Where Were White Feminists Speaking Out For Quvenzhané Wallis?

by Kirsten West Savali

Quvenzhané Wallis

If there were ever any doubts that white feminists are disengaged from and apathetic to the concurrent racism that Black feminists must navigate in an increasingly hipster and kyriarchal society, look no further than their deafening silence when satirical website, The Onion, called 9-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis a “cunt” on Twitter.

The arc of white feminist dialogue on social media in the wake of the barbaric, misogynistic tweet emerged as tepid awareness – maybe, possibly, there’s racism – before curving towards the indefensible position of their white, male counterparts – it’s just brilliant satire – before ultimately coming to rest at dismissal. The lack of concern that white feminists displayed for this little, brown girl could not have been more obvious even if they donned a head scarf and said a raspy, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” before scurrying off to chide Oscar host Seth MacFarlane for his song about boobs or the Academy for only awarding 9 out of 30 awards to women.

Because that’s all that’s important, right?

We’re in post-racial America, so we shouldn’t be so touchy about MacFarlane and Lincoln star Daniel Day-Lewis sharing a guffaw about Don Cheadle being mistaken for a slave while he’s in character. We shouldn’t care about Iron Man star Robert Downey, Jr. defiantly clapping as MacFarlane joked about the brutalization of a then 21-year-old Rihanna, because she went back to her abuser, so to hell with objectifying her for shits and giggles.

And we most certainly shouldn’t care about a 9-year-old Black girl-child being called a “cunt” on the biggest night of her life because there are more important white feminist things to be concerned about.

The silence — and in the case of XOJane writer, Mandy Stadtmiller, the defense — in the face of The Onion hiding behind a foggy, humor lens to perpetuate misogyny and racism has been disappointing, but, unfortunately not surprising.


Because for many white feminists — not all — the realization that they do not stand to benefit from acknowledging the intersection of race and feminism renders them mute. The conversation surrounding the lack of inclusiveness and diversity within the feminist movement is one that never progresses because many white feminists feign ignorance of their privilege. They are comfortable allowing their Black counterparts to march in their Slutwalks while protesters carry “Woman Is The Nigger Of The World’ posters because racism is not their battle. It’s ours.

They encourage us to shrug off our Blackness for the greater feminist good; the end result being a contemporary plantation tableau defined by Ole Miss and Mammie slaying the patriarchal dragon while the issues of racism and classism are hidden behind the veil of  “progress.”  And while this scenario is about as feel-good as The Help, expanding white privilege — feminist or otherwise — is not equality.

When Quvenzhané Wallis was called that horrible word and Black feminists rushed to fill the vast social media space with righteous indignation and even a love letter letting her know that she is cherished, valued, and worthy of protection, we fought that battle alone. Even Baratunde  R. Thurston, comedian and author of  How To Be Black, defended his former employers. While he made it clear that he would stay out of the fray, he peeped his head in juuuuuust long enough to let us know that though he felt bad for Quvenzhané and her family, The Onion deleting the tweet was kind of a huge deal.

Oh, well, that’s just swell! We’ll just grab our tampons, Afro picks and anger, and be on our way.

^See what I did there? That’s satire.

As the layers of this incident continue to unfold, Black feminists have been accused by misogynists of irrationalism in the face of microaggression and ignorance in the face of satire apparently so sophisticated that it floats just beyond our comprehension.  And during this condescending exercise in privilege, white feminists have largely remained silent. That is the travesty here. We can all take the outcry over Rush Limbaugh calling Sandra Fluke a “slut” all the way to the White House, but a 9-year-old Black girl can’t even get the support of white feminists in 140 characters or less.


Though I’m sure I will be called divisive for examining the very large cat that has apparently grabbed the tongues of  self-proclaimed feminist organizations and torch-bearers who would have essentially stormed the Bastille if any young, white girl had “playfully” been called a “cunt” in front of millions of people, I’m perfectly fine with that. In fact, I embrace it. Feminism is the flawed solution to a very complex equation, and to get to the root of any complex equation, one must divide. Unfortunately, it’s becoming increasingly evident that some people don’t want us to divide because then we’ll realize something isn’t quite adding up.

 Shirley Chisholm once said that “the emotional, sexual, and psychological stereotyping of females begins when the doctor says, “It’s a girl.”

For Black women, go ahead and add racial objectification to the list. And if the case of a 9-year-old Black girl has taught us anything, it’s that when it comes to combating intersecting cases of racism and sexism, don’t be surprised if we’re all we got.

Follow Kirsten West Savali on Twitter at @KWestSavali.

  • http://www.clutchmagonline.com jenn dunn

    we dont need white women to speak up for us we as black women can hold it down for ourselves like we have been doing for so long

  • http://eclecticsoul1975.wordpress.com/ qweent

    You hit the nail right on the head, great article!!

  • Ash

    This article is exactly why I started reading Clutch and stopped reading Jezebel.com. To be clear, they did write an article about this at some point.

  • Sasha

    To answer the question/ title: NOWHERE which is typical when it comes to “feminists” in defense of WOC. They come out of the woodwork when White women are offended, like that idiot girl from Georgetown that Limbaugh called a slut who wanted us to pay for her birth control at a Catholic university but when there’s actually a cause for consideration such as this, they are no where to be heard. This is one of the many reasons why I will never identify as a feminist.

  • politicallyincorrect


  • Annoyed.

    You don’t even know what feminism is. The next article should be “Why Does Clutch Think Its Ok to OVERGENERALIZE?” Don’t say ‘many’, say ‘some’. And feminism is far more than race or gender. But if you knew anything about it, you would understand that.

  • Kacey

    I clicked on the link in the piece to Mandy Stadtmiller’s twitter page and the commenters were telling her that she didn’t need to apologize and that some people are just so “easily offended”. Proof that they still just don’t get it, and really don’t care.

    You mentioned XOJane and I just have to say what a strange site that is. I only started reading it after some of their articles were featured here. I don’t know if it’s feminist, but it’s definitely full of “hipsters” and I can’t stand so-called “hipster” whites. They are the most self-absorbed, pretentious, obnoxious, entitled people you will ever meet. And the articles on that site reflect that.

  • AJW

    I shall climb the nearest mountain. Wait for the wind to blow and with all my lung’s capacity scream out… ” WE DON’T NEED THEM……..THEM….THem…Them…them.”
    Ricola comercial style.

  • Guest1234

    Agreed. I was pretty heated for a bit, but I really liked the way the article ends. We’re all we’ve got. And, you know what? That’s good enough for me.

    Shooot…. Black women have been changing the world with our own black hands since the day God put the first human on planet earth. There’s nothing we can’t do. That’s our gift. It’d be nice if white feminists were good friends to us, but they’re not. And that’s not our problem. Their crappy attitudes and uselessness ain’t gonna stop us from continuing to move mountains. I’ll take the team I’ve got any day of the week! There’s no finer group of people I’d rather stand strong with than black women. Rock on, ladies! I’m feeling empowered today.

  • Lisss

    @Sasha I feel exactly like you. I can’t identify as feminist because the face of feminism still seems to be the young white liberal woman…and thats far from who i am. I appreciate what women’s rights fighters have done in the past, i continue the battle as a social worker but i simply cannot identify with that movement because it carries certain connotations that simply do not fit me.

  • Kelli

    I’m white/Cherokee and I have black children and I can’t for the life of me why someone would use this kind of language towards a child of any race or ethnicity. To me this is the most egregious conduct imaginable for an adult. Shame on anyone who stood and heard this and did or said nothing. God is watching.

  • AnnT

    Wayment, did you miss the fallout on Jezebel for basically saying we should no longer be offended by cunt?
    The author was rightfully roasted.

  • Ms. Information

    Since when have white women been concerned about black women on a collective level….I’ll wait.

  • AnnT

    You are absolutely right. My problem with them is their “Get on board with us and we’ll support you” attitude.

    As a group, they don’t authentically support us. We’re just bodies with breast. We get told to wait in line behind them, and then when we justly complain about it, they want to throw rocks and hide hands and pretend that racism doesn’t exist because they’re “color blind”.

    Get outta here with that mess. Stop running to us for validation and then being willfully ignorant about our issues.

  • http://defendingmoney.wordpress.com Marketing Gimmicks

    Where were white feminists? As my mother would say: A hush over Jerusalem. That’s where.

    If any of you get a chance to watch Shirley Chislom: Unbought and Unbossed she discusses how white feminists shunned her campaign and didn’t support her platform even though she was the first WOMAN to run for president who shared the very same feminist ideals and balanced principles that white women were at the time fighting tooth and nail for. Black woman have always demanded respect & dignity for themselves! Even when we were hogtied and shackled in chattel slavery! Shirley’s campaign was brilliant and was in total alignment with the values of the feminist movement. But instead they rejected her.

    Surprise. Surprise. They didn’t move an inch to support her because they didn’t want a black woman’s face to be the face of the woman’s movement. It’s very telling because its proof that the more things change the more they stay the same and the Quvenzhane debacle is proof of that. Turns out feminist (Just like white gay’s) can be racist’s as hell too. Seem’s like they prefer women’s rights for black women as long as you’re their cook, maid or nanny. Turns out that being a White Feminist doesn’t stop you from being insecure.

    And I’d move to Atlanta and strip at Magic City before being anyone’s nanny. Bump that.

  • http://seritatheresa.wordpress.com seritatheresa

    I’m not trying to be a snob here but between telling people on Facebook that WIB DuBois must have said that cause WEB DuBois certainly didn’t, and being reminded in comment areas and on Facebook alike just how much people do NOT know what Socialism, Communism, and for the most part capitalism is, I don’t have the energy to discuss Patricia Hill Collins and the Matrix of Domination or relay the message of my second favorite book “Black Sexual Politics”. I’m tired. But I suggest you read it as well as bell hooks, “Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center”. In a nutshell black feminist interests and white feminists’ interests don’t always align.


  • Guest1234

    I think you’re mistaken. Feminism is SUPPOSED to be far more than race or gender. But the white ladies who have the loudest bullhorn don’t much include women of other races or genders, for that matter. I’ve always thought the feminist discourse to be deeply unfair to men. But, back to the race issue. BLACK feminists aren’t the divisive ones. We’re just acknowledging that the WHITE feminists don’t include us. If you have a problem with the divisiveness of feminism today, that’s good. But you’re complaining to the wrong party.

  • Kelli

    Maybe you’re surprised, but there are some. I’m one. I’m white/cherokee and I’m for women period. Black women, Chinese women. Any woman. Maybe it’s because I’m a crime survivor, maybe it’s because I was raised in a black foster home and they loved me like no other when my mom couldn’t, but I love the Black people, the culture, because that where I learned about family.

  • Lexie

    @annoyed. i’m interested in your thoughts of what the lack of reaction from the world of white feminists?

  • P

    Agreed. Is anyone else starting to get annoyed by the camp of sisters who seem adamant in their need for acceptance, validation or support from whites? The same ones who seem to follow every move that lena dunham makes and keeps asking why they won’t put us in their shows? Why as a black woman do you care so much about what white feminists are up to?

  • http://seritatheresa.wordpress.com seritatheresa

    As I said, I’m exhausted, but I leave you all with this: being a feminist is at its core fighting for the right for other women and yourself to be the woman that you Choose to be. The problem of black feminism is that there are issues that arise specifically because you are a black woman (Patricia Hill Collins). These experiences are unique to those of us who are black and who are women. For example the flight attendant who’s hair was deemed unprofessional or me at Oktibbeha County Hospital on more than one occasion. I have done research that shows that there are actually physiological ramifications of this. I think I’m feeling them now. White feminists are nowhere near represented by Jezebel. Neither are they hipsters nor militants with chips on their shoulders as the CEO of Yahoo claimed as she declared she was not a feminist. They’re Dorothy E. Smith, Catherine McKinnon, Cecilia Ridgeway, Kimberly Kelly, Lynne Cossman (my major professor), Arlie Hochschild and many more who inspired me to be who I want to be.

  • Fantastico

    Quvenzhané and the Law Student both deserve advocacy. Let’s not stoop to their level.

  • AnnT

    @ChillyRoad-They’re not, they just think they are. Just because a few Black women have hopped on board with the white feminism shtick, they automatically think we’re all with them. They exist as a monolithic entity, and assume we all think collectively too. I am not that one Black friend you have who speaks for all Black women.

    I couldn’t care less for the majority of them, just don’t put me on about understating the Black plight.

  • http://seritatheresa.wordpress.com seritatheresa

    bell hook wrote about how feminists message of no longer being a housewife was not relevant to black women who were overworked and wished they could be home with their children. A white feminist gave me the article. We’re not enemies. I just don’t think the girls at Jezebel are intellectual feminists. Do we want their help in the matter?

  • Ashk

    I’ve been done with XOJane, and Jezebel is on thinner and thinner ice. But this right here is why I continue to read my Clutch daily and even go through those damn click-through articles for yal! This piece pretty much sums up all the frustrations I have with these so called feminists (they can’t really be called feminists since they only care about women in their own damned racial/socioeconomic group). These people don’t get, and are actively trying not to get it.

  • http://seritatheresa.wordpress.com seritatheresa

    What is a hipster?

  • http://www.facebook.com/patricia.morrison.10 Patricia Morrison

    I am so embarrassed as a white woman. We have little to be proud of, and nothing in this case. While I posted the original article, the apology by the Onion and this article as well, I didn’t even get one like or share. As a mom, I wasn’t thinking about this young girl’s race, and it is mortifying to know that real white feminist activists didn’t say a word. The silence was deafening and humiliating. I am disgusted beyond believe that a word like that would be used against a girl- a child. I apologize for and am accountable for the neglect shown by white women everywhere.

  • Guest1234

    Ok, yall. I’m only going to say this one time. If you don’t receive it, then that’s on you.

    I hear what you guys are saying, but you’re wrong. Black people built this country. It is the most powerful and wealthy country in the history of mankind. THAT’S WHY WE’RE ENTITLED TO A PORTION OF HER VALUE!!!! Culture is soft power – and it’s that kind of power that has led to unprecedented global influence. From jazz, to hip hop, to even the way we speak english, blacks have built American culture. And white people have been benefiting from it to the great exclusion of the people who have been doing the work.

    This isn’t about approval from Lena Dunham. It’s about the fact that she has NOTHING without black influence – and for all of our influence, we better darned well get paid. SO much of what we do has been appropriated and repackaged by white people who make money hand over fist and then turn around and poke a finger in our eye.

    Isolationism isn’t a good policy. If you think it is, ask the people of North Korea how that’s working out for them. We DO have to work with white people because they’re here, they’re the majority and, frankly, they ain’t ALL bad. We just need to consistently stand up for what is right, and for what we’re due for all the work we put into this place both economically and culturally. That’s not weakness. That’s intelligence.

    It reminds me of an episode of Mad Men when Don asks a Jewish business person about her people or heritage. And she replies with something like “I guess it’s because we thrive at doing business with people who hate us.” That was such a great observation, because that’s what all this is about. We HAVE to do business with people we don’t see eye-to-eye with. It would be foolish for us to leave all our value on the table because we’re pissed. That’s the secret to success.

    All the “we should make our own stuff” talk is nice in concept. But it’s not really feasible. Acknowledging that is not asking for validation. It’s just good business.

  • Misty


    Listen, I’m a black woman. I’m more and more pissed about this site’s OBSESSION with with white women. Why continue to play the victim on all fronts? My guess is that had The Leader of White Feminism come out against The Onion the come-out wouldn’t have been good enough for you.

    On the whole blacks are a joke! We are overly-sensitive in some cases, never satisfied, have double-standards (we can say do this but whites cannot), and I’m guessing whites don’t know what to do. Regard blacks and risk drama for doing it wrong. Omit all inclusion and mention of blacks and risk being called racists for the omission.

    Choose your battles wisely, fight them yourselves, and quit with the welfare mentality presented here.

  • http://seritatheresa.wordpress.com seritatheresa

    Thank you for reminding me to take my birth control.

  • Misty

    Totally annoyed!

  • Janelle

    I see what you are saying, but I don’t think Black women are waiting for validation or support from white women/people. I think it’s more about their definition of feminism. Most Black women don’t want to be included in mainstream (white women feminist movement) feminism — but some Black feminist and in general Black women with no affiliation to Feminism want to ask America and mainstream media as a whole where was the support or care for a 9 year old Black little girl.

    And then not have any voice/action to defend a child or just show some concern for a CHILD. Yes, our petitions and social media comments/activism works – but truth is we don’t have the same mainstream media outreach/pull that some white women have. This could have been the perfect opportunity for anyone non-black to speak out in defense of a child. We as Black women often speak out and support general women’s issues – that have nothing with Black America and it would be nice the same from others. They DON”T have too – as the article stated “we are all we got” – Black women know that – - but don’t claim feminism and not support all women and children issues.

  • Korrell

    Are you serious?! Well stop visiting the site! I know for a fact the readers will not miss your comments. You deter the conversation in almost every comment you make on the site.

    This site is not obsessed with white women. This site cover a lot of issues that are relevant to Black women. It’s a voice for Black women. If it doesn’t fit you should just move on.

  • victoria

    One of the first articles I read on this site was concerning the chick fil a same sex marriage controversy. The writer of the article was upset because too many black supported the president of chick fil a. Instead of sticking our necks out for the gay community. Now this writer expects the white community, being feminists, gays, etc., to stand up for us. Huh???

  • Misty

    I am serious. Clearly free-thinkers are not desired.

    Seems I’m not the only bw who feels free enough to add her point of view, even if it is not favored by you and others. We are not a monolithic group. Should we all simply agree because we are “black”?

  • http://twitter.com/jpmcgensy Jason McGensy (@jpmcgensy)

    Alyssa Rosenberg was on the case: http://goo.gl/HfGfB

  • Come On

    Hipsters are usually materialistic, self-absorbed elitist young people. They usually all dress alike, hangout at Starbucks. They own every Apple product. They try to listen to non-popular music to seem cool and mysterious. They think they are witty. Hipsters are always trying to make racist jokes. And people try to brush it off as satire. They think they are so forward thinking because they know about climate change, earned a college degree, and supported Kony 2012.

    They are elitists that think they are better and counterculture, but trying to be counterculture is so mainstream that they really aren’t counterculture.

    They’re just pretentious.

    I’ve actually been over to xoJane and Jezebel. I find many of their articles interesting and funny, but a lot of them are silly especially at xoJane. I think their site is just less serious than this site. Jezebel on the other hand should have talked about this. It doesn’t surprise me. They had an article on there where some racist white man slapped a black baby and called him the n-word, and the article was about annoying babies on planes rather than the obvious racism.

    I know lots of people get ticked off by these sites, but I never expect them to see the black side of things, so I don’t get ticked off when they don’t. I am entertained by these sites. I definitely like Clutch more, but I like reading other sites even if it’s not about black people or women. I just know where to go when I want a black perspective. For example I learned about the PUA community a couple of months ago. I would read their blogs. They’re usually full of misogyny and not surprisingly racism. Jezebel had an article about how these women in California actually went out on a date with one of the main PUAs. It was definitely entertaining. They’re just different types of sites.

    But it’s funny because there was an article on this site recently where a girl was saying she was upset because her doctor told her she was overweight and needed to lose weight. Many of the commenters here agreed with the doctor and told the girl to calm down. I can bet she got nothing but sympathy over at xoJane lol. There was an article about this one light skinned black girl dating outside her race and men being upset when they found out she was black. The people at xoJane were supportive, but the people here were going after her because they thought she was trying to pass.

    It’s funny to me, but yea if you check out the material xoJane is much more about “This is my personal life. This is what’s happening to me. This is how my life sucks.” I don’t find this style of writing bad, but I couldn’t read it everyday.

  • Korrell

    Not true. I just reread the article:

    See snippets below:

    “The saga that is Chick-fil-A and Christianity vs. the LGBT community and its supporters might be remembered as one of the most complex snapshots of modern society.

    It’s a conflagration of hypocrisy, extremism and greed. We have corporate America and its influence on political agendas. We have the narrow scope of religion and its place in civil rights. Perhaps most hilariously and what will be addressed here, are the Christian, black people – emphasis on black – rushing to eat fried chicken to show how righteously they stand against homosexuality and the persecution of poor, misunderstood Dan Cathy.”

    When Mary J. Blige sang her heart out about “crispy chicken,” some black people rushed to call it “coonery.” Yesterday, some of those same people sprinted to get fried chicken from Chick-fil-A and were proud of it. In fact, Facebook was adorned with black folks loving that “chikin,” all to support a man who has no problem employing and serving the LGBT community, as long as he can take their dollars to financially support conservative politicians who view them as second-class citizens.

    Read the full article here -


  • http://gravatar.com/theblackparacosmistmind theblackparacosmistmind

    As much as I enjoy Jezebel and feel as though they take more of a hardened stance on the feminist front (vs. XOJane and Clutch, imo). Jezebel SUCKS when it comes to racial issues, and concerns over black women. They are often hypocritical. Please, someone, go over to their website and look at what they’re saying about Nicki’s ass and butt implants. http://jezebel.com/5987494/nicki-minaj-says-shes-never-had-work-done-on-face-doesnt-mention-ass

    Like how is this not blatant hypocrisy and racist concerning black women’s bodies. But cursed be the day that someone bodysnarks Adele, but Nicki’s supposedly butt-implanted ass is free game?! GTFO! They blatantly said that it’s obvious that Nicki has butt implants. And whether she does or not, if we’re saying we’re not body-snarking then let’s mean it! Not just defend white women, ugh.

  • Rakel

    Yes!! This article is on point w/how I feel about white feminists. Sorry but F them. From white suffragists(which purposely tried to keep Black women down) to these feminists now. It’s not just us, other races are subjected by their same nonsense. They only care when it benefits them. If they want us to think of ourselves as women rather than Black first, they need to do the same. If a Black women or Black child is attacked come to their defense in a sisterly way. But that’s not on the agenda. Like several posters mentioned Black women just have to ride solo.

  • LadyP

    Once that statement was conceived in the mind, it’s was messed up from the very start. No one should have said this about a 9 year girl with or without talent. Since she is clearly talented, this statement was an attack not just a comment. With saying that, I’m lost at the fact of why would we expect a white feminist or others to come to her aid?

    The problem is not Quvenzhané being a 9yr old little girl, the problem is she is a “black” talented 9year old little girl. Yes it is the same old cry that no one came to our aid historically, but it is true. We had to take care of each other, white women, their men, and their families. A gender equality is the essence, but I think it is not a collective issue. Some white feminist will care, but we shouldn’t expect all of them too. Similar to how AA couldn’t expect every white person to assist with the CRM. We stepped up and made the necessary changes. It follows that we must do the same for our young daughters who are under attack prior to becoming women. The glass ceiling is only for black women. We can’t expect others to help us through it because they are unfamiliar with its complications. As the article stated, this attack against Quvenzhané is merely just another wakeup call and [we’re all we got].

    It’s ashamed we still have to fight against “accepted” rape and defamation of character. Not against her body, but her little soul. Again, an apology is not enough and no expectations from others will make the change. Black women, black feminists, black womanists, mothers, non-mothers, black actresses, and our men should continue to fight against this and have these people or person removed.

    When situation such as these occur, I personally don’t look for anyone else to step-up to the plate.

  • Perspective

    Still looking for white women to back you all up… SMH


    I will NEVER join forces against black women with WHITE MEN despite some of our problems being identical – such as the reallocation of male wealth or child custody.

    You all continue to be duped but then you act surprised.

    The question the author is asking is like me asking where was the LAPD when Biggie got shot?!

  • Kacey

    Basically a subculture of very privileged (mostly white) pseudo-intellectual, 20 and 30-somethings who believe that they have somehow redefined “cool”.

    They pride themselves on being unconventional and nonconformists but, in their efforts to appear to be above society, they are the epitome of “trying too hard”. They espouse ultra liberal views but many of them are closet racists (you know, the type that intellectualizes racist views and prefaces or closes their statements with, “you know I’m totally not a racist”).

    They are the types who stand for everything and nothing all at the same time – condescending, no morality, “everything and anything is OK to do because you want it” type of philosophies.

    Hipsters are largely responsible for the gentrification of urban areas across the country, which isn’t terrible on the surface but actually ends up driving low-income residents and people of color out of neighborhoods.

    As you can tell, I have a very low opinion of them. I encounter them frequently in my neighborhood and at my grad school, and I’ve been able to see through a lot of the BS.

    If you want a more objective definition of hipster culture try Wikipedia (I know, wikipedia is not legitimate for research, but they do a good job of laying-out the basics).

  • Rue

    Preach!!! Also I hate Jezebel.

  • Jen Jen

    Idiot girl? No, Sasha, no.

  • Child, Please

    Thank you for posting this; I don’t like the article’s assertion that all (or even many as the author asserts, but doesn’t seem to continue with in their writing) white feminists don’t care about black feminists. If you’re only basing your argument off of what you see in Jezebel and XOJane, then you may want to seek other avenues to get a healthy dose of feminism. That’s part of why I came to Clutch and left Essence; I don’t look at Clutch by any means as a strictly feminist site, but the articles here are more thought provoking and have substance rather than the PR contrived blurbs on celebs that Essences has. I don’t read Jezebel often, nor XOJane (though I haven’t had that much of a problem with the latter’s articles, especially since they’re mostly from a personal perspective), but I can say from the comment section of Jezebel they get called on a lot and many have drifted to Salon (a site that has ran a few stories from white feminists defending black women – not that they’d need it anyway, but that seems to be what matters to some), where there’s more of a balance.

  • Kacey

    @ Come On:

    YES. Exactly! A hipster will send a racist Obama joke then defend himself by pointing out that he voted for Obama.

    Everything is “ironic” to them – I think that’s actually their favorite word.

    And they would drink Steve Job’s bath water if it was sold at Starbucks!

  • http://gravatar.com/princesskaguya2000 Jen

    Jezebel is not a feminist organization. They put on a feminist facade, but, as most of the readers here have noticed, they’re trash.

  • victoria

    In the article, the writer states, ”So now, apparently, it’s perfectly acceptable to equate the Civil Rights Movement to the LGBT movement. I’ve always thought so, but the opposition to the equivalency has been extremely loud. But since the good Reverend wants to run with it, let’s shall we?”

    ”I’ve always thought so.” I equate this with standing behind the gay community. I have yet to see them stand behind us.

  • Thinking

    Oh my goodness if that word were spoken against Dakota Fanning by ANY commentator. He or she would have been suspended indefinitely. We’re still given society permission to treat BW as second-class citizens. You will not touch or speak a certain way against their most precious asset. As if BW aren’t our communities (the world) most precious asset. White feminist don’t have to assist us in this fight—it was never theirs. Gender discrimination – yes, but not treatment or ill spoken words. This is our fight before the next “black” girl is attacked. May not stop them, but at least we can send the message that you will not speak about our girls as you feel fit.

    I’ve been thinking about how quickly Don Imus was removed b/c of his “nappy headed hos” comment at least for a short period of time. Isn’t cunt just as detrimental as ho?

    And any statement against the LGBT community [by anyone] is unacceptable? They have people afraid to speak. My concern really is more targeted towards continuing to fight against this and not the white feminists reactions. I just cannot become frustrated with a situation I never expected within the first place.

  • Jen Jen

    Chillyroad, are you kidding me? You sound like the female version of Uncle Ruckus right now.

    First wave feminism was centered on gender equality, particularly the suffragette movement that gave women the right to vote. Guess what most black women were dealing with at that time? Jim Crow. Poll taxes. We were not made a part of this movement. When we were, we were actually told to march at back of the protest lines. Seriously! Look it up!

    Second wave feminism was about–among other things— the right to work outside of the home. Guess what? Black women were already doing that! In fact, they were working in many of the homes where white women were bemoaning their inability to work.

    But, we inserted ourselves into this movement (sometimes to the chagrin of our brethren in the civil right movement). Coretta Scott was making women’s right a part of the black civil rights conversation, Chicanas formed their own organizations. There are numerous other examples of women of color trailblazing at a time where our race and our gender sometimes made us seemingly partial members to their respective struggles.

    So, please save this “riding coattails” nonsense. You do a disservice to my mother and grandmother who worked in these movements for the sake of me, you, and every other woman color today. Go somewhere and sit down!

  • http://tontonmichel.tumblr.com Tonton Michel

    Surprisingly good article, what they called the child was disgusting and peoples silence on it has to be questioned

  • Ash

    They tout feminism when its appropriate. I do think they are “feminists” perhaps just a self-serving ones.

    Kinda unrelated: They recently put out an article saying that Kim K has been looking as hot mess since she’s been pregnant. I despite Kim K but I know that Jezebel would have had a fit if another site wrote that about Adele or Tina Fey. Am i right?

  • P

    I still cannot believe this person was that bold..

  • victoria

    We shoudnt expect anyone to have our backs, but we are always expected to do the same for others. It’s not wrong a black person supports others, but dont expect it to be reciprocated. It doesnt typically happen on our behalf.

  • Ama

    I’m an African woman who’s in the U.S. for a short course & I’ll return home soon. One thing I’ll never forget even when I go back home is the level of disrespect & indignities that this society (especially a lot of white people) subjects African American women to. I have never heard of people here commenting on Laura Bush’s body but as soon as an African American woman became a first lady, people started comparing her to a chimpanzee & even Senators felt bold enough to comment about her behind. Then now, the Onion has called a 9 year old such a horrible word & lots of white folks don’t see anything wrong with it because she’s black. Some even say she’s cocky when that’s not true.If someone called Dakota Fanning the same word, won’t that person have lost his job? That child called honey boo boo, why has no one called her the c word although she’s so disrespectful & untalented? Is it because she’s white? And those feminists complained about the Oscars host singing a ‘boob song’ but said nothing about him laughing at a domestic violence victim (Rihanna) or sexualizing a 9 year old (saying she’ll soon be too old for George Clooney?). It’s like, they treat African American women so badly in this country and then when they complain people say “Oh African American women are always angry”. That is really unfair. To all my beautiful African American sisters that have had to live through such disrespect, I’m really sorry & just keep holding your heads up & being the strong women that we all know you are. God bless.

  • Marisa

    Wasn’t just the white feminist quite a few prominent blacks dropped the ball on this as well. If not for some of the online outrage The Onion would have went on business as usual, without that lame apology. I just saw a big time black female blogger post a giant thread on why we as black women should be outraged about Lil Wayne diatribe against Chris Bosh groupie now wife Adrienne. What took so long for people to realize that disgusting lyric Wayne did on Emmitt Till. Bottom line is black women got to stick up for ourselves because the rest of society and lets face some of our own couldn’t give one good damn.

    Rap lyrics for years have demeaned us hardly any eyelashes were batted, constant tv specials, newspaper/magazine/blogs have reduced our lives as stats that project black women as the lowest common denominators. Not do many feel that we are that’s not enough they wont stop unless generations of us black women view ourselves that way too, anything so we don’t prosper. Prospering blacks is considered a threat to this society, for the record I felt the same way about Sandra Fluke that I did for this little girl. You can show disapproval without going the Onion and Limbaugh route. Whats funny is a show like The View couldn’t stop talking about the Sandra Fluke situation and they got two black women on the panel, did the View bring up this verbal attack on Quvenzhané doubt it. Just business as usual don’t know why anybody is surprised though I’m not I would have been shocked if white mainstream media did call this out.

  • Ash


  • Whitney’s Receipts

    This article is spot on. Black women, we all we got.

  • Forget About It

    And exactly why in the world would white women care about the plights of black women? Why are you guys always looking for validation from them? Why do you all want them to love and care for you all so much? Man you all are desperate for white attention. Afterall, it was a white person who made that comment on The Onion. Guess ya’ll forgot about that. Smh

  • http://gravatar.com/theblackparacosmistmind theblackparacosmistmind

    The only one thing I appreciate about them is their defense of the lgbtq community versus other websites. Especially, on Clutch, a lot of the comments come off as homophobic and prejudiced and I understand how homosexuality and queerness is viewed in the black community and if it’s against your Christian beliefs-fine. But don’t talk about queer people as if they’re beasts. And in the Jez community, if commenters start on their trans*phobic and queer-hating rants; other commenters shut them down. On here, I don’t feel that defense as much as a queer black woman, imo. And part of it is because the black community is largely homophobic and we don’t have an open discussion about sexuality.

    Other than that, Jez sucks when it comes to racial issues.

  • http://gravatar.com/theblackparacosmistmind theblackparacosmistmind

    Just to add Clutch,

    Where are black feminists when it comes to queer identities and the lgbtq community? I really would like to know. I’ve gotten several hateful and prejudiced comments about how I need Jesus because I’m a queer woman. Jus sayin’.

  • Yvette

    @ Come On – Your blog reading habits sound a lot like mine. I read Clutch, some of the white feminist sites, and PUA sites as well. I absolutely agree that there’s always a stark difference in comments when the same articles are posted on Clutch vs. XO Jane.

    I had to get away from those PUA sites though. If you’re anything other than a young, attractive White woman they make you feel like you’re not worth a damn. It was starting to affect my self esteem!

  • http://www.clutchmagazine.com Clutch

    We will definitely cover this real soon. Thanks!

  • Echi

    White feminists, from what I’ve noticed, have played an active role in LGBTI rights – which includes men. However theyhave yet to prove that they have a vested interest in issues concerning black women. They are more likely to identify with homosexual white men than their so-called “fellow” black women. I find this interesting.

  • dee

    Most white women who call themselves feminist will always be in the interest of other white women and white people in general. That’s why I was so happy when I saw how many black women and men come to the defense of quvenzhane.

  • Tracy

    Spare the guilt no offense, keep talking to other whites about these issues, That’s how you can help us.

  • GlowBelle

    I agree with most of this article. But I’m not shocked or demanding an explanation to the question. It’s ALWAYS been like this. A majority of white women could give a rat’s rump about black women and their day-to-day plight and really, that’s fine by me. I don’t need them to fight my battles for me. I got my own sword and shield. I always say, if you’re with me, fine walk along with me, but if you’re not then I’ll just keep my eye on you and know where I stand and keep it moving. So yes, I was furious, sick to my stomach, and showed my outrage, but then I thought, as long as *I* support Quvenzhane Wallis then anyone else who wants to not do so then that’s THEIR problem. Maybe cause I’ve gotten older, or tired, but I just can’t worry and waste time over how other people operate. We all know that if this had been Dakota Fanning or Abigal Breslin getting called the c-word it’d be a rainstorm of support, so all I gotta say is anyone that surprised?

    Even though I like reading Jezebel from time to time, they always drop the ball when it comes to racism and I solved the problem by never clicking on those articles. But I looked at their putting Seth McFarlane (rightfully) on blast as not for “white feminist things” but for women in general…EVERY woman no matter what color or creed should have been offended by that display he put on, it was just blatantly sexist, no matter what the skin color. What bothers me just as much as this is that even some women (yes Black women too) were in my Twitter timeline laughing and loving his brand of “comedy”. So yeah, some women out there just don’t give a damn about other women, and even a bunch don’t even give a damn about themselves being the butt of jokes and ridicule. That’s even scarier to me.

  • Eye 4 An Eye

    True words. Now what we need is the name of the POS @ The Onion who posted the tweet.

  • anon

    The Onion is owned and operated by white men. The same demographic that owns, operates and makes billions of dollars from the porn industry. Focusing on the lack of reaction from white feminists is a waste of time. It makes more sense to target those who are profiting from the sexualization of young girls.

  • Lisa

    Recently attended a lecture of Thulani Davis on blackface and popular culture. Learned the representations of extreme violence on black children has a long history as supposed satire in America. Letter openers, children’s books and games all used death and dismemberment of black children as themes. Unfortunately, the attack on Ms. Wallis echoes this treatment and gives us context. This is why similar statements attacking young white actresses hasn’t made it into The Onion or an Oscars monologue.

  • au napptural

    Bottom line, I don’t deal with white feminists. Not only are our struggles ignored, they are celebrated. I have to keep it real. The main reason first wave feminists got together to get the vote- they were outraged ex-male slaves got it first. They were all for abolition (some of them) b/c it was another excuse to get out of the house and patronise us, all at the same time. But black men getting any kind of rights before them- no. Then, when Sojourner the TRUTH came with “Ain’t I a Woman?” they took a long time answering. They paddy-footed around until women got the vote (and how many of you knew many of them campaigned for women’s suffrage by swearing we wouldn’t be allowed to vote?)
    Anyhow, the 1960s come along. Many of the famous feminists cut their teeth on the civil rights movement- or as black women workers said, came in and took over, had affairs with the top black men, did all the things they couldn’t do in their own communities (ran the show) and left the grunt work for the black women. And when it looked like we might get a few too many rights, bam, they up and start their own movement. They wanted to use black women to swell their ranks and be impressive, but they never intended to fight for anything important to us. Now I have to say this never could have happened if the civil rights movement had addressed women’s issues. The men of the CRM and black power movement seemed intent only on intregrating with/or recreating the white power structure on black terms, meaning men first. That never gets addressed. Our women heroes who struggled hard were ignored or forgotten. Only the acceptable ladies like Rosa Parks or the wives of the fallen like Coretta Scott King get any press. A black woman came up with the concept of freedom schools, a black woman headed the movement to make a stand at the 1964 Democratic convention, etc.
    And I don’t want people saying feminism was a big to-do about nothing. Women couldn’t own our property in our names, couldn’t have credit cards, were forced out of the workplace when we became pregnant, raped with impugnity (esp. black women). But the complication is black women get ignored by our own communities except when our issues have racial implications (i.e. if a white man rapes a black woman) and the feminists only use us to further their agenda (they don’t care if a white man rapes us, but they were all on Anita Hill). This means we end up having to do for ourselves.
    I said all that to say, I’m not disappointed b/c I never expected anything from white feminists. But black men have really been the catalyst for a lot of this drama. If our issues were acknowledged, respected, and dealt with in our own community we would never need to look elsewhere. And I’m pretty proud of how the Quvenzhane thing got handled. But it was mostly b/c she’s 9. What about “nappy-headed hoes”? How many black men unequivocally said that was wrong? How many defended him? I’m looking at you D.L. Hughley. And many who did call him out like Al Sharpton, only did it b/c Imus is white. They don’t have boo to say about black men denigrating us, beating us, etc. How many of them have defended Chris Brown, R. Kelly, etc. I’m not saying black women are innocent of doing that, but the consensus seems to be black men are more important. If a black woman can be used to impeach a white man, alright then, good sister. If you ever call a black man anything but a child of God or say you’ve experienced abuse, rape, harassment, w/e at his hands, you will be lynched. After they ask what you did to deserve that.

  • allison

    sorry, meant to click on the thumbs up, not thumbs down.

  • http://gravatar.com/8Niha8 Niha

    Calling a 9 years old girl “cunt” is satire?! Since when is satire saying something so repulsive? It would be very offensive calling a woman “cunt”, but a girl? I don’t want to have anything with people like the guy who said that. It’s sick.

  • http://gravatar.com/shanuwater shanuwater

    The feminist movement was not about the plight of black women. We always had power within our community,with our men along our side.Our issue was civil rights for African American men and women. It ceased when we black women started looking on the other side of the fence, envying what they thought, the white women were achieving and that is when we lost our power. Do we or should we expect anything less than a souless specie to call a nine yr. old black girl “a cunt ” NO.That is who they are. We tuned into the Oscars and watched the white masses applaud racial dis-respect. There may have seen some of us clapping and smiling as well.smdh.

  • http://www.arispeaks.com Ari Speaks

    Love this! Brilliant, sis. Just brilliant! Thank you.

  • Ask_ME

    “Our issue was civil rights for African American men and women. It ceased when we black women started looking on the other side of the fence, envying what they thought, the white women were achieving and that is when we lost our power.”

    I won’t bother to school you on your HALF read history, but I will say this: Black women weren’t the only individuals looking on the other side of the fence and we sure as hell weren’t the only BLACK individuals who laid down with WHITE feminists (though MOST black women did not join the feminist movement…a myth that needs to die).

  • Stacie

    I agree that white feminism still has a problem of leaving out black voices, but I have to disagree on this supposed silence about the tweet. This was talked about on every major feminist news publication. Now of all of those only a few actually mentioned the racist side of it, that’s true. But I certainly personally witnessed much more tweet talk than “saw your boobs” talk.

  • listener

    “As the layers of this incident continue to unfold…” [The Onion] I see what you did there.

    Comments aside, this was a masterfully written article.

  • Sasha

    She’s an idiot. Everyone under the sun knows the Church’s stance on birth control. I am Catholic myself and if I was to be employed by a Catholic insitution, I would not demand they pay for my birth control which directly does against their own principles so in my opinion not only is she an idiot but she is also disrespecting the Church.

  • Sasha

    The law student does not need advocacy in my opinion, she needs to attend a public or non-Catholic university if she wants to receive birth control.

  • http://twitter.com/heatherr_parker Heather Parker (@heatherr_parker)

    I’m sure more could have been said, but a quick google search pulled up several blogs and articles calling out the racism of the incident, here are a couple:


  • Nestafan2

    I disagree. From the Civil Rights Movement to the Black Pather Party, the struggle for racial equality was always the black man’s struggle with black women supporting them. Black women could not join white women in feminism because black women have never known their privilege. Black women didn’t lose power because of white women; black women lost power when we failed to know our worth. Black men were never really “along our side.” As the saying goes: All women are white, and all black people are men.

  • apple

    they were probably busy watching an episode of Girls, making vagina art to sell on etsy and writing blog post on how hard it is to be a white woman (oh boo hoo)

  • tj258

    I think this is a bit far reaching. I follow several different feminist sites and many have been in uproar about this. Also, look at cases of other brown girls like Malala Yusef. Women everywhere were outraged. I think we as women should ban together and speak up for feminism and protecting women–whether you’re white, black, Native American, Latina or Asian or any other ethnic or racial group. Divided we all fail.

  • http://gravatar.com/najeemat NajeemaIman

    I’m going to go ahead and crown you the Audre Lorde of our generation. Racisim exists in so many different levels. We said my dear.

  • http://seritatheresa.wordpress.com seritatheresa

    Its because as black people we demand Verstehen but feel as though we shouldn’t have to extend the same courtesy to others.

  • http://twitter.com/EmeraldGritty Emerald Pellot (@EmeraldGritty)

    Ugh there was nothing racialized about the Tweet. And no The Onion couldn’t have said that about Suri Cruise or any other little white girls because none of them were up for awards that night. And no they weren’t calling her a cunt, the clear intention of the joke, the way that a lot of humor works is that you call something the diametric opposition of what it actually is. The core of the joke was that Quvenzhane is so beloved, adored so sweet that it would be ridiculous to call her such a word. Why are we taking a joke at face value? Because the Internet has been slow on the news lately? You’re just taking this girl’s notoriety away from her and replacing it with something negative instead of her achievement. She wouldn’t have heard about the incident if the media didn’t react so impulsively.

  • Ask_ME

    I sometimes wonder about black women like Shanuwater, who clearly have NEVER read an autobiography or memoir by a black woman who was on the frontline during that time. She has probably never heard of people like Ruby Doris Smith Robinson.

    She probably doesn’t even know that white feminists were in organizations like SNCC and they were sleeping with black men before their position, like that of black women, became “prone” to black men. That’s when they, the white feminists, decided to start their own movement.

    This idea that black men and black women were happily living in bliss fighting for our Civil Rights before black women went off and joined the feminist movement in droves is complete and total B.S and revisionist history. It comes from ignorance and a way to save face (after all…we wouldn’t want it to get out that black women were fighting for Civil Rights or the right to be respected both inside and outside the black community).

    Folks on this thread need to pick up a copy of this book from their local library: Words of Fire: An Anthology of African American Feminist thought.

    ^^^This book speaks specifically about black women’s issue with white feminists. You can find parts of the book available on Google Books.

  • tj258

    You could accuse this site of doing the same thing, but with other races. I searched this site for the term “Malala,” as in the Middle Eastern girl who was shot in the head for asking for education access. No articles appeared. All women around the world are still fighting for rights of all kinds. We shouldn’t cast each other out or aside because one race of feminists are not putting a spotlight on an issue. Where is your coverage of brown girl Malala?

  • listener

    Baratunde in his fawning “apology” for Onion’s comment said: “I feel especially bad for Wallis and her family who won’t “get” or care what the comedic idea was and only know that some comedy news organization called their little girl a disgusting, sexist name.”

    GET? Cuz clearly her family dunce. And wouldn’t get feigned satire.

  • Come On

    It’s all very interesting. These are white people. This is the white gender war that people talk about sometimes. It’s a smaller scale version of what black people do on just about every black blog lol. But it’s the same thing essentially. White men just know they can’t go onto a talk show and say these things or else they will get chided for being de evil white man. So they take their anger to manosphere blogs and Fox News.

  • http://gravatar.com/jessiknowsgrace jessiknowsgrace

    I’m just out of the loop enough to feel simply BAFFLED! Really?! REALLY?! When did using that word pass for humor? FROM anyone, toward anyone! Perhaps “locker room” or adolescent humor…but I can’t help but wonder if I missed the memo.

    Seriously, I think I must be behind the times (at this rate I am grateful for my ignorance). How could ANYONE think that was going to be funny? Any part of it: giving her a nickname, instead of kudos…but REALLY beat up on a kid? Yeah. NO! Simply NOT O.K. Not O.K. toward a kid (or an adult), not O.K. toward a woman or girl (or a man or boy), NOT O.K. because you’re used to belittling and insulting POC with impunity. Just NOT O.K.

    Can we get some righteous, powerful, non-racist feminist humor here? ‘Cause my heart is aching with the bombardment of completely NOT FUNNY “comedy/humor”.

    Ouch. I really hate this.

  • http://gravatar.com/seritatheresa seritatheresa

    Exactly which white and which black feminists are you all talking about?

  • Keali

    THIS!!! I’m so over it I don’t know where to begin. Who cares what Lena Dunham does, what white feminist think, if other groups understand every and anything about black women. There are real issues facing black women and worrying about a lack of black female representation on Girls isn’t going to fix it. I guess it’s easier to discuss and fuss about the non- ssues instead of taking a good long hard look at the real issues.

  • Yb

    Funny, how when black women want to be treated equally and recognised as women, let alone human beings in American society, we are labeled “thristy”, “desperate”, and “begging for white acceptance and affection.”

    But when black men want their humanity recognised (I.e. Civil Rights Movements) they are pioneers, icons, and strong fighters opposing white supremacy, who should be admired for their bravery.

    Does any else see the double standard?

  • http://leftstandingupdotcom.wordpress.com Abigail Collazo

    I’m a little confused here as to who you are talking about exactly when you say “white feminists.” Are there specific organizations or specific individuals who you can point to as not having said anything (or not said enough)? I ask because as a (basically) white feminist, I tweeted about it quite a few times, as did a number of white feminists I know and work with. So I’m not in any way saying this article was wrong, but I’d be curious to know the names or groups that you feel should have said something or done something and didn’t. I felt like this got a lot of (deserved) attention, so I’d love to know where exactly we should have been talking about this and yet didn’t, that it came across as though “white feminist” didn’t care about this or didn’t think it was a very big deal.

    *As a side note, when I refer to myself and my acquaintances as feminists, I mean formally, not in the self-identity kind of way. I associate with a women’s blog called Fem2.0, and my friends work at women’s activist organizations, etc.

  • http://twitter.com/kikimojo kirsten oliphant (@kikimojo)

    I guess I follow different people on Twitter and read different articles. I was outraged and the white feminists in my feed (and actually, people across the board) were outraged as well and shared this. I’m very sad that there didn’t seem to be support for Quvenzhane or black feminists. I saw it and just assumed that it was happening across the boards.

  • Rue

    Bull. What accounts for the fact that Swaziland band rape provoking outfits?

  • Come On

    This site is not a feminist site. It is a black women’s site. Feminist sites should be interested in ALL women. Even still this site gives more coverage to non-black women than other sites would even think about giving to us. There was an article on this site yesterday about a white UNC rape victim. How many white female sites do you think would talk about a black rape victim? They wouldn’t unless it became a big racial story. How many “brown” sites do you think would care about a little black girl being shot? I have visited plenty of sites by non-black people. Black women are way off their radar. Black people are way of their radar unless it’s some huge Trayvon Martin like incident.

    This site is black-woman-centric but still covers non-black people way more than non-black people cover us. It’s not even comparable. This site cannot be accused of doing the same thing because it never claimed that it was a feminist site for the advancing of all women. It is a site for black women. They aren’t saying that white female blogs all over the web are silent. They’re saying that white feminists who say that the feminist movement is diverse are silent.

  • Ash K


  • http://www.facebook.com/christelyn Christelyn Russell-Karazin

    Jenn,it’s not about white women “speaking for us,” it’s about building alliances to have a more powerful voice. White feminists understand how the power of additional voices–namely black women–lend to their power. However, many white feminists are pretty apathetic about our issues–there’s no reciprocity. And in my humble opinion, I don’t think it behooves black women to be the only ones “holding it down.” Smart and cunning people know how to build alliances to get things done. Stubborn people who think they don’t need anybody are like lone voices in the wilderness.

  • http://seritatheresa.wordpress.com seritatheresa

    The hipster culture began with a novel called the White Negro. The hipster culture evolves and changes by means of interaction among and between hipsters and non-hipsters as yourselves. I asked what a hipster was because when we use labels, particularly labels to describe people we don’t like, we sometimes forget to take a moment to even know the meaning/discourse/history behaving the label we are using. As African American we tend to demand this Verstehen. As Americans we tend to neglect it. My bifurcated conscious is now hurting.

  • http://seritatheresa.wordpress.com seritatheresa

    Does anybody remember what happened when Chris Brown told a white woman who was fucking with him to suck his dick? That’s a more apt comparison to the lack of white interest in this story than an inquiry into white feminists’ perspectives on this story. Keep in mind I don’t think of the women at XOJane and Jezebel as representations of mainstream (white) feminism.

  • http://seritatheresa.wordpress.com seritatheresa

    I’ve had your back

  • Anonymous

    Nice attempt at a derail. Where were white feminists speaking up for Malala? I’ll wait.

  • http://seritatheresa.wordpress.com seritatheresa

    Which white feminists are you referring to?

  • Crissey

    I think you should research the history of white privilege and that will help you understand what is meant by the term “white feminist,” the privilege that comes with being white, and the experiences that Black women encounter that differ from those that white women encounter. However, you’ll have to have an extremely open mind to truly understand what you will discover.

  • http://seritatheresa.wordpress.com seritatheresa

    Google Michelle Wallace. This thread is so warm it just needs a little nudge and enlightenment may occur!

  • http://seritatheresa.wordpress.com seritatheresa

    in academia

  • Ask_ME


    Yep, Michele Wallace’s essay in Words of Fire speaks specifically about black women’s issue with BOTH black men and white feminist during this period of time.

  • http://seritatheresa.wordpress.com seritatheresa

    both of you should read this:


    Its a symposium of Actual Feminists have a discussion about race class and gender

  • Nic

    Actually, they want you to get in line behind them, support them, do the work, and then be happy when they get the jobs, promotions, etc. B/c they do NOT want you to ever have as much as them.

  • http://gravatar.com/nolakiss16 binks

    Basically! Hence why I don’t identify with the feminism label as a whole because I’ am not really surprised that some of these women didn’t come to this beautiful young girl defense. Some of these women can’t see the forest from the trees if it is not in THEIR best interest then they don’t care. So I say good riddance, we as black women can build a stronger bond of sisterhood and be there for each other and build ourselves up and defend each other from TPTB and sadly that INCLUDES other women

  • Ask_ME

    Yes, some of us DO see the double standard. This double standard is being put forth by BLACK WOMEN on this site…many of which have drunk the kool-aid said about them by people who do not wish to see them as equals.

  • Reneé

    I agree. I kept reading the article looking for the author to point to specific individuals who spoke about x thing but were silent on y thing, but I got to the end of the article and didn’t find it. I am willing to accept the author’s premise, but I need a little evidence. She doesn’t call out one person for her silence.
    ETA: went back to be sure and the author calls out a man and a woman who defended the satire and then apologized for it. The way the article reads, I expect to see a list of about ten people who are known for speaking out against slights like this, but were silent in this case. References please!

  • Reneé

    Remind me, what happened? Oh I think I remember Jezebel being up in arms about that. But Jezebel posted about Q’s insult as well.

  • http://seritatheresa.wordpress.com seritatheresa

    She didn’t want the university to pay for her birth control she wanted her premiums to cover her birth control the same way the insurance premiums cover Viagra for men at the same University. That’s different from wanting a handout.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kurtlan Kurtlan Massarsky

    Thank you for writing this article. Please know your words help allies solidify their arguments, and help continue to teach us how to be better, more effective and supportive allies. As a cisgender, white, male, I know it’s not your job to teach me how to be a better ally, but I really appreciate these moments of learning.

  • http://seritatheresa.wordpress.com seritatheresa

    I Catholic Universities shouldn’t include contraception in covered meds (that the women pay for – not the church) then my tax dollars shouldn’t fund Catholic institutions.

  • Exactly!

    Exactly. As many women have mentioned, black men always trivialize the issues we face unless it involves them and racism. The CRM and feminist movements both ignore our problems as black women in America. Black men will trivialize sexism. That’s not important right now. Racism is. White women will trivialize racism. That’s not important right now. Sexism is.

    I’m glad black women are starting to wake up and stop being mules and mammies for people that never return the favor. Heck black women stopped doing that for white women a long time ago, but they can’t seem to see that this support for many of these disrespectful rappers and comedians is the same thing.

  • http://gravatar.com/bridgetmarietodd Bridget Todd

    Hey Abigal, I posted about this on a feminist Reddit forum and most of the ladies were not to thrilled to discuss it. Most of them simply refused to accept this as a “race” issue. Some defended it. I overall was disappointed by how little they cared about it.


  • Tallulah Belle

    LOL!!! Classic!!!

    Yeah, they were also probably braiding their armpit hair while blowing their divorce attorney after their monthly botox session.

  • Katie

    Much as I sometimes wince when I read articles like this, they really are necessary. That’s the insidious thing about privilege: if you aren’t forced to confront it, you never think about it at all. I appreciate articles like this, as they show me areas to improve. As a (really angry, really motivated) rape survivor, it’s good to be reminded that there are other battles that feminism is trying to fight (as depressing as that is).

  • Tallulah Belle

    Hey, Jenn. You’re not a black woman. I saw you parking your car this morning and you’re a white dude. Shame on you.

  • http://twitter.com/TFBreeder The Feminist Breeder (@TFBreeder)

    My twitter feed is protected, so you wouldn’t have seen me raging about the “c-nt” comment ALL WEEK LONG. But you will find me immediately taking it to facebook. https://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/thefeministbreeder/posts/10151295276882727
    And if you want to be outraged, go there and see a bunch of self-described feminists pulling the colorblind bullcrap and questioning why I would even mentioned that Wallis is a young Black girl. As though her skin color couldn’t possible be relevant to the disgusting comment. There are feminists out there raging hard on this (my feed was TL was filled with them, that’s how I heard about it, I don’t follow The Onion.) But yeah, there are just as many feminists who didn’t give a crap. Many of us do all we can.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rabidgoon666 Rob Cotton

    Great article. It’s astonishing, though hardly surprising, that whenever something like this happens, many of my fellow white ‘progressives’ are all-too-quick to chime in and say ”this has nothing to do with race’ even though a grown white man calling a 9 year old black girl a c*nt is so obviously and directly tied in with our racial history as a nation that it can’t possibly be rationally denied. I try to speak up as much as I can on message boards, etc but the racism is just so engrained in their thinking that they are unwilling and unable to see the obvious truth.

  • http://gravatar.com/najeemat NajeemaIman

    Just looked at your comment feed from your initial post…wow….just wow

  • Christina Cooksey

    Okay, I don’t consider myself a feminist, and I am still learning about white privilege, and what it means. I always thought racism was all about hate, and am researching the history of white privilege, and what it means, and as the mother of bi-racial children, it is very important to me to learn, so that I can teach them. As a mother I am outraged by “The Onion”‘s treatment of this beautiful, innocent little girl, for these adults to call her that hateful and degrading word is just wrong on so many levels, and I agree that if she was white, so many of these groups that are keeping silent, would have been demanding someones head, and abject apologies. Just like the treatment of Rihanna, just because she has been able to forgive Chris Brown for what happened, is no reason for her to be disrespected and joked about, and again if that was say, Sandra Bullock and Jesse James, they wouldn’t have been disrespecting her that way, and if they did, so many of these organizations would not have hesitated to speak up. I don’t even watch the Oscars, and shows like this because I disagree with so many of the things that are said, and I think that Quvenzhane Wallis is an extremely talented young lady, and anyone who thinks that is okay to call her a name like this, has some serious issues.

  • BB Fortune

    Ok for ladies like you who are speaking out THANK YOU! I just wish MORE would.

  • http://gravatar.com/keimia Kam

    Ugh, it’s one of the reasons I unsubscribed from r/TwoX. They are completely blind when it comes to race issues, and when someone actually takes the time to explain it to them they just don’t get it. I don’t know if it’s either because they don’t actually understand or they refuse to. Sites like Jezebel and TwoX are just Feminism Lite.

  • Rue

    Same shit, different day….F.U. Jezebel!

  • http://www.clutchmagonline.com jenn dunn

    u told me u wouldn’t tell anyone. lol

  • Wakeup

    I think Seth MacFarlane was miserable and offensive. He’s an example of the lack of civility that is polluting America. The way he insults Christianity is a total disgrace.

  • Taylor

    Thank you! I was outraged by this disguting “joke” by the Onion like many other POCs and I heard nothing from white people. It pissed me off. Like c’mon, THEY JUST CALLED A NINE YEAR OLD GIRL A CUNT THAT’S NOT SATTIRE. This article gave me all of my life. I am forwarding it to my friends. Keep doing this, clutch.

  • isola

    I think we should collectively be concerned about an innocent nine year old girl being called such a derogatory word, regardless of her race. I would have been upset if someone called honey boo boo the same thing. With that said, they really are not that many true feminists out there. I think it is one of the most overused words in our vocabulary.

  • Yb


    You just projected a whole lotta bullshit on Exactly! and she didn’t mention anything of the things you stated in your reply.

    Stop making yourself look crazy.

  • SayWhat

    Divided we fall yes…..but what if we were never united? Every chance white women get they let women of colour women know that we don’t matter.
    CW has a show call ‘buns’? which is about young ballet dancers, not one black dancer. When the creator of scandal spoke up about it, the white woman director said she would never have attacked another woman (director)……in other words,it’s OK to be racist, because the goal is to get white women to continue and try to win the race against white men. Then we can have white PEOPLE ruling over us poor/second class people of color.
    So no, i’m not surprised by the lack of response at all.

  • http://gravatar.com/wordplayimani wordplayimani

    Every woman that stands against patriarchy and being rated second best because of her gender is by default a feminist. Many women shirk from the word because they feels it associates them with being lesbian. No child, should be abused in any form without conscious adults coming to their aid.

  • Exactly!

    @Chillyroad – Lol. You know your name so well. When you saw mammy, you came a runnin’. It’s not completely impossible to talk about these things and other important things at the same time.

    Long ago, I came to the conclusion that you simply like to argue. Maybe your life is that boring. You paint yourself as some new age black woman who’s so different from the rest of us. Constantly sticking up for black men when they say something negative about us. Constantly sticking up for non-black women. It’s lame. You’re wasting all these keystrokes to defend people who don’t give a crap about you. I’m trying to figure it out. Do you wish you were a black man? I get strong vibes of penis envy from you. If you couldn’t be a black man, I think you would probably want to be a non-black woman lol. You mentioned that you were a black woman married to a South Asian man. At one point I wondered if you were actually a black man married to a South Asian woman because that would make sense.

    Do you really think black women think who Kanye West is dating is an important issue? It is a stupid topic meant to get page clicks. I’d like to think you’re not stupid enough to think that many of the pop culture articles written on this site to drive traffic and get page clicks are the types of issues that I’m talking about, but you seem to have a problem comprehending. No, I think you have no problem comprehending. You simply like to do somersaults to start arguments because you have nothing better to do in your life.

    So this site talks about black men and white women too much? Lol. This site spends a lot of time talking about racism and white men. You and many of the men here have no issue when the complaints are being aimed at white men, but when we start to throw complaints at white women or black men we’re jealous and catty. We’re trivializing our issues. Blah blah blah.

    There are lots of blogs where black men complain about white men and racism. I bet you have no problem with these blogs because you stay stanning for men, but when black women complain about white women, we’re jealous and catty. There are lots of blogs where white women talk about their dating issues with white men, but when black women do it to black men, we’re race traitors. I actually find it funny. So many people black men and feminist white women have no problem when black women are talking about all the bad things that white men have done, but when a black woman starts talking about someone from these other groups, it’s a problem.

    I actually agree with your Girls statement. I don’t think it’s an issue, and I’m over that whole topic. But there are many, many commenters (I would say the majority) on this site that agree with you about the Girls situation. Did you ignore their views to start an argument? It’s funny how people think black people and black men being shown in a positive light like on the Cosby Show is a good thing, but when it comes to black women being shown in a positive light, it’s trivial.

    If that’s all you’ve gotten from this site is trivial articles maybe you should go to a black male or white female blog and get some meatier reading. God knows all you do is complain and nag. I would be glad for you to finally find some material that you can actually enjoy and read and comment on the material rather than just going through comments and posting stupid responses and playing devil’s advocate. Why would such a woman or whatever you are visit this site over and over if the content is so trivial? I mean seriously. I don’t visit sites with content I don’t find interesting just to interact with commenters and start arguments.

    As I said, you just like to get a rise out of people because you have NOTHING. BETTER. TO. DO. Essence magazine is a magazine for black women, and they talk about the same things that are in Ebony magazine. I find your thoughts that black women only talk about trivial things while others talk about much more important things to be just as idiotic as most of your comments. I’ve been to black male sites that are supposed to be the male equivalent of Clutch and many of them talk about relationships and current events just like this site. And those sites (like VerySmartBrothas is a good one) are actually catering to women because women are the majority of the readers on their sites. The sites that have largely male audiences don’t even talk about that stuff. They’re usually about rap music and butt models. I’ve been to white female sites that are like Clutch, and they are as someone mentioned full of hipster issues. Yahoo Shine is Yahoo’s women’s site, and it has articles that are quite similar to the one’s here. Jezebel is not really posting anything important either. Clutch may give into posting about pop culture and interracial relationships for page clicks, but only a person like you would ignore all of the nontrivial issues that they talk about and pretend that all they talk about are European standards of beauty and what black man is dating outside of his race again. But you know I never see you comment on ANY article that doesn’t have to do with men or white women. These are the only types of articles you comment on because you are always spoiling for a fight.

    But you don’t comprehend like I said, or you do somersaults to play devil’s advocate. So I’ve come to the conclusion that you either have comprehension problems which makes you stupid, or you’re spoiling for a fight which means that you’re pathetic and have nothing better to do. Either way I don’t really get to offended by your comments, and I don’t give them much thought. They’re pretty predictable. Many women on this site try to figure you out. I think it’s best to just keep it moving. You obviously like attention. A lot of people feel some kind of acceptance and power from the number of thumbs up they can get from a comment. You are similar. You feel special when you get reactions out of people.

  • http://gravatar.com/pkayden pkayden

    Great post. You are on point. I recall attending a feminist meeting in Toronto decades ago and some White women being upset when the African National Anthem was sung because apartheid wasn’t their issue. Things haven’t changed.

  • Ms. Vee


  • Kay

    This is why I am done, done, done with mainstream feminism!! They’ve dropped the ball (or haven’t even acknowledged the ball was even there) more than I can count in my experience. Then when you call them on it, they want to be all kumbaya about it and say “But we’re all sisters!! We should be worrying about sisterly issues! You know….like White women’s issues!” So it’s okay for me to protest, write, march etc., about the mistreatment of a White woman, but you can’t do the same for a Black woman who you claim is a SISTER?!! Riiiight. And don’t even get me started on how when myself and others ride for other causes that touch on Black men, transgendered and gay, and other people of color or the poor, they go stir crazy and think we’re BETRAYING them by acknowledging that there is an entire system of oppression that affects everyone in a multitude of ways. “You’re not focusing enough on the IMPORTANT issues!” (read: what we think is important). Yep, because inter-sectionality isn’t important. I used to be a card carrying feminist back when I was undergrad but I turned that card in long ago.

  • In Africa

    African National Anthem?


    You mean the South African one?

  • SO Tired of U!

    @ChillyRoad – I am going report you as a troll — and get you off this site cause you try to deter almost every post.

    Here is how wrong you are:

    On Michael Ealy – Clutch republished half of a Belle in Brooklyn post and all the piece was about was his marriage. The post was positive. Some of the comments do not represent Clutch Community – I am sure were in there starting ish (as always).


    Girls/Lena: I am pretty sure I know why Clutch covered the stories a lot of similar sites covered it and the show was a big topic for lots of Black women. I for one would have questioned the site for not covering. But now they probably won’t ever cover any issues that come up with that show cause some people think clutch is “obsessed” with white women and what they think of us? NOT. Covering issues that surround Lena/Girls – Issues that ARE relevant to US.

    How can you tell a site to not encourage love and one’s right to date who they want – regardless of race. The have encouraged it and I am sure they will continue to — why? They understand not all black women date a specific race!

    For the reason stated above – you need to leave this site. I will be happy when you and your buddies get banned.

    You are DRAMA everyday and try to pass it off as intelligent. BYE!

  • omfg

    know your history and you are not surprised by anything. the things people do are sometimes part of one long continuous unbroken thread they may or may not realize they are keeping alive.

    i started with paula giddings’ ‘when and where i enter” when i was in college years ago.

    most people, esp. nowadays, simply aren’t self-aware and they are easily programmed.

  • Eve

    Actually they didn’t. Yes they talked about the Tweet on the day it happened because it was news worthy. But they have not ONCE came to the defense of this little girl. Writing a op-ed specifically about what happen to this beautiful innocent child.

  • http://gravatar.com/ceecollegegal CeeCee

    This is an excellent article and the very reason why, I frequently visit this site. I was looking for an article on Jezebel to attack the Onion, but I only found an article stating that “cunt” was not a bad word. I agree with the other ladies on here; Jezebel often turns a blind eye to issues pertaining to non-whites. All women should have been up in arms about what the Onion said!! I was on Facebook when the apology letter was published, and I noticed that the majority of people that were disgusted with the Onion were black women. In fact…I would said that 99.9% of the “down with Onion” posts were black women; even black men were basically non-existent, but that’s another discussion all together.

  • Kacey

    @ Seritatheresa – You may have a textbook definition of what a Hipster is, but I know them personally. The area where I live in NYC has been invaded by them and I attend a university and graduate program that is full of them. So I’m not just throwing “labels” at anyone.

  • angel

    Brilliant. Thank you for this amazing, thought-provoking and spot on article.

  • Dana

    You seem to already know that answer. Based off your comment below — with the history links and back history on the word? Did you want someone to ask so you can answer? I really don’t mean any harm. But I have noticed your comments as of lately.

    I don’t mean to extra but you seem to come across in all of your comments as the professor or always coming in to teach us. I think it’s great but sometimes your explanation seems to be self-promoting or text book/research touting.

    Just a question…

  • http://www.colorfulcuties.tumblr.com maria

    Great article! Personally, I saw many white feminists backing Quvenzhane on tumblr and Jezebel and it was great to see their support!

  • nettrice

    It wasn’t just the “c-word” that should have had ALL feminists up in arms. The frequent mispronunciation of her name was also offensive (someone had the nerve to call her Annie instead). As a Black woman who has experienced similar things is it any wonder that we are still dealing with these kind of issues. We are not living in a “post-racial” America. Not at all!

  • http://www.facebook.com/LadyVyolence Lindsay Ann Dow

    I am a white feminist that was outraged by the onion calling ms wallis a cunt. Everyone i know was outraged as well.

  • Tara

    If black women honestly think (feminist or not) think that white women would have their backs, then I have some good swamp land that I can sell you. White women have no interest in seeing black women rise or even at least better our situation in this country. They have a huge interest in black women ALWAYS remaining at the bottom. I wont list the reasons because that is a whole other post.

  • The Other Jess

    say it again, tara!

  • The Other Jess

    If you think that white “feminists” are anything different than any other white women, then you are sadly living in a world of utter make believe. They have no care for black women and girls. Just as patronizing, just as racist, just as hateful. Sorry, this is based on my own personal experiences, if anyone is offended, but the truth is the truth. Some of the most racist white women I ever met were so-called “feminists”. They were all about women-empowerment, as long as they were not Black. They were all about “Black empoweremnt” as long as the Blacks to be empowered were male.. White women want Black women on the bottom so why do y’all keep begging them to give a flying f*ck about you?

    Probably zero percent of white women of ANY type have Black women’s best interest in mind. Like Tara said, they have a vested interest in keeping themselves as being considered on top, and Black women on the bottom.

  • The Other Jess

    Ya, right…

  • http://pussygoesgrrr.com Ashley Avard

    I just want to walk around with this entire article on a sandwich-board in all the white feminist spaces.

  • Tara

    And if you read Elaine Brown’s a Taste of Power which looks at the Black Panther Party. She even stated that black women were the real workhorses of the party, yet the male members of the black panther party favored the white and light women. Oh and by the way, she was not some bitter dark skinned chick. She is light with straight hair and she stated this so it cant be dismissed.

  • Tara

    What is scary is some black women dont know this or are in denial.

  • Tara

    Thank you for articulating what I think so many others did not. The best comment here thus far.

  • M

    Hey, I do think in general the unwillingness to talk about race or class issues is a huge problem with feminism. But….I know my Facebook feed has been blown up for days over this, and mostly from my white feminist friends. I mean, to the point where I thought it might be time to focus on something else, like sequestration and how WIC is on the chopping block. Easier to defend a cute young girl than poor or working class women and their kids?

  • Whiteprivilegeterminated

    “I mean, to the point where I thought it might be time to focus on something else, like sequestration and how WIC is on the chopping block. Easier to defend a cute young girl than poor or working class women and their kids?”


    Wow finally, a sane voice in this mad house.

  • MF

    You’re basing this all on one “tweet”? You’re assuming that white feminists are ignorant to the power struggle of the entire black female population. I’m sick of women whining about women and being pushed down. It’s hard, yes. It’s easier in society today to be a white woman/man. That is appalling to me. Pro-rights activists like Bill Cosby though? He basically says quit whining about your struggle and do something about it!!! You want that job? You want to be at the top? EARN IT. You fight and claw and scratch if you have to. But YOU do it. Do not leave it to someone else to decide your fate because of the color of your skin or your being a women. I went to a Women’s College and I can tell you that I fought every single day to get where I am – as did every other minority female at that school. We found a way to get a good education in a female environment. There are people and communities that don’t want to see you succeed – black, white, whatever you are. Do not give them the room or justification to feel you inadequate. It has been proven over and over again that it can be done. Only you can fight for yourself; other people aren’t going to give a damn about your feminist “talks and lectures” unless you can prove that you’ve succeeded in other aspects of your life. Sorry, but the fact that you have a vagina and female mindset/ideals does not give you the right to anything aside from treating yourself with equality.

  • Anonymous

    I’m kind of shocked at how much generalizing is going on here. I will not disagree that some white feminists look the other way when something about race comes up or that they are dreadfully uneducated on intersectionality. But to say that of all of them are like that? I will say right now that I’m a feminist and I’m white. I am aware of the intersection of sex and race, but maybe I’m not always comfortable commenting on it because I don’t yet feel properly educated enough. I have noticed my mistake though (not being aware of intersectionality in the past) and want to correct, but it will take some time to educate myself before I go on the internet speaking about race, especially when I’m white and privileged. Do you not agree that while white feminists very well should recognize the intersection of race and sex, they might not always be the best to deeply analyze it, considering their privilege? I am sad, though, that so many commenters have suggested that all white feminists don’t care at all about black women or girls.

  • http://twitter.com/blackfeminism Sapphire Sister (@blackfeminism)

    As others have noted, despite some excellent analysis of recent events and application of intersectional thinking, this article is rife with generalizations and lacking in historical context (even recent history). At the surface level, Jezebel was one of the first outlets to cover The Onion’s rank behavior and include the email address to take action (or maybe this was in the comments). Re: the Slutwalk incident, I wasn’t there, but reports from the scene indicate that black *and* white women did not fail to step to the idiot with the sign and tell her to that shit was unacceptable. It’s also necessary to note that as a result of that incident, Slutwalk (was it Toronto or NYC?) took action to interrogate their own racism and figure out their anti-racist politics. Should they have included women of color from the start in their planning? Absolutely. Maybe then the whole tactic would’ve been reframed to be more inclusive.

    Situating this series of incidents (again, glad the author brought them all together) does nothing toward figuring out how women across race need to work in solidarity, keep one another in check, but also do the internal work around anti-racism and internalized racism. Great for traffic to the site, but such half-provocations do little for building a movement against the white supremacist patriarchy.

  • Bianka

    They specifically said “not all”… You’re only hearing what you want to hear.

  • Collection Your People for You

    Can you not read? She said very explicitly “many – not all” and this comment is problematic because you are doing what white people often do; making this about your hurt feelings. It’s not. It’s about a little black girl who your people threw under the bus, a symbol of what often happens to WOC in the feminist movement. And you can speak up about intersectionality while openly admitting you have more to learn. There is no excuse for your silence. It’s possible to speak WITH us instead of over us. This comment tells me you still have a long way to go in analyzing, understanding, and deconstructing your own privilege.

  • Alex

    Yeah, the issue is definitely about generalisation coming from black feminists rather than dismissal coming from white feminists. You’ve really gotten to the essence of what this article is about and not derailed it in any way.

  • http://twitter.com/GoGoSunshine iGleaux (@GoGoSunshine)

    Why do POC expect better from them? Just look at how many people commenting are more concerned with explaining their hurt feelings than going “you know what we dropped the ball, how can we do better?” I will NEVER expect anything from them.

  • http://twitter.com/GoGoSunshine iGleaux (@GoGoSunshine)

    I copy pasted the wrong comment (have multiple windows open). Please ignore me.

  • http://[email protected] my

    They do not care about Black women. They never hae and never will. Their quarrel is with their White men. The Black women and Black men need to see through this so-called ‘feminism’ and ‘women’s right’s issues as a means to further divide the Black community. If I were Quvenzhane’s parents, I would sue the ‘Onion’ for libel and defamation of character as well as bullying a child. That will shut the ‘Onion’ up for good.

  • Jellybean14

    How can i like this 10 times??? You just summarised the unique intersection of our dual oppression as black women xxxx

  • Nina

    Definitely not here to complain about over-generalizations, because I think they’re generally fair and based on observation. But I personally, as a white feminist, never know what my place is in issues of intersectionality When black feminists are defending black women, I’ve always gotten the impression that it would be wrong for me to interject, because I don’t have the same level of knowledge and experience that they do. I’m happy to support them, but I’m afraid of speaking over them.

  • http://mscatamaran.wordpress.com/ Cata

    I’d say that goes for me as well. I defintely do not find The Onion’s tweet funny or edgy, I find it digusting on so many intersecting levels. That being said, I can’t help but think of a post by Martha Southgate regarding the pattern of stories of black liberation being told from perspective of a white central character or the white character being necessary for their liberation. Its complicated because if white feminists fail to speak out, is it because they really just don’t care or because they don’t want to be yet another group of white people telling black people how to feel about something?

    At author: Which groups/blogs/organizations were you hoping to see them voice outrage about this and were silent?

  • http://www.facebook.com/patricia.morrison.10 Patricia Morrison

    I’m not guilty. I’m just realizing that white women of my generation (middle age) are very out of touch. I guess I was disappointed to find this out as I genuinely thought feminists were feminists. Thank goodness, I learned otherwise thanks to this article. I will continue to do my part to raise awareness. This is an extremely sensitive issue but please don’t paint us all with the same brush even if there are few exceptions. It’s horrible to know that a lot of the people I know just aren’t interested enough or don’t care. I live in a Canadian city with a large and historical black population (400 years old) and you can literally cut the tension with a knife. I don’t feel welcome on this site, but that’s not the point. I subscribed to your blog on Facebook to raise my own awareness and hopefully my “friends” Slowly but surely, in spite of white privilege, the tide is turning.

  • http://gravatar.com/ambrexcape Meme

    Afterellen.com and Autostraddle.com talked about it and they are pretty disgusted by the whole thing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/DeniseC0524 Denise Clay

    I don’t think it’s complicated at all. You see something ratchet. You say it’s ratchet. Calling a 9-year-old Browngirl a cunt is ratchet. Calling any 9-year-old girl is ratchet. End of story…Ratchet is kind of race neutral.

  • Daijana

    I’m actually just disappointed. I just found the word Feminist in a recently taken women’s studies class and the idea is beautiful. Women uniting to show we aren’t just women we are people who deserve fairness. And that’s exactly what ALL feminists need to understand there aren’t just white women in America we are a thoroughly mixed society full of different ethnicities and women. We work towards harmonizing EVERYONE and its not right to pick and choose

  • http://Www.dangerfieldnewby.tumlr.com ProfChris

    Good Lord you all have wrung his out better than right wing nuts on Fox and Breitbart’s folks ( hello…the real enemy) churn their stories and conspiracy theories. She is a public figure. Its protected speech. And she was not the target. Sad, true, but end of story.

  • Daijana

    I understand that you may seem hesitant to get into a situation that involves a black feminist defending another black woman, but honestly you don’t need credentials or anything. If your not completely devoid of sense its easy to understand us (we don’t bite). Frankly its kinda a challenge for people to speak over me, but I appreciate the fact that you even care.

  • Aisha

    lol “middle-eastern”? she is pakistani. what an ignorant comment

  • over it

    omg shut up

  • Z

    I agree that BW really should not expect anything from WW, but I don’t think this is about validation and attention.

  • Nancy Boo Boo

    and yet you coloreds still continue to put the white cunts in to office and the white trash that licks their boots. you sista’s made your bed now lie in it

  • Ash

    Maybe you should get an actual hobby other than being a troll…

  • Barbara Filaih

    I can understand why you’re so angry. I get regular emails from ‘Miss Representation.’ The silence on this issue is deafening.

  • Dw

    So what was the Civil rights movement was all about? Wasn’t it about to fight racism? For which you women should have stick to the script and not branch off to join this feminist movement. For decades you women went with this non-sense, destroyed our homes, communities and black boys with this stupid twisted mentality of this strong and independent foolishness, but i am so glad that after countless of black men from videos to block telling you women how foolish of an idea to continue with such a destructive concept that the same people you backed never backed you from the very beginning. White women never looked out of you all then in the 60s and they still not doing it. So my question is how foolish can you women be to still follow something that they have created, not black women. (Fools)

    Now your communities are a mess, your men who are not simped out and sissified don;t want nothing to do with many of you and all for what? I read 1 comment above on the first page saying you all don’t need white women, you all can hold it down on your own, of course you can because by choice you women have been doing that. Govt which is the white womans man the white man gave you a place to stay, gave you a job which is crumbs compared to what the white man gives his woman, yes the white woman. The white woman has nothing to worry about because the white man would never place any race of woman above his own women, and never will, the white woman continues to support her men when black women don’t. That is why black women have no first line of defense, that is why any race of man can come into your broken communities and disrespect you because you black women disrespect the very same black men, (not the thugs, mama boys and just plain worthless n*gga u women have been having their children with and for for decades) the very same men that can make a real difference in the black community and actually put the white man in second place in regards to any business launched, but you black women are so ignorant you all deserve everything you all get now.

    Have no dam n sympathy either.

  • Biz

    Oh look, another Black man with hurt feelings trolling a women’s forum to voice his displeasure with Black women.

    ‘Cuz clearly, YOU’RE in Black women’s corner and love and support them. *rolls eyes* Kick rocks.

  • NJ

    Agreed. The week prior to the Wallis debacle, local public radio in Minneapolis sponsored a discussion about whether or not Michelle Obama was using her bully pulpit effectively enough given her commitment to being Mom-in-Chief. As usual White feminists didn’t quite get why her decision to put motherhood and family first was quite the radical move for the first black First Lady. #annoyedashell

  • El

    I would guess less people know of this piece from The Onion than the Academy Awards. This needs to be considered for why less people are speaking against the article.

    In regards to comments about the Civil Rights Movement, it helped but did not remove racism and other discrimination. And the “women’s movement” was before this happened. Maybe the next “wave” wasn’t but the overall idea was not new.

  • http://www.mcsweeneys.net elizalegsza

    For me, the lack of outrage is a combination of different factors. I consider almost overly sensitive – yet I do not have a huge problem with the word “cunt”. I always thought it was a very ugly sounding word – however – during my pregnancy and subsequent interest in/reading about female genitalia, thinkers such as Ina May Gaskin (renowned midwife) challenged my view of words such as “cunt” by pointing out that it is derived from the cuneiform for triangle (a rather logical comparison, honestly) and the word lost its negative power – i could really take it or leave it, at this point. However: i do recognize that for many, it is highly offensive, and I have certain words like that too – I just think it’s important to recognize WHY words are offensive. For many, cunt seems inherently physiological – objectifying to the extreme, specifically located. As it applies to a 9 year old child, it really compounds the problem (even if you are the Onion). Many people I have read who are outraged about this are frustrated not even with the term or its employment or the Onion’s attempt at provocativeness, but at how dully uninspired it was. Let’s just leave the kids out from now on.

  • EntertainMeh

    Yea, and that article was stating why the “Cunt” word isn’t a bad word….Jezebel.com are the worst kind of racists.

  • Sharon M.

    The lack of outrage is neatly outlined in the piece you just read. You sound like a man trying to explain to a woman why she shouldn’t be upset about some sexist comment. This is known as Man Splaining.
    IOW, you are White Splaining. And all the navel gazing you just did up there didn’t help either

  • Ansley

    Yeah that wasn’t the point really. It was showing how white women don’t include women of color or consider their problems in the entire feminist movement-but cry foul play when the big bad white man tears them down. A young black girl can take it because she’s tough…a white girl..ohmygosh the dogs must come out. It’s not the word. It’s the fact that women of color are not fought for at all in this entire feminist movement- but that’s so typical..avoid the problem and start saying well cunt isn’t that bad of a word..ok moving on from that..what about white women and how they aren’t including black women and their social climb up the ladder.

  • Carrie
  • v

    I hate to tell you this but black women don’t want to hear anything white women say. They only want your sons.

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  • Chinyere

    “I’m not trying to be a snob here, but…”

    Oh Really????
    I’m pretty sure that’s the one thing everyone commenting seems to agree on. Stop being so preachy,your second favorite book that you probably think you’re the only person who read, is actually required reading in one of my courses. Furthermore, basing the White feminist stance off of your own encounters is absolute crap. We’re talking about the movement AS A WHOLE, not individual encounters with white women. No one is calling them monster’s, we’re simply saying that they don’t give a shit because a vast majority are hipsters who think we exist in a post racial world. Whether you care to admit it or not, these are well educated women who have the platform to make some waves, if they chose to do something other than bemoan the plight of the white & privileged. Next time you’re on xojane/jezebel, read the bio’s of some of these writer’s, you’ll find they contribute to marie claire,vogue,people,vanity fair, and the list goes on. Then again having read some of your other comments, these women over at jezebel/xo don’t qualify as “intellectual feminists”, because they aren’t writing books or in a classroom setting. Tsk. Women like you make women who aren’t formally educated feel like they can’t have an opinion, because someone like you is so quick to shut them up.

  • NME

    Try again. Most of those articles were written by WOC. Very disingenuous of you.

  • Anon

    Why are y’all surprised? Many other black women have said it before, you want protection… look to white conservatives. They don’t want this culture applied to THEIR children, and with how things are spreading media-wise, they see the danger. I’m not talking about hugging up on them, that’s for sure. But at least many of those women see you as WOMEN* and it is probably not best to dodge everything they say. I’ve said it before, southern/conservative white girls/women have ALWAYS seen a pretty black girl/woman as a threat. They treat you how they see you from jump. It’s the liberal ones who get surprised by you that are the problem. Those women are going CRAZY by seeing black women doing well.

    These “feminists” aren’t coming for this young child’s defense because a little black girl is getting attention this year. Not a little white girl. What happens when WE become innocent? What happens when WE become precocious? WE become competition. Jezebel is also the place where a weird 13 year old was given a platform (her name is Tanvi), and her voice was celebrated to the point where she was featured in Vogue, and has her own book that’s available for sale in American Outfitters. This is the blog that banned commenters for speaking up about how Tanvi talked about black women (derogatorily), and the week that a record-setting Oscar moment was made by a young beautiful little black girl, Check that blog’s history if you want to know how they reacted after Sandra Fluke (grown woman) was called a sl*t.

    And don’t forget, SOME conservative men are in our corner too. Conservative doesn’t mean *sshole. Some were raised to not see women degraded as much as you see in popular culture. They are supposed to eventually be wives and mothers, not h*es. As much as folks clowned Paul Ryan for being, well, Paul Ryan… he NEVER backtracked about his black college girlfriend, and was upfront about how the racism that came out affected their relationship. Most liberal dudes wouldn’t admit under anything but the wrath of god that their friends affect their dating choices. AKA, dudes that listen to rap, don’t tend to date black women.

    *They see you as women in terms of as long as you’re not a hood-rat. B/c in their communities, class is a factor, and they’re usually the first ones to talk about “poor white trash” so it is not exclusive to race.

  • Shirine

    The writers of this article have obviously never read or understood the Onion. The overinflated angr reaction of people to the comment is what will likely traumatize this child more. I do however think that the Onion writer who tweeted the comment made a mistake posting what he did, but i also know that his tweet was entirely void of any maliciousness, or sexism or racism. It’s supposed to be ironic, that’s what the Onion is, you guys have missed the point entirely. He wrote it BECAUSE we all know that Wallis is just an adorable little girl. The Onion was poking fun at all the ridiculous celebrity gossip that emerges after events such as Oscar night. How did you all miss this?

  • Anon

    Exactly! My main take from all of that is it is a group of overweight middle-aged and never had a child (or babymama) black women that keep leading that charge.

    They get the main press and platform b/c their livelihoods are reliant on begging.

  • Anon

    You are not a man. Even MEN understand the need for alliances. I don’t want to stand “strong”. I want to be protected… like every other woman of any other race or cultural group in the world. There ARE things I can’t do, and things I don’t WANT to do. Mainly, hold up an entire community. Women move “mountains” on a daily baisis. We raise the future. We set the standards. And in the case of so many immigrants, send money across the world to improve our families situations. Why are BLACK women supposed to do it alone and by ourselves, with NO support?

  • Anon

    B.S!!!! Black women need to stop taking the “high road” and just go and get theirs when it comes to feminists! I don’t agree with 95.5% of MRA crap, but I DO support them in their beliefs that feminists are mainly middle class and above white women who want the titles without the responsibilities.

  • Anon

    What is a hipster? Please take the way-back machine to 2005 and listen to a band called “The Strokes”.

    And I like them as a band, but… they were like the definition of hipster at the time.

  • Anon

    You can say all you want. But those women don’t give two craps in a non-functioning toilet bowl about you, and other black women. So why side with them? The KKK wanted a 0% un-employment amongst black people. All I have to ask is, do you think that meant getting a paycheck?

  • Anon

    Girl (or dude, who knows?) ANYBODY that says “race card”, I got something for you. I have no race “card”. I’m a black woman in the U.S. of A. I grew up in the deep south. I don’t have a race card, I got a DECK!!!! The ONLY reason why folks say “race card” is because they think this thing that they are complaining about is a one time incident. Come back for more! I have over a blackjack casino dealers full of “cards” for you to play with.

  • depizan

    Although I did see some articles about it on some feminist sites (mostly the ones Carrie linked above), I was very disappointed there wasn’t a larger reaction over this.
    I don’t think this has been mentioned yet, but as an alternative to XOJane or Jezebel, I think The Hairpin is a much better site. XOJane and Jezebel are pretty feminist/liberal-lite and shallow, and they tend to attract a lot of trolls and immature posters. The Hairpin is still funny and occasionally shallow, but far more thoughtful and posts on a wide variety of topics, and the comments are actually a safe place.

  • Lisa

    No child should be called a cunt. This has nothing to do with race.

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  • Old TImer

    The same place they were when they hijacked the civil rights movement, standing right next to you.

  • Anon

    Oh really? And you don’t think that lower class black people don’t hate us (and really, themselves) too? You know, the ones that constantly hold up their ratchet videos, music, and hood-rat lifestyle as realness?

    Some of y’all are so threatened by ANY task that requires, I dunno… work, that when another black person achieves anything, or is receiving recognition by ANYONE you are forced to look at your own shortcomings.

    And I don’t know why you threw up that “money” issue. Who are black women getting paid by, you? Contrary to popular belief, we are 12-13% of the population, black women are like 6%. Did you know that? What are you building? What are you creating? What’s happening in your house to create a legacy? Seriously…. I’ll wait. I want to know. We’re the best performing minority in the world (long-term wise) outside of the Jews in Europe.

    Look what happened to them when they had control of their own funds in a depressed economy. It started with the media. And they didn’t have a Jewish figurehead leading the country for the general populace to rail against.
    I understand half of your point, but the rest… this CHILD was denigrated in front of the world by a sexual slur, and you saw NOT ONE of the main organizations for women even so much as BLINK in her defense.

    For the most part, I thought this post was to remind black women who claim the mantle of “femininism” that it is in their best interest to claim the mantle of “I’m simply a woman, and should be treated as such” because unlike the black community, there will ALWAYS be white men who defend white women so they can act out as much as they please. The fact that people can pinpoint an actor from a T.V. show from 5 years ago as being the starting point of the backlash should make CRYSTAL CLEAR all of the black men who are in powerful positions who chose to say not a DAYUM THING.

    I understand half of your point, but the rest… this CHILD was denigrated in front of the world by a sexual slur, and you saw NOT ONE of the main organizations for women even so much as BLINK in her defense. You can leave your issues with black women from a different class than you somewhere else.

  • Anon

    Avoiding a clue when middle-aged must suck.

  • guest

    Are you crazy? You believe the answer for black women is to unite with conservative white men? You can’t be that brainwahed!

  • http://www.juliannemalveaux.com J Malveaux

    Actually, it does. Imagine the outcry, especially ffrom white feminists if a young white girl were so described!

  • Freefall_mc

    You nailed it!
    Lacking the exact same experiences, it is difficult for a diverse coalition to know what self-divided groups expect. So, instead of doing what one believes to be just and right, one gets caught up in the trap between “They hijacked OUR movement” and “Where WERE they?”; a catch-22.

  • pthorn

    Absolutely correct!!!

  • NCB

    I would ask the same of straight women and their concern for queers.

  • NCB

    am I crazy, the comments here make it sound like there is no gay black community. All this us and them. That is a huge problem.

  • Deb Morrison

    If you cannot see this is a racial issue, beyond also being so sickly oppressive of females, you should read everything you can get on white privilege and intersectionality….I suggest some bell hooks and perhaps some Peggy McIntosh

    By the way if you are tempted to dismiss me you should be aware how ignorant and patriarchal such an action is and again self reflect. White women often dismiss intersections of race and feminism in their self-denial of being oppressors and as such reinforce racism. Be aware, act, and actually contribute to deconstructing racism daily. I feel the need to disclose I am white myself and as such know the pitfalls of white privilege. If you are not acting to be informed and move against racism in every instantiation, you are reproducing it. Don’t be guilty…do something.

  • srwl

    Why are we waiting for white feminist to say something? Our outrage shouldn’t be dependent on white feminist. Besides, they’re too busy going after Chris Brown, because he matters (that was me being sarcastic).

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  • persephone

    Yes, so if Suri Cruise was called a cunt, the repercussions, reactions, AND DEFENSE would alllll be the same.

    Sure thing.

  • persephone


    THANK YOU for such an informative, clear, and NEEDED response.

    Much love to you for taking a much needed stand. Hotep!

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  • http://twitter.com/chanceofrainne Rainne Cassidy (@chanceofrainne)

    Well put, all of this. I actually missed the Onion piece, but there was a lot of rage on Tumblr and in my Twitter circle regarding the jokes made about Quvenzhané being the “right age” for Clooney and so on. In case you have not seen it, there’s this: http://whitetearsprincess.tumblr.com/post/43952025844

    I totally agree that there needs to be more of this kind of rage in mainstream white feminist circles.

  • channelinggemima

    The most dangerous thing you can say on this bootleg corporate white supremacists website is anything that suggests that black women be pro-active and organize themselves.

  • Glowfosho

    I agree with the sentiment of this article wholeheartedly. I am a white feminist, and I operate in many of the circles mentioned here (Jezebel, XOJane, etc.). I immediately felt, and saw strong outrage to what was said about Quvenzhane – in the Onion, at the Oscars, and anywhere, for that matter. I think the main authors of such pieces, or the prominent white feminists were too silent/ dismissive, but the rank and file feminists certainly weren’t. Perhaps it’s a generational thing?

  • Donella

    It was a sick, cowardly attack on a child by a grown adult male. Only the worst kind of pervert would make a hostile and aggressive sexualized remark about a nine-year-old girl and then invite other pervs to laugh along with him. Only a perv would laugh at a strange mindset like that. Only a perv would shield and protect this kind of mindset. It is not humor, satire, irony, sarcasm, or whatever last minute shields lunatics use to spin and backpedal and excuse and disguise their sick minds. It is unacceptable and the person with this type of mindset should be identified and marginalized so that other people know to keep their children away from him.

  • Miss Jay

    After all, the white male who wrote those hateful things about this young Black female was raised by a White mother.

  • JA

    No one waited. We acted and acted quickly, completely independently of white feminists. The point of this article is to do a post mortem on the reaction of feminists after the fact. They said nothing. It’s shocking. That’s all.

  • Raegus

    Maybe it’s time for black women to realise their place is in the black nationalist movement, not the feminist one.

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  • eshowoman

    Some whites love to talk about the race card when they have had the whole pack of cards for centuries. White privilege is a hell of a drug.

  • eshowoman

    You do realize that there are queer women of color, don’t you? Homophobia may be an issue of great debate in outr community, but black queers still find a home in black communities. Whiteness is centered in the LGBT community, just like it is in feminism. Mainstream LGBT groups have plenty of issues around race, ethnicity and class to work on, so stop your sad attempt of derailing the conversation away from the plight of an 9 year old black child.

  • eshowoman

    @Sasha the Church doesn’t need Fluke to come along and disrespect them they did that all by themselves.

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  • http://www.dawnthescreenwriter.com ScriptTease

    I know this is a semi-old topic… but I ain’t mad at the white feminist because in my opinion this is equivalent to black people complaining that white folks ain’t doing a thing to stop the violence in predominantly black neighborhoods involving black on black crimes, when black folks ain’t doing anything about it either.

    So my comment is, why should a white person care, when we don’t seem to care. IMHO.

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