Friday, December 2, 2016

Laying Blame

When I saw this article the first time, I walked away. I just walked away. It pissed me off, because as a white woman who did not vote for Trump, having the blame for his election forced onto me, pissed me off. And then, for the author to go on to say that everything wrong in the feminist movement, for the average black woman was white women’s fault, just put it over the top. 

Perhaps a history lesson is due here. At the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848, men and women, black and white, came together, not only to discuss abolition, but to discuss suffrage. The great orator Fredrick Douglass gave a speech in support of women’s suffrage. Following the Civil War, in which many of these women served their country as nurses and as fund raisers, the idea of suffrage was once again taken up. But not just for women, but for the blacks, who were now free. The 13th Amendment had freed them, the 14th Amendment had given them citizenship and the right to trial, under the law, but it was going to be the 15th Amendment and universal suffrage, which was supposed to give everyone the right to vote. Let that sink in a moment. Originally written, the 15th Amendment was supposed to give EVERYONE the right to vote. Universal suffrage. 

The problem was that it wouldn’t pass. The black delegation to the later Seneca Falls Convention knew that. They told the women that. Susan B Anthony, Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton… they all broke with Fredrick Douglass because they felt the he wasn’t pushing hard enough to get it through as universal suffrage. Douglass was a shrewd man, and he knew what he could get passed. Women got cut out of the 15th Amendment, and black MEN got the vote. And the South got Jim Crow laws. (The North did its share of voter suppression too, but that’s a whole other history lesson!)

Since then, women, black, white, Jewish, Eastern European, Asian, Hispanic, rich and poor have fought TOGETHER and won for THEMSELVES the right to vote, the right to work, the right to tier own bodies and damned near every other right that they have. And they have done this TOGETHER.
This isn’t a black versus white thing. It’s not an us versus them thing. White women aren’t trying to “hold down” our black sisters. The key to this whole thing is to reach back and give a hand up to WHO EVER is behind you, not kick them in the teeth and push them back down the ladder.
It is articles like this that prove that women are their own worst enemies. We yell and complain about the patriarchy making things hard for us, and the constant struggle to make it in the world that is controlled by it, but we are willing to blame each other, denigrate, deride, and make ourselves look like the victim, so that we don’t look threatening to the patriarchy.

I for one am sick of it. I will call it out. Stand up, for Goddess sake. You are not a servant. You need not curry favor. It was not just white women that threw this country under the bus. 218,959,000 people eligible to vote in this country. 146,311,000 registered to vote. 132,899,453 is the number of people who actually got off their asses to vote. Women voted for Sec Clinton 52% to Mr. Trump’s 42%. Which means that your premise that white women put Trump over the top is statistically unsound. 

I’m not going under the bus for you. Stand up. Help the woman next to you stand up. And the next one. We cannot keep tearing each other down. This is what got Trump elected and what will keep him and people like him in power. 

Like Sec Clinton says… We are stronger together.

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