The only thing necessary for the persistence of evil is for enough good people to do nothing

Fallout

The recent explosion (implosion might be a better word) in my small bit of the internet has been sad, infuriating, bitter, depressing and ultimately only productive in building more walls and barriers between us so-called feminists.
Two of my favorite bloggers have quit. Here are their last posts. brownfemipower and blackamazon

I took a step back from the whole mess because I could not organise my thoughts and feelings in any coherent way. Let me try and do that now because remaining silent feels like betrayal.

After the initial legitimate complaints about Seal Press ignoring women of colour writers, many people ran to their defense and made it seem like the race issue was unimportant and trivial. It then emerged that a big time blogger has a book deal with them that is doing very well thank you very much. Soon after that another big time feminist site came out in full support of this blogger and her book. Accusations started flying backwards and forwards: “You are all jealous because you don’t have a book deal”, “You are trying to play the race card”, “You are all too angry, wild and mouthy”.

Thanks to the vigilance of some great bloggers out there, the images that appear in that book became public. Racist images. See them for yourselves. After that, two apologies appeared. One from the author of the book and one from Seal Press. I am not linking because I do not want to be involved in the apologies or the responses from their supporters. The people in question have “resolved” the issue with a short coordinated apology and that has been enough for them.

But

Some people still do not and will not understand the profound pain that their words have caused.

Some people still do not and will not understand the profound pain that those images have caused.

I think Sudy sums it up better than anyone.

The comment threads are long and if you haven’t been following closely, they are impossible to catch up on. In a nutshell, they have swung between a love fest for the author (how brave to apologise, how great you are etc), arguments and counter-arguments and finally to a declaration of “blogwar” against the women of colour who initially complained.

I want to say two things:

One: I feel bad that I can no longer ally myself with Feminism as an organisation although I consider myself to be a feminist.
Two: I can longer engage with people who claim to be allies but are looking out for themselves. Whether that’s about money, hits or popularity.

To everyone who is trying to negotiate their way around this mess, I am on the road with you.
To bfp and blackamazon, you have been and always will be inspiration.
To everyone who follows this blog for Human Rights issues in Greece, thank you for your patience while I work this out.

I am writing this down for now even though there is so much more I wanted to say but emotion got in the way. I just wanted to make a start before I clammed up completely.

6 Comments

  1. evil fizz
    April 29, 2008    

    Can I ask what you mean when you say “Feminism as an organization”?

  2. sunshine
    April 29, 2008    

    I take that to mean feminism that has become an organisation, a financial enterprise, rather than belief in the issues of equality? I think I am a feminist but I am uncomfortable with the “corporate” feminism that you mention. I have followed the arguments too! As you know, I love your blog…. look forward to more posts soon.

  3. April 29, 2008    

    evil fizz, I believe that there is Feminism with a capital F, that is the organisation we sign on to when we declare that we are feminists. This is a smewhat organised movement that attempts to bring about equality between men and women. However, there are problems within the Feminist movement such as racism that I cannot and will not be a part of. Women of Colour who consider themselves feminists, have been marginalised and trivalised by Feminism as a movement and that is why I make a distinction.

    Thank you for your question. I think it is always necessary to think about the words we put out there.

  4. thomaslundy
    April 30, 2008    

    Oh thomaslundy, your comment is so hilarious I had to let it through! Thank you for the early morning laughs. DD

    You wade in to the argument too so you are looking for more hits and fame. You should just keep quiet. Your blog is totally unimportant so why are you trying to compete ? I wish all of you would just shut up. The book is doing well and will continue to do well “thank you very much” because it’s GOOD. Unlike you and your fellow harpies. Get over yourselves already. No-one cares what you think.

  5. zardoz
    April 30, 2008    

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  6. DD: while the ‘organization’ is getting absorbed in outing exercises, guess what is continuing to happen.

    Yeah, I know the connection is not obvious.

    ? ????? ??? ??????? | St3pp3nw0lfs last blog post..?? Minluv† ??? ??????????.

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