While I was visiting my family and friends in Western New York, I had a great deal of time to sit and think about my life and the ways in which I move through the world. I had a few interesting conversations while I was up there that helped me work out a few concepts to move forward with.
During my visit, the Governor of Alabama, the State in which I currently reside, decided that it would be a good idea to pass a bill that basically eradicates abortion in the state. This drew feelings of anger in me that then dissipated into a need to take action. As I stewed in my emotions up north, I realized that when I returned to the south I was going to need to find ways to get out in the streets and show my support for the cause. I knew that I needed to find a candidate that would challenge the Governor in her next bid for the seat, but more importantly, start backing women of colour for positions of power within the state senate and house of Alabama. The stats are dismal for women in general, but even more so for women of color in the state and that needs to change.
Before I can do this work though, I need to work out my own understandings around my feminism and how it has led me to be engaged in this particular struggle. During my trip and upon my return, I have also been reading a book by another white feminist, Amber Tamblyn, that has helped me to really suss out the ways in which my feminism has not been fully intersectional in the past and figure out how to make it so going forward.
First and foremost – amplify the voices of women of colour that exist around me. Do not paraphrase those voices, but move aside so that those voices can be heard. Do this online and in person. Work for the cause of uniting all women together, but help the white feminists understand that the voices of women of colour have for far too long been silenced, or whitesplained, by well-meaning (and often not well-meaning) white folks. In our need to push forward with the cause of equality for women, we have lost sight of how we have limited the voices of those that are doubly oppressed by both sex and race. This has got to end and the only way to end it is to step aside and let the voices of those women of colour speak their own truth.
Having said that – I will now point you toward women of colour that need to be heard. We all have to put in the work to be inclusive and intersectional. We need to be silent allies, amplifying the voices of those that matter.
The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle The Master’s House
15 Indigenous Feminists to Know, Read, and Listen To
“Homecoming” Homework: 7 Books to Read After Watching Beyonce’s Epic Documentary
15 Latina Activists Who Inspire Me
This is by no means a full list, but it is good to get you started. Now go read, follow, and get acquainted!
Peace and happy learning,
Chantale aka hippiegrrl