Ladies' Open Discussion

Previously

Um...No, We Can't Be Friends
Yes...Yes They Do
The Sugar Cycle
Open Discussion

Let's talk gender for a minute.

Being a woman in America - regardless of your skintone - is tough.  If you're of the school of thought that sexism in America is dead, kill that fantasy now.  The recent war against women's health is more than ample evidence of that.

Now, white women, this next portion is directed at you.

Ever get the Twitch?  Don't act like you don't know what I mean when I say "the Twitch."  Every woman, whether she's gay, straight, bi, or trans has at some point experienced the Twitch.  The Twitch occurs whenever a man starts talking about anything concerning women, and obviously hasn't the slightest clue what he's talking about.

Infuriating, isn't it?  The Republicans recently gathered a panel of religious men who didn't have the first clue about female anatomy in attempt to influence actual law pertaining to women.  We're talking pastors, rabbis, Catholic priests all congregating to impede and influence statutes pertaining to our bodies.

In the back and forth debate about women's health, men from the right kept bringing up sex and birth control pills.  Women kept bringing up polycystic ovarian syndrome, ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer, pelvic inflammatory disease, and dysmenorrhea - terminology which sounds like gibberish to your average man.  Women kept bringing these up, and men from the right kept ignoring and dismissing them.

Or abortion.  It's annoying when men weigh in on how a woman should handle pregnancy, isn't it?  I'm not talking about the male obstetrician who tells you which vitamins to take and when; I'm talking about the random dude telling you to keep a baby whose bills he will not being paying.  I'm talking about all the men who conveniently forget they will not be the ones carrying the child, pushing it out, or getting cut open, or overall risking their lives to bring a life into the world.  Men who forget that a man can easily get up and walk away from a pregnancy while a pregnant woman cannot, or how many mothers put advancing education and careers on hold for their kids.

Some men hide behind religion when using their arguments against abortion, but the fact remains that they're not women.  They can't ever fully understand what they haven't lived.

Don't even get me started on marriage and dating.  Seems like every man has an opinion on female sexuality, desirability, and how we need to put all ambition and self-esteem on the back burner just to get a man.  And when they think the women they're sleeping with are bored because "women just don't enjoy sex", that brand of bullshit gets passed off as scientific research, to be studied and heeded as though it were a law etched in stone.

How about WWF?  You've heard of Walking While Black, but you're probably more familiar with Walking While Female.  You know...it's when you take two steps out your front door and suddenly (almost) every heterosexual man or posturing closet case loses about 50 IQ points and immediately forgets Human Decency 101.  Screw 101 - they suddenly don't even remember remedial courtesy.

Men don't understand the sheer hell of Walking While Female sometimes.  When Walking While Black, you have a fairly good idea of where not to go and whom to avoid in general.  When Walking While Female, however, it doesn't matter what color the guy is, what age he is, what socioeconomic background he comes from; it doesn't matter what neighborhood you're in, or which clothes you're wearing,  whether you're alone or with friends, or what you look like overall - the longer you stay outside your car, the more at risk you are.  The more likely some shit will go down, and somehow - for reasons defying all logic - it will be at least "partially" your fault because you wanted to go get some groceries or something else equally irresponsible.

Sickening, isn't it?

Now, women of color, this next part's for you.

Ever get the Other Twitch?  *raises eyebrow*  Don't play.  Every woman of color in this country - Asian, African, Latina, Indigenous - has experienced "the Other Twitch".  It's whenever dialogue with a white woman moves from gender into race and she clearly hasn't the slightest clue what she's talking about.  And she gets upset with you for disagreeing with her, or for not readily accepting her as a sister-in-arms.

And while she's busy whining about her hurt, she neglects your hurt which stems from 1) the fact that she just uttered some of the wrong-est shit ever, and 2) you were just vibin' with this woman, bonding over some random mutual female shit, and she had to go and fuck up the vibe.

What a lot of our paler sistren constantly forget is that how they feel when men make them twitch is how we feel when white women make us twitch.  If you're not and never have been a woman, it's really annoying when you weigh in on women's issues, particularly when you haven't the slightest bit of medical, legal, or social knowledge on the topic.

And if you - not your friends or relatives, but YOU - are not a person of color, it's very annoying when you weigh in on something you will never fully understand, doubly when you're lacking any necessary social, political, and legal self-awareness and historical knowledge (which doesn't conveniently flatter you).

So white women, remember this: the next time you find yourself rolling your eyes at some self-righteous priest who ain't seen a vagina in decades and couldn't tell you where the clitoris is - much less what to do with it - weighing in on actual laws about what women should do with our own bodies, pause and reflect upon that bone-rattling irritation.  Savor the gritting of your teeth and experience the Twitch in slow motion.  Replay that ignorant male voice in your head and think about how you feel knowing you live in a society which places more value on his words than yours.

Then remind yourself of how women of color of feel the same way when you start lecturing us on what you think we need to do in a society which automatically places more value on you than it does us.

Comments

  1. PREACH, ANKH.

    unfortunately, this is why i have only 1 white lady friend and 1 dude friend. the rest are ladies of color.

    what i love is your outrage. you take what boils me up inside and put it down in concise words. thanks a billion.

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  2. CHURCH!!!! I can't tell you how many times I almost broke my eye with all the twitching it does.

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  3. Ankh has done it again!
    White women love to play the gender oppressed card...but don't forget that these are the same women smiling, laughing, holding babies and pointing in glee as Black men and women were lynched and burned alive. Now they want us to hold hands and sing Kumbayah, while many of them still hold onto their privilege and racist ideology. How many white women have blamed Black wo/men for false attacks? Bethany Acid Face, Ashley Backwards "B" Todd, Susan Drown Your Kids and Blame A Black Smith, Bonnie Off To Disneyland Sweeten, Amanda Kill Your Roommate And Blame A Black Man Knox ect. ad infinitum ad nauseum.

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  4. crazywhitegirl3/22/12, 1:28 AM

    It's easy to slip into thinking you know what you're talking about all the time, especially when you're a bit of an arrogant type to begin with (which I know without doubt that I am.) I try to remember to keep my mouth shut regarding issues I don't deal with personally, but in general, even if I've managed to keep my mouth shut, it's 50/50 whether I'm still thinking it.

    I really think this post was something I needed to hear, and it really got at the association, that feeling of being pissed off at someone else's ignorant blather, that would make the point hit home. More so than gender, it hit me that that's how I feel when "sane" people talk about mental illness. I've seen/heard a lot of POC say, much as Sonic did above, that they don't have a lot of white friends because it's rare to find one that doesn't say something racist. I did get over taking that personally fairly quickly, but I still found it a bit...extreme, may be the right word. It occured to me, though, reading this, that I have, if anything, a stricter attitude regarding people who talk s**t about mental illness. If I value the relationship, I'll usually cut off the conversation when it starts to turn that way just in case. Looking at it withthat in mind, I'm a bit surprised (and impressed) by how many POC I know who are willing to talk race with white people they don't know and trust.

    I'm not sure if I had a point there besides 'great post', so if you skipped all the rambling in between you didn't miss much, but...I liked this post, and thank you for writing it. You made me think.

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    Replies
    1. you're proving the post, sister.

      Delete
    2. "I'm a bit surprised (and impressed) by how many POC I know who are willing to talk race with white people they don't know and trust."

      I am too.

      Delete
  5. Wonderful post!!!! Constantly reminding my white female friends they need to stfu sometimes and remember they don't know what it's like to be black AND female and all the hilarious liitle twisty ways these two intersect to fuck up your life! Luckily some have learned, the others I let slide. Great post again Ankh xxx

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  6. I wish I had your tongue, K. Breathing dragon fire.

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  7. Yes! Yes! Yes and YES!!!! You all may recall the two white women who held up the sign "Women are the N*gg3rs of the world" at the "Slut Walk" in October 2011? Seemingly forgetting that, you know...n*gg3r is a racist/derogatory term used against black people, and like, you know...there are black females?!?! And boy were they quick to come back with their white women's tears on how they don't see anything wrong with that statement and how black women should ignore racism and fight for gender equality since that is what is TRULY important. (Black women's issues always take a back seat to their issues) At the end of the day, white women have a one track mind and that track is paved with their own self interest. It is all about them, they know everything and if you DARE exude a sense of self and confidence, WATCH OUT. You are about to get a heavy dose of "Who do you think you are, black girl?" (and it is always "girl" not "woman" in those instances)

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    Replies
    1. @ Kymie:

      Your last two sentences resonate with me personally - my self-confidence is precisely why I was railroaded out of my job, as I was seen as a threat to the job security of two white females. If they were competent employees, they would have had nothing to fear, no? They had friends in high places, obviously.

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    2. Hi Sepultura13,

      Oh, yes! I have experienced this first hand as well. Ain't it a damn shame? Female solidarity my ass...

      P.S. Would your name be in reference to the most amazing Brazilian metal band Sepultura?!

      Delete
  8. Girl, I just can't...I can't...ain't enough words...

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  9. Hell YEAH!!! ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT!! I had been thinking of doing a similar post after the LimpPaw 'slut' flap, but this is far better than what I was thinking of!

    Great post, K - keep up the great work! :cool:

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  10. Preach!! Seriously I don't know how many times I've had to tell myself put the text book down and don't throw it at that guy's head, or girl's head. Men have said so many fucked up things about women's health it's pretty fucking appalling, and I just wonder how am I EVER going to find a man I'll be willing to have sex with based upon the stupidity of MOST man especially White Men. Well doesn't really matter for the white men they never will have chance with me ever.

    Just a couple of night ago I was screaming in all caps at this guy for his views on rape. The only men who can understand and sympathize with rape victims are either men who have been raised to have sensitivity to that and women and men who have been raped themselves. I cannot stand the men who say "She was asking for it" or " not morally sound" because they're trapped in a abusive sexual relationship and what not it was APPALLING! So many things men say and do are appalling.

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