Part 1 of 3: Teasing out The Battleground
The Articles: In addition to harangues about random acts of racist behavior directed their way, writers often argue a power collusion between white women and white men. From my experience, about as much of a collusion as between black women and black men. Women are the losers in those equations.
Black women have a lot to be angry about. Pervasive inequities in health care, education, jobs and business, and violence in their families and lives. Lotta trauma — plus the daily subtle reminders that they are somehow “less than.”
Probably white women who came up poor can best understand. Poverty levels out cultures. The edginess of struggling to survive tends to drown out dreams, make us crazy and strident.
For those who’ve not known poverty, a lot of education is due. Teaching – that will be heard — requires a lot of courage, humility, and compassion.
Perennially angry people teach only anxiety. Anger isgreat kindling — necessary for triumph over inertia and indifference. But, over the long term, anger contributes little to behaving as a contributory human being, must less a woman rising.
Patriarchy honors no vagina. We women all are diminished in an infinite number of ways by the patriarchies that define our world. These patterns have prospered for millennia, literally on the backs of women. Women who’ve stifled their rage, produced babies, tried to civilize their young ones, lost children, ran complex households, suffered depression, dulled the pain with all manner of substances, and ambivalently adhered to ‘fashion’ in body and clothing. We dress to impress not men, but each other — one face of the ‘programmed’ competitiveness that women need to escape.
Women labor for less money, our health care providers can be dismissive, our safety and sanity is imperiled often by men with little control over their testosterone storms and their own feelings of inadequacy.
Our vaginas impart an essential, powerful commonality.
We’d be fools not to find ways to unite ourselves in fixing what’s broke, especially ourselves.