The Lesser of Two Evils: Misogyny VS Racism

Today I want to talk politics, because for real: Are you fucking kidding ‘Murica?

This election has been particularly hard on my sensibilities. I’m not a big Hillary supporter, not only because of her “super predators” comments, but because she supported foreign policy that sent so many children back to Honduras and El Salvador to a fairly certain death. In so many ways, she represents a brand of White Feminism that is very hard for me to stomach. Still, there is no denying that she actually listened to her constituents and has not only apologized for a lot of the shit that has happened as a direct result of her husband’s horrible policies but also shifted a lot of her own to reflect the very passionate Bernie supporters out there, like me, who are demanding more than just superficial change.

When Obama ran for President the very first time, a white woman asked me if I was “choosing my race over my gender” because of my support of the senator from Chicago. The question of if I have a choice is not really a question; it’s an assumption that only someone in a position of privilege can make. I don’t. I’m a person of color and I’m a woman. I can’t parse those two parts of my identity. It’s just who I am. Not only am I undeniably female as I walk through this world, but I’m also undeniably brown. In fact, I’m undeniably Afro-Latina. As in, I will never, ever “pass” and I’m fine with that. I love being a woman and I am so proud of my mixed heritage as a Puerto Rican that it probably annoys people sometimes. #YoSoyBoricuaPaQueTuLoSepa

I voted for Obama enthusiastically in part because I truly believed in the message of change and hope he was selling. Has he disappointed me in some ways? FOR SURE. But overall, I know that the alternative would have been so much worse it makes me shudder to think about it.

The thing about this election is that people are being forced to make false equivalencies and keep on insisting that this is a choice between the lesser of two evils. That’s where sexism comes into play. Donald Trump is an unqualified, failed business man with a history of cheating people out of money they are owed, cheating on his own taxes and cheating on his wives. Plus, he probably raped a young girl. He’s also a racist misogynist and most likely a white supremacist. He’s fucking EVIL y’all.

A Bush or a Clinton has held presidential power for 20 out of the last 28 years here in the U.S. That pretty much cements the status of our country as an oligarchy where a few select families control the majority of wealth and political power. In 2011, just 400 Americans had more wealth than half of all Americans combined and it’s just gotten worse in the last five years. That blows. But Hillary did not create the system she is currently benefiting from.

Here is the thing; we have real shit to criticize Hillary Clinton about because she has so much experience as a politician. She’s a career politician and Donald Trump is a career failure. The only thing he has really ever excelled at in his life was hosting a reality show where he told everyone they were “Fired.”

Yet Hillary Clinton has to stand across from this total asshat at debates and pretend that he is her equal and feign respect for someone who has never shown respect for anyone else. She is way more qualified than Trump and she has been preparing for this job pretty much her entire life. She wasn’t raised with a silver spoon and she was never given millions of dollars by her father to waste away on ill-advised investments. She has also never scammed people out of their hard earned money.

I don’t LOVE Hillary Clinton. I’m not all engaged by her the way I was with Obama or Bernie. But we have never, ever had a “perfect” candidate to elect because we will never all agree on who that “perfect” candidate would be. What we do have is a choice between someone who is qualified and someone who would make us a complete and utter mockery on a global scale.

For those of you considering a “protest” vote: Please, if you REALLY want to protest, start working towards a fundamental change in our electoral system. Don’t waste your vote on candidates who don’t believe in vaccinations or who think climate change isn’t a big deal because “the sun is going to actually grow and encompass the Earth anyways.”

The only reason we are even in this clusterfuck is because there is a radical change underfoot in this country and to a larger extent the whole world. It’s the browning of America and a lot of people are scared about it. The world is becoming smaller and borders less relevant and when it comes down to it, there are just plain more of US than THEM. So those with lesser intellect and closed minds want to elect white supremacists in the hopes of maintaining a power structure that is starting to hear its death knells. Electing Hillary won’t change the power dynamics in this country, but it would be great if we can prove to all Trump supporters that there are more of us who chose unity over segregation, who chose love over hate, who chose experience over idiocy.

Hate can never and should never win. And a woman should never be forced to pretend that a man is her equal just because he has a penis. That’s sexist. Misogyny is just a hateful as racism. That’s an equivalency that is true.

 

 

Lena Dunham, Megan Rapinoe & White Feminism

I mentioned in my last post that I was a big football fan. Well, I’m a HUGE football fan. Like a two-time Fantasy Football champ level football fan. The NY Giants are my team and Odell Beckham Jr. is my man. I drafted him FIRST this year and I had the FIRST pick. Much faith has been placed in his beautiful, magical hands.

So, when Lena Dunham came out her neck talking about him like he was somehow in the wrong for daring to NOT hit on her at the Met Gala this year I was PISSED. It actually kind of shocked me how mad I was. It’s not because I’m a OBJ fan (I’m not down with the ODB nickname because it makes no sense, sorry Wu-Tang), it was because her statements smacked of so much entitlement and the very WORST form of white feminism it was hard for me to even stomach the interview. Here’s what she said word-for-word:

I was sitting next to Odell Beckham Jr., and it was so amazing because it was like he looked at me and he determined I was not the shape of a woman by his standards. He was like, “That’s a marshmallow. That’s a child. That’s a dog.” It wasn’t mean — he just seemed confused.

The vibe was very much like, “Do I want to fuck it? Is it wearing a … yep, it’s wearing a tuxedo. I’m going to go back to my cell phone.” It was like we were forced to be together, and he literally was scrolling Instagram rather than have to look at a woman in a bow tie. I was like, “This should be called the Metropolitan Museum of Getting Rejected by Athletes.”

Sigh. There is so much to unpack here. Let’s start with the fact that Beckham Jr. didn’t actually SAY anything to her at all. So basically, here she is, a white, incredibly privileged woman putting words in the mouth of a black man. Secondly, she is basically whining that he didn’t think she was hot enough to look at. Which is so annoying because when she wore that tuxedo to the Met Gala I was like, “FUCK YEAH! Take THAT patriarchy!” And she managed to just undo it all in two seconds by complaining to her friend that a man wouldn’t talk to her because she was wearing a tuxedo. I’m no even going to get into all the over-sexualization of black bodies or the fact that she actually felt like she was OWED a come-on by the wide receiver. Cause, no.

Right when I was kind of, sort of, reveling in all the mean shit Twitter was saying while they savagely dragged Lena (while also feeling bad for her because, damn, the internet is mean) the amazing Megan Rapinoe went and changed the whole convo by kneeling  during the national anthem before the National Women’s Soccer League Seattle Reign vs. Chicago Red Stars match.

Rapinoe stated point blank that she was standing in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick and that she felt like the convo about his protest had been skewed:

“It was very intentional,” Rapinoe told American Soccer Now after the game. “It was a little nod to Kaepernick and everything that he’s standing for right now. I think it’s actually pretty disgusting the way he was treated and the way that a lot of the media has covered it and made it about something that it absolutely isn’t. We need to have a more thoughtful, two-sided conversation about racial issues in this country.”

And there it is. The difference between intersectional feminism and white feminism in two simple acts. White feminism embraces and gives voice to the struggle of white women, while ignoring their very real place of privilege in our society. For example, 61 years ago (almost to the day), OBJ very well could have been lynched if he had the balls to approach a white woman like Lena Dunham and make any sort of even remotely flirtatious gesture. Just ask Emmet Till’s mom.

Intersectional feminism recognizes the links between all struggles for equality and acknowledges the fact that until we are ALL free, none of us are. Anyone who considers themselves a feminist, which Dunham surely does, should know enough to realize that the women’s rights are related to racial oppression are connected to class and gender policing etc. If you’re going to be a public figure loudly upholding a “feminist” ideal then do your damn homework and think, for just one second, before you say some stupid shit to your friend during an interview or before you tweet out blatantly ridiculous shit like:

It’s not that hard. Rapinoe proved it. Right after she correctly pointed out that the media BS over Kaepernick’s protest was completely misdirected, she also connected it to her own experience. Sure, as a white women, she has privilege in America, but as a GAY white women, she’s facing her own struggles:

“Being a gay American, I know what it means to look at the flag and not have it protect all of your liberties. It was something small that I could do and something that I plan to keep doing in the future and hopefully spark some meaningful conversation around it. It’s important to have white people stand in support of people of color on this. We don’t need to be the leading voice, of course, but standing in support of them is something that’s really powerful.”

It’s really not that hard Lena, and no, an apology is not enough. There are only so many times you can say “I’m sorry” before you need to start thinking about what you say BEFORE it comes out of your mouth. Give Megan a call, she can probably teach you at thing or two. If not, just take a moment to really think about this brilliant tweet: