despite their own frequent habits of saying things like “women and minorities ” in their writings as if woman only applies to white females, they assume that feminist covers all social justice bases, which if course , it does not. Second, you invoked their not so latent need to participate in the Oppression Olympics. “Yes you are black and have suffered but I am a WOMYN, you have no ides the burdens I have carried,. I have white sisters who get race, but they are definitely in the minority amongst white feminists!

  15. Dr. Cookie Newsom on March 4, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    You did nothing wrong except run into two of the unfortunate delusions of some white feminists. First, despite their own frequent habits of saying things like “women and minorities ” in their writings as if woman only applies to white females, they assume that feminist covers all social justice bases, which if course , it does not. Second, you invoked their not so latent need to participate in the Oppression Olympics. “Yes you are black and have suffered but I am a WOMYN, you have no ides the burdens I have carried,. I have white sisters who get race, but they are definitely in the minority amongst white feminists!

  16. Dr. Cookie Newsom on March 4, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    You did nothing wrong except run into two of the unfortunate delusions of some white feminists. First, despite their own frequent habits of saying things like “women and minorities ” in their writings as if woman only applies to white females, they assume that feminist covers all social justice bases, which if course , it does not. Second, you invoked their not so latent need to participate in the Oppression Olympics. “Yes you are black and have suffered but I am a WOMYN, you have no ides the burdens I have carried,. I have white sisters who get race, but they are definitely in the minority amongst white feminists!

  17. Denise D Bland on March 4, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    The feminist movement NEVER DID A DAMNED THING TO HELP BLACK PEOPLE. We should never be complacent when derogatory comments are made about us. If society wants to label me an’Angry Black Woman’ I will wear that title proudly.President Obama is one of the of the most qualified people to hold the office – and look how angry white people are treating him. The feminist movement benefitted white women only!

  18. Denise D Bland on March 4, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    The feminist movement NEVER DID A DAMNED THING TO HELP BLACK PEOPLE. We should never be complacent when derogatory comments are made about us. If society wants to label me an’Angry Black Woman’ I will wear that title proudly.President Obama is one of the of the most qualified people to hold the office – and look how angry white people are treating him. The feminist movement benefitted white women only!

  19. Denise D Bland on March 4, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    The feminist movement NEVER DID A DAMNED THING TO HELP BLACK PEOPLE. We should never be complacent when derogatory comments are made about us. If society wants to label me an’Angry Black Woman’ I will wear that title proudly.President Obama is one of the of the most qualified people to hold the office – and look how angry white people are treating him. The feminist movement benefitted white women only!

  20. Denise D Bland on March 4, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    The feminist movement NEVER DID A DAMNED THING TO HELP BLACK PEOPLE. We should never be complacent when derogatory comments are made about us. If society wants to label me an’Angry Black Woman’ I will wear that title proudly.President Obama is one of the of the most qualified people to hold the office – and look how angry white people are treating him. The feminist movement benefitted white women only!

  21. Celeste on March 4, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    I think that you should be asking questions about white feminist organizations… and so should I. The initial response from these organizations was tepid at best. When called out they hollered like hit dogs, so to speak. There is this thing you mustn’t do in white feminism and that is delve too deeply into racial issues but black women are already there.

  22. Celeste on March 4, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    I think that you should be asking questions about white feminist organizations… and so should I. The initial response from these organizations was tepid at best. When called out they hollered like hit dogs, so to speak. There is this thing you mustn’t do in white feminism and that is delve too deeply into racial issues but black women are already there.

  23. Celeste on March 4, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    I think that you should be asking questions about white feminist organizations… and so should I. The initial response from these organizations was tepid at best. When called out they hollered like hit dogs, so to speak. There is this thing you mustn’t do in white feminism and that is delve too deeply into racial issues but black women are already there.

  24. Celeste on March 4, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    I think that you should be asking questions about white feminist organizations… and so should I. The initial response from these organizations was tepid at best. When called out they hollered like hit dogs, so to speak. There is this thing you mustn’t do in white feminism and that is delve too deeply into racial issues but black women are already there.

  25. Evelyn Navarre on March 5, 2013 at 8:22 am

    I agree that the response of white-dominated feminist media outlets was tepid. However, I don’t agree that either that tepid response or those feminist media outlets in any way represents “feminists” or “white feminists” in general. It is only a sample of those outlets. Probably a better indication — though god knows how you’d do this research — would be the outrage people expressed through social media. These were conservations we had with one another — no less passionately, but less through mainstream sound-horns. So I think people hackles got raised by the implication that no one among white feminists really cares just b/c Huffpo et all didn’t make a big deal out of it. I mean, f-ck Huffpo. It doesn’t represent much. So I wonder what a more quick but thorough way of sounding out for these discussions would be when these things go on.

  26. Evelyn Navarre on March 5, 2013 at 8:22 am

    I agree that the response of white-dominated feminist media outlets was tepid. However, I don’t agree that either that tepid response or those feminist media outlets in any way represents “feminists” or “white feminists” in general. It is only a sample of those outlets. Probably a better indication — though god knows how you’d do this research — would be the outrage people expressed through social media. These were conservations we had with one another — no less passionately, but less through mainstream sound-horns. So I think people hackles got raised by the implication that no one among white feminists really cares just b/c Huffpo et all didn’t make a big deal out of it. I mean, f-ck Huffpo. It doesn’t represent much. So I wonder what a more quick but thorough way of sounding out for these discussions would be when these things go on.

  27. Evelyn Navarre on March 5, 2013 at 8:22 am

    I agree that the response of white-dominated feminist media outlets was tepid. However, I don’t agree that either that tepid response or those feminist media outlets in any way represents “feminists” or “white feminists” in general. It is only a sample of those outlets. Probably a better indication — though god knows how you’d do this research — would be the outrage people expressed through social media. These were conservations we had with one another — no less passionately, but less through mainstream sound-horns. So I think people hackles got raised by the implication that no one among white feminists really cares just b/c Huffpo et all didn’t make a big deal out of it. I mean, f-ck Huffpo. It doesn’t represent much. So I wonder what a more quick but thorough way of sounding out for these discussions would be when these things go on.

  28. Evelyn Navarre on March 5, 2013 at 8:22 am

    I agree that the response of white-dominated feminist media outlets was tepid. However, I don’t agree that either that tepid response or those feminist media outlets in any way represents “feminists” or “white feminists” in general. It is only a sample of those outlets. Probably a better indication — though god knows how you’d do this research — would be the outrage people expressed through social media. These were conservations we had with one another — no less passionately, but less through mainstream sound-horns. So I think people hackles got raised by the implication that no one among white feminists really cares just b/c Huffpo et all didn’t make a big deal out of it. I mean, f-ck Huffpo. It doesn’t represent much. So I wonder what a more quick but thorough way of sounding out for these discussions would be when these things go on.

  29. Maya Olivia on March 5, 2013 at 8:39 am

    I’m not convinced that just because Huffpo et al were not reporting heavily, “white feminists” in general do not care about the incident . I mean, f– Huffpo et al. They do not represent me. And yes, to use the term “white feminists” as if there was such a monolithic thing — well, them’s fightin’ words. There IS no monolithic thing like “white feminism” any more than there is a monolithic thing called “black feminism” etc. It’s insulting to be lumped together with big media outlets that have nothing to do with me and do not reflect anything about me. So my suggestion is that the author more specifically address her criticisms of media outlets instead of painting with such a broad brush about white feminists in general. Extrapolating so much from so little is just bad research and bad thinking. And stop acting persecuted and victimized because her work was responded to in ways that reflected its weaknesses. It’s annoying. It’s as if you’re writing as if you think that these debates haven’t gone on for over forty years. They have. Is this what you intend? Just do better work, like we all have to. Intense critique is part of academia, feminism, and academic feminism. Grow up, buck up, learn and do better work.

    • Krista Benson on March 5, 2013 at 9:55 am

      It seems that you’re largely ignoring Tressie’s points about race and I’m wondering if that is from reading past it or not being comfortable addressing it.

      I’m a a white feminist. I tweeted and engaged on Facebook about Quvenzhané’s treatment the night of the Oscars (and before that, as well). But that doesn’t mean that Tressie doesn’t have a point. Obviously, “white feminists” are a category and a powerful one at that. And although major white-dominated media outlets don’t fully represent me, they mean that a racially-implicated voice that could be associated with me was largely silent.

      Because of white privilege. And the response to Tressie has absolutely been based in part to being a black woman getting out of pocket.

      I don’t need a cookie for getting it partially right and I can also recognize that I got it partially wrong – did I submit a blog to Huffpo about Quvenzhané? No. Did I even blog in my own blog about it? No (though that has more to do with my general neglect of my blog). Is that out of some kind of racist malice? No. But it might be a falling down of my own allyship.

      See, that actually isn’t that hard to say.

    • Erika Nicole Kendall on March 5, 2013 at 12:07 pm

      “And stop acting persecuted and victimized…”

      Wow.

      It is exceptional how [and where] the language we, as feminists, identify as oppressive manages to rear its nasty little head.

      What’s that quote about “They tell you to shut up about your pain, then they kill you and say you enjoyed it?”

      Listen. “Stop acting persecuted” is nasty language. It’s the kind of language people use when they’d rather make you go away instead of own up to or acknowledge the fact that they are, in some way, related to the accused. That’s not okay.

      If you can genuinely look at yourself and see that you weren’t negligent in taking up for a defenseless CHILD, a young girl called an awful sexualized pejorative, then guess what? You can safely step to the side and dust off your shoulders. No one is talking about you, and they don’t have to be. But your need to be highlighted as a special snowflake isn’t more important than the overarching point of the critique; and if you can look at everything that happened and STILL believe your needs as an individual are more important, then maybe you’re not as special a snowflake as you thought you were.

      And I say that with respect.

  30. Maya Olivia on March 5, 2013 at 8:39 am

    I’m not convinced that just because Huffpo et al were not reporting heavily, “white feminists” in general do not care about the incident . I mean, f– Huffpo et al. They do not represent me. And yes, to use the term “white feminists” as if there was such a monolithic thing — well, them’s fightin’ words. There IS no monolithic thing like “white feminism” any more than there is a monolithic thing called “black feminism” etc. It’s insulting to be lumped together with big media outlets that have nothing to do with me and do not reflect anything about me. So my suggestion is that the author more specifically address her criticisms of media outlets instead of painting with such a broad brush about white feminists in general. Extrapolating so much from so little is just bad research and bad thinking. And stop acting persecuted and victimized because her work was responded to in ways that reflected its weaknesses. It’s annoying. It’s as if you’re writing as if you think that these debates haven’t gone on for over forty years. They have. Is this what you intend? Just do better work, like we all have to. Intense critique is part of academia, feminism, and academic feminism. Grow up, buck up, learn and do better work.

    • Krista Benson on March 5, 2013 at 9:55 am

      It seems that you’re largely ignoring Tressie’s points about race and I’m wondering if that is from reading past it or not being comfortable addressing it.

      I’m a a white feminist. I tweeted and engaged on Facebook about Quvenzhané’s treatment the night of the Oscars (and before that, as well). But that doesn’t mean that Tressie doesn’t have a point. Obviously, “white feminists” are a category and a powerful one at that. And although major white-dominated media outlets don’t fully represent me, they mean that a racially-implicated voice that could be associated with me was largely silent.

      Because of white privilege. And the response to Tressie has absolutely been based in part to being a black woman getting out of pocket.

      I don’t need a cookie for getting it partially right and I can also recognize that I got it partially wrong – did I submit a blog to Huffpo about Quvenzhané? No. Did I even blog in my own blog about it? No (though that has more to do with my general neglect of my blog). Is that out of some kind of racist malice? No. But it might be a falling down of my own allyship.

      See, that actually isn’t that hard to say.

    • Erika Nicole Kendall on March 5, 2013 at 12:07 pm

      “And stop acting persecuted and victimized…”

      Wow.

      It is exceptional how [and where] the language we, as feminists, identify as oppressive manages to rear its nasty little head.

      What’s that quote about “They tell you to shut up about your pain, then they kill you and say you enjoyed it?”

      Listen. “Stop acting persecuted” is nasty language. It’s the kind of language people use when they’d rather make you go away instead of own up to or acknowledge the fact that they are, in some way, related to the accused. That’s not okay.

      If you can genuinely look at yourself and see that you weren’t negligent in taking up for a defenseless CHILD, a young girl called an awful sexualized pejorative, then guess what? You can safely step to the side and dust off your shoulders. No one is talking about you, and they don’t have to be. But your need to be highlighted as a special snowflake isn’t more important than the overarching point of the critique; and if you can look at everything that happened and STILL believe your needs as an individual are more important, then maybe you’re not as special a snowflake as you thought you were.

      And I say that with respect.

  31. Maya Olivia on March 5, 2013 at 8:39 am

    I’m not convinced that just because Huffpo et al were not reporting heavily, “white feminists” in general do not care about the incident . I mean, f– Huffpo et al. They do not represent me. And yes, to use the term “white feminists” as if there was such a monolithic thing — well, them’s fightin’ words. There IS no monolithic thing like “white feminism” any more than there is a monolithic thing called “black feminism” etc. It’s insulting to be lumped together with big media outlets that have nothing to do with me and do not reflect anything about me. So my suggestion is that the author more specifically address her criticisms of media outlets instead of painting with such a broad brush about white feminists in general. Extrapolating so much from so little is just bad research and bad thinking. And stop acting persecuted and victimized because her work was responded to in ways that reflected its weaknesses. It’s annoying. It’s as if you’re writing as if you think that these debates haven’t gone on for over forty years. They have. Is this what you intend? Just do better work, like we all have to. Intense critique is part of academia, feminism, and academic feminism. Grow up, buck up, learn and do better work.

    • Krista Benson on March 5, 2013 at 9:55 am

      It seems that you’re largely ignoring Tressie’s points about race and I’m wondering if that is from reading past it or not being comfortable addressing it.

      I’m a a white feminist. I tweeted and engaged on Facebook about Quvenzhané’s treatment the night of the Oscars (and before that, as well). But that doesn’t mean that Tressie doesn’t have a point. Obviously, “white feminists” are a category and a powerful one at that. And although major white-dominated media outlets don’t fully represent me, they mean that a racially-implicated voice that could be associated with me was largely silent.

      Because of white privilege. And the response to Tressie has absolutely been based in part to being a black woman getting out of pocket.

      I don’t need a cookie for getting it partially right and I can also recognize that I got it partially wrong – did I submit a blog to Huffpo about Quvenzhané? No. Did I even blog in my own blog about it? No (though that has more to do with my general neglect of my blog). Is that out of some kind of racist malice? No. But it might be a falling down of my own allyship.

      See, that actually isn’t that hard to say.

    • Erika Nicole Kendall on March 5, 2013 at 12:07 pm

      “And stop acting persecuted and victimized…”

      Wow.

      It is exceptional how [and where] the language we, as feminists, identify as oppressive manages to rear its nasty little head.

      What’s that quote about “They tell you to shut up about your pain, then they kill you and say you enjoyed it?”

      Listen. “Stop acting persecuted” is nasty language. It’s the kind of language people use when they’d rather make you go away instead of own up to or acknowledge the fact that they are, in some way, related to the accused. That’s not okay.

      If you can genuinely look at yourself and see that you weren’t negligent in taking up for a defenseless CHILD, a young girl called an awful sexualized pejorative, then guess what? You can safely step to the side and dust off your shoulders. No one is talking about you, and they don’t have to be. But your need to be highlighted as a special snowflake isn’t more important than the overarching point of the critique; and if you can look at everything that happened and STILL believe your needs as an individual are more important, then maybe you’re not as special a snowflake as you thought you were.

      And I say that with respect.

  32. Maya Olivia on March 5, 2013 at 8:39 am

    I’m not convinced that just because Huffpo et al were not reporting heavily, “white feminists” in general do not care about the incident . I mean, f– Huffpo et al. They do not represent me. And yes, to use the term “white feminists” as if there was such a monolithic thing — well, them’s fightin’ words. There IS no monolithic thing like “white feminism” any more than there is a monolithic thing called “black feminism” etc. It’s insulting to be lumped together with big media outlets that have nothing to do with me and do not reflect anything about me. So my suggestion is that the author more specifically address her criticisms of media outlets instead of painting with such a broad brush about white feminists in general. Extrapolating so much from so little is just bad research and bad thinking. And stop acting persecuted and victimized because her work was responded to in ways that reflected its weaknesses. It’s annoying. It’s as if you’re writing as if you think that these debates haven’t gone on for over forty years. They have. Is this what you intend? Just do better work, like we all have to. Intense critique is part of academia, feminism, and academic feminism. Grow up, buck up, learn and do better work.

    • Krista Benson on March 5, 2013 at 9:55 am

      It seems that you’re largely ignoring Tressie’s points about race and I’m wondering if that is from reading past it or not being comfortable addressing it.

      I’m a a white feminist. I tweeted and engaged on Facebook about Quvenzhané’s treatment the night of the Oscars (and before that, as well). But that doesn’t mean that Tressie doesn’t have a point. Obviously, “white feminists” are a category and a powerful one at that. And although major white-dominated media outlets don’t fully represent me, they mean that a racially-implicated voice that could be associated with me was largely silent.

      Because of white privilege. And the response to Tressie has absolutely been based in part to being a black woman getting out of pocket.

      I don’t need a cookie for getting it partially right and I can also recognize that I got it partially wrong – did I submit a blog to Huffpo about Quvenzhané? No. Did I even blog in my own blog about it? No (though that has more to do with my general neglect of my blog). Is that out of some kind of racist malice? No. But it might be a falling down of my own allyship.

      See, that actually isn’t that hard to say.

    • Erika Nicole Kendall on March 5, 2013 at 12:07 pm

      “And stop acting persecuted and victimized…”

      Wow.

      It is exceptional how [and where] the language we, as feminists, identify as oppressive manages to rear its nasty little head.

      What’s that quote about “They tell you to shut up about your pain, then they kill you and say you enjoyed it?”

      Listen. “Stop acting persecuted” is nasty language. It’s the kind of language people use when they’d rather make you go away instead of own up to or acknowledge the fact that they are, in some way, related to the accused. That’s not okay.

      If you can genuinely look at yourself and see that you weren’t negligent in taking up for a defenseless CHILD, a young girl called an awful sexualized pejorative, then guess what? You can safely step to the side and dust off your shoulders. No one is talking about you, and they don’t have to be. But your need to be highlighted as a special snowflake isn’t more important than the overarching point of the critique; and if you can look at everything that happened and STILL believe your needs as an individual are more important, then maybe you’re not as special a snowflake as you thought you were.

      And I say that with respect.

  33. Krista Bensom on March 5, 2013 at 9:48 am

    Oh, for the love of god, “white feminists” are a category and a powerful one at that. We have benefitted from institutional race privilege and have a troubled history in the US with either ignoring or side-stepping issues of race.

    Tressie studies orgs. That is what she does. She doesn’t do individual analysis of social media because THAT ISN’T HER THING. Looking at institutions that she is labeling as “white feminist organizations”, she recognizes an institutional pattern of tepid outrage or outright ignoring of the racial factors that are involved in this matter.

    Individual white feminists responded to Quvenzhané Wallis’ treatment on Oscar night, yes. But we shouldn’t be asking for some kind of goddamn cookie for being decent human beings and we HAVR TO get better about listening to critique. As I teach my students on the first day of class, not every statement about a group will apply to you if you are a member of that group, but that doesn’t mean that you are off the hook for acknowledging the critique.

    Tressie, I hope that you don’t stop critiquing in Women’s Studies and feminist spaces, though I could understand why you would. Your voice would be missed and we would have poorer spaces if you left.

  34. Krista Bensom on March 5, 2013 at 9:48 am

    Oh, for the love of god, “white feminists” are a category and a powerful one at that. We have benefitted from institutional race privilege and have a troubled history in the US with either ignoring or side-stepping issues of race.

    Tressie studies orgs. That is what she does. She doesn’t do individual analysis of social media because THAT ISN’T HER THING. Looking at institutions that she is labeling as “white feminist organizations”, she recognizes an institutional pattern of tepid outrage or outright ignoring of the racial factors that are involved in this matter.

    Individual white feminists responded to Quvenzhané Wallis’ treatment on Oscar night, yes. But we shouldn’t be asking for some kind of goddamn cookie for being decent human beings and we HAVR TO get better about listening to critique. As I teach my students on the first day of class, not every statement about a group will apply to you if you are a member of that group, but that doesn’t mean that you are off the hook for acknowledging the critique.

    Tressie, I hope that you don’t stop critiquing in Women’s Studies and feminist spaces, though I could understand why you would. Your voice would be missed and we would have poorer spaces if you left.

  35. Krista Bensom on March 5, 2013 at 9:48 am

    Oh, for the love of god, “white feminists” are a category and a powerful one at that. We have benefitted from institutional race privilege and have a troubled history in the US with either ignoring or side-stepping issues of race.

    Tressie studies orgs. That is what she does. She doesn’t do individual analysis of social media because THAT ISN’T HER THING. Looking at institutions that she is labeling as “white feminist organizations”, she recognizes an institutional pattern of tepid outrage or outright ignoring of the racial factors that are involved in this matter.

    Individual white feminists responded to Quvenzhané Wallis’ treatment on Oscar night, yes. But we shouldn’t be asking for some kind of goddamn cookie for being decent human beings and we HAVR TO get better about listening to critique. As I teach my students on the first day of class, not every statement about a group will apply to you if you are a member of that group, but that doesn’t mean that you are off the hook for acknowledging the critique.

    Tressie, I hope that you don’t stop critiquing in Women’s Studies and feminist spaces, though I could understand why you would. Your voice would be missed and we would have poorer spaces if you left.

  36. Krista Bensom on March 5, 2013 at 9:48 am

    Oh, for the love of god, “white feminists” are a category and a powerful one at that. We have benefitted from institutional race privilege and have a troubled history in the US with either ignoring or side-stepping issues of race.

    Tressie studies orgs. That is what she does. She doesn’t do individual analysis of social media because THAT ISN’T HER THING. Looking at institutions that she is labeling as “white feminist organizations”, she recognizes an institutional pattern of tepid outrage or outright ignoring of the racial factors that are involved in this matter.

    Individual white feminists responded to Quvenzhané Wallis’ treatment on Oscar night, yes. But we shouldn’t be asking for some kind of goddamn cookie for being decent human beings and we HAVR TO get better about listening to critique. As I teach my students on the first day of class, not every statement about a group will apply to you if you are a member of that group, but that doesn’t mean that you are off the hook for acknowledging the critique.

    Tressie, I hope that you don’t stop critiquing in Women’s Studies and feminist spaces, though I could understand why you would. Your voice would be missed and we would have poorer spaces if you left.

  37. sharlimar on March 5, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    i read your initial blog. i asked a different question. where are black women/black feminist/black people?
    Harry Belafonte asked last May these questions: Where is the outraged voice of black America? Where? And why are we mute? I ask the same. If this were a little black boy certain self nominated and media appointed black male leaders would have had plenty to say.

  38. sharlimar on March 5, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    i read your initial blog. i asked a different question. where are black women/black feminist/black people?
    Harry Belafonte asked last May these questions: Where is the outraged voice of black America? Where? And why are we mute? I ask the same. If this were a little black boy certain self nominated and media appointed black male leaders would have had plenty to say.

  39. sharlimar on March 5, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    i read your initial blog. i asked a different question. where are black women/black feminist/black people?
    Harry Belafonte asked last May these questions: Where is the outraged voice of black America? Where? And why are we mute? I ask the same. If this were a little black boy certain self nominated and media appointed black male leaders would have had plenty to say.

  40. sharlimar on March 5, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    i read your initial blog. i asked a different question. where are black women/black feminist/black people?
    Harry Belafonte asked last May these questions: Where is the outraged voice of black America? Where? And why are we mute? I ask the same. If this were a little black boy certain self nominated and media appointed black male leaders would have had plenty to say.

  41. Sherrie Allen on March 5, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    You are on the right track. We must address this issue regarding race & feminism. Keep articulating your findings.

  42. Sherrie Allen on March 5, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    You are on the right track. We must address this issue regarding race & feminism. Keep articulating your findings.

  43. Sherrie Allen on March 5, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    You are on the right track. We must address this issue regarding race & feminism. Keep articulating your findings.

  44. Sherrie Allen on March 5, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    You are on the right track. We must address this issue regarding race & feminism. Keep articulating your findings.

  45. Lisa Erin on March 5, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    Evelyn Navarre and Maya Olivia, respectfully, actually read her original article, the one she was so thoroughly attacked for, before commenting (and yes, it is painfully obvious from both of your comments that you didn’t, or if you did that you came at it with blinders on from presuming you were being unfairly attacked). She rigorously addressed her selection of media, her reasons why, the ways in which the data gained would and would not indicate larger trends, etc. It should not have been a controversial article, or set of statements–it certainly was painful to read and hear, but that’s because it made its point, very succinctly, that while the general trend among individuals might be to rant and rail privately on social media, on the whole we sure as hell didn’t turn around and compose thoughtful follow-ups in the way we would (and have) done for attacks thrown at white women far more capable of defending themselves than a nine-year-old child. And it wasn’t just HuffPost–Shakesville was called out too. She pulled a spectrum of mainstream and niche sites with a valid selection process.

    And there is a thing called white feminism, just like there is a thing called the patriarchy–privilege is the product of institutions, and those institutions exist and have effect and matter and need to be unpacked. Feminism is an institution–it’s existed for long enough and had enough history to function that way. Men aren’t a monolith, yet we’re perfectly right in calling out the systems by which they can profit from the privilege of maleness within our society. Feminism has its own internal privilege and marginalization created by the history of the movement, those are equally valid structures to unpack and, when observed problematic, discuss and reject and strive against. Race is a major factor and pretending that privilege only exists outside of the women’s movement is ridiculous. The fact that Ms. Olivia concludes with a patronizing suggestion that Ms. Cottom should “grow up” should really, really bother anyone who regularly discusses feminist scholarship.

  46. Lisa Erin on March 5, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    Evelyn Navarre and Maya Olivia, respectfully, actually read her original article, the one she was so thoroughly attacked for, before commenting (and yes, it is painfully obvious from both of your comments that you didn’t, or if you did that you came at it with blinders on from presuming you were being unfairly attacked). She rigorously addressed her selection of media, her reasons why, the ways in which the data gained would and would not indicate larger trends, etc. It should not have been a controversial article, or set of statements–it certainly was painful to read and hear, but that’s because it made its point, very succinctly, that while the general trend among individuals might be to rant and rail privately on social media, on the whole we sure as hell didn’t turn around and compose thoughtful follow-ups in the way we would (and have) done for attacks thrown at white women far more capable of defending themselves than a nine-year-old child. And it wasn’t just HuffPost–Shakesville was called out too. She pulled a spectrum of mainstream and niche sites with a valid selection process.

    And there is a thing called white feminism, just like there is a thing called the patriarchy–privilege is the product of institutions, and those institutions exist and have effect and matter and need to be unpacked. Feminism is an institution–it’s existed for long enough and had enough history to function that way. Men aren’t a monolith, yet we’re perfectly right in calling out the systems by which they can profit from the privilege of maleness within our society. Feminism has its own internal privilege and marginalization created by the history of the movement, those are equally valid structures to unpack and, when observed problematic, discuss and reject and strive against. Race is a major factor and pretending that privilege only exists outside of the women’s movement is ridiculous. The fact that Ms. Olivia concludes with a patronizing suggestion that Ms. Cottom should “grow up” should really, really bother anyone who regularly discusses feminist scholarship.

  47. Lisa Erin on March 5, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    Evelyn Navarre and Maya Olivia, respectfully, actually read her original article, the one she was so thoroughly attacked for, before commenting (and yes, it is painfully obvious from both of your comments that you didn’t, or if you did that you came at it with blinders on from presuming you were being unfairly attacked). She rigorously addressed her selection of media, her reasons why, the ways in which the data gained would and would not indicate larger trends, etc. It should not have been a controversial article, or set of statements–it certainly was painful to read and hear, but that’s because it made its point, very succinctly, that while the general trend among individuals might be to rant and rail privately on social media, on the whole we sure as hell didn’t turn around and compose thoughtful follow-ups in the way we would (and have) done for attacks thrown at white women far more capable of defending themselves than a nine-year-old child. And it wasn’t just HuffPost–Shakesville was called out too. She pulled a spectrum of mainstream and niche sites with a valid selection process.

    And there is a thing called white feminism, just like there is a thing called the patriarchy–privilege is the product of institutions, and those institutions exist and have effect and matter and need to be unpacked. Feminism is an institution–it’s existed for long enough and had enough history to function that way. Men aren’t a monolith, yet we’re perfectly right in calling out the systems by which they can profit from the privilege of maleness within our society. Feminism has its own internal privilege and marginalization created by the history of the movement, those are equally valid structures to unpack and, when observed problematic, discuss and reject and strive against. Race is a major factor and pretending that privilege only exists outside of the women’s movement is ridiculous. The fact that Ms. Olivia concludes with a patronizing suggestion that Ms. Cottom should “grow up” should really, really bother anyone who regularly discusses feminist scholarship.

  48. Lisa Erin on March 5, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    Evelyn Navarre and Maya Olivia, respectfully, actually read her original article, the one she was so thoroughly attacked for, before commenting (and yes, it is painfully obvious from both of your comments that you didn’t, or if you did that you came at it with blinders on from presuming you were being unfairly attacked). She rigorously addressed her selection of media, her reasons why, the ways in which the data gained would and would not indicate larger trends, etc. It should not have been a controversial article, or set of statements–it certainly was painful to read and hear, but that’s because it made its point, very succinctly, that while the general trend among individuals might be to rant and rail privately on social media, on the whole we sure as hell didn’t turn around and compose thoughtful follow-ups in the way we would (and have) done for attacks thrown at white women far more capable of defending themselves than a nine-year-old child. And it wasn’t just HuffPost–Shakesville was called out too. She pulled a spectrum of mainstream and niche sites with a valid selection process.

    And there is a thing called white feminism, just like there is a thing called the patriarchy–privilege is the product of institutions, and those institutions exist and have effect and matter and need to be unpacked. Feminism is an institution–it’s existed for long enough and had enough history to function that way. Men aren’t a monolith, yet we’re perfectly right in calling out the systems by which they can profit from the privilege of maleness within our society. Feminism has its own internal privilege and marginalization created by the history of the movement, those are equally valid structures to unpack and, when observed problematic, discuss and reject and strive against. Race is a major factor and pretending that privilege only exists outside of the women’s movement is ridiculous. The fact that Ms. Olivia concludes with a patronizing suggestion that Ms. Cottom should “grow up” should really, really bother anyone who regularly discusses feminist scholarship.

  49. Maya Olivia on March 5, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    Sorry if this repeats (my browser is taking a lot time to post and I can’t tell if it’s working.)

    Hey folks,

    The idea that I need to be “higlighted as a special snowflake” is nasty in itself. And no, sorry, “white feminists” are NOT a monolothic category. And my admonishment to this scholar to grow up is something I won’t back off from. If the author only studies ezine and orgs, then she shouldn;t have used the epithet “white feminists.” That was not — or at least did not come across as — only directed at the ezines and orgs themselves. “White feminists” are pretty vast in number and variety; orgs and ezines are NOT. This was badly posed research, poor extrapolation and a lot of self-dramatizing about the intensity of the response. If she thinks this is tough, what till she gets academic journal article submissions back with scathing comments from peer reviewers and has to stand up to it. This is what we all have to do. Academics, feminists, academic feminists — use criticism to ask better QUESTIONS, not to feel sorry for ourselves. The constant repetition of “I got out of pocket” was cloying and annoying. Get off it. This is one of the problems with the rigorous demands of good academic work clashing with the bs more tolerated on ezines and blogs. It’s crap. If you want to be taken seriously as a thinker, scholar, writer and activist, you have to earn it.

    • Maya Olivia on March 5, 2013 at 6:34 pm

      Btw, before anyone starts throwing around presumptions and epithets, I am of French-American, Chippewa, and African American descent. Minneapolis is a long way from Atlanta. My feminisms are many and multi-faceted and rarely reflected or expressed by blogs or ezines. Things are maybe not quite as “black and white” here.

  50. Maya Olivia on March 5, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    Sorry if this repeats (my browser is taking a lot time to post and I can’t tell if it’s working.)

    Hey folks,

    The idea that I need to be “higlighted as a special snowflake” is nasty in itself. And no, sorry, “white feminists” are NOT a monolothic category. And my admonishment to this scholar to grow up is something I won’t back off from. If the author only studies ezine and orgs, then she shouldn;t have used the epithet “white feminists.” That was not — or at least did not come across as — only directed at the ezines and orgs themselves. “White feminists” are pretty vast in number and variety; orgs and ezines are NOT. This was badly posed research, poor extrapolation and a lot of self-dramatizing about the intensity of the response. If she thinks this is tough, what till she gets academic journal article submissions back with scathing comments from peer reviewers and has to stand up to it. This is what we all have to do. Academics, feminists, academic feminists — use criticism to ask better QUESTIONS, not to feel sorry for ourselves. The constant repetition of “I got out of pocket” was cloying and annoying. Get off it. This is one of the problems with the rigorous demands of good academic work clashing with the bs more tolerated on ezines and blogs. It’s crap. If you want to be taken seriously as a thinker, scholar, writer and activist, you have to earn it.

    • Maya Olivia on March 5, 2013 at 6:34 pm

      Btw, before anyone starts throwing around presumptions and epithets, I am of French-American, Chippewa, and African American descent. Minneapolis is a long way from Atlanta. My feminisms are many and multi-faceted and rarely reflected or expressed by blogs or ezines. Things are maybe not quite as “black and white” here.

  51. Maya Olivia on March 5, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    Sorry if this repeats (my browser is taking a lot time to post and I can’t tell if it’s working.)

    Hey folks,

    The idea that I need to be “higlighted as a special snowflake” is nasty in itself. And no, sorry, “white feminists” are NOT a monolothic category. And my admonishment to this scholar to grow up is something I won’t back off from. If the author only studies ezine and orgs, then she shouldn;t have used the epithet “white feminists.” That was not — or at least did not come across as — only directed at the ezines and orgs themselves. “White feminists” are pretty vast in number and variety; orgs and ezines are NOT. This was badly posed research, poor extrapolation and a lot of self-dramatizing about the intensity of the response. If she thinks this is tough, what till she gets academic journal article submissions back with scathing comments from peer reviewers and has to stand up to it. This is what we all have to do. Academics, feminists, academic feminists — use criticism to ask better QUESTIONS, not to feel sorry for ourselves. The constant repetition of “I got out of pocket” was cloying and annoying. Get off it. This is one of the problems with the rigorous demands of good academic work clashing with the bs more tolerated on ezines and blogs. It’s crap. If you want to be taken seriously as a thinker, scholar, writer and activist, you have to earn it.

    • Maya Olivia on March 5, 2013 at 6:34 pm

      Btw, before anyone starts throwing around presumptions and epithets, I am of French-American, Chippewa, and African American descent. Minneapolis is a long way from Atlanta. My feminisms are many and multi-faceted and rarely reflected or expressed by blogs or ezines. Things are maybe not quite as “black and white” here.

  52. Maya Olivia on March 5, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    Sorry if this repeats (my browser is taking a lot time to post and I can’t tell if it’s working.)

    Hey folks,

    The idea that I need to be “higlighted as a special snowflake” is nasty in itself. And no, sorry, “white feminists” are NOT a monolothic category. And my admonishment to this scholar to grow up is something I won’t back off from. If the author only studies ezine and orgs, then she shouldn;t have used the epithet “white feminists.” That was not — or at least did not come across as — only directed at the ezines and orgs themselves. “White feminists” are pretty vast in number and variety; orgs and ezines are NOT. This was badly posed research, poor extrapolation and a lot of self-dramatizing about the intensity of the response. If she thinks this is tough, what till she gets academic journal article submissions back with scathing comments from peer reviewers and has to stand up to it. This is what we all have to do. Academics, feminists, academic feminists — use criticism to ask better QUESTIONS, not to feel sorry for ourselves. The constant repetition of “I got out of pocket” was cloying and annoying. Get off it. This is one of the problems with the rigorous demands of good academic work clashing with the bs more tolerated on ezines and blogs. It’s crap. If you want to be taken seriously as a thinker, scholar, writer and activist, you have to earn it.

    • Maya Olivia on March 5, 2013 at 6:34 pm

      Btw, before anyone starts throwing around presumptions and epithets, I am of French-American, Chippewa, and African American descent. Minneapolis is a long way from Atlanta. My feminisms are many and multi-faceted and rarely reflected or expressed by blogs or ezines. Things are maybe not quite as “black and white” here.

  53. Corinne on March 5, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    This back and forth is confusing to some of us I think. I posted the original article as a white feminist who agrees with the author. However, I must admit that i do struggle with understanding why as womyn we cannot all work as allies together. I see tons of shaming and policing going on here that disturbs me to the core. I am not a big academic, I will be the first to recognize this but i do understand my white privilege and understand why folks feel that the white feminist movement was primarily for white womyn in the first and second wave of feminism. What I do not understand is all the separation and infighting within the feminist movement of today. I try to look at all things from an inter-sectional lens so i do understand the feelings behind them but not why we cannot all band together to fight all oppression of all sorts. Instead of fighting one another about privilege. All feminists should in my opinion be outraged by the original comments that were unacceptable…as well should be outraged by the fact that mainstream as well as feminist media outlets did not cover this in the manner of outrage it should have and yes as a white feminist i did take some back lash for posting and agreeing with the article on facebook. I concluded that those who were offended did not understand what the writer was trying to portray and hope they could work that out for themselves. I guess i just do not understand why instead of debating we are not banding together to support the writer in her feelings and opinions. I guess I am privileged to be surrounded by multi cultural folks and work hard to understand my fellow womyn and their personal struggles and opinions. I am a graduate of Women s Studies but find i do my best work on the front lines on a day to day basis. Kudos to the academics for continuing to question….question anything that makes them feel uncomfortable (for lack of better wording) exactly as the author has done in this case.

    • Maya Olivia on March 5, 2013 at 9:04 pm

      Thank you for that. From my own perspective, anyone who is accusing “white feminists” as some kind of weirdly defined “group” is not as interested in “working together” as in finger pointing and accusing. Acknowledging race privilege of any kind doesn’t mean being willing to take that s–t off anyone. It’s extremely divisive. Like you, most of my own meaningful work is on “front lines,” but for me that work is both academic and community work among people who are ALREADY mult-racial, multi-ethnic, multi-class, and international. To be, no, there is no monolithic “white feminism.” But frankly, I’ve been out of grad school for a decade, and I have come to see this finger pointing as developmental for grad students. I just wish people wouldn’t do it as if they think they are the first and only people to have ever read Angela Davis, Pat Hill Collins, or This Bridge Called My back. Many of us have been out in the world a lot longer than this grad student. It’s hard not to read this stuff and feel like our lives, our work and our contributions are being completely disrespected just b/c goddamn ezines and blogs aren’t reporting on what she wants them to. Weird.

      • Krista Benson on March 5, 2013 at 10:12 pm

        Yeah, and that doesn’t come across as aggressive and condescending at all. You actually don’t know a damn thing about Tressie or the rest of us and, my dear, I also completed my master’s degree a decade ago.

        But please, tell us more about how much you know.

        • Maya Olivia on March 6, 2013 at 1:46 pm

          I don’t know, you’re right. And now, because of all this puerile finger-pointing, I don’t care to know. A VERY sufficient way of alienating people who might have been allies: you can’t dish it out, but you can’t take it. Playground tussles. If you don’t want “aggression and condescension” from other feminists — black, native, white, hispanic — then don’t deal it out. This is not rocket science. I did an MA in women’s studies, and a doctorate in history. But then, so what. This kind of credentials-swinging is stupid anyway. It’s not the credentials that matter, but the work we do and the way we write. We all EARN our audiences and our readers. We EARN being taken seriously. It’s not sufficient to rattel ofd degrees or racial identities in order to establish authority. It’s not sufficent to play “oppression olympics” and cop this “more oppressed than thou” garbage. Again, grow up. Ezines and blogs to NOT change the world; they barely change anything, and the connection of online work to real-time activism has never been proven. In fact, I would LOVE to see THAT research done, but it would have to be undertaken by people who can actually communicate with others (incling — GASP! — actual “white feminists!) outside academic competitiveness and one-upsmanship. Not seeing to many people up for THAT work around this site.

          • Tamura A. Lomax on March 6, 2013 at 3:24 pm

            Please note: the work/arguments in this thread are not the work(s) of this “site.” TFW is made up of a Collective that spans multiple racial etc. etc. etc. lines. We take up multiple and differing feminist positionalities simultaneously. We support this essay and Cottom’s right to write it. Still, the views of the Collective cannot be totalized by a single essay. That said, we’re an extremely, but respectfully, diverse family of writers. This conversation proves to us, however, that there’s a lot of work still to be done in this area. Perhaps many of you will respond to our forthcoming CFP on race, racism, and anti-racism in feminism. We’ll be exploring the problems AND possible inroads toward solidarity. Because *this* is the work that we’re about.

          • Krista Benson on March 6, 2013 at 3:31 pm

            I’m going to interact with the part of your comment that isn’t attacking, because I’m not here for that kind of conversation.

            There are a number of people doing that work, looking at the relationship between online activism and social change movements and involvement in the physical world. Some of them are in traditional academia, some aren’t. But I think that it is pretty limited to say that “online activism doesn’t change the world.” Online activism spans a huge range of applications, norms, and audiences. We can look to some of the activism done on twitter to call out Michael Moore on normalizing victim-blaming (#mooreandme) or some of the attention and pressure brought when Laura Ling was being held in North Korea and her release from detention to see that there is a relationship between change in the physical world and online spaces.

            There’s also a lot of data on subjectivity, support, and the experiences of women of color in building communities online.

            In fact, that is the “work” that is being discussed in a lot of spaces and is important work. I would love to see what you bring to the table after you’ve made yourself familiar with what is already present.

      • Maya Olivia on March 6, 2013 at 8:30 am

        ….Come to think of it, it’s also a way to score points over and just be “better than,” isn’t it? Deciding what “those people” should be doing — “those white feminists,” “those men,” whomever. Grad students are so COMPETETIVE, man. What a bore.

  54. Corinne on March 5, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    This back and forth is confusing to some of us I think. I posted the original article as a white feminist who agrees with the author. However, I must admit that i do struggle with understanding why as womyn we cannot all work as allies together. I see tons of shaming and policing going on here that disturbs me to the core. I am not a big academic, I will be the first to recognize this but i do understand my white privilege and understand why folks feel that the white feminist movement was primarily for white womyn in the first and second wave of feminism. What I do not understand is all the separation and infighting within the feminist movement of today. I try to look at all things from an inter-sectional lens so i do understand the feelings behind them but not why we cannot all band together to fight all oppression of all sorts. Instead of fighting one another about privilege. All feminists should in my opinion be outraged by the original comments that were unacceptable…as well should be outraged by the fact that mainstream as well as feminist media outlets did not cover this in the manner of outrage it should have and yes as a white feminist i did take some back lash for posting and agreeing with the article on facebook. I concluded that those who were offended did not understand what the writer was trying to portray and hope they could work that out for themselves. I guess i just do not understand why instead of debating we are not banding together to support the writer in her feelings and opinions. I guess I am privileged to be surrounded by multi cultural folks and work hard to understand my fellow womyn and their personal struggles and opinions. I am a graduate of Women s Studies but find i do my best work on the front lines on a day to day basis. Kudos to the academics for continuing to question….question anything that makes them feel uncomfortable (for lack of better wording) exactly as the author has done in this case.

    • Maya Olivia on March 5, 2013 at 9:04 pm

      Thank you for that. From my own perspective, anyone who is accusing “white feminists” as some kind of weirdly defined “group” is not as interested in “working together” as in finger pointing and accusing. Acknowledging race privilege of any kind doesn’t mean being willing to take that s–t off anyone. It’s extremely divisive. Like you, most of my own meaningful work is on “front lines,” but for me that work is both academic and community work among people who are ALREADY mult-racial, multi-ethnic, multi-class, and international. To be, no, there is no monolithic “white feminism.” But frankly, I’ve been out of grad school for a decade, and I have come to see this finger pointing as developmental for grad students. I just wish people wouldn’t do it as if they think they are the first and only people to have ever read Angela Davis, Pat Hill Collins, or This Bridge Called My back. Many of us have been out in the world a lot longer than this grad student. It’s hard not to read this stuff and feel like our lives, our work and our contributions are being completely disrespected just b/c goddamn ezines and blogs aren’t reporting on what she wants them to. Weird.

      • Krista Benson on March 5, 2013 at 10:12 pm

        Yeah, and that doesn’t come across as aggressive and condescending at all. You actually don’t know a damn thing about Tressie or the rest of us and, my dear, I also completed my master’s degree a decade ago.

        But please, tell us more about how much you know.

        • Maya Olivia on March 6, 2013 at 1:46 pm

          I don’t know, you’re right. And now, because of all this puerile finger-pointing, I don’t care to know. A VERY sufficient way of alienating people who might have been allies: you can’t dish it out, but you can’t take it. Playground tussles. If you don’t want “aggression and condescension” from other feminists — black, native, white, hispanic — then don’t deal it out. This is not rocket science. I did an MA in women’s studies, and a doctorate in history. But then, so what. This kind of credentials-swinging is stupid anyway. It’s not the credentials that matter, but the work we do and the way we write. We all EARN our audiences and our readers. We EARN being taken seriously. It’s not sufficient to rattel ofd degrees or racial identities in order to establish authority. It’s not sufficent to play “oppression olympics” and cop this “more oppressed than thou” garbage. Again, grow up. Ezines and blogs to NOT change the world; they barely change anything, and the connection of online work to real-time activism has never been proven. In fact, I would LOVE to see THAT research done, but it would have to be undertaken by people who can actually communicate with others (incling — GASP! — actual “white feminists!) outside academic competitiveness and one-upsmanship. Not seeing to many people up for THAT work around this site.

          • Tamura A. Lomax on March 6, 2013 at 3:24 pm

            Please note: the work/arguments in this thread are not the work(s) of this “site.” TFW is made up of a Collective that spans multiple racial etc. etc. etc. lines. We take up multiple and differing feminist positionalities simultaneously. We support this essay and Cottom’s right to write it. Still, the views of the Collective cannot be totalized by a single essay. That said, we’re an extremely, but respectfully, diverse family of writers. This conversation proves to us, however, that there’s a lot of work still to be done in this area. Perhaps many of you will respond to our forthcoming CFP on race, racism, and anti-racism in feminism. We’ll be exploring the problems AND possible inroads toward solidarity. Because *this* is the work that we’re about.

          • Krista Benson on March 6, 2013 at 3:31 pm

            I’m going to interact with the part of your comment that isn’t attacking, because I’m not here for that kind of conversation.

            There are a number of people doing that work, looking at the relationship between online activism and social change movements and involvement in the physical world. Some of them are in traditional academia, some aren’t. But I think that it is pretty limited to say that “online activism doesn’t change the world.” Online activism spans a huge range of applications, norms, and audiences. We can look to some of the activism done on twitter to call out Michael Moore on normalizing victim-blaming (#mooreandme) or some of the attention and pressure brought when Laura Ling was being held in North Korea and her release from detention to see that there is a relationship between change in the physical world and online spaces.

            There’s also a lot of data on subjectivity, support, and the experiences of women of color in building communities online.

            In fact, that is the “work” that is being discussed in a lot of spaces and is important work. I would love to see what you bring to the table after you’ve made yourself familiar with what is already present.

      • Maya Olivia on March 6, 2013 at 8:30 am

        ….Come to think of it, it’s also a way to score points over and just be “better than,” isn’t it? Deciding what “those people” should be doing — “those white feminists,” “those men,” whomever. Grad students are so COMPETETIVE, man. What a bore.

  55. Corinne on March 5, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    This back and forth is confusing to some of us I think. I posted the original article as a white feminist who agrees with the author. However, I must admit that i do struggle with understanding why as womyn we cannot all work as allies together. I see tons of shaming and policing going on here that disturbs me to the core. I am not a big academic, I will be the first to recognize this but i do understand my white privilege and understand why folks feel that the white feminist movement was primarily for white womyn in the first and second wave of feminism. What I do not understand is all the separation and infighting within the feminist movement of today. I try to look at all things from an inter-sectional lens so i do understand the feelings behind them but not why we cannot all band together to fight all oppression of all sorts. Instead of fighting one another about privilege. All feminists should in my opinion be outraged by the original comments that were unacceptable…as well should be outraged by the fact that mainstream as well as feminist media outlets did not cover this in the manner of outrage it should have and yes as a white feminist i did take some back lash for posting and agreeing with the article on facebook. I concluded that those who were offended did not understand what the writer was trying to portray and hope they could work that out for themselves. I guess i just do not understand why instead of debating we are not banding together to support the writer in her feelings and opinions. I guess I am privileged to be surrounded by multi cultural folks and work hard to understand my fellow womyn and their personal struggles and opinions. I am a graduate of Women s Studies but find i do my best work on the front lines on a day to day basis. Kudos to the academics for continuing to question….question anything that makes them feel uncomfortable (for lack of better wording) exactly as the author has done in this case.

    • Maya Olivia on March 5, 2013 at 9:04 pm

      Thank you for that. From my own perspective, anyone who is accusing “white feminists” as some kind of weirdly defined “group” is not as interested in “working together” as in finger pointing and accusing. Acknowledging race privilege of any kind doesn’t mean being willing to take that s–t off anyone. It’s extremely divisive. Like you, most of my own meaningful work is on “front lines,” but for me that work is both academic and community work among people who are ALREADY mult-racial, multi-ethnic, multi-class, and international. To be, no, there is no monolithic “white feminism.” But frankly, I’ve been out of grad school for a decade, and I have come to see this finger pointing as developmental for grad students. I just wish people wouldn’t do it as if they think they are the first and only people to have ever read Angela Davis, Pat Hill Collins, or This Bridge Called My back. Many of us have been out in the world a lot longer than this grad student. It’s hard not to read this stuff and feel like our lives, our work and our contributions are being completely disrespected just b/c goddamn ezines and blogs aren’t reporting on what she wants them to. Weird.

      • Krista Benson on March 5, 2013 at 10:12 pm

        Yeah, and that doesn’t come across as aggressive and condescending at all. You actually don’t know a damn thing about Tressie or the rest of us and, my dear, I also completed my master’s degree a decade ago.

        But please, tell us more about how much you know.

        • Maya Olivia on March 6, 2013 at 1:46 pm

          I don’t know, you’re right. And now, because of all this puerile finger-pointing, I don’t care to know. A VERY sufficient way of alienating people who might have been allies: you can’t dish it out, but you can’t take it. Playground tussles. If you don’t want “aggression and condescension” from other feminists — black, native, white, hispanic — then don’t deal it out. This is not rocket science. I did an MA in women’s studies, and a doctorate in history. But then, so what. This kind of credentials-swinging is stupid anyway. It’s not the credentials that matter, but the work we do and the way we write. We all EARN our audiences and our readers. We EARN being taken seriously. It’s not sufficient to rattel ofd degrees or racial identities in order to establish authority. It’s not sufficent to play “oppression olympics” and cop this “more oppressed than thou” garbage. Again, grow up. Ezines and blogs to NOT change the world; they barely change anything, and the connection of online work to real-time activism has never been proven. In fact, I would LOVE to see THAT research done, but it would have to be undertaken by people who can actually communicate with others (incling — GASP! — actual “white feminists!) outside academic competitiveness and one-upsmanship. Not seeing to many people up for THAT work around this site.

          • Tamura A. Lomax on March 6, 2013 at 3:24 pm

            Please note: the work/arguments in this thread are not the work(s) of this “site.” TFW is made up of a Collective that spans multiple racial etc. etc. etc. lines. We take up multiple and differing feminist positionalities simultaneously. We support this essay and Cottom’s right to write it. Still, the views of the Collective cannot be totalized by a single essay. That said, we’re an extremely, but respectfully, diverse family of writers. This conversation proves to us, however, that there’s a lot of work still to be done in this area. Perhaps many of you will respond to our forthcoming CFP on race, racism, and anti-racism in feminism. We’ll be exploring the problems AND possible inroads toward solidarity. Because *this* is the work that we’re about.

          • Krista Benson on March 6, 2013 at 3:31 pm

            I’m going to interact with the part of your comment that isn’t attacking, because I’m not here for that kind of conversation.

            There are a number of people doing that work, looking at the relationship between online activism and social change movements and involvement in the physical world. Some of them are in traditional academia, some aren’t. But I think that it is pretty limited to say that “online activism doesn’t change the world.” Online activism spans a huge range of applications, norms, and audiences. We can look to some of the activism done on twitter to call out Michael Moore on normalizing victim-blaming (#mooreandme) or some of the attention and pressure brought when Laura Ling was being held in North Korea and her release from detention to see that there is a relationship between change in the physical world and online spaces.

            There’s also a lot of data on subjectivity, support, and the experiences of women of color in building communities online.

            In fact, that is the “work” that is being discussed in a lot of spaces and is important work. I would love to see what you bring to the table after you’ve made yourself familiar with what is already present.

      • Maya Olivia on March 6, 2013 at 8:30 am

        ….Come to think of it, it’s also a way to score points over and just be “better than,” isn’t it? Deciding what “those people” should be doing — “those white feminists,” “those men,” whomever. Grad students are so COMPETETIVE, man. What a bore.

  56. Corinne on March 5, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    This back and forth is confusing to some of us I think. I posted the original article as a white feminist who agrees with the author. However, I must admit that i do struggle with understanding why as womyn we cannot all work as allies together. I see tons of shaming and policing going on here that disturbs me to the core. I am not a big academic, I will be the first to recognize this but i do understand my white privilege and understand why folks feel that the white feminist movement was primarily for white womyn in the first and second wave of feminism. What I do not understand is all the separation and infighting within the feminist movement of today. I try to look at all things from an inter-sectional lens so i do understand the feelings behind them but not why we cannot all band together to fight all oppression of all sorts. Instead of fighting one another about privilege. All feminists should in my opinion be outraged by the original comments that were unacceptable…as well should be outraged by the fact that mainstream as well as feminist media outlets did not cover this in the manner of outrage it should have and yes as a white feminist i did take some back lash for posting and agreeing with the article on facebook. I concluded that those who were offended did not understand what the writer was trying to portray and hope they could work that out for themselves. I guess i just do not understand why instead of debating we are not banding together to support the writer in her feelings and opinions. I guess I am privileged to be surrounded by multi cultural folks and work hard to understand my fellow womyn and their personal struggles and opinions. I am a graduate of Women s Studies but find i do my best work on the front lines on a day to day basis. Kudos to the academics for continuing to question….question anything that makes them feel uncomfortable (for lack of better wording) exactly as the author has done in this case.

    • Maya Olivia on March 5, 2013 at 9:04 pm

      Thank you for that. From my own perspective, anyone who is accusing “white feminists” as some kind of weirdly defined “group” is not as interested in “working together” as in finger pointing and accusing. Acknowledging race privilege of any kind doesn’t mean being willing to take that s–t off anyone. It’s extremely divisive. Like you, most of my own meaningful work is on “front lines,” but for me that work is both academic and community work among people who are ALREADY mult-racial, multi-ethnic, multi-class, and international. To be, no, there is no monolithic “white feminism.” But frankly, I’ve been out of grad school for a decade, and I have come to see this finger pointing as developmental for grad students. I just wish people wouldn’t do it as if they think they are the first and only people to have ever read Angela Davis, Pat Hill Collins, or This Bridge Called My back. Many of us have been out in the world a lot longer than this grad student. It’s hard not to read this stuff and feel like our lives, our work and our contributions are being completely disrespected just b/c goddamn ezines and blogs aren’t reporting on what she wants them to. Weird.

      • Krista Benson on March 5, 2013 at 10:12 pm

        Yeah, and that doesn’t come across as aggressive and condescending at all. You actually don’t know a damn thing about Tressie or the rest of us and, my dear, I also completed my master’s degree a decade ago.

        But please, tell us more about how much you know.

        • Maya Olivia on March 6, 2013 at 1:46 pm

          I don’t know, you’re right. And now, because of all this puerile finger-pointing, I don’t care to know. A VERY sufficient way of alienating people who might have been allies: you can’t dish it out, but you can’t take it. Playground tussles. If you don’t want “aggression and condescension” from other feminists — black, native, white, hispanic — then don’t deal it out. This is not rocket science. I did an MA in women’s studies, and a doctorate in history. But then, so what. This kind of credentials-swinging is stupid anyway. It’s not the credentials that matter, but the work we do and the way we write. We all EARN our audiences and our readers. We EARN being taken seriously. It’s not sufficient to rattel ofd degrees or racial identities in order to establish authority. It’s not sufficent to play “oppression olympics” and cop this “more oppressed than thou” garbage. Again, grow up. Ezines and blogs to NOT change the world; they barely change anything, and the connection of online work to real-time activism has never been proven. In fact, I would LOVE to see THAT research done, but it would have to be undertaken by people who can actually communicate with others (incling — GASP! — actual “white feminists!) outside academic competitiveness and one-upsmanship. Not seeing to many people up for THAT work around this site.

          • Tamura A. Lomax on March 6, 2013 at 3:24 pm

            Please note: the work/arguments in this thread are not the work(s) of this “site.” TFW is made up of a Collective that spans multiple racial etc. etc. etc. lines. We take up multiple and differing feminist positionalities simultaneously. We support this essay and Cottom’s right to write it. Still, the views of the Collective cannot be totalized by a single essay. That said, we’re an extremely, but respectfully, diverse family of writers. This conversation proves to us, however, that there’s a lot of work still to be done in this area. Perhaps many of you will respond to our forthcoming CFP on race, racism, and anti-racism in feminism. We’ll be exploring the problems AND possible inroads toward solidarity. Because *this* is the work that we’re about.

          • Krista Benson on March 6, 2013 at 3:31 pm

            I’m going to interact with the part of your comment that isn’t attacking, because I’m not here for that kind of conversation.

            There are a number of people doing that work, looking at the relationship between online activism and social change movements and involvement in the physical world. Some of them are in traditional academia, some aren’t. But I think that it is pretty limited to say that “online activism doesn’t change the world.” Online activism spans a huge range of applications, norms, and audiences. We can look to some of the activism done on twitter to call out Michael Moore on normalizing victim-blaming (#mooreandme) or some of the attention and pressure brought when Laura Ling was being held in North Korea and her release from detention to see that there is a relationship between change in the physical world and online spaces.

            There’s also a lot of data on subjectivity, support, and the experiences of women of color in building communities online.

            In fact, that is the “work” that is being discussed in a lot of spaces and is important work. I would love to see what you bring to the table after you’ve made yourself familiar with what is already present.

      • Maya Olivia on March 6, 2013 at 8:30 am

        ….Come to think of it, it’s also a way to score points over and just be “better than,” isn’t it? Deciding what “those people” should be doing — “those white feminists,” “those men,” whomever. Grad students are so COMPETETIVE, man. What a bore.

  57. enid lee on March 5, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    I want to remind Sister Tressie who wrote a powerful and truthful article that the truth hurts and that it is meant to hurt. All those of us who want to grow will remember that growth can come out pain. Thanks for your article.

  58. enid lee on March 5, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    I want to remind Sister Tressie who wrote a powerful and truthful article that the truth hurts and that it is meant to hurt. All those of us who want to grow will remember that growth can come out pain. Thanks for your article.

  59. enid lee on March 5, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    I want to remind Sister Tressie who wrote a powerful and truthful article that the truth hurts and that it is meant to hurt. All those of us who want to grow will remember that growth can come out pain. Thanks for your article.

  60. enid lee on March 5, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    I want to remind Sister Tressie who wrote a powerful and truthful article that the truth hurts and that it is meant to hurt. All those of us who want to grow will remember that growth can come out pain. Thanks for your article.

  61. Krissy on March 6, 2013 at 7:15 am

    Since this err seems to be relevant in the conversation I am white. I consider myself a feminist but I don’t get the impression I bandy it about quite like a sword. I just don’t take shit and I point it out where I see it.

    I lead a very small life. I managed to luck into being financially secure. I have little kids and I get to stay home and raise them because my husband makes enough money. It’s not a privilege everyone gets. I left “Academia” because I didn’t want it bad enough. I didn’t want to sit through all the meetings and the droning and the fuss. Grad school was enough to convince me I didn’t want to be part of that.

    The people in power in *any* organization cease to work for the actual purported “goals” of an organization the day they assume their position. Instead they move into working to consolidate power for the organization. Aren’t there petty tyrants in the admissions office at most universities?

    This article right here is actually the first I have read about this incident. One of my friends linked to you. Otherwise I don’t follow any celebrity gossip or news. We don’t have a television. We don’t watch and shows on the internet. We don’t watch many movies. We have a really weirdly isolated life.

    I’m grateful you are presenting thoughtful criticism. I need to know these things are happening. I need to know that I need to specifically teach my children about what bad behavior looks like and how they should react when they hear it. My kids are not going to be silent while bullying happens–even if it means getting hit. That’s part of standing up for the right thing.

    I will go do some research and write about this. I know that the general blogosphere was not part of your research demographic anyway but every drop in the bucket helps.

    I’m really sorry that people are attacking you and telling you that it is for your own good. I’ve never understood the logic of that one. I jumped through their fucking hoops. I proved I was as smart as them. I didn’t need them being nasty to me.

    I went into teaching high school. I decided it was better to corrupt the youth before the Academy got them. :D

  62. Krissy on March 6, 2013 at 7:15 am

    Since this err seems to be relevant in the conversation I am white. I consider myself a feminist but I don’t get the impression I bandy it about quite like a sword. I just don’t take shit and I point it out where I see it.

    I lead a very small life. I managed to luck into being financially secure. I have little kids and I get to stay home and raise them because my husband makes enough money. It’s not a privilege everyone gets. I left “Academia” because I didn’t want it bad enough. I didn’t want to sit through all the meetings and the droning and the fuss. Grad school was enough to convince me I didn’t want to be part of that.

    The people in power in *any* organization cease to work for the actual purported “goals” of an organization the day they assume their position. Instead they move into working to consolidate power for the organization. Aren’t there petty tyrants in the admissions office at most universities?

    This article right here is actually the first I have read about this incident. One of my friends linked to you. Otherwise I don’t follow any celebrity gossip or news. We don’t have a television. We don’t watch and shows on the internet. We don’t watch many movies. We have a really weirdly isolated life.

    I’m grateful you are presenting thoughtful criticism. I need to know these things are happening. I need to know that I need to specifically teach my children about what bad behavior looks like and how they should react when they hear it. My kids are not going to be silent while bullying happens–even if it means getting hit. That’s part of standing up for the right thing.

    I will go do some research and write about this. I know that the general blogosphere was not part of your research demographic anyway but every drop in the bucket helps.

    I’m really sorry that people are attacking you and telling you that it is for your own good. I’ve never understood the logic of that one. I jumped through their fucking hoops. I proved I was as smart as them. I didn’t need them being nasty to me.

    I went into teaching high school. I decided it was better to corrupt the youth before the Academy got them. :D

  63. Krissy on March 6, 2013 at 7:15 am

    Since this err seems to be relevant in the conversation I am white. I consider myself a feminist but I don’t get the impression I bandy it about quite like a sword. I just don’t take shit and I point it out where I see it.

    I lead a very small life. I managed to luck into being financially secure. I have little kids and I get to stay home and raise them because my husband makes enough money. It’s not a privilege everyone gets. I left “Academia” because I didn’t want it bad enough. I didn’t want to sit through all the meetings and the droning and the fuss. Grad school was enough to convince me I didn’t want to be part of that.

    The people in power in *any* organization cease to work for the actual purported “goals” of an organization the day they assume their position. Instead they move into working to consolidate power for the organization. Aren’t there petty tyrants in the admissions office at most universities?

    This article right here is actually the first I have read about this incident. One of my friends linked to you. Otherwise I don’t follow any celebrity gossip or news. We don’t have a television. We don’t watch and shows on the internet. We don’t watch many movies. We have a really weirdly isolated life.

    I’m grateful you are presenting thoughtful criticism. I need to know these things are happening. I need to know that I need to specifically teach my children about what bad behavior looks like and how they should react when they hear it. My kids are not going to be silent while bullying happens–even if it means getting hit. That’s part of standing up for the right thing.

    I will go do some research and write about this. I know that the general blogosphere was not part of your research demographic anyway but every drop in the bucket helps.

    I’m really sorry that people are attacking you and telling you that it is for your own good. I’ve never understood the logic of that one. I jumped through their fucking hoops. I proved I was as smart as them. I didn’t need them being nasty to me.

    I went into teaching high school. I decided it was better to corrupt the youth before the Academy got them. :D

  64. Krissy on March 6, 2013 at 7:15 am

    Since this err seems to be relevant in the conversation I am white. I consider myself a feminist but I don’t get the impression I bandy it about quite like a sword. I just don’t take shit and I point it out where I see it.

    I lead a very small life. I managed to luck into being financially secure. I have little kids and I get to stay home and raise them because my husband makes enough money. It’s not a privilege everyone gets. I left “Academia” because I didn’t want it bad enough. I didn’t want to sit through all the meetings and the droning and the fuss. Grad school was enough to convince me I didn’t want to be part of that.

    The people in power in *any* organization cease to work for the actual purported “goals” of an organization the day they assume their position. Instead they move into working to consolidate power for the organization. Aren’t there petty tyrants in the admissions office at most universities?

    This article right here is actually the first I have read about this incident. One of my friends linked to you. Otherwise I don’t follow any celebrity gossip or news. We don’t have a television. We don’t watch and shows on the internet. We don’t watch many movies. We have a really weirdly isolated life.

    I’m grateful you are presenting thoughtful criticism. I need to know these things are happening. I need to know that I need to specifically teach my children about what bad behavior looks like and how they should react when they hear it. My kids are not going to be silent while bullying happens–even if it means getting hit. That’s part of standing up for the right thing.

    I will go do some research and write about this. I know that the general blogosphere was not part of your research demographic anyway but every drop in the bucket helps.

    I’m really sorry that people are attacking you and telling you that it is for your own good. I’ve never understood the logic of that one. I jumped through their fucking hoops. I proved I was as smart as them. I didn’t need them being nasty to me.

    I went into teaching high school. I decided it was better to corrupt the youth before the Academy got them. :D

  65. Tamura A. Lomax on March 6, 2013 at 11:45 am

    I appreciate the lively discussion. However, I do ask that you adhere to our comment policy (http://thefeministwire.com/comment-policy/). There are many points to be made here, some of which we will be taken up in our forthcoming forum on race and feminism.

    • Krista Benson on March 6, 2013 at 3:33 pm

      Thank you for pointing both to the comment policy and the upcoming forum CFP. Moderating is usually a thankless job, so thanks for doing it.

      • Tamura A. Lomax on March 6, 2013 at 3:56 pm

        Thanks :-)

  66. Tamura A. Lomax on March 6, 2013 at 11:45 am

    I appreciate the lively discussion. However, I do ask that you adhere to our comment policy (http://thefeministwire.com/comment-policy/). There are many points to be made here, some of which we will be taken up in our forthcoming forum on race and feminism.

    • Krista Benson on March 6, 2013 at 3:33 pm

      Thank you for pointing both to the comment policy and the upcoming forum CFP. Moderating is usually a thankless job, so thanks for doing it.

      • Tamura A. Lomax on March 6, 2013 at 3:56 pm

        Thanks :-)

  67. Tamura A. Lomax on March 6, 2013 at 11:45 am

    I appreciate the lively discussion. However, I do ask that you adhere to our comment policy (http://thefeministwire.com/comment-policy/). There are many points to be made here, some of which we will be taken up in our forthcoming forum on race and feminism.

    • Krista Benson on March 6, 2013 at 3:33 pm

      Thank you for pointing both to the comment policy and the upcoming forum CFP. Moderating is usually a thankless job, so thanks for doing it.

      • Tamura A. Lomax on March 6, 2013 at 3:56 pm

        Thanks :-)

  68. Tamura A. Lomax on March 6, 2013 at 11:45 am

    I appreciate the lively discussion. However, I do ask that you adhere to our comment policy (http://thefeministwire.com/comment-policy/). There are many points to be made here, some of which we will be taken up in our forthcoming forum on race and feminism.

    • Krista Benson on March 6, 2013 at 3:33 pm

      Thank you for pointing both to the comment policy and the upcoming forum CFP. Moderating is usually a thankless job, so thanks for doing it.

      • Tamura A. Lomax on March 6, 2013 at 3:56 pm

        Thanks :-)

  69. Lisa Johnson on March 7, 2013 at 6:12 am

    It is unfortunate that conversations in Women’s Studies (especially on WMST-L) are often so contentious (I used to find it really offputting when I was a junior junior faculty member), but this should in no way deter you from continuing to contribute in those spaces. Your position was well reasoned and quite welcome from my perspective in the midst of a chaotic and emotionally charged cultural discussion. Don’t underestimate the weight of your words. I thought they landed with high impact. Yours is precisely the kind of work Women’s Studies values and supports at our national conference (NWSA) and in our top tier journals.

  70. Lisa Johnson on March 7, 2013 at 6:12 am

    It is unfortunate that conversations in Women’s Studies (especially on WMST-L) are often so contentious (I used to find it really offputting when I was a junior junior faculty member), but this should in no way deter you from continuing to contribute in those spaces. Your position was well reasoned and quite welcome from my perspective in the midst of a chaotic and emotionally charged cultural discussion. Don’t underestimate the weight of your words. I thought they landed with high impact. Yours is precisely the kind of work Women’s Studies values and supports at our national conference (NWSA) and in our top tier journals.

  71. Lisa Johnson on March 7, 2013 at 6:12 am

    It is unfortunate that conversations in Women’s Studies (especially on WMST-L) are often so contentious (I used to find it really offputting when I was a junior junior faculty member), but this should in no way deter you from continuing to contribute in those spaces. Your position was well reasoned and quite welcome from my perspective in the midst of a chaotic and emotionally charged cultural discussion. Don’t underestimate the weight of your words. I thought they landed with high impact. Yours is precisely the kind of work Women’s Studies values and supports at our national conference (NWSA) and in our top tier journals.

  72. Lisa Johnson on March 7, 2013 at 6:12 am

    It is unfortunate that conversations in Women’s Studies (especially on WMST-L) are often so contentious (I used to find it really offputting when I was a junior junior faculty member), but this should in no way deter you from continuing to contribute in those spaces. Your position was well reasoned and quite welcome from my perspective in the midst of a chaotic and emotionally charged cultural discussion. Don’t underestimate the weight of your words. I thought they landed with high impact. Yours is precisely the kind of work Women’s Studies values and supports at our national conference (NWSA) and in our top tier journals.

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