Recent Must Reads: A Weekly Roundup

Well, white women did it again. This time in Alabama. 63% of white women voted for Moore. I’ve read articles and Facebook posts with white women thanking black women for their votes. But is that enough? Is that anywhere near adequate? How are we white women going to do better? On a Facebook feed, a white woman acquaintance wrote: “Blaming white women voters has to stop.” She received 166 “Likes” for her statement, primarily from other white women. I was one of the few who wrote that the post itself and the subsequent comments reeked of “Privileged White Woman Fragility.” The original writer has yet to comment.

In addition, I’ve seen white women all over Facebook’s Pantsuit Nation group congratulating themselves for thanking black women for their votes! I’ve long had issues with Pantsuit Nation. Even good friends of mine make comments to posts that garner attention and praise for themselves and other white women rather than offering true support for others. At times, I see myself as an “armchair activist.” At times, the only work I’m really doing in the Resistance is keeping an eye on articles being written, and posting my choice of the most necessary here at ROAR.

But changing minds and making a difference in time for the mid-term elections, is going to take a lot more energy and sacrifice than that!! It’s going to require true engagement in dialogue with others. It’s going to require getting out of the house (something I hate to do in winter) and joining marches and lectures and political gatherings. It’s going to require all kinds of action that go against my own introverted grain: making phone calls and canvasing neighborhoods. Because if I don’t do this, if we don’t get involved in changing perceptions, in making sure everyone has the ability to vote, in trying to create an understanding that white women voting for a pedophile because that is less egregious to them than a vote “for” abortion, our democracy will continue to diminish.

Let’s allow Audre Lorde’s voice to propel us into the future.

 


  1. But after Democrat Doug Jones’s historic win in Alabama last night, black women must no longer be ignored. Exit polls show 17 percent of Alabama voters were black women and 98 percent of them voted for Jones. If we truly want to steer this country toward progress, we must support, understand, listen to, and grow the voice of the party’s most collectively reliable voters: Black women.
“Black Women Defeated Roy Moore, and the Country is Better for It”/ by Britt Julious/ Esquire/ December 13, 2017

 


 

2. Certainly these fears and “white anxiety” are not based in religiosity (remember: pedophilia). This means that, to many, the urgent desire to uphold white supremacy and all that goes with it must trump one’s desire to create a society that’s safe for all women. Perhaps, imagining something we’ve never had is less immediately tangible—less urgent—than the loss of something sinister from which white women have benefited their entire life.
“White Women Keep Fucking Us Over”/ by Joanna Rothkopf/ The Slot/ December 13, 2017

 


3. “Black women really deserve most of the credit for voting so influentially,” commented Angela Pierce of Danvers, MA. “And white women deserve the rest of the credit for making sure to publicly thank black women for doing so.”
“White Women Thank Themselves For Thanking Black Women Today”/ by Staff/ Reductress/ December 13, 2017

 


4. “Part of it, unfortunately, has to do with whether or not we see black women and girls as worthy of care and worthy of protection,” Attiah says. “Unfortunately, it’s hard not to think that if his victims were wealthy white women, that we would be including R. Kelly in these conversations that we’re having right now about sexual abuse and exploitation.”
“When Black Women’s Stories Of Sexual Abuse Are Excluded From The National Narrative”/ by Lulu Garcia-Navarro/ NPR/ December 3, 2017

 


5. I hope there is a reckoning coming. It isn’t here, yet. If it was, Trump wouldn’t be in office, Moore wouldn’t have led in the polls after the news broke of his past assaults, Johnny Depp wouldn’t be making movies, R. Kelly wouldn’t be selling records, Bill O’Reilly wouldn’t conduct interviews about how victimized he is, Matt Lauer wouldn’t ever have been able to install a button to lock victims into his office with him. It’s not here, and it will probably never come the way survivors need it to, with hellfire and anger, the incarceration, humiliation, and degradation of the millions of men we know are “asking for it.”

“Don’t Tell Me to Speak Up When I Can’t Even Say His Name”/ by Lea Grover/ DAME Magazine/ December 13, 2017

 


6. On one hand, marginalized groups deal with inaccurate representation. On the other hand, when we do write about our own stories to highlight larger cultural and societal issues, we often become labeled and the scope of our work becomes limited.
“I’m Done With The Faux-Woke Exploitation Of Marginalized Writers”/ by Ariel Henley/ The Establishment/ December 14, 2017

 


7. “There was a doctor in the neighborhood who bought a girl and installed her on the place for his own use, his wife hearing it severely beat her. . . . I have had many opportunities, a chance to watch white men and women in my long career, colored women have many hard battles to fight to protect themselves from assault by employers, white male servants or by white men, many times not being able to protect [themselves], in fear of losing their positions.”
“For Black Women, #MeToo Came Centuries Too Late”/ by Colbert I. King/ Washington Post/ December 8, 2017

 


8. LaDonna Allard, the founder of Standing Rock’s Sacred Stone Camp, Lakota historian and grandmother who’d been traveling widely to spread the word about the NoDAPL movement, told me, ‘I speak to gatherings of young white activists, and I wonder, don’t people have families? Where are they? When we fight, we have our children with us. Where else would they be?’
“When We Fight We Have Our Children With Us”/ by Madeline ffitch/ Granta/ December 8, 2017

 


9. Once you hear the truth, the image unwinds before your eyes. His left arm is headlocking her. His right arm has a tight grip on her waist. Her chin is tucked back, pulling away. Her hand, in one of the less iconic frames, balled into a first against his chest. Her body says no. His body says mine.
“The Thread: Ways of Being Seen”/ by Marissa Korbel/ The Rumpus/ December 12, 2017

 


10. It feels and it looks like what it actually is: a minefield composed of the irritability and despair of everyone around you, maybe because the generator ran out of diesel, or because they don’t have insulin for their old man or enough diapers for the latest addition to the family who has lived through two Category 5 hurricanes in his first month of life. The whole map is a blank canvas for anxiety. What is left is a space to develop paranoias, to imagine the most catastrophic scenarios when you can’t communicate with someone. And the worst part is that in this specific reality of broken, interrupted, or inexistent communications, every fatalist panorama sounds logical and sadly possible.
“Island of Debris: The Unofficial Toll of Hurricane Maria”/ by Edmaris Carazo/ Catapult/ December 5, 2017

 


11. “I was 57 years old. My mom died at 57,” Sorrell says. In Montana, the life expectancy for Native American women is 62, that’s 20 years less than for non-Native American women. The life expectancy for Native American men in Montana is 56.
“Native Americans Feel Invisible in U.S. Health Care System”/ by Eric Whitney/ NPR/ December 12, 2017

 


12. But what happened in the Seaport is not just the failure to add a richly diverse neighborhood to downtown. It is also an example of how the city’s black residents and businesses missed out on the considerable wealth created by the building boom. This is a city in which blacks are almost a quarter of the population, and their tax dollars were part of what helped jump-start the new Seaport.
“A Brand New Boston, Even Whiter Than the Old”/ by Andrew Ryan/ Boston Globe/ December 11, 2017

 


Joyce Hayden left her university teaching job two years ago in order to pursue her own artistic work. An assemblage artist, painter, and writer, Joyce is currently in the process of acquiring an agent to represent her memoir, The Out of Body Girl, which describes her 8 year relationship with a charismatic gambler and the dangerous road that eventually led to her freedom. Her chapbook of poems, Lost Handprint, is forthcoming from Dandelion Review. A freelance editor and writing coach, Joyce’s writing services and a selection of her artwork can be found at her website joycehayden.com. Joyce is available for commission art work, including celebration shrines for loved ones and pets.

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