White Feminism

Teaching about intersectionality, and the ways that women of colour have been excluded and marginalised within feminism? You couldn’t do much better for illustration than to have a look at what’s been happening round the blogosphere lately. Amanda Marcotte, a prominent white feminist blogger, recently published a book on surviving as a feminist in politically inhospitable environments. Unfortunately, her publishers selected some pretty racist images, and both she and they somehow failed to pick up on this. (I say “somehow”, but the fact is that we all live in racist cultures, and we are all affected by this whether or not we’d like to be. Marcotte and publishers are by no means unique in being well-meaning leftists who still screw up awfully badly.) Quite reasonably, there’s been a lot of outrage. There have also been apologies. Relatedly, things have become inhospitable enough that two prominent feminist bloggers of colour have closed down their blogs. This began with a charge of plagiarism (also against Marcotte). For a list of relevant posts, go here. For brownfemipower’s last post go here. For Blackamazon’s final post go here. Confession: I have not had the time to read all of this in any level of detail, but clearly something important and disturbing is going on that feminist philosophers should be interested in. And indeed that I am interested in. But if we wait for me to get time to read all of this properly before posting….

Feminists destroy the earth!

No, we feminists don’t hate men. We just hate the stupid arguments that are sometimes wheeled out by anti-feminist men. Such as that provided by Angry Harry. Witness:

Argument for conclusion that feminists encourage traffic problems (this is a reconstruction. His far less well formulated argument can be seen in full here):

1.there is a very powerful group of dysfunctional people – feminists – whose main aim is to encourage family breakdown.

2. By living together – e.g. getting married – people can save on transport … Traffic congestion and pollution would be reduced enormously and time spent travelling would be cut.

C. By encouraging family break down, feminists are encouraging greater traffic congestion.

Introduced to this argument (at the excellent Fem08) by Damian Carnell from NDVF, as an example of the problematic men’s movements out there, Jender and I scoffed heartily. Ha ha! Why stick at that, why not add:

4. Greater traffic congestion means greater carbon emissions.

5. Greater carbon emissions contribute to global warming

6. Feminists encourage global warming.

Ha ha, reductio reductio! What a ridiculous argument.

But we underestimated Angry Harry – you’ve got to give it to him, he follows the premises through to their conclusion, and thus his bold conclusion:

Feminists Destroy the Planet!

 At least he has provided us with an excellent example to use in critical thinking classes (there’s lots more at his site). But perhaps Harry has indeed been too angered by the all those traffic jams. On yer bike Harry!