Friday, April 11, 2008

Feminism and Appropriation

If you haven’t been following Delux Vivens' posts on the discussions as they've broken, She Who Has Hope has a roundup of the BrownFemiPower/Amanda Marcotte imbroglio*. Marcotte recently published a story on the institutionalization of sexual abuse of women immigrants in the U.S., without referencing or crediting the work women of color had been doing on these issues for years, particularly BrownFemiPower, a blogger Marcotte has acknowledged she reads regularly. There’s been a lot of blogosphere discussion, not all of which I’ve followed: I found ProblemChylde’s post linking Marcotte’s article to previous BFP posts especially instructive, and High on Rebellion’s Intellectual Theft Is Still Theft, discussing the ongoing problem of white feminists appropriating the work of women of color, painfully resonant with the discussion Pam Noles initiated over last Wiscon’s "But the Master Has A Black & Decker Cordless Power Drill" panel (on which I appeared).

Delux Vivens has also linked this to the ongoing Seal Press/BlackAmazon imbroglio, in itself just a single example of the divide between women of color and white women at the Women’s Action Media conference, which is in itself part of the long history of the contemporary feminist movement’s failure to acknowledge, include, or respect the work of women of color. The responses from all too many white feminists have been ... awkward.

*TM Witchqueen, with apologies for kvetching about the term before.


Josh said...

Mely, love your lj! Now, I love Pandagon too (not just for Pam Spaulding); so I gotta say in Amanda's defense that she seems to me to be quite the femme de ressentiment and to possess a sometimes-astonishing youthful ignorance of history. I've gotten really irked at the former quality and posted an angry comment on her "The Coen brothers are taunting me" entry; the latter shortcoming showed up in her "I think all this hostility toward the medical establishment comes from the same opposition to modernity that fuels the anti-feminists and opponents of the civil rights movement." That's really astonishing on a feminist blog, ya know?

Eileen Gunn said...

Micole, thanks for the heads-up on this, and for the extensive set of links to other extensive sets of links. It's heart-wrenching.

Micole said...

Hi, Josh, Thanks for the compliment. Having read Marcotte's comments on This has not been a good week for women of color blogging, I don't think the problem is solely due to ignorance, though it certainly contributes.