The Psychology Today post yesterday, and the disappointing LACK of response from the feminist blogosphere got me thinking… What does it mean to be an anti-racist, anti-sexist ally in the blogosphere?
Tanya D has a round-up of posts. Note that the majority are from the usual suspects: Karnythia, who is ALWAYS AWESOME, ABW, and Racialicious. I saw a post on feministe, but haven’t seen ones on Jezebel, even though Satoshi Kanazawa received some criticism from them earlier last month for his misogyny (though you can see there’s no mention of his xenophobia or racism).
1. “Mainstream” feminist blogs have few WOC bloggers
2. “Mainstream” feminist blogs don’t consider themselves anti-racist allies.
The second point bothers me the most. I mean, it’s great to say you look at new media and popular culture using an intersectional lens, or to have tags about race and ethnicity on your sidebar. But, if you’re doing that and NOT acting as an ally (providing a space for WOC to speak, linking to WOC blogs, cross-posting, etc) you are NOT engaged in a politics of solidarity, and you are NOT acting as an ally. If you’re doing things like making your one or two WOC bloggers “handle” all the racist or xenophobic comments your blog receives, you’re not being an ally. If you’re using “feminist” as a codeword for “white, middle class women” and “race” as a code for “blackety black black stuff we’ll talk about occasionally?” Yeah. Not an ally.
The Psychology Today post was a clusterfuck. Even today, I’m still processing the concerns I have as a black woman and an academic. After all, dudes like Kanazawa will be my future colleagues in a social science landscape where WOC are often valued for their presence and discursive credibility and not their scholarship, research, writing, or quality of (professional) life. The MAJOR downer of this is that I’m realizing that this is similar to the feminist blogosphere, where the voices of WOC are only valued as imagined presences, not as valued colleagues or allies.