In case you are unaware, there is something called “The Whiteness Project.” Per the website, the project, from documentary director Whitney Dow, is “a multiplatform investigation into how Americans who identify as ‘white’ experience their ethnicity.” The first installment, titled “Inside the White Caucasian Box,” was released a few days ago and is an assemblage of interviews of 24 Buffalo, New York, residents who identify as “White.” To further explain the aims of the project, the website provides an “Artistic Statement” that poses some of the poignant questions that are explored in the interviews:
While many media projects have investigated the history, culture, and experiences of various American ethnic minorities, there has been much less examination of how white Americans think about and experience their whiteness and how white culture shapes our society. Most people take for granted that there is a “white” race in America, but rarely is the concept of whiteness itself investigated. What does it mean to be a “white”? Can it be genetically defined? Is it a cultural construct? A state of mind? How does one come to be deemed “white” in America and what privileges does being perceived as white bestow?
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This piece does not target all men. It is geared towards the demographic of Peter Pans among the male population who, regardless of age just refuse to grow up. They are the dudes who believe they are working towards a gig that will be extremely lucrative in the long run, but in the interim they are 30+ year-old living on sofas, in a basement, unemployed and broke playing video games day in and day out or producing something mediocre that more than likely will never take off.
They are the men who aspire to be “music producers,” “paid gamers,” “actors”, “rappers,” who have yet to make it in the business, but believe they are right on the brink of a huge break through. And who knows, one out of every couple million of these dudes, perhaps, will do something great. But many simply will not and they do not have a back-up plan to fall back on in the case of failure because they just know that they are going to be successful. Keep reading »
Before the movement to end street harassment really gained steam, I penned an essay about my childhood experiences as a poor, Black girl. In the piece, I detailed an interaction I had, at 11 years old with a group of men more than two times my age, where they publicly sexually harassed me while on my neighborhood street. The piece expressed the hurt, anger and rage that is buried so deep within me after decades of feeling unsafe in this world just because I am woman. This was the story of how I learned that my entire being was defined, in this society, by my sexuality. Not my intelligence, not my humor, not my wit, but access to my body.
I looked back on that piece and felt all the fears and anxiety that I have so long tried to cast aside and dismiss. Fears that resurfaced because of stories that two women were brutally attacked within the past couple of days (one of whom lost her life and the other who thankfully is expected to survive), by men who sought to gain access to their sexuality but were denied. Men who invaded the personal physical and emotional space of those women, without any permission or invitation, and murdered them simply because they were made aware of the fact that their advances were not welcomed. Keep reading »
Politically and socially, the most powerful demographic, with the exception of White men, is White women. Though still underrepresented in key economic and power positions, White women enjoy numerous social benefits, maintain political power as a “majority” voting body, are still allowed access to the resources provided by White men through marriage or other familial ties and are protected by patriarchal ideas of fragile femininity.
This social hierarchy of “Whiteness,” regardless of gender, becomes particularly evident in the nearly male-absent world of feminism. Though feminism purports itself to be a movement that represents the needs of all women, White dominance remains stubbornly omnipresent, marginalizing the voices and needs of women of color.
For that reason, I’ve created this list to help White women better understand intersectionality and come to better grips with the hurdles that Black and minority women face. It is not meant to splinter, or further divide the feminist body, but merely written with the hope that the power bestowed upon White women, as a result of White supremacy, can be used for the betterment of others. Keep reading »
As highlighted in Emma Watson’s recent speech addressed to the United Nations, society has ravaged the word “feminism.” For many, the term has become synonymous with “anti-male.” This perception derives from the attempt to view feminism as a singular movement or theory founded by lesbians and promoted by man haters. In actuality, feminism represents an entire spectrum of ideas, many of which address the impacts of patriarchy on both male and female bodies and psyches, directly and inadvertently. The concept of male/female equality, which is the focus and goal of feminism, encompasses a more fluid view of both masculinity and femininity, freeing both genders from socially binding constructs that otherwise limit freedom of individual expression. In that way, feminism as a whole, to a large extent, works to benefit, uplift and free not only women, but also men from the shackles of male dominance and patriarchy. Let’s explore how… Keep reading »
A bunch of obviously misogynistic “pranks” have been circling my Facebook newsfeed for a few days now and it is just pissing me off. In one particular video, that really can’t be labelled as a prank because there is absolutely nothing funny about it, a young man walks up to a random woman, asks a few questions and then shoves his tongue down her throat. Keep reading »