Race Ignored in the Feminist Blogosphere
Feminism is the form of women’s organization that is prioritized both in the media and academia, but many black women have turned to womanism in an attempt to counter the ways in which the combined oppressions of race and gender affect our lives. Womanism is not just feminism for women from minorities; it is based in our spirituality, honoring our foremothers and a desire to support both men and women. While womanism at its heart is pro-woman, it is also about understanding the communal value of all people of color, reported by the Guardian.
Reading this statement from Renee Williams at the Guardian inspired me to think about the representation of women of color in the mainstream blog sites. Countless popular blog sites are criticized for their lack of diversity, but most importantly for lack of posts that include women of color in the struggle for equality. Being a women of color and an avid blogger, I realize the importance of a collective voice and the importance of representation when you are trying to convince readers your message deals not only with the majority, but resonates with those who are marginalized by society, I understand, and I concur.
According to Jezebel.com, “Womanist Musings discussed the the issue of feminist blogs being “largely run by white women,” including Feministing, Feministe, Pandagon and BitchPhD.” The interesting part of this statement is that the majority of the popular blog sites that deal with feminism are not completely run by white women, there are many women of color on the board and represented in many of the posts.
Feminism has been criticized because many believe it focuses on the contributions of white women, but ignores the contributions and needs concerning women of color. The truth is each person that considers themselves a feminist is working for one collective goal: equality. Women of Color do have unique backgrounds and struggles, as do every women in America, we should not focus on who’s struggle is more important, but how, as women, we can bring together our diverse backgrounds to create change for all.
According to the Guardian, “Despite repeated calls for change, the dynamics remains the same because the powerful blogs maintain the ability to silence and effectively ignore the critique of marginalized women simply based in size and clout. Though the different strata of women’s organizing often finds itself fighting the same issues, differences in race, class, ability, and cisgender status continue to divide activism, making it impossible for real ally work to occur. How can you claim the label of those who would oppress you to see their goals realized, even when commonality exists in some areas? Not owning the feminist label is not always about equivocation; for some women, it represents truly loving oneself in the face of bigotry.”
Focusing on powerful blogs and their ability to maintain the silence not only repeats the cycle but brings the underlying problem to the forefront. When we focus on the negatives of this world, but inevitably leave out the positive progress we’ve made, we take a step back. The great thing about the internet is we have the ability to create our own blogs and bring unique voices to the forefront. Just because you feel marginalized and silenced on one blog, does not mean there are not millions of other voices who speak to your specific topic and activism. There are millions of blogs who cater to to specific topics, we just have to make sure we are supporting them and bringing their struggles and agendas to light.
I hope this post really brings on a discussion about how we are including everyone in the struggle for equality.
Are we leaving voices out or simply catering to a specific audience? How do women of color fare in certain blogs? Should women of color support “Womanism” instead of “Feminism”? Does this sound like we are segregating the struggle? Are we not all fighting for the same cause?
With the change our country has faced the past two years, I hope everyone focuses on equality and the unique voices and backgrounds of all people. We need not focus on me, myself, and I, but put more emphasis on being a collective generation set on making sure everyone is treated equally and given a voice in the movements.