Men cannot properly use the term “white feminism.”

I never let a white man pass when he’s accusing a white woman of white feminism because I recognize immediately that he’s using that term because he thinks he’s exempt.

The term in this usage adopts a sexist dynamic that targets BIWoC and ww and non-binary people. After all, why would a white man choose that term? BIWoC use it to speak against those who have undeserved privilege against us. White feminism is imperialism, so why wouldn’t a white man who is genuinely critiquing imperialism just use the term “imperialism”?

Because by choosing instead to identify imperialism as “white feminism,” he dodges accountability and responsibility. He is specifically detracting attention away from himself as an imperialist in order to appeal to the stereotype that classically feminine traits are manipulative and dangerous. He wants to exempt himself from critique while reinforcing his opinion that our femininity, the femininity of BIWoC, is dangerous.

We must recognize these inclinations at every angle. Watch out for this kind of sexism because it will turn on you. WoC can accuse white women of white feminism. A white man doing it wants to make a getaway.

One could make a case that he is using the term specifically to refer to the unique ways in which BIWoC are targeted as victims to be saved by the very people who make them victims. But that is not how this term is used; otherwise, we would frequently refer to MoC as white feminists. And there are certain WoC who cannot bear to ever hear MoC criticized. They will call actual WoC “white feminists” before they ever dare to say it to a man.

The default state of a man of color is white feminist. He wants to tell us how to free us.

I’m always side-eying Muslim men of color criticizing white women’s approach to “freeing” us as if they don’t do the same damn thing. If she says it, it’s because she’s trying to colonize me because I can think for myself. But if I say it, it’s because I’ve been colonized and can’t think for myself. It makes no sense to me that I would criticize only white women for their savior complex and ignore the man wearing her face just because he happens to appear to agree with me in that moment to serve his own purpose. I will legitimately criticize a dishonest man for “defending” me. I am no one’s shield.

I know there’s something off when we critique ww for helping us all wrong or interfering in discussions, but not moc.

Feminine Pain: Expression vs Normalization

It is a myth that “patriarchy discourages men from displaying emotions,” and a dangerous one.

A variety of emotions, ranging from anger to ambivalence to jealousy (unavailable to women, who are perceived as irrational, cold, erratic) is perceived as valid and more so objective in men. Even the argument that patriarchy discourages all sexes from displaying specific emotions is untrue. Men may be disparaged for sorrow, pain, love, and tenderness, but these emotions are valued more strongly when a man exhibits them. In men these emotions drive entire plotlines characterized as inspirational (see: manpain) while secondary characters face tougher obstacles.

Women aren’t really “allowed” to cry. We are expected. This is a crucial difference. Those tears, comparatively, are of lesser value. This value diminishes proportionately to how much a woman is the wrong kind of woman.

And that normalization of female pain translates to female pain being outright dismissed—in the routine of conflict, in doctors’ offices, in war.

The consequences of these of course reverberate in the most minuscule of details. I learned a long time ago not to cry. I don’t, in front of anyone I don’t have reason to trust. Because who would care if I do? I’m the wrong kind of woman.

Emotions are sacred. Even when they are dismissed or exploited I’ve still received incredulous reactions toward how and when I’ve chosen to conceal mine in these petty details. On one occasion in response to someone’s derision, I’d delivered a snide remark, upon which they demanded to know why I hadn’t just talked to them about the abrasiveness in their approach instead. What reason have I to believe this would evoke a different result when I’ve just been shown evidence in the contrary? It’s incredible to me that people who are voyeuristic or evasive or abrasive are offended when you’re not direct or compassionate with them about these issues, as though they’re owed this honesty. We don’t owe it to anyone to help fix their character flaws any more than we owe it to oppressors to teach them about their oppression.

These are among things we are never told, like how character means more than personality or how solitary the high road is. No one who has hurt you should expect that you’re direct with them when they haven’t created a setting in which they deserve it. And by inflicting that grief in the first place, they’ve in fact worked in the opposite direction. The high road is not yours to take. It’s theirs. Relieve yourself of it.

State of Israel Devises Ethnic Cleansing of Ethiopian Jews and Palestinians

Ayelet Shaked is a parliament member and lawmaker in Israel, the settler state built on Palestinian land, who remarked that all Palestinian mothers “have to die and their houses should be demolished so that they cannot bear any more terrorists,” appearing unaware that her agenda and occupation of Palestinian land breeds the “terrorists” intent on re-securing their homes and human rights. Although Shaked supposedly represents only the politically far-right of Israel, the rest of the occupying state actualizes her vision, as more than 425 Palestinian citizens have been killed and over 3,000 are injured. At least 100 of these are “terrorist” children.

At Shifa Hospital, a girl who looked about 9 was brought into the emergency room and laid on a gurney, blood soaking the shoulder of her shirt. Motionless and barely alive, she stared at the ceiling, her mouth open. There was no relative with her to give her name. The medical staff stood quietly around her. Every now and then, they checked her vital signs, until it was time. They covered her with a white sheet, and she was gone. A few moments later, a new patient lay on the gurney.

On the side of the occupiers, 18 soldiers are killed, and 2 citizens.

Basically sums up your author's position.
Basically sums up your author’s position.

The tactics of the occupiers to target women to prevent the birth of children are unsurprising, given both the widespread implementation of ethnic cleansing throughout the history of any illegal occupation as well as Israel’s obsession of producing a nation of non-black Jewish citizens in order to maintain the majority. Not only have Bedouin women been aware for decades of the shifty atmosphere,

But the hospital also inspires troubling rumors, the most alarming of which involves a general distrust of Caesarean sections owing to fears of un-consented sterilization. Other rumors suggest that hospitals “use Bedouin women’s placentas for all kinds of experiments and even sell them.”

but these “rumors” are supported as Israeli officials admit that Ethiopian Jewish immigrants are forcibly sterilized. The immigrants themselves have verified this claim.

“They told me if you don’t take the shot, we won’t give you a ticket, so I took the shot, but I didn’t know that it would prevent pregnancies. I didn’t know,” one woman told RT correspondent Paula Slier.

The vaccination, Depo-Provera, forcibly sterilized 13,000 impoverished women, half of whom were black, in the U.S. state of Georgia as a cruel human experiment during which several of the women were unaware that their bodies were being used for immoral scientific advancement. A great many of them died. Consequently, white women were provided with safe methods of birth control.

The same injection has been forcibly used for several years on Ethiopian women in the settler state, a strategic method to curb a population it views as inferior. Forced sterilization, under the guise of “birth control” campaigns, has been paraded by several United States organizations (as well as employed in US-backed Israel) throughout non-white countries, carried out by even reputably benevolent organizations, such as the Peace Corps. As Frances M. Beal writes in “Double Jeopardy: To Be Black and Female,” “[…]what the authorities in charge of these programs refer to as “birth control” is in fact nothing but a method of outright surgical genocide.[…] Under these circumstances, it is understandable why certain countries view the Peace Corps not as a benevolent project, not as evidence of America’s concern for underdeveloped areas, but rather as a threat to their very existence. This program could more aptly be named the Death Corps.” In the United States, Beal notes, “Threatened with the cut-off of relief funds, some Black welfare women have been forced to accept this sterilization procedure in exchange for a continuation of welfare benefits.”

Following suite after its unrelenting sponsor the United States, the Israeli settlers of Palestine have denied Ethiopian Jewish women relief (apparently you’re not promised the Promised Land by God if you’re black?) unless they accept a vaccine that will sterilize them. In traditional Judaism, sterilization is illegal.

It’s May. [Update #1]

Is it already? I meant to write something. (I actually meant to write quite a lot.) But–well, it didn’t happen. So here are a number of updates.

About halfway through the semester, a woman in one of my English classes had expressed dissatisfaction that she wasn’t able to read a lot of the “classics” she thought she would be reading as an English major, because so much of “ethnic studies” had made a literary presence in the department.

Let’s examine the unspoken premises here: (1) “Ethnic” people can not write classics, and/or (2) Anything incorporating analysis with “ethnic awareness,” or race studies, is not as extravagant a question as the “classic” musings on the human condition. Because racism is not a human experience. Well I mean, it’s not an important one. It’s not as grand as other literary subjects, like death or the sublime.

You see, once upon a time, English and Comparative Literature were actually two different departments. The whites were separated from the coloreds and everyone was happy. Then, one dreadful day, some people who were clearly suffering from too much political correctness actually decided to combine them together, on the basis that treating comparative literature as though it isn’t mainstream just because it’s written in languages not English is completely arbitrary to the study of literature. Or at least arbitrary according to them. I mean, it’s called English literature for a reason right? Being white has nothing to do with it, just Englishness. It’s not like we ever translate Greek lit–

Oh wait.

I have something to ask those who feel that “race” or “sex” don’t belong among the universal human experiences that are explored in literature and literature classrooms.

On what grounds?

Why are your questions about life larger than mine? Why do we have to explore the complexities of good and evil exposed by literature only on your terms, according to your human experiences? Why should I be expected to relate to your experiences as universal when you aren’t expected to relate to mine?

Why do you get to call yours universal, significant, penetrating the depths of human truths–apolitical–and accuse me of a political agenda on the assumption that–what? You are the exemplar of all humankind? That your experience of race–and trust me, you do have one despite your ardent denial–is the ultimate, that your awareness of race, under the pretense of not concerning yourself with it, as told from the perspective of the status quo is to remain unquestioned or else I am making the classroom political?

The problem isn’t that I am making you discuss race or sex when you don’t want to discuss it in literature. The problem is that I am changing the terms in which you discuss it. The truth is you were already discussing it, by default–except from your perspective, under the guise of “normality.” The truth is that before women’s studies you only had Male Studies in every class–history, biology, English, medicine was taught based on what was proven to work on male patients. The truth is that before comparative literature you already had White Literature. The truth is you were always discussing race, you were always discussing sex, and you were always discussing them as questions worthy of exploration alongside death and nature and the sublime and identity.

Why the sudden change of approach?

Do you believe English literature was truly English literature before I came along with my intellectual honesty political correctness? That you weren’t already obsessed with race? That it was English literature, not White literature?

Why have you translated the Greeks?


The male orgasm is like a tremor, halting eventually if not quickly, and in a single inhalation delivers into ecstasy then restfulness, exhausted.

But the female orgasm, initiated with an aching, is the beginning of a chasm of conflicted turns, that when it passes, her desires have only just been awakened. And instead of engendering fulfillment they consume her entirely with indescribable yearning, a passion for fierce imbuement, a screaming devotion that tosses and turns inflamed—take me completely com!plete!ly! please please please!—until the drive, subdued, evaporates in clarity of flight.

A satisfaction only in shattering, being consumed into existence.

On sexual aggressiveness

Male sexuality has been socially conditioned to comprise of the same components as sports: it is aggressive and domineering, and it views women as “opponents” to defeat in order achieve high status within a male social order. Boys are taught to drive forward to see how far their partners will allow them to reach sexually, preoccupying themselves with wondering what comes next rather than enjoying the moment, essentially displacing the excitement of intimacy with the excitement of competition, until finally, in order for a man to be aroused, a woman must be objectified. He has essentially lost the ability to become aroused without thinking of her in a dehumanized context. And living in a patriarchy, women undergo a similar transformation, in which they cannot achieve arousal unless they are in turn objectified. I strongly suspect this is why both men and women, during discussions about consent, express the sentiment that asking permission is a turn-off: it forces them to switch gears, because they have separated sex from love. An increasingly poignant thought is that this is correspondingly responsible for couples who have been together for a long time losing sexual interest in one another: they have known each other too intimately and too well (humanly) to achieve arousal in the objectifying fashion by which they have been conditioned.

As a Muslim woman (not to mention a self-respecting feminist), I don’t fucking play this game. While I deeply sympathize with men and the frustrations produced by this perilous conditioning on an abstract level, they are ultimately weaponizing my own sexuality (not theirs to weaponize) against me, and this generates far too much anger to subvert for sympathy. Yesterday I overheard a man stating that he uses men for stimulating intellectual conversation and women for sex, and all I could feel was sorry for him. Imagine not being able to relate to your partner on an intellectual level! Granted I don’t consider intelligence a fundamental criterion for love, but I still wet my panties over it.

Nonetheless I would rather never encounter these types than conceptually extend my sympathies for the fact that they’ve been robbed of honest emotional connection and intimacy by the culture they’ve constructed themselves.

Hilariously I’ve discovered that men who employ these tactics are less capable of overcoming the same sexual aggressiveness they exude. In exasperated reply to the uninvited advances of a particularly assertive man who, after attempting in vain to pick me up, jokingly advised, “Well don’t get your panties in a knot,” I shot back, “I can’t get my panties in a knot. Because I’m not wearing any,” in the most crude and viciously aggressive manner I could muster. He looked simultaneously shocked and disconcerted.

The same line could have been affectionate (I had to be extra vigilant not to sound receptive.) This deliberate practice of converting affection and playfulness into weaponry and… hunting is one of the most amoral aspects of patriarchy. And it cheats everyone.

On sexual knowledge

Very briefly, I’d like to address the annoying and incessant reemergence of a peculiar social/unfortunately feminist phenomenon: the defining of sexual pleasure in rigid constraints and the application of these constraints to the criteria of a feminist accordingly.

You may be familiar with it.

Not long after Role/Reboot republished a post I had written months earlier, I was accused. (“J’accuse!”) I had offended a feminist! Because I was not having enough sex, or something:

I’m trying not to let my anger and amazement get the best of me here, but how can any female call herself ‘feminist’ if she does not masturbate, has never really done so and admits to knowing “nothing of the workings of my own body or where anything is”? Every adult female should understand the workings of her body, know where EVERYthing is and know how to give herself an orgasm. Instead of thanking religion, we should be working to free women from the mental and physical enslavement of its prejuduce, ignorance, sexism and cruelty.

*massive eye roll* (Also, did she just refer to me as a “female”?!)

The article in question made it clear that Islam and feminism had rectified my sexual ignorance—the sexual ignorance that patriarchy promotes—not contributed to it. This was made so clear in the piece, in fact, that I can not believe anyone could be this deficient in reading comprehension. What’s more likely is that this woman believes what she wants to believe: that she is the white knight of all ignorant Muslim women everywhere! Her very assessment is structured in colonialism.

I don’t mind Islam being held accountable for my virginity—it’s a reason after all—but I sure as hell mind when it’s held accountable for my sexual ignorance. This infuriates me. My lack of sexual knowledge is a consequence of patriarchy, not of Islam—and in fact, my religion is responsible for my comfort, security, and safety. And yet I’m never released from the exertion of these indictments against Islam, the very religion that had assured me that sexual desires were natural and acceptable, and—even more strongly relevant to me—that so was my mild disinterest.

Additionally, I am highly uncomfortable with the fetishizing way that a Muslim woman’s sexuality is tied to her religion. While there is an additional harmful element of perceived exoticism when we’re talking about Muslim women in particular, I understand that this comes with the disturbing territory of eroticizing women who are allegedly unwilling or unknowing—the “Catholic schoolgirl” fetish. And when the context is Islam and Muslim women, it’s a context of marginalized and politicized experiences distorted and misshapen to sexually satisfy those in a privileged position and to define a woman’s identity based on harmful presumptions and forceful expectations. Fetish is confused with identity, and a woman’s right to her identity and to her expression of that identity is consequently destructively confiscated. This is partly why my initial reaction to Love, Inshallah was extremely cautious and less than thrilled; I was incredibly wary of the potentially detrimental conclusions drawn from this framework of exposure.

In a discussion with a classmate in which I disclosed that I don’t find vibrators the least bit appealing (they are cold and pastic and resemble dismembered body parts), the classmate attempted to convince me that there are all kinds! Well, I’m sure there are, and I would have had no problem with her informing me of this (though I firmly maintain my opinion), if she had not just previously realized I was a virgin and had declared that it was “adorable.” She was presenting this concept of all kinds! of vibrators as if it were new information explained to a child.

Feminism recognizes that women are responsible and powerful, and that a decision to not have sex isn’t “adorable” but an application of freely giving and withholding consent.

In other words, if I hadn’t then known the anatomy of my vagina, I didn’t have to do or know anything this intimate until I was ready and it unraveled naturally. I understand I’m a certain type of woman; I realize that for some women—maybe even for most women—these things don’t simply “unravel naturally.” But I knew myself well enough to recognize that it would for me, and it did. A couple of months ago it simply occurred to me that I recognized where the clitoral hood is located, and relative to that was everything else (including, as I realized in astonishment, the crescent-shaped hymen obstructing part of the vaginal opening.)

As a friend of mine worded recently, I get off more on fantasy than sensation. I’m sure sensation would help, but it’s not something I require. And for now I’m content with this, and anyone with an urge to revoke my feminist card can go fuck herself. I mean that literally–you go do it, I don’t want to, and that is fine.

What’s alarming is our tendency to trivialize female pleasure by neglecting to recognize the range of full-body sensuality, and reducing pleasure to penetration or physical masturbation by dismissing fantasy and/or the whole of sensuality as “foreplay” or merely a preamble to sex.