Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Woman is the “N” of the World?


Woman is the “N” of the World?
In 1969, Yoko Ono coinded the term and I quote “Woman is the N****R of the World.” Shortly thereafter, she and her husband, the late John Lennon, wrote and he recorded a song with that same title.
According to Wikipedia (which is ALWAYS questionable), at that time (don’t know where they would stand today), Dick Gregory and Ron Dellums defended the song…
Several Black feminists, including Pearl Cleage, challenged Yoko Ono’s racist (to Black women) statement. “If Woman is the “N” of the World, what does that make Black Women, the “N, N” of the World?”
Fast forward 42-years later from when it was originally coined, a White woman decides to create and carry a placard of the quote to SlutWalk NYC.


I’ve been informed that one of the (Black) women SlutWalk NYC organizers asked the woman to take her placard down. She did. However, not before there were many photographs taken….
Now, my question is why did it take a Black woman organizer to ask her to take it down. What about ALL of the White women captured in this photograph. They didn’t find this sign offensive? Paraphrasing Sojourner Truth “Ain’t I A Woman (too!)?”
How can so many White feminists be absolutely clear about the responsibility of ALL MEN TO END heterosexual violence perpetrated against women; and yet turn a blind eye to THEIR RESPONSIBILITY TO END racism.
Is Sisterhood Global? This picture says NO! very loudly and very clearly.
The fact that this quote originates from awoman of color ~ Yoko Ono, really underscores the work that we, women of color, must do with each other to educate each other about our respective herstories. This photograph also underscores the imperative need for hardcore inter-racial dialogues amongst all of us in these complicated movements to address gender-based violence in all of our non-monolithic communities.
Co-signing with my Sister Andrea Plaid, that at the fundamental level this photograph speaks to the very sobering reality that there is a level of acceptable racism going on within (some?) SlutWalkS (not a monolith).
There is something deeply uncanny, that in 2011, this White woman would think it was OK to create and carry a sigh with the “N” word at a SlutWalk. What on earth was she thinking? Who in the United States of Ameri-KKK-a doesn’t know that the “N” word is NOT okay to use, most especially if you’re not Black.
The StruggleS continue…
POSTSCRIPT: I have supported & I still support the premise of SlutWalkS. In August, I participated as a speaker at SlutWalk Philly.
I discuss the reasons why I, as a Black feminist lesbian incest and rape survivor, have supported the premise of SlutWalkS, in fairly great detail in my September 30 interview with Where Is Your Line?
At the same time, I think it’s VERY important that EVERYONE read and discuss the very important and poignant concerns raised in BlackWomen’s Blueprint’s Open Letter from Black Women to the SlutWalk,” (if you’re not on Facebook, you can read the letter here); and AF3IRM RESPONDS TO SLUTWALK: THE WOMEN’S MOVEMENT IS NOT MONOCHROMATIC. Clearly there is an urgent and non-negotiable need for dialogues to happen in the immediate future.

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