It's Hard Being White Etc.

[Content Note: White privilege; racism; transphobia; disablism.]

Two more cis white feminists have weighed in on how tough it is being a cis white feminist, in a world where Twitter exists and people who do not share our privileges may criticize us if we fuck up and be heard.

Julie Burchill: "Don't You Dare Tell Me to Check My Privilege." (Please note there is all sorts of TERF and racist rhetoric in this piece.)

Helen Lewis: "The Uses and Abuses of Intersectionality."

And once again, from Lewis' piece, here is the familiar implication that it's dangerous and terrifying for cis white feminists to even speak aloud their thoughts on being criticized by women of color and/or trans* women (and other marginalized groups of women):
So, here I am, underneath the bait, steadfastly not rising to it. But when I saw Burchill's piece, I realise that I thought: god, I had better not talk about this in public, or even acknowledge that I have read it. Then I thought: wait, what? In the last year or so, it feels like intersectionality has become a subject that it is too painful to talk about online, too mired in grievance and counter-grievance...

But....(deep breath, I'm going in) this approach is not without its problems. Because people are not perfect, and they do not have unlimited time and resources.
This is like the commenter who prefaces a comment here with "I'm scared to say this, but..." or ends a comment with "ducks!"—playing into the narrative that feminists are violent, that feminists will harm you if you disagree with them. Except here it's privileged feminists, invoking the same sort of bullshit while talking about feminists who critique and/or criticize them.

And, listen, I'm aware that there are people who don't make criticisms in good faith, and feminists who respond to things that offend them with threats and doxxing and other shitty behavior. I get it; it's happened to me. That isn't right. But that's also not primarily what we're talking about here.

What we're primarily talking about is privileged women who are complaining that they are criticized, sometimes in less than polite tones, by people who they don't believe should have a microphone.

And in the course of those complaints, they're asserting that they've been intimidated into not even speaking about this publicly, for fear of reprisal.

Never mind that there is clearly no reprisal, certainly no professional consequences, for cis white feminists who bravely say that women and color and/or trans* women are mean to them on Twitter.

Yet they are so afraid that they're cowed into silence.

Except for how they're totally not cowed into silence, because many of them are being paid to write about this very thing in major publications.

Which reminds me of nothing so much as the commenter who bitterly complains zie's being censored in a comment thread where zie is clearly not being censored.

I dunno. Maybe if you are a terrified feminist facing the horrible specter of accountability, you might want to consider if behaving like a common internet troll toward other feminists isn't part of why you keep getting yelled at.

[H/T to @TheAngryFangirl.]

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