Thursday, January 10, 2008

Dear Gloria Steinem: The Sequel

I listened to Gloria Steinem's interview today on NPR's Tell Me More and I'm now more angry than before. She now says that it is ridiculous to rank sexism vs. racism.

But, she DID rank it. She wrote: "Gender is probably the most restricting force in American life." MOST--using that word is RANKING. She wrote that black men were able to vote before white women to illustrate that black men are better off than white women. SHE WROTE THAT!

Rather than apologizing or simply saying, "Yeah, sexism is worse. Bite me!" Gloria Steinem is doing what privileged people often do...interestingly, she is doing what men in power often do to women...pretend that the oppressed person is crazy, too sensitive and unhinged. Clarence to Anita: "I never sexually harassed you. You're crazy." Isaiah to Anuche: "I never called you a bitch. You're crazy." Gloria Steinem to feminists of color: "I never said sexism was worse than racism. You're crazy."

You know what...bump the feminist label. So many women of color are right; I was wrong. Mainstream feminists won't or can't understand me. As of today, I'm officially a womanist.

(Okay...I know I said I had no fight in me today, but I listened to that interview and got my angry back. I'm scrolling down to the post below to listen to "How Soon is Now?" about 500 times.)

6 comments:

SheCodes said...

WELCOME TO THE FOLD, my dear. Welcome to the fold. Most of us have gone through it.

Liz said...

Sadly enough as you know, Steinem's viewpoint is shared by so many. She absolutely did rank sexism as being worse than racism. The thing is, so many women feel the same way she does.

I am not Star Jones said...

I found your blog via a comment you made re: G. Steinem's op-ed on Feministing and I have to say:

AMEN!

Gloria, Emily's List and others can dictate all they want about how gender should trump race but I know I won't be drinking the Kool-Aid.

If Mrs. Clinton gets the Dem nomination, I will be writing in my candidate in November.

Shelly said...

Hi Tami,

Powerful posts on this issue! As you know I try to avoid labels of any kind but you put forward powerful arguments against adopting the "feminist" tag. And I don't know who this Steiner woman is (I'll google her in a minute) but, to put it bluntly, it sounds like she's talking out of her a**... Like so many priviliged and cosseted people, she has no idea about any experience or point of view more diverse than her own.

And I tend to agree with MDC's comment on your initial post about this that this is probably a joint effort from her and Hillary Clinton.

Danielle said...

Excellent post. After reading that op-ed piece, Ms. Steinem went on my crap list.

I don't like duplicity. For Ms. Steinham to practice the fork tongue of pitting racism vs sexism on one hand and denying she's doing so on the other, is disingenuous indeed.

She needs to leave her cocoon and stop this nonsense.

Anonymous said...

Gloria Steinem is the reason why so many women are turning their backs on feminism.

She'a joke. Wake up Gloria, the 70's are over!

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