Solidarity Is for White Women Takes Over Twitter
In case you weren’t on Twitter Monday night, you might have missed a big discussion about feminism and race, with the trending hashtag #solidarityisforwhitewomen. Started by Mikki Kendall, who tweets under the handle @Karnythia, the hours-long stream shed light on the concerns of women of color that are rarely included in mainstream discussions of feminism.
While recent controversies surrounding Hugo Schwyzer, a white writer and self-described male feminist (and former BlogHer Publishing Network member), may have brought these issues to a head, the tensions go back much farther than that, highlighting bigger social inequities between white women and their black, Latina, Asian, and Native American counterparts.
Here are some of the top tweets:
#SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen when WOC are treated as teaching tools & resources, not actual people by Big Name Feminism— Mikki Kendall (@Karnythia) August 12, 2013
#solidarityisforwhitewomen who are all for saving brown & black women in the third world but think nothing about WOC in their own community— pdxPinay (@pdxPinay) August 13, 2013
#solidarityisforwhitewomen is your sons shooting up movie theaters & schools labeled troubled & our sons gunned down 4 wearing hoodies.— Anita (@AJP0130) August 13, 2013
#solidarityisforwhitewomen when they fail to read Angela Davis, Gloria Anzaldua, Hazel Carby, Chela Sandoval and other WOC.— Roopika Risam (@roopikarisam) August 12, 2013
#solidarityisforwhitewomen when you cry for working moms but keep your nanny til 7 or she's fired.— kim rhodes (@kimrhodes4real) August 13, 2013
#solidarityisforwhitewomen means WOC pain and anger is described as "women screaming at each other" (how's that for "unfeminist" behavior?).— Grace (@graceishuman) August 12, 2013
#solidarityisforwhitewomen when you are instructed to apologize to a white woman for making her feel bad when you pointed out her racism— Eunice Cho (@eunicehcho) August 13, 2013
Reactions to #solidarityisforwhitewomen
After a while, the #solidarityisforwhitewomen hashtag became a subject of its own, and while many tweeters listened and joined in, the discussion put some on the defensive.
Are you watching the #solidarityisforwhitewomen hashtag? Because it's important even if it's uncomfortable. I'm listening.— TheBloggess (@TheBloggess) August 13, 2013
Basically, if you think #solidarityisforwhitewomen is "reverse racist" or divisive or mean, your feminism is not my feminism.— Bailey (@the_author_) August 13, 2013
#solidarityisforwhitewomen is when you're sick of the hashtag for a few hours, and we're sick of your privilege for a few centuries— Aura Bogado (@aurabogado) August 12, 2013
Yes- #solidarityisforwhitewomen is a thing. yes WOC are right in wanting their voices heard. & Yes, mainstream feminists are working hard— Pauline Campos (@Pauline_Campos) August 13, 2013
But what happens the morning after? Some people are wondering if Monday night's tweets will have any lasting effect.
What I'd like to know is, Will the people forging the #solidarityisforwhitewomen convo be ostracized from future opportunities?— Arturo R. Garcia (@aboynamedart) August 13, 2013
bc when #solidarityisforwhitewomen runs its course, we'll be back to the same white feminist hand-wringing about finding WOC voices— Cynthia R. Greenlee (@CynthiaGreenlee) August 13, 2013
Did you follow #solidarityisforwhitewomen? I know this is a topic about which people have passionate opinions, and I'm hoping we can talk about it constructively. What do you think of the conversation? Tell us in the comments!
News and Politics Editor Grace Hwang Lynch blogs about raising an Asian mixed-race family at HapaMama.