White skin doesn’t protect women from male violence

It has always been fashionable to scapegoat white women for the crimes of white men and the structures of white male supremacy.

 But any “power” white women hold is derivative. It derives from their connection to white men. It’s not a stand-alone power. It’s the power white men concede to them in order to divide all women and uphold the status quo. White women are the chief slaves in the masters harem.

And white women have often been guilty of pecking at women of colour, believing in the myth perpetuated by patriarchy that they DO have power over other women. The myth being that power exists on some sort of continuum like this:

White men,

white women,

black men,

black women,

Asian men,

Asian women

WRONG!!

It actually goes more like this:

White Men

Other Men

All Women

If a white woman believes she is not on exactly the same level,  as any other woman in this global patriarchal system of ours then she is simply underestimating how deeply entrenched male power actually is. In other words, if she “feels superior” to women of colour, she demonstrates how blind she is to her own predicament.

The dehumanization of females, which exists in every society, makes it possible for men to then dehumanize other “types” of people: different ethnic, racial or religious groups, which do happen to include men. But radical feminists have long argued that the original prototype for ALL oppressions is female oppression. Women were the first slaves. Female oppression is the model upon which all other subordination is based. When men go to war and kill the male enemy it is because they have been trained to see them as sub-human, feminized. The enemy takes on the female role and must be maimed, hurt and destroyed.

White women don’t go around killing and raping men of colour, or women of colour for that matter. But men of ALL races rape and hurt women of ALL races, all the time, every single day. If you don’t believe me, just look at porn, where you can find men of all shades hurting women, for fun, and this transmits into real life. The power structures set in place ensures that all males, including the so-called transgendered or intergendered males,are privy to male privilege, which they exert over women.

Men align with other men over women, as we saw exemplified in the “Bros against Hos” slogan in the last U.S election.

Racism exists, oh it definitely does. The hierarchies do need to be strictly adhered to, and therefore white women are often the perfect token torturers deployed by the masters to keep others in line. But white male supremist societies have somehow convinced women of all races and ethnicities that white women posess powers that they simply don’t have.

And after the recent sexual attack I experienced here in Japan, by a Japanese man, I would go further to say that in a racially homogenous society my white skin marks me out as a target. What I mean is, being white offers no protection to women, unless we are talking about the derivative protection of being connected to white male power in some way.

So lest we forget, being FEMALE is the overriding factor when it comes to being targeted by a sexual sadist in what Mary Daly describes as “Sado-Masochistic societies” aka patriarchies.

And to all the feminist men of the world who want to be knights in shining armour to women of colour, against those  evil white women, I want to say this: I see through the lies which serve to cast attention away from those who are really holding the power. I see that white women are regarded as bitches, just like any other women. I’ve always known this, but it’s only recently I’ve begun to realise that people are falling for the lies. (Julian Real, for example, is a white “male feminist” blogger–if such an oxymoron exists– who cannot contain his disgust of white women as he pontificates on behalf of women of colour.)

But I will concede one thing. Any white woman who falls for the myth that she is valued, by men,  over and above other women, in patriarchal society, is deluded. White women are proxies, nothing more, and I find it embarassing that so many have been convinced otherwise.

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56 thoughts on “White skin doesn’t protect women from male violence

  1. Exactly Cherryblossom – white women do not have power in their own right instead they are granted a tiny smidgeon of power from the men they associate with. Such as husbands/male bosses/male politicians/fathers/brothers. Therefore the ‘power’ men accord women is swiftly taken away if the male(s) perceive the woman/women are deviating from male supremacist mandates. This means women must constantly pander and massage men’s overblown egos 24/7 because neglecting the male ego means the woman/women will be punished and such punishment is a warning to all other women to maintain pandering to men 24/7 otherwise they too will be punished.

    No woman is granted power in her own right but all men are accorded power over all women because the male supremacist systems were set up to ensure men were given this pseudo right. But this is not the same as claiming ‘all men are violent’ but it does mean all men are accorded the right of male domination over women irrespective of whether individual men act on their power. However, men do not have power over all other men and that is because male supremacy is a hierarchy but it is one pertaining to men not women. Women are always adjuncts of men and yes whilst white women do engage in racism – it never began with white women it was/is white men who are the ones defining non-white groups as inferior as of course all men define women as innately (sic) inferior to the supposedly default human which is male.

    Men as a group only value other men because male supremacy teaches them the misogynistic lie that default human is male – women are not human hence we only exist to serve men because our not being human means in men’s understanding ‘no human was harmed’ whenever men commit violence against women.

    Therefore as Cherryblossom says and as radical feminists have said and we will keep repeating ‘Women were the first slaves. Female oppression is the model upon which all other subordination is based.’ Plus it was men who defined the misogynistic lie that only men are default human whereas women are non human.

  2. “White women don’t go around killing and raping men of colour”

    Wow, it’s totally as if that period in time- y’know, when a white woman could get a black man lynched simply on her say-so that he had sexually assaulted her in some way- totally never existed.

    Christ all-fucking mighty. This is why there are so few women of color in the radfem (or feminism on the whole) movement. Delusional white women abso-fucking-lutely refusing to own up to their own privilege, making it difficult for WOC to trust them.

    White women are second only to white men, deny it all you want.

    • Amy, trust me, you’ve missed the point of the article.
      White women have acted like fucking racist idiots in the past, and continued to do so today, as in the example you’ve mentioned.

      What I’m saying here, is that they have no stand-alone power. There is nothing white men like more than protecting their “property” by attacking a man of another race. Did you know that until 1992 in the UK, rape was considered to be a property crime? It was legal to rape your wife.
      What this means is that when a woman is raped, the men she is affiliated with feel as though their property has been personally taken from them.

      That’s about the sum of white women’s power. Property to white men.

      And I think that quote you mentioned was 100% correct. White women didn’t go around raping and killing black men. Did they?

      No.

      And if white women are second only to white men, what the fuck was going on two weeks ago when a Japanese man had me hanging from the ceiling so he could get his sadistic kicks, hmm?

      • Also, here in Asia, feminists would be bemused by your statement that WOC are not involved in the feminist movement. What a bizarre thing to say.
        Women all over the world, of all colours, are united in the fight against global patriarchy.

        Isn’t it a little racist of you, to dismiss the activism and feminism of WOC all over the world?

      • “White women have acted like fucking racist idiots in the past, and continued to do so today”

        Kind of life what you and your friends are doing now.

        …Is this the best you can come up with? Okay. Thanks for making me see exactly why, as a black woman, will never be comfortable calling myself a feminist. You can talk about white men’s privelige all day, but as soon as the subject turns to you, the derailing and whining abounds. My point about WOC not being able to trust white women has been proven.

        Enjoy your white women’s feminism.

        (And lol at the fact that you refused to post my link to Abagond’s “Are White Women Less Racist Than White Men” post. I’m guessing it hit a bit too close for home for you.)

    • Wow, it’s totally as if that period in time- y’know, when a white woman could get a black man lynched simply on her say-so that he had sexually assaulted her in some way- totally never existed.

      No, that is christ-all-fucking-mighty back at YOU Amy.

      All that *proves* is that white women were used as proxies and pawns in men’s power games over other men. It does not prove that they (WW) had any power – and in fact, I would even doubt this scenario happened the way it is told – just like the supposed millions of ‘false rape accusations’ happen today, we know that is a lie, but it will be written into future history as fact (history being written by the ‘winners’/dominant group). My assumption is that it was not that routine, may have happened as exceptionalism, but more likely, was just an excuse by white males to put black males into line (or more simply, just an excuse for males to go on a killing spree, they do that with little provocation, if you hadn’t noticed). I am glad that you think that black males are perfect, and never rape anyone Amy, because that is what you imply. I would posit that black men rape as much as white men, but due to the racist justice system, white men get away with it more. That is nothing to do with WW having power, but WM having power. If that is a false assumption, and black males are in fact, perfect, non-rapists, non-wife beaters, then don’t waste your time on feminism at all. There would be no point. Instead, believe white men’s lies about women, all women, which includes WOC and white women, and the respective lies about them. You seem to believe much of it already.

      Also, in the anti-slavery movement, not that it is recorded much in history, but women – white women – were very prominent and vocal against slavery. But history is written by the winners (white males), so continue to believe your white-women-are-the-biggest-racists-ever fairytale. Whilst I am at it, middle class women (and working class women) fought to improve the lives of primarily working class women, AND middle class women. But given today’s climate of the Oppression Olympics, women forget and choose only to believe the lies. Just like you are doing, with white women supposedly equal and as bad oppressors of POC as white men were.

      You are wasting your time with feminism Amy, if you really believe all these lies about women. I don’t believe the racist bullshit about black women, yet you are prepared to believe men’s lies about white women. That is not feminist at all.

      And FYI, I have often called out racism (and sexism) among my work colleagues. White men will assume that I will side with them on racist remarks, that is a false assumption also.

      • Kindly take your condescending tone and shove it far, far up your ass, you whitesplaining piece of shit.

        I don’t need to “believe” any “lies” I have ever been told about white women. I have been on the receiving end of racism FROM white women enough times to know how it works.

        (And when did I ever say I was a feminist? Or that black men were perfect??)

        “White men will assume that I will side with them on racist remarks, that is a false assumption also.”

        No, but you probably side with white women on racist remarks.

      • And when did I ever say I was a feminist?

        So what the fuckity fuck are you doing on a feminist blog then? Trolling.
        Obviously you don’t believe in feminism anyway.

        Suck up to men. See where that gets you. ciao.

  3. I am a woman of color, half Korean and half ? A post Korean war baby of probable rape from some unknown leftover soldier.

    Was adopted at age 8 by very white, very conservative parents who totally erased my Asian heritage.

    Embracing my Asian is a new concept for me.

    Great post ((((CBL))))!

    • yes, i wanted to say that. that book is highly misogynistic in its portrayal of women, which is a shame because I think Harper Lee is a woman. But writing misogynistically about women is how you make it as a novelist, in a patriarchy.

    • Oh look, it’s little Ms. BAWWWWWW BLACK GUYS WERE MEAN TO ME, also known as Ms. I DON’T UNDERSTAND WHY THOSE SILLY WOC CHOOSE TO SIDE WITH THEIR OWN MEN OVER RACIST WHITE WOMEN.

      You are fucking disgusting.

      • I don’t scratch my head over black women supporting black rapists. I chalk it up to woman-hating, same as it ever was. Go ahead, rub a a year+ long sexual assault in my face, see if it magically makes you start mattering.

  4. Also, rape is such a stigma that very few women dare to accuse any man of it, whatever his colour. What where the earning prospects of these powerful white women after the rape declaration? No one local would marry her, if she was already married her husband would be backed by the community if he threw her out of the house, which he would, nine times out of ten own. She would probably be carted off to a lunatic asylum where she would be raped continuously by the staff as many women were. If she was a mother she might lose custody of her children.

    What really happens to women if they cry rape? No woman, even today, can do this with impunity.

    • yes, you have to get rid of the whistleblower, the person attempting to shine a light on what is really going on (‘men raping women).Otherwize the entire pack of cards, the castle built on sand, comes tumbling down. It is crucial that the women are shut up.

  5. “White women don’t go around killing and raping men of colour, or women of colour for that matter. But men of ALL races rape and hurt women of ALL races,”

    Oh. Apparently you missed the fact that Dick Cheney endorsed Hillary Clinton for 2012.

    White women? What joke–given a choice to incarcerate, or not incarcerate men, the ALWAYS incarcerate men, and their vote reflects that. Prisons are rape factories, in case you missed it.

    Oh–that and the fact that white women fought so hard to define rape (the definition used by the FBI) as “penis.”

    Never mind all that maternal incest that creates rapists and other social malfunctions.Never mind that women and feminist criminology continues to overlook women’s violence and bullying of children as the main factor in a child’s upbringing that determines whether or not a kid becomes violent themselves.

    Patriarchy? What a bogus claim that is–it has always been one mothers sone against another mothers son–matriarchal paradigms working from within patriarchal structures.

    No, kyriarchy, and it’s sliding scale of absolving some gender criminals of their crimes [Barbara Bush raising her kin; Rebecca West and her choices to raise a son who hated her, rather than one who loved her; Steinem, sleeping with the CIA] , while implicating others. International war capitalists couldn’t be any happier than to hear your attempt to vindicate white women’s privilege.

    At what point in time will women–particularly white women–be responsible for their votes? For their choices? An entire generation of Iraqi’s has been obliterated off the face of the earth, during both democrat and republican administrations, and white women have profited from these wars.

    Profited only in the idea that they are somehow ‘as victimized’ or ‘more victimized’ than the women of Juarez.

    As convenient as it is for you to not acknowledge your privilege, you are full of shit attempting to sell others on such a lie.

    And in case you didn’t notice? Barak and Hillary are waging their own illegal war in Libya right now.

    Man, if an enemy marched into America tomorrow, I would hand them the keys to every white woman’s house that I know, and tell them “start here.”

    • Oh Noes!

      Women are responsible for getting rapists put in jail!

      Women are to blame for men’s decision to commit crimes! Even though abused children are overwhelmingly female, and the perpetrators of heinous crimes are overwhelmingly male.

      White men go to Iraq for oil, which is their dues under white male supremacy and they blame…. women?

      Show me the female oil tycoons, the female oligarchs, the female military leaders.

      What a joke you are.

    • “At what point in time will women–particularly white women–be responsible for their votes?”

      _HOW DARE YOU_ hold white women accountable for their own bullshit. Don’t you know that the fact that they suffer from sexism negates any other form of privilege that they might have?!?11

      • Amy, I’m not going to censor you, although I will censor any missing-the-point links you provide. You’re entitled to keep missing the point of this post, of course.

        I have not for one second even suggested that white women are not racist.

        What I am saying is, that white women have NO POWER, *except* the derivative power allocated to them *by* white men.

        READ THE TITLE OF THE POST, PLEASE. THE TITLE IS 100% CORRECT.

  6. “Man, if an enemy marched into America tomorrow, I would hand them the keys to every white woman’s house that I know, and tell them “start here.””

    Fucking hell. These people really do believe America = The World, don’t they.
    Well if you insist on going on about Amerika, how about American privilege? How about the fact that the majority of trafficked and prostituted women in the U.S, Western Europe, Japan and the Arab states come from poor Eastern European villages and are sent around the world to sexually serve men. All men. Of all races?

    Next time please READ the post. In this case, pay close attention to the part where I mention that any power or privilege white women posess is due to their affiliation with the men who really hold the power. Hilary Clinton is actually a perfect example, so thank you.

  7. I have banned pornonymous, after his comment condoning the raping of white women.

    I want to say to him, that if he/she is so concerned about women of colour, why the hell is he knocking on my door at Cherryblossomlife?

    Surely his time would be better spent making comments on porn websites and e-mailing porn directors, you know, those men who make movies where women of ALL colours are depicted as sub-human, but where black women get the added bonus of being abused with atrocious language for the colour of their skin too. Men of ALL colours abuse women in porn, and make a lot of money off it too.

    The racism and misogyny in porn never ceases to amaze me, and yet I get people knocking on MY door, MISSING THE POINT, not addressing anything I’ve said, accusing me of being racist.
    What? Am I racist against my own non-white children too?

    Ridiculous.

    Amy, see whose side you’re on here? You’re siding with people who happily condone military rape.

  8. There is an article in TheAtlantic at the moment (I found it linked from Blokes-ville) where a man writes about how it is many little things that create a background of oppression. Yes, in so far as that goes.

    BUT he then gives himself away … he describes an incident where his father was refused service at a restaurant and how this was the first time he, the author as a young boy, had seen his father “emasculated”.

    Emasculated. Not just disregarded or even de-humanised, no, it was his little male ego that was wounded. The issue was that it made him feel less manly.

    And this is the fundamental problem with all male-based “civil rights”. What it boils down to is (say in this case around race) is the demands of black MEN to be able to do whatever white MEN do.

    We have seen it in this thread: white men get to rape white women with impunity, so why shouldn’t black men ? (oh we know black men get away with raping black women, but they want that added extra so that they can be “equal” to the white boys). Then the fact you live in a country where white men actually get to demand consequences when black men mess with whitey’s property, this is somehow translated into major oppression …. by the WOMEN !!!!!! ????

    Seriously, what the hell is wrong with people ?

  9. Also, a comment on the American-centric point of view.

    If anyone has actually known or talked to (non-American, non-white) women who have been born, lived and worked in Africa, South America, Eastern Europe, Asia, the MiddleEast, the Far East, Indiginous women, whoever, wherever – and you talk to them about their problems as women, they will tell you about:

    healthcare and contraception and rape (by thier “own” men) and abuse (by their “own” men), and problems with food and clean water and education and loss of their homes, the pollution of their land and war (men’s games, men pissing contests), and their safety and the difficulty starting their own businesses, or having any independence and seeing any justice, or protecting their daughters, or ever being taken seriously by the MEN in charge and so on and on and on.

    And if you said to them, “but but but what about all the oppression by the evil white women ? ” They’d look at you like you’d gone soft in the head. Really, it’s complete bloody nonsense.

    • bloody nonsense just about sums up Amy and “porno’s” contribution to this thread.

      WHen pornonymous said he wouldn’t mind offering white women up to invading forces (which we all know means to be raped, because that’s what the military do to women) the first thought that popped into my head was the Congo, and the atrocities black men have been committing there against black women. Or Serbia, when white men slaughtered and gang raped every white woman they came across, including pregnant and very elderly women.

      And the very fact that in Pornonymous’s worldview white women are there TO BE offered to the invading enemy just proves that s/he can’t get past his in-grained assumption that white women are nothing more than property.
      IN this case, property to be handed over to other men as war spoils.

      And yes, black men abandoned black women when it came to getting the vote in the US, as far as I understand it. As with all male “revolutions” they yoked women’s strength to get what they wanted then shoved them back into the kitchen once they’d got it.

      • Well said parallel and cherry.

        Man, if an enemy marched into America tomorrow, I would hand them the keys to every white woman’s house that I know, and tell them “start here.”

        Flippin hell, men really do like their rape, don’t they? I guess HE figures that in “an enemy” marched into America, HE would offer up women to be raped (white firstly, but you know it wouldn’t stop there, any female would be fair game, that’s the way it works). Is that so “the enemy” leaves him alone? Probably. What a fuckin coward.

        The thing is, as soon as there is a bit of lawlessness, civil unrest, or war about, it becomes Open Season on ALL women, by ALL sides (men). Even at times of natural disasters like earthquakes or tsunamis, men start raping and beating up on women.

        For whatever faults “white women” are supposed to have, they don’t go raping and beating men up in times of war or natural disasters. It is the ‘game’ that men of all colours can play, together, bonding over the bodies of women (of all colours).

      • Everybody’s on mod at the moment due to the trolling this thread is getting.

        ” Even at times of natural disasters like earthquakes or tsunamis, men start raping and beating up on women.”

        Yep, I read that one of the secrets of the Hollocaust was not only that the Nazis were raping jewish women (THAT was covered up in the history books) but that JEWISH men were raping them as well!

        And yes, there has been concern here in Japan that orphaned young teenage girls and widowed young mothers are going to be targets for traffickers. and prostitution rinks.

      • “Flippin hell, men really do like their rape, don’t they? ”

        🙂

        thanks for the comic relief Fab

        that’s how shit it is to be a radical feminist: you end up giggling hysterically at just HOW many men love rape, because if you don’t laugh you’ll cry

      • I should have provided the link to the DV report, the link I had to the original story has disappeared (mmm, I often find that with ‘certain’ stories)

        A copy of the original story here
        http://twanzphobic.wordpress.com/2011/02/23/this-connection-confounds-me/

        But I did find a related story from TVNZ, even though they buried the original one
        http://tvnz.co.nz/politics-news/quake-counselling-could-help-reduce-family-violence-3766720

        Of course, the second story buries the perps’ sex in lots of sex-neutral terms, but DV is ~80% male on female crime.

      • Everybody’s on mod at the moment due to the trolling this thread is getting.

        There is an easy-peasy way to manage it.

        Select the “everyone must have an already approved comment” (that lets us through). Put the email addresses of the two here into either the mod or spam boxes.

        Threatening them that they will end up in the spam box usually stops them from spamming/trolling you. It fucks their email addy for everywhere on WP.

      • Just to clarify about the earthquake-DV stories above – these were reports about two different earthquakes (well, NZ does have a lot of them). But it does show that the report I found was not a one-off, but a very common pattern.

        I recall there was a huge rape problem in Haiti after an earthquake or hurricane or whatever it was. That would be men doing that. MOC. It’s a universal manz thing, to rape or beat up on women.

        There is a serious fucking problem with ALL men, of all colours. There really is.

      • okay will try to update my comp skills.

        It’s not Amy sending the hate, although I feel I should publish it so she can see what kind of hate women are up against, when they dare to [shock horror] oppose men politically.

  10. these people are nutters.

    You should see some of the spam I’m getting, including a pingback called “cherryblossomlife is a female paedophile touring Asia”

    Somebody there forgot that all the paedophiles and sex tourists touring Asia are men.

    if there’s one thing men are good at it’s projection

    which is why it doesn’t surprise me that the self-confessed rapist upthread, who is happy to promote rape as part of his politics, is involved

  11. I followed this through from the radfem hub which I read religiously but rarely comment on (in fact I may never have commented there?). I usually get a lot out of your posts but this one just seems so off to me.

    Yes it’s clearly true that white women don’t rape and kill black men (or very rarely). This isn’t the only way for racism to be manifested though. I’ve seen so many examples of white people oppressing black people, including the sexual objectification of black men. And I have seen white women oppress black women and black men, in numerous ways, on so many occasions. And if I see a white woman racially abusing a black man, I’m gonna side with the black guy. For definite. You know that social oppression isn’t just about rape and killing. Plenty of women have never been raped but are still oppressed as women.

    I guess it’s relevant to say that I’m a white woman. I just don’t get this post. It seems the point of it is that white women are oppressed by men, including black men. Which is obviously true. But it seems divisive more than anything, and the tone comes across as pretty defensiveI’m honestly not surprised Amy reacted the way she did, when I first read it I felt like posting something similar.
    (Except that I don’t believe white women are second only to white men, I mean I don’t think you can really draw up a table in any meaningful way.)

    • Hi 1rudegirl,
      FIrstly, thank you for commenting in a polite tone, even though you clearly disagree with the post.

      I would say that you don’t understand the post, which is fine, because it took me a while to get this concept, as I began journeying into radical feminism.
      The only way I managed to “get” what the radical feminists were saying, was because I *trusted* them. I didn’t get it, but I trusted them to be right, because they’d been so right every single other time.

      My first reaction to this argument was the same as yours. Well, to be honest, I didn’t really talk about men, because I don’t really care about them insofar as I’m a feminist and my priority is women.

      What I was mainly concerned about was the ways in which white women oppressed” black women… which was an argument I’d seen made a lot: that white women were instrumental in black women’s oppression.

      At first glance, it seems that white women are, indeed, oppressors. And, as you say, white women are racist, and mistakenly fall for the myth that their racism can protect them in some way under the reign of white male supremacy.

      It can to a certain extent. But it’s only when you look at the power structures at play, that you see white women are just pawns, and have no power in their own right. This is a really important point, because radical feminism is not about feelings, it’s about analyzing power. And power is something white women do not have, as I mention above. True, white men allow them more power than they allow black women, because those are the rules of the game.

      Pitting WOC and white women against each other has always been a key tool of the patriarchy. In fact, I believe there is no hope of patriarchy falling until white women face up to the fact that white men don’t love them over and above black women, and that black men do not find white women more attractive than black women, but are only interested in getting one over on whitey. And until black women are willing to accept that white women can be raped, they can bleed, can be prostituted, and in fact are–all the time– just like them.

      The quote I made above, “white women are the chief slave in the master’s harem” was made by a black women. I will search for her name and post it for you. She had the analytical skills to see, that when white women went running to their white men so that his wrath would be turned on them instead of her, they were acting out their script as token oppressor– and inadvertantly contributing to their own oppression as “chief slave”.

      So following my thoughts to the end.. it became pretty obvious that white women weren’t oppressing black women, but were being used as proxies.

      Plus, as I said, where I live in Japan the trafficked women, the prostituted women are all white (poor Eastern Europeans). I’ve been mistaken for a prostitute many a time. Here, a white woman is either an English teacher or a prostitute.

      So when you start to look at it from a non-American centric point of view, the idea of white women as oppressors begins to make even less sense.

      My sincere hope is that someday black women and white women will unite together against patriarchy. Because if either group supports “their” men over other women, the revolution is doomed to fail

      And this post probably was defensive, because I wrote it in response to a sexual attack I experienced recently at the hands of a Japanese man. So the wording of the title was chosen very carefully, and it is correct: white skin does not protect women from male violence.

      • Around blogland we seem to get many Americo-centric commenters on race, like you CBL, I have lived in a number of countries in different situations. I am actually getting bored with the narrow Americo-centric view on race, which also frequently relies on degree of blackness as a qualifier (thereby effectively excluding other races like Asian/brown/native) so from that regard, the Americo-centric view is rather limited, putting it politely.

        Luckynkl actually said it best, when referring to white women vs black women – it is the house slaves vs the field slaves. That I think sums it up quite succinctly, because it is clear what the actual positions are. Sure, in some circumstances WW could ‘oppress’ BW, but it is conditional power and relies on her keeping in good with master. All the slaves need to get what their actual position is, not do in-fighting, and instead unite against the master. Only then will the system change for ALL of them.

        There is a lot of false criticism directed at radfeminism, that it is white and middle class. I think that all radfeminists believe that ALL women everywhere have to liberated from male oppression, or else, none of us are. Very true when you look at sex trafficking. There would be no real liberation for ‘that’ country’s women if sex trafficking continued (because the male view of woman as sex object and lesser would NOT change), so it would be a false liberation, if at all. Any woman that thinks just improving her lot alone will work is deluded. All women everywhere have to be free from male sexual, reproductive, domestic and workforce exploitation.

  12. Hi CBL

    Thanks for a genuine response. I’m sorry about what happened to you, and I hope you are beginning to recover.

    One thing is, I am not American centric, I have never even been to America in my life. I am also often offered money for sex by men in the street (usually Asian men). This is not down to my behaviour or the way I dress, it is simply a common occurrence where I live for most women, it is something we just have to deal with. It has been happening to me since I was 12 or 13 years old. (I am also often mistaken for an Eastern European, though I don’t actually think the two things are connected as they often happen in isolation.)

    I also think the whole black men and white women thing gets really complicated as there is more than one thing at play. For example I have heard black men insist they will only date white women because ‘black girls have too much attitude’. And I have heard white women say they only date black men ‘because they have bigger dicks’, which is an old slavery myth, when black sexuality was described in animalistic terms by white people as part of the way they were dehumanised; reduced to livestock. I care about people being free of racist oppression, yes, including men.

    I don’t ever really trust people to be right on anything, just on the basis that they have been right before. Or I try not to. Especially if my brain just rebels at what’s being said, you know?

    A lot of this is based on life experience for me. One of my early memories, when I was very young (about five or six) a friend’s mother took us swimming. My friend’s mum is black. In the pool a white woman, completely unprompted, abused and insulted her, and kicked her in the face. I could see even at that age that it was racism; pure and simple. My mate’s mum was very generous in how she dealt with it, too generous I think, she didn’t even bring up racism to us kids as she didn’t want to make us feel divided. But we could all see exactly what was happening. In this case the white woman hadn’t gone running to white men and she wasn’t using racism to protect herself, in fact if anything she was making herself vulnerable to a possible confrontation and attack by starting something.
    This isn’t the only incident like that that I have seen, or other types of incidents. Ie white women insulting black peoples’ noses or hair, for example. Also middle class white women in positions of power holding negative stereotypes about black people and oppressing them based on this (eg passing over at a job interview, or in psychiatry choosing to incarcerate black people as they percieve them as ‘dangerous’). I’ve seen white female police officers arresting black women for no good reason.

    You could argue that all these women’s power comes from white men. Honestly I’m not really sure how relevant that is in the moment, to black people, because they still have that power and they still use it. Yes they could still be prostituted and raped by men, the same as black women. But that doesn’t negate what they are doing and it doesn’t make it irrelevant, in black women’s experience of racism.

    I don’t think there’s much hope for toppling the patriarchy full stop, quite honestly. But I think there’s very little hope for building a united movement if the racism of white women is simply passed over as ‘power given by white men’. I mean, yes it is, but that doesn’t make it any less real or any less harmful to other women. I mean you’re talking about it as though black women need to wake up and realise that white women are as oppressed as them… I think this is unfair. White women need to stop being racist, first of all. Black women seeing white women as sisters in oppression is cleary secondary to white women not oppressing black women.

    • Hi rebel,
      thanks again for having this dialogue, I’m sure it will be useful for other lurkers.

      Yes, I didn’t mean that you had to take my argument on face value because I’M a radfem and therefore You SHould Listen To Me. No, I was pointing out that this concept was very difficult for me to take, at first, but I thought to myself “hang on a minute, why are they saying these things? There must be more to it than meets the eye”. And so *I* decided that maybe radfems knew something I didn’t. I listened. I learned. I began to understand.
      You are under no obligation to do the same.

      No, the point of my post was not that white women are not racist, or that white women’s racism doesn’t damage black women. I think I’ve made that clear by now many times. IN fact, I’ve said (many times) that any white women who are racist are fucking idiots for believing that skin colour is more important than reproductive capacities. White women have got more in common with black women than they’ll ever have with white men. This post was not about that. At all.

      Perhaps a little background on racism would be useful. Racism was *created*. What I mean is, that people mistakenly believe that racism came about because white people stumbled across black people one day on their travels and had an aversion to to them, and racism was born.
      THis is false. People of all races mixed and traded along the silk road (through Iran) for centuries.

      What actually happened was, that white men needed labour, and hatred of black people was encouraged as a justification for using them as slaves, much in the same way that Hitler created hostility against Jews by comparing them to rats in his propaganda, or the way that women have been othered and hated by men since the year dot.

      Skin was the arbitrary measure used by those in power. But it could have been anything. It could have been who had the longest nose, the smallest feet etc. No, the bar was set at skin. Daniel Dorling’s excellent book Injustice goes a long way to explain the creation of racism.

      So, the creation of racism was scarily systematic— there was nothing natural about it. And white men were the instigators as they were the ones who were to profit from the cotton fields or the mills what have you.
      Remember, until black people were shipped to America, it was white women who were used as slaves in the workhouses , and of course, as sexual and reproductive slaves.
      So the original model for all slavery was, and still is, women.

      We no longer have slavery (well we do actually: sex slavery in the form of trafficked women), but white male supremacy still deems it necessary to divide people into groups as a justification for creating a pool of cheap labour. Here in Japan, for example, women are shunted into dental technician courses, while the men are sent to college to learn how to become actual dentists. In order to justify doing this, Japanese society must pretend to itself that women are mentally inferior. In other words, misogyny (appart from being enjoyable to men) serves a practical purpose, and this case economic exploitation. The pay of a dental technician is shit, so women are then forced to marry in order to have a reasonable standard of living. Marriage, as we know, supports patriarchy.

      I happen to believe that the oppression of women marks every decision that governments and businesses make. White and black men align with each other over women of all colours, all the time. As I keep pointing out, you only need to look at porn to see that.

      What is happening a lot these days, is we are getting a lot of MEN (both black and white) using white women as scapegoats to draw attention away from the fact that we live in a patriarchy, which by default privileges males and puts them way WAY above any females (again, look at rape statistics, look at porn, look at the fact 2 women a week in the UK are murdered by their spouse–each getting an average of 4 years in jail)

      IT serves to divide women, just as it has always done. Not all WOC have fallen for it. Many put women first. Black women are particularly vulnerable in a white male supremist society, yes, and white women should acknowledge that. POrn again, is an area where black women are particularly attacked for their skin colour. By men.

      • Hiya

        Yeah I’ve come across some of that stuff before about how racism was ‘created’. I dunno if you’re aware of craniometry in ‘scientific’ racism, but they also used pelvimetry and classified women by race, based on the size of the pelvis, using it to argue that black women were less. http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=szmnVZs_ImsC&pg=PA38&dq=craniometry+pelvis&hl=en&ei=Cyp_TvmvK87TsgaPwv1B&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CDgQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=craniometry%20pelvis&f=false

        Honestly for me the problem is this, how you say:
        ‘IT serves to divide women, just as it has always done. Not all WOC have fallen for it. Many put women first.’
        I just don’t buy it. As far as I’m concerned WOC/black women are NOT the problem and their approach to this is NOT the problem; the problem is WHITE women who are racist. The division among women is caused first and foremost by white women’s racism, NOT by Black women’s reaction to racism.

      • Where did I say that black women’s reaction to racism was the *root* of female divisions? I did not say that. I would never say that because I don’T agree with that point of view. I made it obvious in the post that I was angry at white blokes like Julian Real, who encourage this type of animosity between women. I am angry at the MEN who do this, the men who encourage women to peck at each other. Divide and conquer: first rule in any regime’s handbook.

        You need power in order to be able to oppress. You can be racist without having power, but you can’t oppress anyone. The verb “to oppress” is actually very specific.

        Of course, it’s famous that white men have used pseudoscience to make claims about women’s (white and black) and black men’s brains.

        For example Cordelia Fine, has (hilariously) shined a lot of light on white men’s shennanegins in this department. I especially loved her quote about how, when it became obvious that brain size did not correlate with intelligence as they had previously claimed (because men’s brains are bigger) , men of “science” began to correlate it against the pelvis and other random bones such as the femur! So desperate they were to cling to the belief that women–all women–were inferior.

        SO yes, the fact that white men have used “science” to denote other groups, including white women, as inferior to them, is no secret.

        As for your second paragraph, you’re missing the point (and I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt) so why not print out this blog post and the comments, read it, digest it, and mull it over.

        The division between women (all women) is caused, first and foremost, by the maniacal patriarchal obsession with keeping women separate and at each others’ throats.

        If you are a radical feminist, you will understand that when women are at each others’ throats, it only serves to benefit one group. And that group ain’t women.

        Yes, white women need to address their racism. I think that’s a given. In fact, it’s something that’s not even worth debating because it’s so obvious to anyone of sound mind.

        So this sentence:

        “division among women is caused first and foremost by white women’s racism”

        is patently false.

        Men, patriarchy, divide women. It’s the name of the game.
        What, you think it’s some sort of coincidence that women are isolated from each other in nuclear family prison cells? Dividing women up, getting women pecking at each other is a cornerstone of the patriarchy. SAHMs/WOHMs, Black/White, Whores/Virgins, Ugly/Beautiful: you name it, men have tried it.
        Which is why I said white women who are stupid enough to be racist don’t even realize that they’re shooting themselves in the foot. Then you have the fact that white women do not have the powers that society pretends they do; and THAT was the point of my post. And I say white women are scapegoated because it is very convenient to forget that despite their oppression by men, many white women fought against white men for abolition.
        An Eastern European teenage girl trafficked into London may have her racism to keep her warm at night, but the middle class black female lawyer has material wealth. This is what we are looking at. Where do you begin to sort out the various “privileges”? Well you can’t. Men are the enemy here. Let’s bear that in mind.</strong>

        So because we’re at the stage now where my post is being ignored and commenters insist on going on about points I haven’t made, but that they’ve made up and projected onto me, I’m only going to allow posts through where it’s obvious the person has 1) read the post and 2) read and digested the comments
        I don’t mind answering genuine questions about my point of view, but I’m spamming any others.

  13. Hello
    it just seemed to me that the emphasis in some of what’s being said is off. Yes, men divide and rule women, and it happens that racism is one way that women are divided and ruled. I’m not sure how to make my point here clearly, so I’m just gonna try as best I can.
    ie people are talking about WOC ‘falling’ for this, and basically it sounds like it’s being made the responsibility of women of colour, to see and realise that their solidarity belongs with women. But really, the barrier to this happening is – yes, men, but as far as women go the barrier is white women’s racism. I mean, Black women don’t decide that white women are racist because white men have told them so. They decide it based on their experience of white women’s racism. It is understandable that in the face of this they would leave white women behind. And to resolve this, the racism of white women is what needs to change.

    • yes, I agree with your last post. The onus is definitely on white women to try to begin building bridges with WOC as far as racism is concerned.

      But again, see, I just take that as a given. That’s not the subject under debate here.

      The subject I’m discussing here is how very little power white women have had historically, and today. White women do not have the power to stop the wars, to prevent men’s pissing contests about the globe; or to prevent men from digging up ancient forests to make way for their latest construction fads.

      Men, on the other hand, DO have the power to stop war, prostitution and poverty. THEY are the ones creating the damned problems. They just don’t want to prevent it. In fact, they get a KICK out of it all. LIke dogs pissing on a lamp-post, it seems to me that men in power want to leave as much destruction in their wake as they possibly can.
      Women have been trying for years to get men to stop raping, and we can’T do it. MEN, on the other hand could stop rape tomorrow, if they wanted to. By Not Raping.

      People, especially white guys, scapegoating white women for the crimes of white male supremacy draws peoples’ attention away from where the power really lies, and in fact, creates a witch-hunt type animosity towards white women… who do not have, and have never had the power to alter the status quo.

      IN Russia, during the purges, many Russians reported their innocent neighbours to the KGB for crimes against the state. Those neighbours were then shipped off to Siberia to be killed. Why did they do this? How can humanity stoop so low? Well, in order to prevent the KGB knocking on their door, of course. To protect themselves, and their family.
      This is similar to the way white women have behaved in the past. And I don’T exonerate them. They still had a choice to do the right thing. But never forget that violence is the way patriarchies stay in power: sexual violence against young females and domestic violence against wives.
      Never forget, that white women were quite simply powerless and at the mercy of white men, and many (most?) still are today if domestic violence, wife-murder and rape stats are anything to go by.

      It was when white women began fighting for abolition in America, that they began to realise how similar their situation was to the slaves. They were the house slaves, as FAB pointed out. Free domestic, reproductive and sexual labour provided to men, in exchange for a roof over their heads and some food. No wages.

      So structurally, white women still have very little power compared to men. Just look at porn, as I say. Look at rape statistics. And you see how powerful men are in this patriarchy of theirs.

      All I’m asking for is for people to understand that white women are female, first and foremost, and are treated as such by all men. They do not have the power people believe they do. I wish to god that we did.

      • [White women] do not have the power people believe they do.

        The example of this was Pauline Pearce when she stood up against a bunch of male rioters in the London riots. (The video of it seems to have been removed now)
        http://cherryblossomlife.com/2011/08/09/feminist-take-on-the-economic-crisislondon-riots/#comment-623

        In that thread I said (LOL, quoting myself, what a turkey)

        Within afro-caribbean culture, a woman can still wield a certain degree of “mother authority”, which was what she was using there. White women don’t have it all any more, in spite of what everybody seems to think, their “mother authority” has been very much eroded to nothing.

        There is no way any WW could have done what Pauline Pearce did, either in front of a group of rioting black or white males. Best case scenario they would have ignored her, worst case would be a beating. The hierarchy thing is not so straight forward, and WW don’t automatically have ‘more power’ than any WOC in every situation. It is very much a situation of WW’s ‘power’ being grossly overstated most of the time. That is not to say that some WW aren’t racist jerks, they are, but they are also shooting themselves in the foot by doing so. Same as the funfems who promote ‘sexiness’ as empowerment, they also shoot Class Woman in the foot by doing so. In fact, any group of women diss’ing any other group of women, hold ALL women down. Until that is realised, and ALL women unite and stop throwing each other under the bus, then ALL women will remain as second class citizens within their respective spheres/countries/communities.

  14. This has mostly already been said in this thread, but I just wanted to go over some of the basics

    1) being mean, name-calling, not wanting to be friends, hurting someone’s feelings, …. even all the way up to physical assault or other nasty behaviour is NOT oppression (or “privilege”)

    2) having institutionalised control of resources IS privilege, and the constant institutionalised use of those resources to exclude or dehumanise any class of people IS oppression.

    3) anyone who is supporting any male (and his precious wounded ego because he doesn’t get to oppress others to the same extent as some men do) is a supporter of male supremacy.

    4) feminists (ie “radfems”) want to see male supremacy dismantled

    Quick pop quiz: consider point 2) above and think about who really has the privilege in our world. Hint: try and name all the countries, major religions, media empires, coorporations, political parties, cultures, communities, police force, military …. where WOMEN have institutionalised and total control of the resources available. (never mind using them to oppress).

    Are there any ?? Hmm ??

  15. I appreciate your succinct points, parallelexistence. Brilliantly said. I’d never heard it put quite that way with #3, but it certainly makes sense. Great point with the pop quiz for #2.

    Here’s what I thought about point #1–This could be the result of different culture. For example, suppose women from different cultures, say an Asian and a Hispanic woman are put together in a workplace. It is likely that they may not get on well, since they have different cultural practices, some of which may grate on the other. They may not understand, etc. But is this due to oppression, or just to different cultural beliefs, norms, etc.? Since they are both women of color, it seems it cannot be racial oppression. (I’m assuming class is the same, etc). If one of the women is a white Scottish woman of the same class put together with either of these women and there is misunderstanding due to cultural differences, is this then oppression? My guess is that there is oppression mixed in, due to race, but also very likely that the cultural differences will also grate and be something like what you noted in #1.

  16. i’m sorry, but white women ARE NOT as oppressed as Black women and other women of color, you DO benefit from white privilege and all you have to do is look at the poverty rates and health disparities to see that Do not try and absolve white women of their white privilge and RACISM that many have. in fact, don’t EVER put white women on the same level as Black women when legally a Black woman couldn’t even be raped up until recently, at least white women had SOME legal protection from rape and other forms of abuse and above all white women OWNED SLAVES just like white men…so please spare me.

  17. and I’m not saying that white women don’t face oppression for being female, but you don’t have to deal with the same oppression that comes from being a person of color AND female and it’s actually racist to me, to deny that white women do benefit from white privilege, you can put it on white men solely if you want, but the statistics speak for themselves and the fact that systems of oppression have been set up to benefit white males AND white females cannot be denied. I’m sorry you got sexually assaulted, but let’s be honest about race and stop sugar coating things.

  18. and I apologize if my other comment came off harsh, but i think it’s so ridiculous to overlook race when it comes to determining how sexism affects women on a world wide scale. a privileged white woman will not experience sexism in the same way that a poor Black or Brown woman would and that’s backed up by statistics if you look at domestic abuse rates and poverty rates, you’ll see that women aren’t all equal and that race does play A HUGE ROLE so I think it’s unfair to overlook race when it comes to women. we don’t all experience sexism the same way and sometimes Black women and other women of color are forced to put their race first and pick and choose precisely BECAUSE we have to deal with the issues of BOTH sex and race is a sexist and racist society and when we have to pick and choose, often we choose to be loyal to our race because history has defined us in a such as way that Black women/ Brown women were never viewed as women first, but their ethnicity first

    in fact black women have been made to be the ultimate “unwoman,” throughout history. WHile white women faced oppression for their sex, Black women and other WOC faced both sexism and racism. but the sexism they experienced was expressed differently.

    so it’s a disservice to lump them together. Again, I apologize because i do think my comment came off as harsh, but this is just my opinion.

    • hi proudchocolategirl,
      No your comment didn’t come off as harsh. I agree with everything in your comments. That’s not what I’m arguing against, honestly.

      A couple of events spurred me to write this post. The first was a bunch of white male bloggers going on about how privileged white women are over men of colour. My response to that is under white male supremacy, white women are allowed a modicum of vicarious power by their association with white men. But they do not organize the social system. It is a patriarchy and it is organized by men to benefit all men.

      The second event was that I was attacked here in Japan (by a Japanese man) and during the aftermath it struck me that women are regarded as female above all else, and men (of every race) go out of their way to remind us of that at every given opportunity. It is possible, for example, that here in Japan my white skin makes me a target for Japanese men. The prostitutes here are predominantly white (from Russia) for example. Whereas a black woman in Japan is more likely to be studying or accompanying her husband with his work.

      That is not to say, of course, that women of colour aren’t further disadvantaged, especially in colonial and colonized countries such as the U.S and the U.K. Women of colour are discriminated against even more that white women, are treated differently (appallingly) in porn (as I mention above) and are not privy to the privileges white women receive *by* *their* *association* with white men.

      Add to that, white women are racist (not all, I believe, but many) but this serves male supremacy by pitting women against each other, and so I honestly believe that if a white woman thinks she is superior to another woman by virtue of the colour of her skin, she is doing the work of the patriarchy for them. It was a black woman who coined the phrase “White women are the chief slaves in the Master’s harem” and I 100% agree.

      White women need to do *all* women a favour and disassociate themselves from white men politically. And it’s possible that if this women’s revolution is ever to take place, it will be through women of colour accepting an alliance with white women against all men.

      If you’re still around, please read through the post again including the replies, to see what I (we) are arguing. I appreciate you commenting.

  19. i’m just going to speak for me and my experience:
    i’m considered a white female by the external world. i have been conditioned to be such. as such i have absorbed racist conditioning. i hear racist thoughts all the time as voices. when in the company of people of color, the voices become very insistent and loud and degradatory towards people of color. i have figured out that this is my conditioning trying to shock me into behaving in a racist fashion. there are so many levels and it is very deep, to how my body language gives my fear away to how my thoughts generate fear. i am working diligently to eliminate this racism.
    that being said, i know that i am not the only one. that is to say, there are those who are considered black females by the external world who have been conditioned by their families and have a lot of racist conditioning as well.
    i have been privy to a lot of racist remarks made by all kinds of people. i notice time and time again that males of all races enjoy using race to divide us. i notice that when i watch TV or interact with males of any race that i do not see race as easily in men as i do in women. that is to say, i do not think about race as much when talking or interacting with a man. I WONDER WHY THAT IS? ha, not really. i know why that is. it’s because the part of my brain that seeks social acceptance has been programmed to relate to males as actual human beings while i relate to other females as bitches and racist stereotypes.
    quite a job. well done, boys. i must say.

    http://writingvagrant.tumblr.com/

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