I Am Marching for Black Women Because White Women Need to Step Up
My reasons for marching are simple: I will not be silent while my country condones race- and gender-based violence. I will not subscribe to a brand of feminism that does not serve the interests of Black women, or worse, that stigmatizes and harms Black women.
White feminism is the brand of feminism that has dominated in America, to our collective detriment. Indeed, of all the infuriating (if unsurprising) nonsense to go down in the 2016 dumpster fire, that white, college-educated women came out for Trump shocked me.
Appropriately, a few friends mocked my surprise. After all, traditionally, white women have disregarded the interests of Black women—and Black men—when it served them, looking the other way or supporting policies damaging to Black communities and damaging to black women in particular.
Even recently as mainstream feminism has grown more intersectional, white women have much listening to do, and much showing up to do. That is what this March is about for me.
Structural, institutional and individual racism, sexism and stereotyping continue so long as those in relative positions of power or privilege stay silent, or do nothing. White women have an obligation to fight to dismantle the institutional racism and violence that, in the past, (white) feminism has propped up.
Black women deserve better than ‘thoughts and prayers’ white allies. White women need to be co-conspirators in the movement for Black lives.
An aside: I considered sharing a few personal stories about relating to this struggle, but to me, this space is not about centralizing my experience or relating my experience to the experience of Black women. It is about centering the experiences of women of color, and they are not a monolith so we need to be cognizant of recognizing the legitimacy of experiences that are not our own; those are the stories and voices we need to lift up.
I’m here to listen and I’m here to show up.