when i wrote that post for shameless i seriously fucking held myself back. i thought, "i should be eloquent, i should be somewhat polite, and i should be considerate of the complexities of it all". and then a few days later jill over at feministe posted about 'calling out' culture in feminism and has really gotten a shit tonne of comment responses (and she has even willingly engaged the commentors to smooth out some edges). and then Jess spoke up when she got back to the internet about the whole she-bang.
all this to say that i wanted to address some of the shit from the feministe post and to really get to the root of what i was talking about (b/c even with the incredible transformation shameless has undergone, i feel like i needed to couch my complaint a bit). Jill was great about identifying that this "wasn't about me" or the article in particular and i even emailed her to say thank you for pumping up the dialogue about it. we need to storm before we can norm. but i'm so fucking sick of using we and dont want to be part of feminism any more though i die for feminism over and over because i love you! but i'm not stupid enough (anymore) to say that the reason i didn't hear about something was because no one told me. that was the old me and i've pushed through that (and it was hard). it is MY responsibility as an image of the oppressor (even though i sure am fucking oppressed by patriarchy still) to open MY world enough to let shit in. and if my world isn't open enough that's my fault. MY FAULT.
the way that i always try to ground myself in my whiteness and take a good fucking look around is to say, "my friends are all white" (and most of them are). or where am i working? is everyone white? what am I doing to make myself examine my place as a white person in this white organization. how the fuck can i hold YOU accountable for being racist and exclusionary. it's not "how can i get meself some racial friends" but "what about me makes me EXCLUSIONARY of POC ?" not that having POC friends would all of a sudden make everything "OK" but that if I want to truly say that i'm "inclusive" I have to walk the talk. and that's what Jill was referring to, but her anger was misguided because you ain't know nothing about me!
i want to so badly respond to Jill's notion of "fill the fucking gaps" but i don't want to qualify the day-to-day grind i do engaging, challenging myself, and working for my community and being THE white kid at the meeting that when someone says, "we want aboriginal representation at our meeting" that they think that i'm their person b/c i work at the friendship center (and i'm not that person!). i always respond, "oh, that's nice? which NATION did you want representation from?" and you know what the answer is every time? "oh, it doesn't matter, anyone will do". NO any one won't do. As whities claim to our "racial heritage" when explaining our privilege and to make it look like we have some "depth" to our "background" (eg "i'm irish and scottish and english and porridge and mashed potatoes and other white shit"), then whities also have to allow "Native Americans" or "Aboriginal" people to have complexities in their cultural and political groups. We have THREE Nations within a bike ride of our house, educate yourself and make an informed decision!
last, this isn't about me doing it better, i think it's about me not seeing mainstream feminists (not jill in particular!) doing it at all. (and then making excuses when getting called out).