• Cade DeBois

    This has been the last nail in the coffin of my own feminism, to be honest. I’ve stopped calling myself a feminist and have begun distancing myself more and more since that hashtag crap. After I’m done posting this comment, I’ll unfollow and unlike RH Reality Check on Twitter and FB and be done with this site as I’ve have been doing with pretty much all the feminist sites I’ve used to follow.

    Why? One word: albeism. And I’m damn tired of it. Granted it’s not the only pro-patriarchy -ism/-phobia feminists hypocritically cling to, but it’s the one that’s pushing me away the fastest

    More specifically, I’m damn tired of being lectured on how to be a good, true or better ally by people who don’t make one damn ounce of effort to be an ally to women like myself, that is, disabled. I have listened, I have read and and I have acknowledged the problem women of color face. I oppose systemic racism in any form, because it is wrong and not because I’m trying to suck up to Black Twitter or the cool feminists of color or anything else I’ve seen white people who oppose racism be accused of in recent memory on social media. And I’ve tried to say, OK, yeah, there are some people who need to hear that even if I can honestly say i personally have tried my beat. Yet I keep getting the message that I as a white woman am not doing any of that at all, or that I’m not doing any of that the right way, and it’s been fills my social media feed all day long (granted i’ve been n a unfllow/unlike binge the past few weeks, so it’s dissipating). But here’s the kicker: while all this is going on, we woman with disabilites are still waiting for you to even acknowledge our existence, that even white women with disabilties are underprivileged (or de-privileged, in some cases) and disportionately hurt by patriarchy and that disability is undeniably a feminist issue too*.

    OK, I know you are probably saying you are “trying” and “one thing at a time” and you really only mean certain white women and not a white woman like me who’s had the jackboot of patriachy kicking me in the face since kindergarden. Yet, *no*–when you say “solidarity is for white women”, that white women overlook women of color, or as Ayesha A. Siddiqi said in her recent piece on yet another white pop star WOC are angry at, that “feminists of color stay rolling their eyes at white women”, you’re talking about all women like me, or rather a caricature of us that only notes our gender and race and nothing else that is part of who we are as human beings, like my own life-long struggle to understand myself and why other humans treat me the way they do simply because I’m different, i.e. not abled like the status quo.

    Let’s talk a little about that experience, yes? Not only do I get to experience the joys of being socially marginalized, socially isolated (Friends? What are those? You mean other humans who will talk to you??? That sounds awesome!) and often targeted by a charming variety of predatory types in society, being disabled pretty much means I’m poor. I’m barely getting by. And despite my dx’d disabilities, I am not disabled enough in the eyes of the government to get assistence, so I struggle on in poverty, work when I am able to at an occasional sub teacher job, making less than $500 a month (during the school year–I make nothing in the summer months). I’m scared to go to the state workforce commission because they could stick me with a back-breaking job making less than minimum wage (because I’m disabled, my labor is even less valued–and yes that’s legal, thanks to New Deal-era laws that have never been revised) and god help me when I show up to a job interview with disability and poverty written all over me. Nowhere in any of these lectures and rants and hashtags aimed at us stupid, clueless, wallowing-in-privilege white women is there space to include those experiences of disability, social exlcusion, poverty and classism. Granted, you do occasionally talk about poverty and classism, but usually only in relation to how *abled* WOC experience them (even disabled WOC can’t get a passing note!).

    Frankly from my prespective, all this White Women Aren’t Doing Anything Right stuff is all very hostile, all very exclusionary and elitist, all very finger-pointing and accusatory, it’s all VERY much assuming privilege and doing everything you and others keep saying allies ought not to do. And I’m tired. I’m tired of being angry at this brick wall called feminism that is never going to acknowledge women like me. You, and any other feminist, white or of color, who can only think of feminism as encompassing gender and race and little more, can take your own advice, unpack your own privielege and do some real work (i.e. not griping about pop stars and feminist elites) before lecturing me anymore on what being an ally is about. I’m done. I’m apparently on my own–I might as well accept it and move on.

    (*Seriously. We can’t even get raped and get your damn attention, if all the anti-rape culture articles I’ve been reading are any indication. All of them rattle off stats for college women, WOC, Native women, women in the military and so on, yet stop short at mentioning how women with certain disabilites, like developmetal disabilites like my autism, are raped at rates estimated around 50%-70%, although more studies are needed, if anyone ever decides this problem matters enough and disabled women’s live are worth enough to study it more. But I will say as an autistic woman who once was targeted for a rape and barely escaped the attempt, I can believe those estimates.)

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ayinde-Truxon-Flores/1196187056 Ayinde Truxon Flores


    • Euphony618

      I think that any discussion is not helpful when a group of people are treated as a whole. Privilege is not just a matter of gender or race; it is a complex web of many different traits. I personally would like to see more discussion of women with disabilities’ rights as well. Especially, as you said, for the vulnerability to sexual assault and abuse.

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