If you cross-post this to APR, I will be your best friend.
I've been thinking about it for weeks and referenced it earlier in sex_and_race, so I came home and yanked my dog-eared copy of Women, Race & Class off the shelf to transcribe some choicer bits.
Thank you for this.
Too many of Hilary's supporters read and sound like Stanton.
But, it's also good to see some things haven't changed except access to knowledge and resources. I don't have a problem with the word feminazi anymore. Nor do I have a problem with fears that feminists just want to be able to do to men what men do to women. Because from what I can see, feminists who speak for the majority of American women want white male options. Which involves, well, having the upperhand in any and all exchanges with poc.
And it's cultural and persistent.
What are you trying to say here?
If it is that white women at the turn of the century (who had been in chattel slavery by any conservative interpretation) weren't all that hip to the black man's struggle, okay.
I don't see what you are saying here. Other than ECS was a racist and Frederic Douglass wasn't a sexist. Neither of which should come as a surprise to anyone with a hairbreadth of Feminist and African-american theory.
If you are trying to apply ANY of these quotes to the current political struggle: Cheap, Cheap shot. And ineffectual.
Um, dude. First of all, you need to slow your fucking roll up in here.
There's nothing cheap at all about quoting one of the leaders of the proto-feminist movement who, when it looked like black men might vote before white women, in the midst of the terrorism against black people that followed the Civil War, decided to draw a line in the sand--despite the fact that Douglass was her co-vice-president of the Equal Rights Association and continued to support women's suffrage.
Stanton and the MAJORITY of the suffrage movement opposed the passage of the 15th Amendment on the same grounds that underlie the various editorials and statements that have come from no less than Gloria Steinem
, Robin Morgan
, Erica Jong
, Roseanne Barr
, and most recently Geraldine Ferraro
: a fundamental sense of entitlement on the part of white women to walk through that "celestial gate" and into the White House before "Sambo."
If you DON'T see that, you're clearly not as up on your history as you think you are, much less watching the way the Clinton campaign is playing the game at this very moment.
I'm with you on this one.
I'd been making an effort NOT to go rereading Stanton's screeds on Sambo and the low Africans and what white women-deserved because I was trying not to think that even before white American first-wavers were in the house, white American women weren't looking for equality for all but equality with white men.
But I'm glad you did find it, because it's still worth thinking about and I found it cogent and relevant.
Otherwise known as, Go Big Red.
I stand corrected. I was aware of Ferraro and Jong's shithead statement but the rest of your quotes up there are pretty chilling. Being pale and penised I was just baffled by the quotes of a suffragist as having validity-I lacked the requisite context, see?
Sorry to come off as a prick.
"Being pale and penised I was just baffled by the quotes of a suffragist as having validity"
in terms of the campaign that is.
Your lack of context has little to do with your race or gender.
True enough. It was just plain ignorance. And me letting my ass do my talking for me. Once again, I apologize profoundly.
Groveling doesn't become anyone, dude. Thinking as opposed to re-arranging prejudices? Stellar.
I'm not groveling. I'm apologizing for being rude. Lauren and I seem to have hammered this out and it appears to have furthered the discussion despite my initial rudeness. Let's just leave it at that OK?
Feel free. I pulled all of these quotes out of Women, Race & Class by Angela Davis.
Isn't it interesting that we call Hillary by her first name and Obama by his last name?
Not terribly. That's how she's branded her campaign in an effort to distinguish herself from Bill, I suspect. Though I find it interesting that she's dropped "Rodham," which she refused to do in '92 when her husband ran for president and which she caught a lot of shit for.
What any of this has to do with the quotations above, though, I'm unsure.
Drawing attention to historically chilling white middle-class feminist bullshit as a means of illustrating how very little things have changed among contemporary white, middle-class feminists hurts white people's feelings.
I thought you might want to know. Also, hurting white people's feelings is like really, really offensive.
It's not like all of those women are racist, it's just that they're less sexist! Which we all should be cause sexism is worse. At least for white women. No one's sure about women of color, at the time of the last feminist census someone forgot to count them.
PS -It's interesting how at Senator Clinton's insistence Senator Obama was forced to denounce and reject the support of Louis Farrakhan, yet Sen. Clinton merely "disagrees" with her dear pal Gerry Ferraro. Or is it just me?
PS - It's not just you.
"Does the modern American woman [who] is a petitioner before man, pleading for her political rights, ever stop to consider that the red woman that lived in New York state five hundred years ago, had far more political rights and enjoyed a much wider liberty than the twentieth century woman of civilization?"
- Gawasco Waneh (Arthur Parker), 1909
Quoted in Sally Roesch Wagner's Sisters in Spirit: Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Influence on Early American Feminists
2008-03-14 06:57 am (UTC)
Re: What about quoting some indigenous?
Oooh! Thanks for the rec!
Holy fucking shit. That didn't appear in any of my Intro to Women's Studies texts.
Now that I think about it my knowledge of racism in the women's movement is almost entirely through reactions to it than direct examples. Civil rights history has far more of a "warts and all" use of source material.
I've been exposed to a wider range of work by Sojourner Truth and Douglass than Stanton.
This sort of reminds me of when I found a long out-of-print book by an early animal rights activist and it turned out the guy was a racist and sexist who believed a woman could abandon their already slight hold on virtue just by cutting their hair.
Except a million times worse, because that guy was obscure. This is a central historical figure and her image has been redacted in general surveys.
Edited twice for clarity and improving vocabulary and grammar.
Edited at 2008-03-17 01:32 pm (UTC)
I should also add I know this isn't hidden, just not the first thing you see. I knew the racism was bad, but it's not the same as knowledge informed by specific example.
That didn't appear in any of my Intro to Women's Studies texts.
It was in mine. Which isn't to say that you're wrong, just that I'm sure experiences vary. I identify as pro-feminist, but what has been going on re: Obama is not recognizable to me as the feminism I learned either in school or with activist groups. Of course, none of those viewed the President as anything but a figurehead anyway...
(sorry for such a delayed response. I had bookmarked this post to come back to but forgot about it until now.)
I didn't encounter it in my intro to women's studies texts, either, but I took more than intro classes in that department. These quotations were pulled from Angela Davis's Women, Race & Class, which I didn't read for a course but found in a used bookstore on the Ithaca Commons and read on my own.
This kind of racism was, however, something I ran into in activism. I remember when I was asked to be involved in the Take Back the Night collective, which was made up of white girls from Ithaca College and Cornell. The collective had caught shit in previous years for planning the march into the back neighborhood downtown instead of walking past fraternity row--where far more women of their demographic (white coeds) stood to be raped. Clearly, their desire to have me in the collective was more a political move than anything else, but I still had to read one girl the riot act in my first meeting who said about the previous year's controversy "So, what." I let her know what--namely that I refused to be involved with a racist organization that was so irresponsible as to infer that black men were rapists. Needless to say, the march skipped that neighborhood that year, and I refused to be involved the next.
None of this came as a surprise to my mother, whose attempts to work with white feminists in the 70s highlighted all the racism, classism, and heterosexism that's been discussed in this journal and elsewhere.
And that was kinda my point in posting these quotations. The extent to which things haven't changed is becoming more and more evident as the primary race continues.
I think part of the first assignment we read in my first class was the Combahee River Collective Statement. And clearly in the '80s there were no men invited to be in feminist groups, but I worked (in anti-apartheid and Central American solidarity groups) with anarcha- and socialist feminists who, while mostly white, were more informed by This Bridge Called My Back than by "Ms."
I don't think I wrote clearly enough that I feel lucky that I was introduced to it that way, not that I think that is the norm.
I did read their statement at some point and tracked it down recently. It's amazing.