To Aria Dean,
gabrielle de la puente + maggie matić
hello it’s gabrielle de la puente + maggie matić. too scared to write this but we have to open our mouths a little. Scared bc maybe we have definitely not read as much of feminisms and histories - and know,,, we will. We have learnt to accuse and reject this white Feminism: narrow, easy, empty. This default politic, just inaccurate, pretends to nourish us all andddddd it doesn’t. It has wracked up a bill of unkept promises and / god, as Aria Dean elucidates, black women have come to understand white feminism so how fucking dare we not bother to understand anything other than our own experiences. Shaaaaame shame. a gross myth of white supremacy that this is an impossibility.
Her text made me shit my pants, that this was not our struggle but our wrongdoing / have been blushing a lot recently and there was summathat. And I tweeted it and messaged it to some… I’d felt the ‘what are you going to do a bout it?? ? ? ?’ and i honestly cowered because I do NOt have the answer, because I do not know what is best. Just letting the essay wash over me ~ days mulling la la la, while woc were complaining-lamenting-commenting that white girls were simply retweeting the essay, as if that was enough. This is why we’re writing, *wanting to reassure because:
you scare me in a good way, continue to set me straight - an immense generosity, these undeserved gifts again and again and thank you, because most ppl I know think they are going in the white direction, and they’re not. this Culture has occupied horrible space and indulged its white, cishet, slim, able body. this historical, persistent narcissism of white feminism is embarrassing. thank you for embarrassing us.
and specifically, this rejection of Feminism looks like: taking off blinders, learning to sympathise, to be patient and trusting. welcoming and allowing POC experience/framing to expand our own encounters;;;; for gabrielle, it is her approach to art spaces, weird sculptures, curators, narrators, press releases, and false universalisms. If she didn’t live with poc in mind like she does, The White Pube would not work and she could not truly share it with Zarina / the way they work together, learning on the job, how they love to raise each other up. * * * and for maggie, it is in her phd on contemporary feminism + consumer culture, her undoing Academic Research, complicating it, not just gassing over the fluffy femininity that has had its unfair share of visibility. she wants to stfu, to listen, and for woc to go ahead, go in, go tf in, go instead.
so thank you. this is gratitude, reverence and a promise to better educate ourselves now / books and friends and books / we hear you, we thank you, and we are sorry.