white feminism

I am done

*Barfomenz pricks, heads up. The popo might not give 2 shits about me but you crossed a few lines even the cops can’t ignore. I know you probably don’t understand family or love so you have no concept of protecting the ones you love as a result but this isn’t just about me. This is much bigger than that. When you go down, it won’t be one or two of you, it’ll be the entire cocking thing. I’m just gonna wait for that to happen and let you have your sick little fantasies in the meantime because let’s face it, you have nothing else. You’re not smart or beautiful or sporty, you’re just pond scum. The sort I would happily stab a million times with a blunt pencil for kicks (ooh, go on, report me for my threats to fill you with lead).

You had an advantage targeting me because I’m ill, cos pathetic little boys like you can’t take on someone the same size or on an equal footing, so you sit behind your little screens and kill/fuck cartoons with your stupid joysticks and threaten women and kids with sexual and physical violence. You are the definition of subhuman*

I am done with social networking or antisocial as the case has been. I threw myself out there because I felt like I could make a difference with everything I’ve learnt in my life and work but when I spoke up, the very people I was complaining about attacked me in their droves. The people purportedly on my side enabled them to do this. The same people who will commission Indian people to talk about India’s big rape problem without acknowledging the horrific rape and abuse on our own doorstep. The sorts who deny the racism inflicted on us every hour of every day without exception and in fact encourage it as a means of shutting us down. Those ‘lefties’ bent on defending their right to joke about rape and pour scorn on the imaginary race card without ever once reflecting on their whiteness and privilege.

You’ll have seen the new story regarding the woman beheaded in the street in Egypt. Such a brutal loss of life, such a horrific tale of male dominance and violence. We don’t treat our women like that.. Except we sorta do, (in a not immediately fatal sense, at least not always). The law may have been changed barely more than 50 years ago, to end capital punishment but the process of humiliation and voyeurism remains unchanged. The act of being tortured (physically or verbally) in front of your peers, to remind them of what happens to those who do not play the game is what they did to me, and everybody just stood around gawping, some too timid to speak, others revelling in their recently uncovered powers of impunity. That racism and sexism and privilege I was banging on about, they denied it by doing those exact things.

“How terrible to accuse someone of racism! I’m not a racist you fucking Paki”

“What do you mean you have an opinion? I’m going to kill you, you slag”

They twisted everything, they abused us and enabled others to abuse us with their huge fucking platforms and all the while a load of white people who have nothing going for themselves other than also being white, were listening and waiting for the time it was ok to call you a Paki online, and in the street.

Theresa May recently unveiled plans to make emotional abuse, controlling and coercive behaviour a jail-able offence, with up to five years in prison and a fine. Within an intimate relationship she described it as being ‘tantamount to torture’. I have had those relationships but I have also felt similarly being on the receiving end of racists and misogynists online, the point being that they attach to an existing collage of male violence and license to abuse. I already suffered from a condition affecting victims of torture before I’d even discovered social media.

To me, that image of the decapitated woman lying dead on the ground hurt my heart because she could have been my sister. Heck, she could have been me. I may not have had my throat slit but many have threatened to do exactly that to me. The frog in my throat that makes it difficult to breathe and speak is distressing. The idea that I might lose my mind again brings me back to the woman they beheaded. Her head was physically removed from her body by men who do what they like. The constant stream of white men telling me to kill myself, or threatening to doxx me or my family, or rape and slaughter me, sharing pictures lifted from an underage cousin’s profile, of her and my precious baby nephews, and bombarding me with images of torture, violence, images so gruesome any truly human person would feel shaken to the core is an attempt at a beheading of the emotional kind. The intention is to push me to the point where I do kill myself, a thing they feel is certain if they can only push me far enough. I don’t need to look to Egypt if I want to feel sorry for women; I have my fill of patriarchal misogyny in the apparently civilised west.

I am deleting these profiles now cos I do not want in on any platform that favours and benefits white men; the ones that delete the accounts of breastfeeding mothers but inform me that my rape threats do not violate community standards. I couldn’t give a stuff about ‘social’ networking. I do not attach easily to material possessions or ideas of what it means to be cool or current. When I reported these same fuckers to the police over 6 months ago, they cautioned me for kill all men. Now here we are, you’ve seen the images and how futile it is to expect justice when you are a woman of colour speaking truth. It is ok to threaten me with physical and sexual violence; this was confirmed to the abusers when the police and the platforms did fuck all about actual laws being broken. The thought of this makes me want to kill myself before someone else does. I may not have any control over a single thing in this godforsaken country but I am damned if I don’t get to call how it ends. I haven’t spent time teaching myself to breathe only to die a violent death at the hands of a fucking manz.

Silencing is what brought me to Twitter and it is why I leave it now too. The world hasn’t changed for the better these few years, it’s gotten considerably worse. Your allies are not your friends, all coppers are bastards and I really think we should kill all men (as in not just the black ones).

Everyday Sexism for a WoC

Further reading:

Die Clarkson

Helen Lewis fanclub

Rape Rape

White feminism and its inappropriate use of the word girl to describe brown adult women

This isn’t an exhaustive list. There are the persistent trolls I have chosen to ignore because what they want is a reaction from me, even the slightest indication they’ve hurt me arouses them, chauvinists like Nazarat Hussain and Elevatorgate. Never mind the countless egg accounts that are deleted before I get the chance to gather evidence. This is my everyday sexism, where run ins with white feminists produce the nastiest catalysts to outright misogyny and malice from predominantly white men. What do projects like Everyday Sexism do for me people like me? Am I not a woman too? Oh, it’s not about me, but for the greater good. The greater good for them, the white pen pushers cashing in on their self serving campaigns.

I have been silent because I thought I’d give the “greater good” concept a go. Maybe a project like Everyday Sexism could help every other woman, if not me. However, it is failing to do even that.

I appealed to the project myself one day (a long time ago now), well, me and a bunch of other people. Despite numerous tweets from my Twitter account and from others pointing to my tweets as well, I was expected to believe the reason for not engaging me but RTing a white face with the same information was down to luck and not a decision affected by the colour of my skin (or my reputation). Apparently the founder of the project was bombarded with thousands of tweets everyday so it was impossible to extract me from the sea of faces yet somehow she saw the tweet where I called her on my suspicions that she was prejudiced in her practice. Of course I was wrong and she was deeply hurt, after all she suffers all this abuse for being so selfless in the fight against the patriarchy. Even though she publicly admits she has only identified as a feminist the last couple of years. I left it there really. Until just now.

Here, if you haven’t already read it, a nice analysis from a white woman (is she bitter too?) explaining why I was right to feel uneasy.

When I really need to laugh, I take a look at this

cute

Mensch is from Mars

What is Louise Mensch? Why is she? In my experience she is what most of Twitter would define as a troll, not the fun kind but the sort that has the ability to incite hatred and violence. I readily apply the word vile™ to her, as it describes her personality perfectly, vile narcissist that she is. Mensch is the kind of woman I hold up as an example of when it is our duty to fight another woman. She doesn’t qualify for sisterly solidarity just because she has the nerve to identify as a feminist, I am of the belief that right wing and equal rights for women do not mix (human rights cover women too y’know). If anything, Mensch, like all other power hungry upper class feminists is fighting to secure her own place at the oppressor’s table to the detriment of us all.

We had a run in almost a year ago but not in the usual way people do on Twitter. She publicly announced her support for all the white fems gunning for me and then used a woman of colour to launch an attack, not once responding to my tweets at her, blocking me, choosing instead to assert her position via an ethnic which meant of course I was wrong and she was right. I knew what I was dealing with then so blocked her myself, along with the other white women saviours of white supremacy.

Imagine my joy then to discover a fullstop (Twitter users put a fullstop before the @ so that it is visible to all their followers not just the people in the thread) tweet aimed at me (I noticed it when someone I hadn’t blocked responded) and the inimitable Flavia Dzodan informing us:

lolwhatthefucklouise

I really wasn’t aware of my own identity, what I’ve always needed is for a white woman to put me straight. Surely it is a concern for all on The Left that an Uber Tory like Mensch is in support of your politics? Surely a warning bell for some much needed introspection? Anyway, whilst I felt dirty at the thought that I was on Mensch’s mind, there were no doubts as to why she had tweeted this statement. Mensch doesn’t care about me or Lewis. She doesn’t even know what’s going on half the time (see the Sunny/Sunni scandal), her intention was to flame the white knights into fighting for her honour (white women of the internet NEVER respond to criticism from women of colour, it is always their men). Which they did (thanks white fems, solidarity and all that).

Here, a selection for your perusal:

louisemenschfriend

louisemenschfriend1

louisemenschfriend2

louisemenschfriend3

louisemenschfriend4

Now, one of the biggest bug bears for white feminists is the ‘in-fighting’ and making other women vulnerable (which we must not do, even if that woman is goading other vulnerable women to suicide a la Brennan). So pray tell me, is this one rule for white women and another for the rest of us? Is it OK for a white man to call me a bitch? You white fems launched yourselves at Flavia because you did not like her choice of words YET the silence following Mensch’s use of the femometer to measure not only my struggle for equal rights but my WOMANHOOD and the subsequent misogyny from her supporters was allowed to pass without comment. Do you see why your feminism is utter bullshit? I was thinking on this as I drifted off to sleep yesterday; the reason we can identify with our trans* sisters so easily is because historically, we have also been denied our identities as women. Sometimes we’re sexless on account of being so repulsive.

Of course Mensch is a racist, we all know this. She thinks a cartoon of Mo and Jesus is a celebration of interfaith assimilation, not (?) recognising the hugely racist trope of the monobrow and turban. She also thinks Sikh people are Muslim because they tweet like, erm, Muslims. They were turbans as well, don’t they? Jeez Louise, all that money thrown at your education yet it appears it was wasted on you.

A true mark of solidarity from white feminists of The Left on The Internet would have been to denounce this right whinge extremist because of how their objectives are closer to ours then they are to hers. Except if they’re not. Then I imagine there’d be silence.

*silence*

*still silent*

Oh.

We will not let white feminism divide and conquer us

Everyone knows how white people colonised the world by pitting neighbours against each other. My own grandparents wouldn’t speak about partition, all my gran would say was that there was a time when Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims lived in the same villages, they were different but they respected those differences; going into the mountains to slaughter meat for food for example, acknowledging that this practice might be offensive to Hindus and Sikhs. The only other thing I recall my gran mentioning was the horrific state in which the trains carrying respective Sikhs, Muslims and Hindus arrived at their destinations, all passengers on board slaughtered by the other side. I can understand why they didn’t want to talk about it. That said I won’t ever forget their belief that the British were to blame.

I’ve always wondered how this manipulative tactic comes so easy to colonisers, even when they aren’t drawing up borders in countries that do not belong to them but in everyday life. I have watched incredulously as the white feminists of Twitter have attempted to do the same to Intersectionality. This movement was started by people of colour, yes but its foray into the mainstream has been enabled by white folk. Black people just don’t have that power. It is white people who will ultimately change racism by educating themselves and their peers, who must learn to accept we are all human. White supremacists don’t listen to black people, they murder them. So it was with great interest and perplexity I watched as various white fems of Twitter lay into our white allies, the few white people that do recognise our humanity. This is the kind of reaction they got.

sazza

At the time I thought it was genuine ignorance but now I’m not so sure. I think the white feminists knew that having white allies would make the transition from theory into practical change easier. At first they blamed prominent white intersectionalists like Zoe Stavri for fanning the flames in a bid to further their own agenda, she was somehow brainwashing us into giving her competition a hard time because of those column inches she’s after. This may be how the white fems of Twitter operate, manipulating the truth for self-serving reasons but I know Stavvers irl. We both belong to a diverse friendship group; black, brown, white, queer, trans*, bi, straight, able and disabled. Stavvers doesn’t need to pretend she is an intersectionalist; she lives it every day unlike the very white, very middle class people pointing their fingers at her. When white intersectionalists backed down to examine their praxis, white fems returned to attacking oppressed groups as if they were suddenly the problem.

Taking this all into account I would like to appeal to white intersectionalists to write their blogs on what they are seeing. Get involved; get your own messages out there. White fems may have their big media platforms but we are bigger in numbers and also cover most of the globe. Let’s flood the internet with our own information, let white people critique other white people without accusations of hijacking or misinformation. Here, some of you have bashed back and for that I am grateful, solidarity will get us through this.

White Feminism 101

White feminists sit around daydreaming about their next campaign. They’re not fighting for basic recognition like the rest of us, they’re thinking of even sillier ways to assert their power and so they have the luxury of poking at the institutions to look as if they are doing something worthwhile. So we show them how bullshit their feminism is and how do they respond? Do they take on board our feelings about how we are being erased? Do they accept that there is a kyriarchal structure they personally maintain? Do they fuck.

Last week various WoC had to push down triggers of domestic and sexual abuse in order to defend the perpetrators of these acts of violence against women. The two men in question; Mike Tyson and Stan Collymore. Y’see if you’re a white woman and you know that so and so is a prolific abuser, you can condemn them without needing to think of the intersection where men of colour are victims of the system also. I mean, Caroline Criado Perez thought it ok to share a platform with Collymore as long as she got her message across about the unacceptable abuse she alone suffers so bear with me a sec. He was taking a stand against the racist abuse he suffers and so, instead of ‘no platforming’ him on the grounds that he is violent and a danger to women – as should be my right as a feminist and campaigner against domestic abuse – I was contemplating the ways in which he would not have been given the same opportunities as white abusers to accept his actions, to be rehabilitated. I had to think of the ways in which he is racially abused and whilst I believe he should be ostracised on grounds of his violence against women, he should not be punished for the colour of his skin. Tyson is also an example of this.

Of course I was livid when I heard that Tyson had had “distressing problems with women”. He is the reason for the distress felt by many women but then I had to think about the way in which those lines were presented. Those were not his words, they were written by the author of the piece Donald McRae. The white man writing the piece severely understated the nature of Tyson’s ‘problems’ with women. The interview could have been structured in a way where he was given a chance to apologise for his behaviour and condemn it in others, instead there’s a garbled quote about how he found God. This is how white people want you to see Tyson.

Jurors in a case against a historic perpetrator of sexual abuse have been directed to acquit the perpetrator of one of the allegations against him on the grounds there is insufficient evidence. I believe her. Another judge sentenced another prolific abuser of young girls to a mere 15 months which was later doubled due to its “undue leniency”. The judge actually said he had “given pleasure to millions of people” and was known for his “genial personality, charm, bonhomie and wit”. White man in a wig, barrister Crispin Aylett actually felt it was ok to compare the relatively small number of victims to Savile’s 1300, as if that should have any bearing on the sentencing of a sexual predator. Hall should have received 30 months for each individual case, that is how the plebs are sentenced (if they are found guilty in the first place, that is). The whole of the Yewtree investigation can be easily summarised as a presentation of white power. When Mark Duggan was shot, the media had a field day telling us all how he was murdered for being in possession of a firearm. This ‘fact’ was not confirmed, it was later revealed that he was innocent of this claim and the police had executed a man in cold blood. The damage had been done though. A jury delivered a verdict of lawful killing even though the assailant was unarmed. Try talking about Yewtree though and the calls for ‘due process’ are deafening. I cannot be the only one to see these injustices for what they are; that they are racist in nature and that racism is not just about words but about the way in which non-whites are presented; as though inherently evil and guilty of all wrongdoing.

Take the recent obsession white feminists have with policing non-white bodies and our choices. It is perfectly fine for a woman of colour to write about her experiences in a foreign culture. It is the sort of discussion that is long overdue. However, the insistence of white feminism sticking her beak in everything and taking over as though she is emancipating the poor brown loves from the overbearing brown patriarchy are transparent and deplorable. You have no right to call yourself ‘prochoice’ if you have ANY restrictions on choice. Sex selective abortion is not something I personally advocate; I have my own feelings on the matter but I am not going to project those on others. Is sex selective abortion something that keeps white feminists awake at night? Does it affect their lives? Not really. It does however give them the opportunity to condemn the savages, once again. Criado Perez would do better to tackle sex selective IVF which is freely available in the United States to people (from all over the world) who can afford the right to plan their family. Why this preference for male foetuses? In many cultures girls are not yours to keep, they belong to the men they will marry. If you are poor, it is another mouth to feed. We could tackle the level of poverty the majority of the world suffers in relation to our massively privileged West but that would be too much like hard work, making sure everyone is fed. Instead let us claim our moral superiority and use it as a whipping chain to keep the non-whites in check, especially when they’ve got this ridiculous intersectionality campaign for equality.

It is the actions of white feminists that further oppress the already marginalised. When they wade in and take over, when they insist on using their voices to pity you instead of support, what they are saying is that they know better and they’re going to save you, not empower you, but literally going to do all the hard work and you can thank them later. Suddenly their arguments take on another tone and it starts to feel racist. That is how the majority of racism plays out, it is not in slurs or violent behaviour but the ways in which we are manipulated and made to feel inferior. They transfer their sinister game plan on to you “Your privileged, careerist, misogynist bullshit version really is pulling in the crowds”… without the slightest ounce of self-awareness there, our mascot for white supremacy Criado Perez suggests to her 20,000 odd followers that is what WE’RE doing. Hahaha lol.

White feminism is intent on telling you the kind of sex you should be having (be humble dammit, lie back and think of white supremacy), that your long hair is a thing to lure men with and that black women cannot be rich famous successful AND feminist. Oh yeah, and if you disagree with them about the things THAT AFFECT YOU then you’re no longer a woman, just a misogynist.

It’s simple really, put the white narrative down and learn to stfu. This has been our only request but they won’t do it because they enjoy the power. Don’t kid yourself that it isn’t a race thing, don’t believe you’re the only worthy Asian in the village and the rest of us are just jealous; I’ve been there, that’s an old trick white people have been pulling for a millennia. Solidarity.

 

 

 

 

2013 – The year Intersectionality gave WoC their own voice

It’s that time of year, where journalists take a break from ‘serious reporting’ and instead compile lists reviewing the past year and their predictions for the coming year ahead. This is sort of like one of those lists except you won’t find it in any of the mainstream publications or on the lips of the commentariat. It seems pertinent to review the impact of intersectionality on marginalised women on the back of a year where many of us felt hopeful that, for the first time, we were challenging white supremacy with a legitimate ideology they’d have serious trouble rejecting and they responded in kind by abusing us, questioning our mental health and threatening us with rape and death threats; by painting us as liars and agent provocateurs, about as black and working class as Owen Jones. No one said it would be easy.. But it wasn’t so bad when our efforts paid off in the friendships we forged and the growing promise of true equality with the advent of intersectionality.

Almost a year ago I was accused of making it all up, for presenting a false version of myself, one that suffers racist abuse where there is no racism. I felt alone especially when the umpteenth person accused me of making things up for attention. If I had been a little sicker (I am heavily medicated at times), it would have probably been the end of my online mission to expose the rapists/racists one by one. What it inadvertently demonstrated was the typical ways in which WoC are ridiculed and caricaturised by white supremacists who don’t need to prove their assertions, their word alone is all another white person need hear. Yes, this was devastating for me, but not unusual. When I accused the wrong person of racism, it wasn’t that the racism hadn’t taken place at all, it had, it was just the WRONG person. I should have called David Starkey a vile racist and condemned BBC Question Time for giving him a platform but I’d got the wrong person. It is telling the racism perpetrated was lost in that debacle, the apology that was issued without question and forgiveness from the person I had personally offended also seemed to have vanished from the dominant white narrative, and the legacy is one of white people pulling ranks. It set the tone for 2013. It is telling that the year ended with Helen Lewis writing a piece where she exclaimed without a hint of irony “we should all be more open about the times when we were wrong” (of course it is one rule for white women and another for the rest).

If they thought I was the only woman of colour holding up the whole of intersectionality and slandering me was going to harm it in anyway then they are terribly naive and probably need to catch up. Here, I provide this service and present my Twitter feminist WoC (women I have had the pleasure of befriending post white feminisms) on their highs and lows of 2013 and how intersectionality spoke to them and brought us all together.

Aniqah (@AniqahC)

I hadn’t heard of intersectionality before this year. I only found out about it when I joined twitter again and started seeing “intersectional feminist” in people’s profiles. I can truthfully say that learning about intersectionality changed my life in that I felt comfortable in my own skin for the very first time. I used to separate and loathe each little part of myself; my dark skin, my religion, my gender, my sexual orientation- they just didn’t go together in the eyes of mainstream society. For the first time I feel INCLUDED in feminism as a Muslim, as a WoC, as a queer woman and it feels AWESOME. It’s also the first time I realised that yes- race, class, religion, identity ARE feminist issues and that I wasn’t any less of a feminist when dealing with these things.

Why isn’t intersectionality more well known? Why don’t I see all the wonderful WoC, LGBTQ feminists in the mainstream media? I grew up thinking that feminism was a WHITE movement and feeling ashamed of my own culture but I was wrong! There are and have been loads of WoC feminists all over the world. I feel very disappointed that these women DID exist but were just not allowed to sing from the rooftops like their white counterparts.

I feel very positive about 2014. I really think that intersectional feminism- a movement that fights for women across all walks of life- is only getting bigger and louder. Much louder.

Sook Min (@doloresonthedot)

Growing up as a working class WoC I was always aware that my relationship with oppression and privilege was different to the white women I was surrounded by, and always felt frustrated because I didn’t have the language to describe the racism I experienced and the differences of my experience to theirs. Using Twitter was a really revolutionary experience for me because it showed me that the language I need *does* exist and connecting with so many fantastic WOC who let me sound ideas off them and recommended me reading materials was incredibly liberating.

My personal highlight of the year #NotYourAsianSidekick, created by Suey Park, felt like a huge catharsis for me – finally I was able to speak openly about my experiences as an Asian woman and articulate the fears and concerns I have regarding anti-blackness within Asian communities – and instead of being shut down by other Asians, I was supported. It was a low point when I came to the realisation that white feminism as an ideology does not support WoC and other marginalised groups (trans* people, sex workers, disabled women, WoC who fall into all these oppressions too!) and would rather focus on “banknote feminism” than really addressing its own issues.

In the coming year (along with a few other wonderful women) I am planning to host a few discussions to examine different facets of the experiences of European PoC and our legacy of colonialism. I also think 2014 will be a great year for rejecting White Feminist values and hopefully translating some of the energy I feel into practical action!

To the cisters, the supremacists, the commentariat: We’re not here for you. We’re not here to make you comfortable. We’re not here to make this easy. We’re going to rock your world and dismantle your structures, and there’s nothing you can do about it!

Natalia (@SandiaElectrica)

I guess, as with many WoC, intersectionality was something I’ve always been aware of in a way. We live this stuff every day – this simultaneously gendered & racialised oppression. Then add into the mix a queer sexuality and mental health issues and I’ve known full well how these things interact and compound each other. From time spent on social media I have become more aware of the nuances and subtleties of how these things play out though. I’ve learned a lot from other WoC, especially black feminists, Trans* women and Disabled WoC.

There have been many highlights for me – although almost always tinged with some sadness or discomfort – but then I think that’s in the nature of progress against oppression. I’d say one of my favourite moments was when Mikki Kendall (@Karnythia) started the #solidarityisforwhitewomen hashtag. It was like a portal to the reality of WoCs lives – where you could see others and in turn be seen by them – a backlash against the usual erasure. It felt like a real turning point. Of course there were the usual white tears and tone policing – the monstering & accusations of ‘reverse racism’ and calls for assimilation under the guise of unity are still going on now, but I feel like we built a stronger sense of community in that moment. We can see each other more clearly now and we know we’ve got each other’s backs.

I think the low point for me has got to be the Fisher Vampire’s castle/Russell Brand period. It’s weird because this also had a sort of dual, bittersweet nature in terms of what it brought up. It was really crushing to see people who had previously made all the right noises with respect to feminism laud this profoundly hateful attack – it was like a big fat fuck you to everything that is of the deepest concern to myself and those like me. The same with Brand – the willingness to sweep the inconvenient misogyny under the carpet so people could align themselves with this faux-everyman predator. Having said that, it’s been said many times now, it did polarise people and force many off the fence. It was painful at times to see which camp people chose, but also heart-warmingly surprising to find allies you never knew you had. It’s forced a praxis to the seemingly empty words that irritated me for so long.

I expect in 2014, racists, sexists, transphobes etc. will probably double down on their denial or hatred – and I think the reason for this is that despite all this talk of fractures and a lack of unity there is actually a growing unity among the marginalised. I think some of our voices are starting to break through and I feel like we are less afraid in a way. I feel like we’re getting louder and harder to ignore and it’s because we’re doing it for ourselves rather than holding our hands out, asking to be ‘tolerated’.

My end of year message to white feminism? You are fast becoming as irrelevant to us as we are to you.

Jude (@judeinlondon)

Prior to this year I was aware very vaguely of the term intersectionality but hadn’t explored it. I came to understand it better from following fantastic feminists & women and I realised that intersectionality was merely the term for every experience I’d had in life since birth.

I think primarily it was just the bringing together of women who had long been silenced to shout back louder in unison. There were many individual highlights but that was the most heartening for me, personally. A good thing really considering the constant misapplication & wilfully ignorant understanding of intersectionality from white mainstream feminism. I predict mainstream feminism will step up its attempts to co-opt and appropriate intersectionality. They’ve seen it’s not going away and now they regroup to try and control it.

They’re worried, and they should be. 2014 is not their year, it’s ours.

Fatiha (@Hijabinist)

Intersectionality has been a part of my feminism for years because I’m a Muslim women and I wear hijab, so intersectionality is my lived experience. A lot of islamophobia and anti-Muslim bigotry is very gendered and a lot of the gender based discrimination I face is tied to the fact that I’m muslim, a convert and a ‘hijabi’.

I’ve done a lot of my intersectional learning on twitter and I think it’s a great forum for marginalised folks to share ideas and support each other. The support I’ve got on twitter has been a highlight for me. It’s my experience that people we think of as mainstream, white cis feminists generally aren’t supportive of muslim women and have a very simplistic and patronising understanding of the issues we face. Meanwhile trans women, women of colour, and sex workers have all been very supportive. Women who find themselves pushed to the margins by mainstream cis white feminism end up sticking together.

There have been some real low points this year that had me facepalming to myself. One was during the Stand With Wendy protests in Texas, when someone dressed up in a burqa with a crown and sash saying “Ms Texas”. How can feminism support Muslim women when Muslim women’s bodies are used as a symbol of oppressive misogyny? When I spoke up about it of course a bunch of people leapt in to defend the costume. There was another incident where Boris Johnson made a remark about women only going to university to meet husbands. This got picked up by the Everyday Sexism project and they spent several hours tweeting and retweeting women’s (non-marriage-related) reasons for going to university. In fact the comment had been made specifically about Muslim women of colour. There was an added racial and religious connotation to the remark but of course that got erased in the rush to play a fun new hash tag game. Then at the end of the year Laurie Penny had to nerve to write an article claiming that it was racist men who were corrupting feminism with their nasty islamophobia! If this year has taught me anything it’s that feminists are quite capable of bringing in the islamophobia, racism and transphobia all on their own.

Fortunately twitter and blogs remain a great platform for us to push back against this kind of exclusionary feminism. I think we’re going to see the push back get more organised and more vocal in the coming year and I expect to see a lot more subversive hashtags and twitter movements. Someone said to me recently that they felt that a seismic shift was coming and I agree with that.

So to the Cis White Feminism Brigade I say this: your time has well and truly passed.