I’ve been following the hashtag #SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen on Twitter since learning that it was trending. I am not going to try to explain it. I think it’s pretty straightforward. I don’t think I have the right to analyze it. That’s not the point. I’m bringing it to a blog platform at the NSVRC because I think it’s the right thing to do. The anti-sexual violence movement grew out of
the a feminist movement. As a movement, we need to be having these conversations if we are ever going to realize a world without violence and oppression.
#solidarityisforwhitewomen when feminist organizations would love to have you as staff and photo prop, but never in the management.— Sally Burns (@SallyBu90167032) August 15, 2013
Not every feminist or every anti-violence activist is on Twitter, or familiar with the twitterverse. The trending conversation is still one that every feminist anti-violence activist should participate in. Participating in a conversation doesn’t mean signing up for a twitter account and offering your two cents. It does mean active listening.
Unfortunately, this hashtag is not lamenting a new problem. Social movements in general and feminism in particular have a long history of getting intersectional oppression wrong. Focusing energy on one issue will not solve any of our social ills. In Talking About a Revolution, social organizers from a variety of movements originating in the 1960s discuss lessons learned. Divisive strategies didn’t work. Single-issue focus didn’t work. There is no place for them in social change work.
I think the NSVRC falls into the category of a “mainstream feminist organization” referenced in the stream of #SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen. That means that we have to do better. Maybe bringing attention to this conversation on another platform is a start.
#solidarityisforwhitewomen who cry when a woman of color directly confronts their white supremacist and imperialist thinking.— Charlene Carruthers (@CharleneCac) August 12, 2013