"An Open Letter to White Liberal Feminists"
--Rhon Manigault-Bryant (19 November 2016)
"Dear White Liberal Feminists, ... You have lamented the deep-seated divisiveness of
this country. You have wept, you have hugged, and you have gingerly asked, “how are you?”
And yet, your actions and inquiries are especially loaded, as much for their selfishness
as their disingenuous nature. Your hugs and tears are of the self-soothing kind. Your
inquiries seldom derive from a true desire to learn about how I, as an African American
woman, really feel."
"I find your overall shock at the role white women voters played in the election curious
for its naïveté and annoying for its obtuseness."
In fact, 52-53% of white women voted for Donald Trump. But the 'White Feminists'
Suzianne and Phranny liked to pretend that few women voted for Donald Trump.
I have not yet noticed any honest attempt by Suzianne or Phranny to come to terms
with the reality that the majority of white American women voted for Donald Trump.
"I am also thrilled about how this moment might signal an end to the dangerous,
disingenuous version of feminism that so many (though not all) of you embrace, and
which promotes white women’s success over and against anyone else. It is the brand
and tenor of white feminism that allows for a recapitulation of white male patriarchy (à la
white women merely behaving as white men in drag and putting on the farce of gender
equity). It has long been your trope and now it is your bane."
Brava! Contrary to what 'White Feminists' demand of them. non-white women are not content
merely to have the crumbs that trickle down from what privileged white women can get.
"But what will you do with this newfound dismay? How will you interrogate and sustain
your recent enlightened perspective about how white women remain complicit in the
oppressions of so many non-white folks, and even themselves? Given your responses
this week and the last, I am already seeing a kind of writing on the wall—that of denial.
So few of you have commented on the implications of large numbers of white women
voting against Hillary Clinton. So few self-proclaimed white liberal feminists interrogate
racism, imperialism, capitalism, and sexism because they benefit from it and are too
busy being protected by it."
Exactly. 'Liberal white feminists' are an untrustworthy ally at best in opposing racism.
"What then, is the efficacy of this particular brand of white feminism in our current moment?
If this most recent presidential election has revealed nothing else, it has shown that this
specific ilk of white feminism must die."
"In this moment, if I have any regret, it is that you are trying to force me to be complicit in
your self-denial, and that you expect me to do yet another kind of labor. You look, of all
places, to me to help you deal with your feelings. Rather than holding up your weeping,
weak selves, I have a few questions for you to consider: Who will you be in this hour?
What will you do to enact change and with whom will you partner to do it?
By all means, use whatever mechanism you require to move through the stages of grief
as you bury your false idol of faux feminist solidarity."
Sadly, Suzianne and Phranny seem to worship their 'false idol of faux feminist solidarity'.
"In the meantime, please stop assuming, listen attentively, and look deeply within
yourselves to purge racism and sexism (and a whole litany of other ‘isms."
That's what I have been telling Suzianne and Phranny. I hope that they will listen.
"Ashes to ashes, Dust to white liberal feminism."