Twitter hashtags

So I was randomly on Twitter the other day and one of the people I follow had RT’d a picture with the hashtag #StopBlackGirls2013

I cannot bring myself to download and put a picture accompanying this post, so if you are curious, you are going to have to check Twitter yourself.

The short version:

It was open season on black women on Twitter Sunday night. The tweets in the ugly trending topic compared black women’s bodies w/ animals, furniture & food. Black women’s existence was a joke. The topic trended for hours & reached the #2 trending topic spot. Post-racial America? Um, OK. [Storify]

I think that it is important to historicize, of course. American history, for the most part baffles me, but I understand at least one thing about feminism and America: that the early feminists like Elizabeth Cady Stanton fought primarily for the right to vote. And that, black women of the time had two wounds to heal: that of being a black person and that of being a woman. I point these out because they are the only things that give race a place in feminism.

Before I came across #StopBlackGirls2013, I had seen #SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen (there’s a Storify post of it from August) which only made sense after I had read this interview with Mikki Kendall that started it.

How does a movement that seeks for equality end up in these fights!?

2 thoughts on “Twitter hashtags

  1. Firstly – I cannot actually believe those Twitter pictures. It fills me with so much sadness that people find humor in devaluing and degrading other people.

    I think that the conversations that surrounded #SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen were of great importance, and were a prime example of when white feminists (such as myself) need to shut up, listen, and learn. Intersectionality (a term coined by the legal scholar Kimberle Crenshaw) is the practice of looking at (and having lived experiences) of a multiplicity of oppressions, based not only on gender, but on race, on class, on sexuality, and on many other categories. Feminism, both as theory and in practice, is worthless without thinking about how these oppressions act in tandem with one another, because they can’t be addressed as long as oppression is thought of as a single axis issue. Perhaps a little silly considering the great importance of this topic, but I really like this picture I keep coming across on tumblr, which reflects my belief in the importance of intersectional feminism:

    • I love, love that picture and I don’t think it is silly at all. It is completely relevant to the idea of feminism and how it should cross cultural boundaries.

      Today in a different class, we were talking about the history of gender in African societies in the pre-colonial period. Our ideas of gender are different in every society and that frames one’s feminism. Say, for example, in my language, there are no gendered pronouns and seniority in age tramps gender at any point. My sister-in-law calls me “husband” and I have more power in a conversation than she does. The word for older sibling is “mukuru wangye” which directly translates to “my elder”, and “murumuna wangye” for a younger sibling which is more companionable and doesn’t strike fear when one hears it. These are not gender-specific. But when the sibling is younger, gender comes in; such that I can choose to call a younger brother “musaza” and a younger sister is “mushiki”. I also default to those labels when I am not sure about birth-order. When I know the birth order, I will use murumuna/mukuru because that is a measure that tramps gender in the society.

      The point I am trying to make is; western, and in this case, white western ideas of feminism and gender have obscured history of other cultures. #SolidarityForWhiteWomen was a great conversation, but I wish that it was more engineered to historicising the black woman and her journey to feminism. Without the baggage of the white woman’s gaze.

      Am I making any sense?

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