|For Colored Girls|
My response to the section "And When You Leave, Take Your Pictures with You: Racism in the Women's Movement" from the book "This bridge called my back: Writings by radical women of color."
I chose the reading which stuck out to me the most. Based on the title, “And When You Leave, Take Your Pictures with You: Racism in the Women's Movement" I believe I chose the right section. This section was about white women's pseudo-intellectual approach to feminism, and the exclusivity of feminism and disregarding women of color. From the point of view of women who are Puerto Rican, Native American, Asian-Pacific American, and African-American, to name a few. Their perspectives were in the forms of poems, essays, and open letters. Some of the writings were directed to other women of color and others were addressed to white women. All the writings were raw reflections that supported an open dialogue or an analysis of feminism, black feminism, intersectionality, culture, oppression, and white privilege.
The section gave an honest insight to what women of color experience on the path of equality. It opened those willing to be open, that even within the women's movement, there's racism, discrimination, and oppression. The section shined light on the complete disregard for women of color and their specific needs. It also gave way to self-reflection from the reader because of the writer's brutal honesty and retrospect. The writings existing and being shared in and of itself gave way for personal transformation.
Without having read the other sections, I can't imagine how differently they are from this section. I believe this section was included because of how raw and honest they were. The writings are insight perspective from brave, generous, and intelligent women of color.
It's hard to choose because each section spoke deeply to a different part me. I appreciated the realness in Rosario Morales piece, "We're All in the Same Boat". I also want to note that I disagree with her definition on racism, which she states, is an ideology, therefore we can all be racist. I do acknowledge that this piece, along with the book was published almost 40 years ago.
What I loved the most about this section which had me nodding yasss, snapping my fingers, and making annotations.
It was Morales ability to be honest with herself. She said, "I carry a shell a white and crisp voiced shell to hide my brown golden soft Spanish voiced inner self to pass to hide my puertoricanness". I love how poetic this line was, even if it wasn't meant to be. My after thoughts on that are, if only more white feminist would publicly acknowledge how their stifled opinions of people of color are carried into the feminist movement. Morales continues, "I carry a pole 18 inches long to hold me at the correct distance from black-skinned people". Here, she's challenging us to see the racism we carry within by sharing her own prejudices. I feel feminist and feminist text can be demeaning and point fingers. It's similar to how I felt before Morales professed her own racism.
I have more respect for her. I can appreciate what barriers she's dismantled within herself by admitting it and taking it a step further to share it. From this section alone, and excuse my French Professor, was a thick and long middle finger to white America. The women are pretty much saying, fuck you America, your standards, and all the bullshit you come with. In the most intellectual and intelligent way. It meets America where it is but also gives it what it doesn't want. The blackness, non-conformist, authentic culture, and obviously honesty and truth. It tells America about itself while educating it. But it also says, "we don't give a shit how you feel about what we're saying or if you even consider our words, we going do us regardless".
It's radical in every sense and America doesn't like that.
Moraga, C., & Anzaldúa, G. (1983). This bridge called my back: Writings by radical women of color. New York: Kitchen Table, Women of Color Press.