Black Women** and the “#me too” movement

Writings on the recent and welcome focus on women’s pervasive experience of harassment too often tend to proceed as if white women and women of color are just the same in this respect.  I’m not in a position to speak for women of color, but I can mention some resources that arguably we should all read.  I don’t want to claim they are all completely true, but they are worth knowing about.

(**The authors of the remarks below are all black, but women of color more generally may find themselves left out or disadvantaged in the #me too movement.  In fact, factors other than ethnicity may create problems for other groups of women, such as disabled women.)

Here are three resources:

1. Reporting the neighborhood harassers: A black woman has some reason not to do this.  Involving the police with the neighborhood bad guys can get the latter sucked into a horribly unjust legal system or even get them killed.

2. Learning from the experiences of other women at work:  A black woman may be left out of the white women’s collective knowledge about harassers.

3.  Actress and producer Gabrielle Union argues that white women benefit the most from the recent attention.  She says, “I think the floodgates have opened for White women,” Union says. “I don’t think it’s a coincidence whose pain has been taken seriously. Whose pain we have showed historically and continued to show. Whose pain is tolerable and whose pain is intolerable. And whose pain needs to be addressed now.”