White feminism is toxic, selfish and ineffective. A Day Without Women, in this country, is a sad attempt at solidarity and as usual it’s a day late and a dollar short. Let me ask– have y’all considered those of us who can’t enjoy a day off in protest? Especially those of us who make nearly twenty cents less an hour who don’t have paid time off or reliable child care? It is very obvious black and brown women, and especially poor women, weren’t centered or considered. White feminists who practice white feminism stay doing the most with the absolute least, and it’s never intersectional. Today is the the day you could learn to be a white feminist who doesn’t practice white feminism, because the truth is, the day to take off was November 8, 2016.
Here are some things you could do today to center the voices, bodies, and struggles of those of us left out of your activism:
1. Have conversations with your racist family, neighbors and colleagues today. Make some calls. Make the rounds. This past weekend I saw news coverage of poorly attended Trump rallies. While attendance was low, racism and xenophobia were at an all time high. Why do y’all refuse to actually address the racism Cletus and Meemaw hold so dear?
2. Go to work. You know, so families, mainly black and brown parents don’t have to scramble for childcare coverage if you don’t show up to teach your class. So low income parents don’t have to scramble for after school care if they have to work late to pick up your slack. I recently read a report that schools in New York, Virginia and North Carolina will have to close due to teachers taking the day off. Fuck those parents who can’t make arrangements for their kids, right?
3. You knew you’d be free all day. Hopefully you’ve booked some appointments to see local politicians or arranged town hall meetings to discuss the doomed Affordable Healthcare Act.
4. Hit up Paypal accounts, or crowdfunded campaigns of brown and black women, so they can enjoy a day off instead. They deserve it. We’ve been here doing the work all along. Ninety-Four percent of us tried to save you on election day. If you’re feeling generous, here’s mine; Paypal.me/itsmeCreightonLeigh
5. Search the hashtag #JusticeForMicah and stand with a black child who is being persecuted for defending himself. Ask yourselves and other white people why we know his name, but the not the name of the white student who threatened him and taunted him with racial slurs. Contact the school and school board. Find ways to donate to his family so they can hire effective counsel.
6. Black trans women are being killed and harmed in record numbers. They are not safe. Ask a black trans woman if she feels safe going shopping or running errands today. Offer to escort her so she can use the bathroom of her choice and feel safe doing so. Make sure she makes it home safe and sound.
7. Donate money, time and supplies to local food banks who service black women and children.
8. Address and reflect on your own racist views. White feminists are racist. Why? Because all white people are racist. You are socialized to be racist because you were born into a society that caters to your whiteness at the expense of everyone else. If this hurts your feelings, put those feelings aside and do the work to undo the system that oppresses us, while uplifting you.
9. Google. It’s your friend. If you have free time today, and find yourself rolling your eyes at 1-8, maybe you need to use Google as a guide, so you’ll understand how white feminism excludes black women.
10. Stop creating ways to make statements so you can avoid doing actual work. From the Women’s March to A Day Without Women, white feminists are always finding ways to avoid getting their hands dirty. Buttons, pink hats and days off from work are not keeping black and brown people safe, especially black and brown women, and children.
Your feminism is shit, and we’re tired. Be useful. Be effective. Stop announcing your intentions to the world and do the fucking work.