Thursday, February 19, 2009

Well, allow me to retort…

This bitch was home ill yesterday when a friend sent forth this link to a guest post on Professor, What If? co-written by Mandy Van Deven and Brittany Shoot. The title of the guest post is What if the feminist blogosphere is a form of digital colonialism?, so you know a bitch just had to read that shit.

And as I read it hit me that they were kinda talking about me…since I’m a blogger of color who has my own blog but also contributes to Shakesville and Feministing.

So, a bitch has been colonized?

I’ve been purchased…gobbled up…hoodwinked and bamboozled?

And my simple ass just didn’t notice that shit…right?

Blink.

Now hold the fuck on and wait a minute!

For the record…

I do not blog for profit at AngryBlackBitch. That fact doesn’t make C-Money all that happy, but ‘tis a fact. The ABB Store ain’t bringing in serious money…trust. I am an activist who blogs…and this never has been, isn’t now and never will be a money for posting kind of arrangement.

I was not purchased…Lawd, have mercy…nor did I sell out when I chose to contribute to other blogs. And someone somewhere needs to educate these co-authors on how much that particular accusation and language will make a woman of color GO THE FUCK OFF!

Purchased?

My black ass!

Neither Shakesville nor Feministing have input in my content. None…nothing…no input at all. I didn’t have to negotiate that…they never asked, I never offered and everyone is cool. That isn’t how a bitch rolls. So, if my posts are lacking something that’s a bitch’s fucking fault and I own that. The tactic that brought me on board was that I was offered the opportunity to post as much as I wanted, about anything I damned well want to and whenever I saw fit to. Oh, and I still get linked to...not that the post in question acknowledged that. Come to think of it, they didn't exactly acknowledge me at all...just kind of worked their way around a bitch...mayhap they don't consider me a contributor even though I, um contribute?

How precious it is to be made invisible by authors who are challenging a system they say is making women of color invisible.

Shit.

A bitch might not be all about the ego, but my ass sure as shit isn’t some little blog that the big bad feminist blogs found and made a land claim on. I am the shit (wink)…and, as of this upcoming Sunday, I will have lived 36 years and all of them as a black woman…I know very well how the tools of oppression and colonization work and find the attempted tutorial on that shit insulting as hell.

Now let me get to the root of the problem…and that is the theory that my contributing to Feministing and Shakesville was a sell out move and that I’m just too damned stupid or Auntie Tomish to realize that my black ass is being played.

I reject the hell out of that. Mostly because my black ass has a very strong working understanding of what oppression, colonization and domination looks, feels, tastes and acts like.

Breaking News - I am a woman of color. I live that shit.

In my 36 years of living I have been kicked down, bullied, judged and denied. I have been threatened and I have been dismissed. And when I read the guest post in question I saw it for what it is - an attempt to critique large feminist blogs at my and other women of color contributors expense...to control my behavior, sanction my actions, diminish my contributions, mock my decisions, school me on my alleged foolishness and lecture me on the history of colonization.

And I shall not be used...or schooled on a history I live every fucking day and know all too well...or judged to be a sell out my people who don't even have the decency to call me by name.

Or silenced from contributing where the fuck I want to by some condescending 'you’re a victim, honey and you just don’t know it' critique of the feminist blogosphere that basically says that women of color bloggers aren't making a difference if the mainstream doesn't know their name.

Breaking News - sometimes we blog and don't tell y'all about it, we talk and don't invite y'all to witness it and we debate and don't want you to be a part of it.

And sometimes we contribute and aren't sell outs for it, we connect and aren't being taken for a ride as we do it, we join and are not consolidated as a result of it.

But hey, who the fuck wants to acknowledge women of color bloggers when it might get in the way of a good old fashioned defense of the oppressed by...um, the privileged...critique?

***cue crickets***

Mercy.

62 comments:

Courtney said...

Thanks for this inspired response Shark-Fu. You wrestled this issue back from the dangerous and distanced place of abstract righteousness to real time, real life, real talk. (On a less important note, I love that you used the word hoodwinked.)

jack a said...

Shark-Fu, THANK YOU. As a WOC blogging at Feministe, THANK YOU. I fucking FELT this shit.

xobekim said...

Seems to me that "What if the feminist blogosphere is a form of digital colonialism?" is essentially the same kind of nonsense that inspired you to write "A Conversation About Race..." last month.

I appreciate your keen nose for bullshit!

Can't you just hear them now: "Well yes, some of my best friends are Digitized Colonists."

Take a deep breath because a wise woman told me that February is a month for Ponderfication.

Delux said...

sometimes we blog and don't tell y'all about it, we talk and don't invite y'all to witness it and we debate and don't want you to be a part of it.

At this point, I am getting closer to the opinion that women of color HAVE to do this in some form, to be able to use use the internet effectively. Otherwise our testimonies are coopted for the emotional and cash profit of others and our spaces are used for voyeurism.

yeloson said...

How precious it is to be made invisible by authors who are challenging a system they say is making women of color invisible.

"But the white peeple's activism is more freeing!", right? They can put that shit right back into the icebox and keep it.

Their failure to see how having one white person speak for you instead of another still doesn't hit the basic problem.

But then again, people who don't listen ARE the problem.

Lauren said...

ZOMG I love you so much.

Thanks for bringing this back around.

Rachel_in_WY said...

...I was just waiting to hear your take on this...

I do think the questions they explored are good questions to be thinking about, but their conclusions seemed a bit sweeping and general at the same time. And you really would have to be involved in the conversations that occur between co-bloggers to know what the arrangements are, if there's a power imbalance, etc.

Also, I started reading your blog and Womanist Musings every day because of your work on other blogs, and, in a best case scenario, I think that's really what it means to be a blogging community. Realizing that you can only blog from your own perspective, but that you can link to and turn your readers on to the perspectives of others can be a powerful tool.

bossymarmalade said...

Women of colour always need to be reminded that their activism and advocacy is by the grace of white women, right? That's what feminism's all about!!

Same old earnest whine from the voice of whiteness, trying to tell PoC the "truth" about their own realities. Thank you for refuting this nonsense as the putting-us-in-our-place fairyshit that it is.

Sylvia said...

This shit right here? Is love.

And happy (upcoming) birthday!

Octogalore said...

Awesome response, Shark Fu. This is definitely a closing argument, there are pretty much no good rejoinders to it.

And I love Courtney's expression: "dangerous and distanced place of abstract righteousness." That's my frustration when Feminism gets pedantic... the folks being ostensibly "helped" get lost in translation.

Amber Rhea said...

Yes, yes, yes, and yes. This post wins.

LIz said...

Yeah I'm with you in the outrage about invisibilification. I hit that colonialist post late last night and was like, OMFG.

Leota2 said...

All I got is a big smile and a simple--Yessssss . . . .
Perfect.

Renee said...

Since reading that post at Prof What If I have been angry as hell. I am sick and tired white women speaking on behalf of women of colour and thereby trying to control our existence. Seriously fuck that. Of course their very whiteness gives them insider knowledge of what it is and isn't to be oppressed by race...that post was nothing but an exercise in privilege.

Peterr said...

as of this upcoming Sunday, I will have lived 36 years and all of them as a black woman

To go by the pieces of that life as you have laid them out here, Shark-Fu, you have lived those 36 years well indeed.

I'm just trying to figure out the appropriate way to add you to my prayers on Sunday morning: ". . . and we rejoice today with those who are celebrating birthdays, including Shark-Fu, the Angry Black Bitch, . . ."

Something tells me some of the more pious of my congregation might be a bit . . . cough . . . taken aback. "Did the pastor just say what I think he said?"

If they ask, I'll just point them here.

*wink*

Fine take down, Shark-Fu. You gave them a link and a very direct answer to their question at the end: "We wonder how they will respond to this post . . ."

They won't have to wonder much or read between the lines here.

Sinny said...

Fuck. Yes. This.

Blackamazon said...

go shark fu it's your birthday get your groove on

Rileysdtr said...

"Auntie Tom"? Oh, my stars and garters - inhaled diet coke right up my nose laughing over that one. Those doggone bubbles HURT!

Cheers, and happy birthday.

Vérité Parlant said...

Technically, while a feminist in my heart, I don't classify my blog as a feminist blog because I've got too many life issues going on right now to commit to being that focused about anything in my writing, can't guarantee I'll always be deep. So, I'm just a tired black woman trying to make a living who uses her blog for stress relief, sometimes aiming a gun or two at what pisses me off.

Therefore, I had to tell you thank you. I laughed loud shake the roof laughter, howling at the screen, as I read this righteous indignation well placed. OMG. Thank you.

(fŭng'kē) [blak] [chik] said...

'nuff said!

butterflywings said...

Great response. Found your blog via Feministing (yeah, the nasty big blogs don't link to WOC, sure...) and will be returning.

LOLd at the bit about how comments are moderated and posts go out at 'times convenient to people in the US'. OMG those inconsiderate racist bloggers not getting up at 4am! Nooooes! (And I am a Brit, do I get to be oppressed by this? I um, have never been bothered by the time difference because not being 6 and/ or spending my life on the Internet, I don't *care* if I have to wait for my comments to be moderated or posts to go up!

Ico said...

OMG, yes, yes, yes. So full of win.

Nudiemuse said...

Excellent. Thank you.

Christina said...

Thank you, Shark-fu. Thank you for being willing to expose yourself to the criminal stupidity that is white people all to often. If I had the right, I'd apologize for my people because damn, we're dumb.

If not for those who have not given up hope that we can learn, despite all evidence to the contrary, those of us who *can* learn would not have had the opportunity. You are so much a part of that, as well as many who have commented here, and many others from other places on the net. I am grateful to each of you, and once again, thank you.

And we'll keep having this problem until *some* folks are able to internalize that a movement for women is inherently different than any other because there is no "woman culture" and the experience across racial and socio-economic lines of this culture are going to be different due to that fact. What are you supposed to do to not be "colonized" under their definition of that? Not participate at all? Seems to me that's just using fear once again to silence the minority voice. Instead of fear of violence or fear of economic retaliation, it's fear of being seen as "colonized" or being a token.

Ouyangdan said...

Rock the fuck on.

FWIW, I loved your writing so much at Shakesville about a year ago that I subscribed to ABB in my blog reader. Now, I read you here, and then see it again at Shakes. I was glad for that link b/c I don't know that I would have stumbled upon this place otherwise.

You are so full of win.

PhDrk said...

Absolutely brilliant.

Feminist Review said...

Thank you for your critical feedback. I recognize that this aspect of our argument was flawed, and we should have spent more time clarifying what we meant exactly. We should have left that more open, and used our own experience as working class and/or queer women to exemplify that point. Instead we opted for something we believed was more visible. That was a mistake. That clarification can be found on Octogalore’s blog.

butterflywings: Living in India, a full 10.5-13.5 hour time difference from the US where most of the more popular feminist bloggers reside, severely limits my ability to participate in the "real time" of the feminist blogosphere.

ZC said...

Yeah, how dare they air out questions based on presuppositions that are different from yours. You are such a brave, strong Black woman for responding via blogging with your unnatural ebonics. I do doubt your commitment to diversity though, which came upon me as I looked at the responses from your readership to this post. Gosh, you make me want to register as a Republican. Post this if you're not too SCURRED.

Anonymous said...

Some people write blogs for a career, some people write blogs for their own satisfaction in venting or practicing writing or having their say, some people write blogs in order to attract a community in which members can learn from each other, some people hope to use their blog as a way to demonstrate journalistic or web design skills to future employers, some people write blogs as a convenient organizing tool for activism. And these are the "public spirited" reasons...I haven't touched on revenge, gossip, swapping jokes or recipes or entertainment.

Why is the high traffic group blog just assumed to be taking advantage of the lower traffic individual blogger? It's not as if there's a lot of money involved, either in writers' fees or in profit after the hosting cost has been dealt with. We aren't talking dKos-level traffic group blogs, we are talking feminist group blogs. I'd say that an individual blogger cross-posting on a group blog is just as likely to be blogwhoring for her own blog - taking advantage of the group blog.

NancyP

Delux said...

You know, if shuffling for The Man in his guise as a feminist blog is so lucrative, I want you to get me a pony.

...what?

desifeminists said...

we hope you'll include us in your blogroll!

http://desifeminists.wordpress.com/

Shark-fu said...

desifemnists...A bitch is switching technology for my blog roll and will add you as soon as I get my act together!

Shark-fu said...

ZC...

Ebonics?

Classic!

William K Wolfrum said...

Damn, Shark-fu. A powerful post.

ZC said...

I know, Iknow. Thank you. ;)

keori said...

Rock the fuck on.

We are all women. Our experiences as women are different based on our race, our religion, our sexual orientation and gender presentation, or socio-economic class, whether we are childed or not, whether we are married or not, our ages, and our education. NONE of those experiences as women are invalid.

We are all women. Our feminist issues will be different based on our individual lives.

It's the height of arrogance to suggest that a white woman can speak for a woman of color, and I am disgusted by the assumption that we do.

Delux said...

Still waiting on my pony....

JS said...

Feminist Review posted:

I recognize that this aspect of our argument was flawed

Jesus Haploid Christ, Mandy, THIS IS THE CENTER OF YOUR ARGUMENT. If this is "flawed", what's the point of your argument?

Like you, I'm a white woman. Unlike you, I would never believe that I knew better than actual women of color who blog what their experience was.

Your piece made me physically ill, but I forebore from saying anything because it's not about what the white women think.

But this latest in a series of fauxpologies is the LAST STRAW.

Please grow your 26-year-old whitegirl ass up and stop lecturing grownup women of color about what their lives are like.

Rileysdtr said...

This may a bit too highbrow even for me, but isn't it the height of arrogance to assume to speak for ANYONE else? The issue isn't white women speaking for colored women, or straight people for gay... it's any individual speaking from authority as if another.

But (here's the important point) it remains important to SPEAK UP FOR others. I cannot speak for another, but I must speak up for him or her, especially if s/he cannot. If she has been battered. If he has been beaten. If she has been oppressed. If he has been imprisoned. If they have been silenced. Then I must speak loudly. Otherwise there will be none to speak for me.

No, Christina, white people are not all dumb (and I don't care what color you are as you state that...) nor does there seem to be malice in this colonization. It feels more of a "Hey look! We're relevant! We're important!" bit a la proclaiming one's hipness because some of one's best friends are black.

(Little Sister - you'll be my BFF, right? I do ssssooooo want to be hip...)

yeomanpip said...

GREAT POST!

just had to shout it

Elián Maricón said...

This has nothing to do with this post.
However, I came across the following quote re: Rick Warren in an earlier post, which has made you into my favorite person on earth:

"I’m curious as a motherfucker about what the plan is here, because you know and I know that you know and I know that bridge building dialogue for the sake of bridge building dialogue is the very definition of bullshit."

A-fucking-MEN!

Incidentally, I live in your neck of the woods, just started blogging, and got one of my posts ("Join the Impact: What Impact?") picked up over at the Bilerico Project. Not bad for a spic homofaggot who has only been blogging for a month,eh?

Seriously though, you are brilliant. I hope you'll take a moment to read the post on my blog entitled "Aren't You People Over the 'Rick Warren' Thing Yet?" As you shall see, this beaner has some pretty strong feelings about that issue.

You are a goddess!

xoxoxoxo

Elián Maricón

charmngbilly said...

hmm. so academic-elite white women are instructing you on how to be authentically black and authentically a woman and how to correctly juxtapose the 2 identities? hmmm. i've seen something like this before.......oh yeah, when i had a "oh-so Liberal str8" 'friend' instructing me on what were acceptable expressions of my own faggoty-ness/white trash fab'lusness. i wish i had your level of erudition and brilliant way of marrying the clarifying words with righteousness. i just hit 'em with my shoe.

Jaelithe said...

Shark-Fu, I want to elect you the Official Feminist Mistress of Bullshit Detection.

So, I'm a white chick who writes for MOMocrats.com, which is edited by two WOC. Does that make me a victim of reverse colonization? ;)

Dispassia said...

Happy birthday to the bitch with a writing style so effective that she's got me referring to myself as "a bitch" and confusing the fuck out of everyone.

RachelB said...

Thank you, Shark-fu!

I'm happy to be able to read you here and at Shakesville-- the conversation here overlaps with the conversation there, but the two discussions aren't identical.

DebGrabien said...

What keori said.

What keori said, in triplicate. She nailed it.

Rhus said...

Thank you sooo much for this post. I’ve enjoyed it mightily and chuckled too in the middle of my sympathetic indignation.

I also agree with many of the points that people have made here. I’ll add a bit more, generalizing now, because this post you are discussing is not exactly news. Of course there can and should be legitimate and interesting analyses about the social dynamics of blogs. I'm eager to read them when they don’t appear to be fuelled by condescension or jealousy. Shark-fu, you may have felt ignored as a blogger in this case, but (much less importantly) I have often felt insultingly patronized as a reader.

I’m ready to admit my biases and prejudices, I’m ready to open my eyes and my mind, but taking that into account I'm old enough to read what I fucking want to, thank you very much. I might be persuaded to read something, not guilted into it.

Shark-fu, I love both the style and the substance of your posts.

breathless said...

Happy BD, ABB !

Jocelyn said...

THIS!
I found you via feministing, have followed you ever since (as much as I know how to- through Angry Black Bitch, Feministing, and Shakesville), and consider myself very much more educated (not that I'm done learning, or ever will be) because of it. I love your posts and your passion. Thanks for your pure awesome, and for continuing to blog despite all of the shit you've come up against!

DaisyDeadhead said...

Happy Birthday!

Nancy said...

I just found your blog today and I think I love you. Happy Birthday, and you keep telling those motherfucks how it is.

belledame222 said...

Great post, and HBD.

Christina said...

Rileysdtr,

No, Christina, white people are not all dumb

Really? I don't believe you.

Prove it.

Shark-fu said...

Now, now Christina...a bitch is not a fan of absolute statements and white people all being dumb falls in that category.

That road leads nowhere.

Trust me, I've driven it.

Dusty said...

As a Brown Bitch who Blogs,also without pay, I thank you for this post Shark Fu.

Brittany and Mandy said...

An Apology from Brittany and Mandy

Delux said...

Now look.

You got all that increased blog traffic and I *still* dont have a pony.

*pouts*

Shark-fu said...

LOL!

Don't pout!

We'll see about getting you that pony during The Gathering...

Natalie said...

Am brand new to this site, drawn by the familiarity with the name...Hot damn! I'm home!

thankful said...

I could not bring myself to read the digital colonialism article. I tried and could not make myself do it. But have been seeing it has gotten all sorts of critical response.

This post explains the situation really really clearly.

Thank you!

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Shark-fu said...

Well, thank you Mita.