Thursday, February 26, 2015

Black History Month

Before the month ends, I want to talk about the blog I credit with both bringing me into the fold of online feminist discourse and teaching me about white privilege and the intersections of race and gender oppression. It was Grace of Are Women Human? that inspired me with her incredible writing to dig deeper into my feminism and learn about things like rape culture. Hers was the first feminist blog I really followed, and through that she introduced me to many more.

I basically owe my feminism to a black woman who identifies as qu**r (I censor this because I'm straight and don't feel that I'm allowed to use the word which has been used as a slur by fellow straight people, but that is the word she uses to identify herself). And I owe someone named Katie for setting me straight on my white privilege and generally kicking my ass for a racist comment I left on Who Needs a Good Rapist Project?

I'm terribly embarrassed to expose my former ignorance to everyone, but there it is, stamped forever on Grace's blog under a way too long comment. I basically used her blog to write my own essay, blathering in my whiteness all over her comment section, and then I tried to claim that white people aren't excused for their violence against black people. Ugh. She shouldn't have had to do it, but I'm glad Katie called me out.

But back to what's really important. Grace also created a series of posts focusing on names, inspired by a rather shitty piece about women changing their names when they get married. Or rather, about white women changing their names when they get married. Grace, in conjunction with Flyover Feminism, took the opportunity to invite people to talk about their names and what they mean to the individual. The main argument being that names are powerful and meaningful. The have different levels of importance across different cultures and histories. Obviously, African Americans (specifically African Americans) have their own history of having their names erased to obliterate their identities and replaced with white names.

It's a really powerful series with some incredibly moving contributions, coming from people from all types of marginalized groups. I highly recommend it.

Are Women Human? doesn't update anymore, but I still recommend looking at what's there. You can also follow her on Twitter, where she continues to be amazing.

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