op-ed: an open letter to white feminism (aka: white beckyism)
October 20, 2016
Dear White Feminism (aka, White Beckyism):
C’mere. Sit down. Sit.
You’ve got a lot of nerve showing up at inopportune times, fervently attempting to educate me on how to be your definition of a proper Woman of Color.
It’s why you don’t get a Christmas card in November with an invite to come home for the holidays. You can’t sit with us; you don’t even get a to-go plate (and you know we Black People take that to-go plate business seriously).
You truly believe I am unaware of how, when, why and what I should be offended over, so you’ve made it your job in life to help educate me on the how, when, why and of what should offend me as a Woman of Color.
By Jacqueline-Elizabeth, AFROPUNK Contributor*
In the past, you’ve made me unfairly judge other women (regardless of their race) for not conforming to your standards as well, when all along, I should have been supporting them because if it’s what makes them happy, what tea is it of mine or yours to sip?
So what if some of my friends have breast implants. Big deal (pardon the pun).
So what if some of my friends relax their hair, keep it natural, shave it short, have Toucan-Sam colored hair, own fifty lacefronts, and/or have sew-ins. Whoopty (deal-with-their-fabulous-hair) ‘doo.
So what if some of my friends strip, are in porn, and give blowjobs for a living.
Are you paying bills now, Rebekkyism? I know you’re certainly not paying PoC bills.
What about the college tuition you feel People of Color could “afford” if (we) just– in your own words– “stop being so lazy and try a little harder”, because certainly, if your parents can put you and your six siblings through college, then surely ours can as well.
That’s not how it works, Becky-With-The-Trustfund.
What really gets you ready to engage me in fisticuffs, however, is my own, uninfluenced decision to one day become a housewife and a stay-at-home-mother, while juggling being a full-time caregiver to my own aging and disabled mother, and maintaining a successful, full-time career in writing, while continuing to model.
It doesn’t matter to you one iota that the thought of being there for any potential children twenty-four-seven fills me more joy than you can ever imagine, or, how (I pray) I will get the blessing of caring for my mother as she watches her Grandbabies grow in the comfort of our own home instead of a nursing facility.
(Or, in the event of my decision not to have children, she is just as down for a Carnival Cruise to the Bahamas while we smoke a bowl and oggle the lovely seamen.)
Meanwhile, your primary concern in life is to remind me daily that as a Black Woman–particularly if my future spouse is non-Black (and especially if he’s white)–that slavery ended long ago, so there’s no reason for me to be pregnant, barefoot, and working in the kitchen as a “house nigger” fo’ massa.
Who are you to tell me or any other Black Woman that I should or shouldn’t “feel obligated” to have children because there is “so much more” to me than being just “another baby making machine” and “slavery ended a long time ago”?
(PS. It didn’t. It just changed form to fit the times.)
I can’t even enjoy my own body without you harping on me around the clock.
You make me feel as though I should be ashamed of my willingness to own up to the fact that I actually enjoy my svelte form and work very hard to maintain it and can still eat like a garbage disposal.
You even have the audacity to accuse me of perpetuating and encouraging the “fat-shaming” of other Black Women because the thought of ten extra pounds on my own body is cringe-worthy to me.
You tell me I should be “proud” of my curves because no one’s got em better than Black Women, but you (and even other Black Women and Men) use my svelte physique to either accuse me of denying my Blackness, or use it to deny me of my Blackness entirely.
You cannot begin to comprehend how humiliating, degrading, and sickening it is to have to grow up being told I’m “not Black” (or “Black enough” for other Black Men to find attractive, much less date) because I don’t have a fantastic booty like Amber Rose.
And excuuuuuse me for making the effort in respects to my physical appearance for my benefit, as well as the benefit of my boyfriend/fiancée/husband (whatever he may be at the time), just because I unapologetically enjoy listening to him brag to all of his buddies, family, coworkers, and the neighbor’s Schnauzer about how beautiful and hot-as-all-of-the-sex-we-have-nigh-daily his girlfriend/fiancée/wife is to herself, as well as him.
And God forbid I make mention of the fact that I’m perfectly fine with cooking, baking, and keeping house– or that I actually enjoy housework as part of my daily exercise routine.
What is absolutely reprehensible is that you’ve become excessively talkative while I’m trying to watch porn.
For my part, there are three things I loathe seeing in the various genres of porn that I enjoy:
- A plot.
- An ex-boyfriend (I’d still be proud of him, though).
How the literal coitus do you expect me to focus on an orgasm while you’re buzzing louder than my vibrator about how degrading porn is for the women.
Question. Why don’t you ever say a thing to say about how Black Pornstars (especially in the case of female Black Pornstars) are the lowest paid in the (yet another) industry?
On top of that (yes, I just did), you just can. not. wrap your narrow little mind around the reality that sex work is a career field all the same, and no different than a woman who chooses a career in a different area.
And yes, since we’re here, let’s talk about sex Becky(ism).
You don’t have a single qualm about dropping by when I’m in the middle of actually having sex with a guy, and this is rather problematic.
You’ll stay to preach your usual sermon of how “swallowing” is synonymous with “degrading”, and then proceed to take your leave.
I rather enjoy my daily dose of Clorox-flavored protein intake thankyouverymuch.
Or, if you do decide to stick around, you change your mind immediately and bolt for the nearest fire escape, because nothing makes you jump out of my bed and take to your own faster than my audacity to admitting I rather enjoy the benefits of a good facial.
It’s certainly not my felonious daily diet of salt-and-vinegar Pringles and Easy Mac that aides in keeping my skin all nice clear, y’know.
(Suck on that, Proactiv.)
You make more uninvited cameos in the things I do than Kanye does on a Taylor Swift album (which frankly, he should do more of).
Even Christopher Walken, the quintessentially whitest man in America, wants to sit down with you, take your hand, peer into your eyes and say, after releasing a slow, guttural sigh:
“You’re doing threemuch.”
Coincidentally, White Feminism, you’ve got a well-supplied armory of the most peculiar Double Standards I just can’t help but notice, some of which apply to Women of Color, and some that do not.
Frankly, I’m offended you never shared with me the knowledge of how one (or both) of your parents were of cricket lineage given that’s usually the sound you make in regards to the issues surrounding Women Of Color in today’s world unless it has everything to do with you reminding me of how shameful I’m acting as a Woman of Color.
All the same, I’m going to have to toot-n-boot you because as a Woman of Color, you have no place in my life.
So, thank you for your offensive, uninvited, and misguided concerns, however, I, as a Woman of Color, have faith in other Women (and People) of Color that we can handle these types of issues without your inpu–
“Why?!” resounds the anguished and offended shrieks of Beckyism Activists worldwide. “Why are you acting like an Angry Black Woman when I thought I was helping to educate you on…”
Chair, Rebbeckyism. Chair. Actually, no.
Door, Rebbeckyism. Door.
A “You’re-Only-Calling-Us-Angry-Black-Women-Because-We-Called-You-Out-On-Your-BS-So-Go-Right-On-Ahead-And-Stay-Mad-While-We-Sip-This-Sweet-Tea” Black Woman.
*Chicago-born and raised Androgynous AltModel and Pokemon Master, Jacqueline-Elizabeth (AKA Kurosune Suicide / JaxJax Attaxx of the SuicideGirls, and Cosplay Deviants) developed a lifelong love of reading and writing at ages two and three, scored her first big writing gig as Nerdy But Flirty’s first, Black writer, and was later recruited by the Jace Hall Show (now TwinGalaxiesLive!) as also not only their first Black writer, but their first female one as well.
Her interests include watching anime, cosplaying, modeling, reading manga, gaming, 420 shenanigans, surfing, increasing her number of tattoos, rainy days in bed journaling, and writing about anime, manga, and hentai for Jamie Broadnax’s site, BlackGirlNerds.com
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