Archive for the ‘ethnocentrism’ Category


White Supremacy, Feminism and Off Our Backs

October 14, 2009

It has been an eye-opening experience to watch the events unfold when one Black feminist blogger and writer speaks up about racism in the predominantly white radical feminist community. Jennifer writes passionately, eloquently and with great insight on her blog Celie’s Revenge about issues that affect ALL women. Her blog is inspiring and incredibly brave. She is one woman who truly represents the ideals of sisterhood and liberation.

And yet, when she dares to open her mouth to stand opposed to the racism inherent within the treatment she received at the hands of white feminists… all hell breaks loose. What has shocked me about this whole event is the fact that it has exposed that racism is not present within a small pocket of feminists in the Off Our Backs collective… It has spread like wildfire, with more and more white feminists lining up to tell Jennifer that she is a crazy, angry, racist against white people and, worst of all, a bitch!!! All this just because she insisted that she should be treated as human as a white woman.

This is totally unacceptable. No woman who thinks that this is an appropriate way to treat another woman should think that she has the right to call herself a feminist. What has struck me most about this is the fact that the white ‘feminists’ have responded to Jennifer’s truth-telling is exactly the same as the way that men react to women who tell them the truth. With defensiveness, anger, justification, intimidation, name-calling etc, etc. Really, really shocking.

All illusions that women are better at working through issues like racism better than men have been very definitely shattered for me as I watch white ‘feminists’ trying to tear strips off Jennifer. Trying to paint her as mad and delusional. A few clues women. Black women have the right to be angry about racism. Black women have the right to be angry at white women who demonstrate racism, either politically or personally. Black women need to be supported in their truth-telling. Even when that truth hurts us. Even when that truth is directed at us. We have no credibility as feminists if we don’t.

Please take the time to read Jennifer’s story and support the incredibly important work that she is doing for ALL women. There is no sisterhood, no feminism, no herstory without Black women, there is no point in a struggle which excludes the voices and the truths of women of colour. The white women from the Off Our Backs collective have some serious explaining to do.


Some anti-racist and feminist notes on the sixth Harry Potter plus some anti-feminist fangirlish squee!!!!

July 18, 2009

Race issues:

1) So Harry dates Cho an Asian girl, has a flirtation with a biracial girl in a cafe… and then gets into a relationship with, Ginny, a nice washed out white girl.

2) Ginny dates Dean Thomas, played by a Black? Biracial? boy who makes her cry a lot… then gets into a relationship with a nice, white Harry Potter.

3) All the leads are white. There are very few people of colour with speaking roles in the movie. This has been true of ALL of the Harry Potter movies… but it felt even more marked in this one. The biracial girl in the cafe was not in the books that I remember… maybe the film-makers were trying to write more people of colour into the movie.

Women issues:

1) Remus and Tonks together SUCKS. It is so disgusting to see a gorgeous, vibrant young woman be put into a relationship with a gross, boring old man.

2) Hermione pining after brain-dead Ron???? Yeah right. That wasn’t believeable in the books… it sure as hell isn’t believeable in the movies.

3) Ginny got onto the Quidditch team too, right??? She is supposed to be a really brilliant Seeker and Chaser. Why did we only get shots of Ron heroically getting hit by the Quaffle over and over??? Where were all the shots of Ginny with the Quaffle scoring goals for the team??? Oh, that’s right, women’s acheivements and herorism really isn’t comparable to the wonderfulness of stupid men.

Fangirlish Squee:

1) The movie was beautifull rendered. I loved the cinematography.

2) SO MUCH SLASH!!!!! I nearly wet myself when Ron got into bed with Harry. And all those shots of Harry watching Draco and following him around… Sigh. Ages ago I wrote the most brilliant post Sectumsempra story. It fit in so well with the atmosphere of this movie.

3) Luna Lovegood is awesome. I love her character so much. And Helena Bonham Carter has always made my heart beat faster and since she plays an evil, crazy witch in these movies I am totally smitten!!!


More Exposure For Missing Black Women

October 5, 2008

Sign the petition. Because Black women matter.


Poetry Slam

June 20, 2008

I entered a Poetry Slam last night for the first time. It was part of the Winter Magic Festival which is held in Katoomba every year. I performed this one  slightly modified as it had to be squished into 2 minutes. It was very scary. I have sung in public before but somehow it was scarier just talking. But it went ok. I didn’t stuff up too badly. And it was really fun. I think I’ll be doing it again.

Of course I didn’t win, not even close. But I didn’t expect to. I knew I would be performing to a misogynist and racist audience so it didn’t surprise me in the least that the two winners were white and male. And the runner up was… yep, you guessed it, a white, male misogynist.

But there were quite a few women in the audience who approached me afterwards who said that they really liked my work and praised my performance. One women even whispered furtively, “You should have won.” If I had been free to speak, if I had have spoken freely, I would have replied, “Sister, I know the rules of men’s games, you can only win while wearing white skin and having a dick between your legs whilst babbling goobledegook.” I didn’t reach the age of 26 without learning that my skin and my sex were liabilities when playing games in the malestream. My commitment to women’s liberation and women’s centredness is even less acceptable.

Winning and losing are male concepts. The idea the poetry can be well serviced by competition is completely alien to me. Poetry is spiritual, poetry is erotic, poetry is connection. But the reality is that I did win last night. I made connections with other women poets. Real women who wrote with feeling about earth and sky and women’s power. Our voices shone strongly to each other. We connected and we won.

On a personal level, I faced my fear of performance and I proved to myself that it is entirely possible for me to get up on stage and not make a complete fool of myself. I didn’t go completely blank, like I thought I would, I didn’t stumble over ever single line, I didnt trip over when I walked onto the stage. In short, I won. I conquered my own doubts and self-hatred, two of women’s biggest and most fatal stumbling blocks.

I came away from the night with a feeling of elation. The night confirmed for me just how lacking in music and poetry men really are. They have no feeling for the beauty and depth of language, the subtlety of rhythm, the complexity of the personal and political. Dissenter and I couldn’t help but laugh at the clumbsiness of what men call poetry.

The way the competition was judged was the MC (a Black or possibly mixed racial man, the only other person of colour performing) threw five markers out into the audience. Whoever caught the marker became a judge. Fair right? One of the markers went to a highschool girl (pretty cool I thought), another to a woman who was a birdwatching guide, another hit an elderly woman, her husband picked up the marker and when he tried to give her the marker the woman refused to take it, retired gentleman becomes the next judge, the fourth marker was caught by a woman, her friend’s husband quickly snatched the marker from her, so sexist IT dude became a judge and the last was thrown to a male tree lopper. Three men, one woman, one girl.

I have to wonder how different the judging would have been if the women had held tight to those markers. The wrap up of the night was like some sick joke. The two male winners, the male MC and the TWO WOMEN WHO HAD ORGANISED THE WHOLE EVENT stood on stage to be congratulated. So women are the ones that do the hard yards and organise the events, men are the ones that win, introduce and control the proceedings of the event.

Ngh, I need to organise some women only performance nights. Men’s performance bores me to tears. Even though one of the women’s performances was horrible classist, misogynist and possibly racist, she didn’t hold a candle to the misogyny and homophobia of some of the men. And the audience was laughing and enjoying the misogynist and homophobic ‘poetry’.  The most woman-hating poem was voted runner up. Erch.

But I really do have to do it more often. It was great to meet other women performers, women who wrote Mother Earth/Goddess poetry no less. Pretty bloody awesome methinks.


Bill Henson’s ‘art’ is sick

June 3, 2008

Bill Henson, and most of Australia’s ‘artistic’ community, thinks that it is ‘artistic’ to take naked, sexualised pictures of children. It isn’t. From the Bravehearts petition to the Prime Minister:

We are appalled by the level of support given to Henson in light of the police seizure of his photographs, which has been issued primarily by people defending the rights and freedoms of artists at the expense of the rights and freedoms of children. There is no denying that art has an important role in society. But artists, like every other adult, have a responsibility to protect children from exploitation. The artistic pursuit of personal emotion, curiosity or expression cannot be sanctioned where this pursuit violates existing human rights and betrays the same laws by which the rest of society lives.

The sexualisation of children and young people for the alleged purpose of art – or any other purpose – is counterproductive to the best interests of child protection. It plays directly into the hands of those who want to liberate children and young people from the laws which protect them.

Sign the Petition against Bill Henson’s child pornography.

What I noticed about his photographs is the fact that all of his models are white. They are pimple-free with glossy hair. The female children sometimes wear make-up. The male and female children are photographed together in sexualised senarios. None of the children are fat, none of the children are happy or playing. They are often photographed in a studio with no or few clothes on, few props and dark lighting. The female children have long hair, the male children have short hair.

An example of Henson’s ‘art’:
Bill Henson


White Women and Self-Obsession

January 27, 2008

I am really saddened by the recent events that have happened on the feminist blogosphere, between radical feminists (so-called), whom I mistakenly trusted to do better by their sisters. I am writing this post to address a particular issue that I am having with the white feminist bloggers that have proposed self-flagellation as their method of combating racism. I want to let everyone know that I no longer feel safe in the community of white women who have decided to jump on board the self-flagellation boat. I don’t feel safe when multiracial/biracial women are not allowed to have perspectives on race. I don’t feel safe when the mothers of biracial/multiracial children are not allowed to have perspectives on race. Right now, in the climate of the white feminist blogosphere, I do not feel safe.

And I don’t know what to do about it. I want to tell my white sisters where they can stick their self-flagellation antics. I want to let them know that I no longer feel safe to express myself on their blogs. I want to ask them, while they are doing their clueless white guilt dances, how they could dare do them on the backs of multiracial/biracial women. How they could dare do them on the backs of mothers of multiracial/biracial children. Because it shocks me silly to see these women who should bloody well know better all race to stomp other women into the mud to get points for working on their white privilege.

Not okay.

We are women. We have suffered. We have had our trust betrayed and our loyalties questioned. We suffer from guilt of things we have done, the guilt of things we haven’t done and are blamed for Every. Single. Bad. Thing on the planet. ‘Working’ on white-privilege by promoting guilt, self-flagellation, self-obsession, misdirection (blaming other white women) etc is doing shit all for the rights of people of colour.

I wrote a poem a while ago called Raped Down to Almost White and this quote seems appropriate: my grandmother has the darkest skin but this does not drive a wedge between us./I will say this bond is more than blood and more than skin and you diminish me by trying to deny it.

I don’t know how else to conclude except to say that when you deny Heart’s reality: her sacred bond with her children, you diminish her. You diminish me by making grand statements about people with white skin privilege, assuming that all of us are similarly situated to yourselves. My sacred bond with my grandmother is more than blood and more than skin and I feel as though you are trying to diminish me. Would you deny this as well?

I don’t know. I’m too afraid to ask.

I’m not all that interested in a sisterhood that carries on like this. I’m not interested in a sisterhood which involves itself in denying the lived realities of other women. If you come here onto my blog, please leave your guilt, self-obsession and woman-blaming at the door and let us get on with the revolution.