Why I Am Not Praising Emma Watson's Speech...
I am going to be fairly honest Emma Watson has never really interested me. I am not a Harry Potter fan and I haven’t seen much of her work as an actress. But I know deep down that the main reason why I have never really cared for Emma Watson is because she represents everything that I am not. I am not a white heterosexual middle class woman whose clean cut is adored by the public and the media and is what society wants me to be. Instead I am a poor black woman from Peckham who is solely just seen “ghetto”, “ratchet” and a “thot”. I am highly aware of 4chan threatening to leak nude photos of her because of her speech which I honestly believe is cruel and extremely misogynistic. However, I will not ignore the fact that the reason why feminists especially white feminists and the media are not criticising the problematic nature of her speech is because of her high power status as a white heterosexual cis middle class.
Lack of intersectionality
Emma Watson states when she researched the word feminism and she noticed it has become unpopular. According to Emma Watson she is “among the ranks of women whose expressions are seen as too strong, too aggressive, isolating, anti-men and, unattractive”. In this case Emma Watson is extremely wrong. The idea of feminism being associated with hating men is soley rooted in lesbophobia. How many times have you heard “you are a feminist oh shit you must be a lesbian and you totes hate men lmao” from a random dickhead when you tell them you are feminist? Emma Watson speech continues to erase women who are more marginalised by her by simply not acknowledging that is black women who are constantly trapped in the one dimensional racist trope of being as a strong angry black woman. We have already seen how detrimental this trope is with the New York Times article about Shonda Rhimes. It is the strong angry black woman trope that silences us and dismisses our cries when we are sick and tired of everything that is a result of our double oppression.
“What about the Men?” Feminism
“What About the Men” feminism is a current trend within white/mainstream feminism. This type of feminism advocates that women should make spaces for men in feminism and should essentially pander to men. I strongly disagree with “What About the Men” feminism not only is this idea extremely patriarchal and kyrichal but as a black woman I do not see why I have to make the space for men especially for white cis heterosexual men when their spaces are virtually everywhere in all aspects in society. Black women have been constantly marginalized and not accepted in the feminist movement from the very beginning. Instead of white feminists trying to remove the overt racism in the feminist movement, creating spaces for black women and stop using intersectionality as a buzzword they would rather focus on praising male feminists and creating space for men. Emma Watson has been guilty of dismissing Beyonce’s feminism because it “pays too much attention to men” even though that is not the case and it is actually HER feminism that is male centric. This all just shows how feminism continues to fonder anti-blackness and further alienate black women.
Malcom X was asked by a journalist when he founded the Organization of Afro-American Unity if white people were allowed to join. Malcom X simply replied that white people were not allowed to join the organisation because as black people we had to sort out detrimental impacts that white supremacy has made on black people. The same rhetoric goes for feminism. Men should use their privileged position to make society accessible for women it shouldn’t be the other way around.
So much Westernisation…
Let us all remember that this speech and the HeForShe campaign is for the United Nations. The UN (like IMF and WTO) promote the strong fundamental idea that the West is civilised and any country that is not Western is deemed as uncivilised, savage and barbaric. These racist and imperialistic stereotypes of the Global South is inherently linked with the idea that people of colour in the Global South need to be saved and most importantly saved by white Westerns. The white saviour complex allows white Westerners to get away with not taking responsibility for the fact colonialism is the main reason why the Global South is suffering. Emma Watson’s speech and campaign does not acknowledge the fact it is capitalism and neo liberal policies that has constantly harmed women of colour in the Global South rather than benefited them. For instance in the past the use of modernization theories in development polices actually created gender inequality and contributed to the oppression women in the Global South face today. Emma Watson does not even pay any respect to African feminists and African women who have continued to fight for their own liberation which is deeply rooted in black womanhood livelehood. At the end of the day it was African Women in the Congo who had to fight against modernisation theories destroying their agricultural livle. Why didn’t she use her privilege and platform as a celebrity to reaffirm African women and African feminists who have fought for their liberation rather than Hilary Clinton?
I am so done with this type of feminism getting praised all the time. I am not here to educate/pander to men or let white feminists dismiss me and other black women’s feminism simply for the fact we are black. The more this continues to go on the more I think I should follow down the path of womanism because at least my struggle to exist in a white supremacist, kyriarchal and capitalist society with be fully understood and I will be accepted with open arms.
10:01 am • 24 September 2014 • 3,099 notes
I Don't Know.
I don’t know how to tell my White friends how I’m feeling this week…
I don’t know how to explain how having cops around has never made me feel safer, but rather, more likely to die that day.
That I worry that I will be shot for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
4:27 pm • 19 August 2014 • 5,728 notes
this pleases me aesthetically
i do this by accident all the time
(Source: 99percentinvisible, via t-ssk)
6:45 pm • 8 June 2014 • 169,423 notes
Imagine if you were on a football team who had lost every game so far, but you had one big game coming up which could save you the season. Imagine if I asked if I could play for your team during that game, despite the fact that I’ve never played football before, I don’t have any kit and I don’t even know what it feels like to play a football game, despite the fact I’ve watched a lot from the sidelines before. You would probably feel really dubious about letting me play, since I have no experience and risk fucking things up for you even further. But, I try and try to convince you to let me play and eventually you give in, thinking “okay. She’s watched a lot of games. Maybe she could be exactly what we need to win”.
Then, on the day of the game I turn up in golf clothes, and proceed to hit the football around the pitch with my golf clubs and by half time, the team is losing really badly - even worse than normal, because some berk is running around the pitch with a golf club smacking balls willy nilly and causing general havoc. Naturally, you tell me to get off the pitch. When I ask why, you say “look, we trusted you and thought you understood the game, but you obviously don’t. We are losing even more than we usually do because you keep smacking the ball away with your golf club! Please go and learn a bit more about the rules of the game and then maybe you can play for us next time.”
I would not reply to this by saying “BUT I WAS ONLY TRYING TO HELP” or “MY INTENTIONS WERE GOOD” or “YOURE DENYING MY RIGHTS TO PLAY”. I would think, yeah, fair enough, and if I was at all serious about the team winning I would happily take a step back and let them carry on playing in a way that was more likely to win them the game. And I would take it upon myself to get classes if I wanted to join in directly again, instead of assuming they’ll all teach me how to play in the middle of the game.
AND THAT IS MY CAREFULLY CRAFTED ANALOGY ABOUT A MANS ROLE IN FEMINISM
7:51 am • 23 April 2014 • 4 notes
how to decode a person with an anxiety disorder
things we are trying to do all the time:
- be safe
things we can’t help but do all the time:
- second-guess ourselves
- behave impulsively and reactively
- take everything personally
- have difficulty accepting compliments
- have difficulty…
5:20 am • 6 April 2014 • 46,453 notes
just looked at even more old posts and came across myself saying “is it comforting that my life is moving in circles, or is it depressing?” ho ho ho
5:17 am • 26 March 2014 • 1 note
reading my old tumblr posts is weird because it makes me realise ive literally always had the same problems, just under different circumstances, and what’s more is that my responses to those problems have also always been the same ie be sad > be drunk and irresponsible > be happy and irresponsible > be happy and get life back on track > get bored with being sensible > be sad > repeat
my question is this: is it comforting to know your life goes round in circles because part of that circle is being happy? or is it depressing that things never really change? hmmmm
also if anyone has issue with a 21yo woman venting her feelings on tumblr do one
7:01 pm • 25 March 2014 • 2 notes
tumblr is such a weird concept
anyway hello, yes, here I am! great! lovely!
what I want to write about is a topic which has been bothering me loads recently (for some reason i VERY RARELY find using a public forum a bit more freeing than cramming it into another corner of my private sections). sorry if it bothers anyone loads.
ok. i have been sad pretty much constantly since I was about 10. and when I say sad obviously I don’t actually mean sad, because using the word ‘sad’ in place of my actual mental illness(es) is probably one of the most idiotic things I do (sadness and depression or anxiety or PTSD are not even close to being synonymous and I of all people am well aware of that) but it’s just far less hassle to say that im sad instead of saying that i feel really mentally unwell. anyway hopefully at some point all stigmas about mental illness will evaporate and maybe then I’ll finally become good at explaining how I’m feeling but as it stands it’s really just too bloody daunting to go on about it okay.
but the plot thickens. I’ve also been actually sad (in its proper meaning) about literally loads of stuff too - while sadness and mental illness are not synonymous they are also, obviously, not mutually exclusive things. people have been real dicks to me and shit stuff has happened to me alarmingly often. so I’ve been sad about that.
here is the crux of what ive been thinking recently, so pay attention. in my case, I think they probably were, but the bad things that happen to people ARE NOT NECESSARILY THE CAUSE of their mental illnesses. you know, people never ask you why you got cancer. like obviously there are things which heighten your chances of getting it but NO ONE, except your doctor during your diagnosis or maybe like your closest closest friends, would EVER say “so tell me, do you smoke? drink? eat fatty foods? use sunbeds?” after you told them you had cancer. people just say “oh god, that’s awful, a speedy recovery to you sir!” and that’s it. there’s no underlying public assumption that somebody, somewhere did something wrong and caused the illness.
and clearly there’s no issue with trying to prevent cancer by not smoking or drinking or using sunbeds - just like there’s no harm in trying to avoid bullying or sexual assault or violence to minimise your chances of getting depression or anxiety or whatever. but the truth is that most normal people feel like its not really any of their business to ask about the lives of cancer patients, hunting for clues that might reveal why they became stricken with the illness. they just accept that the patient is ill, and that its really horrible for them, and they wish them well. they think that even if the patient DID have a lifestyle which increased the likelihood of getting cancer, it doesnt matter now - they are ill, and they need to get better, and its that simple.
and this, generally, is just simply not the case for mental patients. we need to stop assuming that the lives of depressed, anxious and psychotic people necessarily involve trauma of some sort. SOME PEOPLE, WHO WERE PREVIOUSLY COMPLETELY HEALTHY FOR THEIR WHOLE LIFE, GET ILL.
am I being an idiot here? I really want to know what everyone thinks because probably I am being stupid and wrong.
ALSO: if the analogy with cancer here is offensive to anyone EVEN SLIGHTLY then tell me straight away and I will banish this entire post into the 8th circle of hell xxxxxxx
5:53 am • 8 August 2013 • 5 notes
so bored of being sad now like literally it has been so many years
9:09 am • 27 April 2013