Tuesday, November 9, 2010

What Womanist Musings Isn't

Nothing makes me angrier than when someone tells me who I am and what I stand for.  When people aren't erasing my womanism, they are declaring what type of blog this is.  Did you know that Womanist Musings is a race blog?  Well it is fucking news to me.  I write about race because as a WOC it plays a huge role in my life.  Since I don't believe in mincing words, what I have to say is most often direct and to the point.  At times people find my honesty off putting and I simply crack that up to their desire to maintain White supremacy or unacknowledged privilege. 

Two and a half years ago I started this blog to have the conversations I feel that most avoid.  Since then it has changed a great deal.  Almost everyday of the week a guest post appears from one of the regular contributors with topics ranging from sexuality, disability, religion, politics and gender. But, but, but, but, didn't you know Womanist Musings is a race blog? I personally write about a range of issues because I believe deeply that all isms are connected.  But, but, but, but, didn't you know that Womanist Musings is a race blog? This label erases the many facets of my identity, as well as completely silences the multiple of guest contributors who work very hard to ensure that the conversations that happen here are inclusive and cover a broad range of subjects.  But, but, but, but, didn't you know that Womanist Musings is a race blog?

There are plenty of blogs that focus solely on race.  Racialicious is but one example that has proven to be consistently good, but Womanist Musings does not fall into that category.  The consistent erasure tells me that despite my many discussions about the various isms that I face (racism, disableism and sexism), all that people see is my Black body.  Of course, this isn't viewed as a sign of their racism because many believe that the simple act of reading this space means that they are challenging their racism; in that you would be WRONG. If all that you can see when you interact with a Black person is the colour of their skin, then you have not learned a damn thing. Please note, I am not advocating the equally dishonest trope that progress means a purposeful colorblindness, because such an approach is equally racist.  I am however suggesting that POC be understood to be the diverse individuals that they are.

For the longest time I thought that the categorization of Womanist Musings as a race blog was a failure of mine.  I know from reading, that many of blogs claim to take an intersectional approach to issues but fail daily and instead affirm the very same harmful tropes that they claim to be fighting against.  I know that my experiences are limited and therefore, there will always be issues which I must fight my privilege to discuss.  This is a large part of the reason that Womanist Musings has an open guest posting policy and why the blog now has so many regular contributors. It is my goal that each regular reader will see a post that reflects their lived experiences at least once a week.  I know that I don't always meet this goal, but I feel as though a good faith effort is made by myself and the contributors each week. When I think about Womanist Musings the number one word that comes to mind is intersectionality not race.

I don't know what else I can do to change the perception of this space and so I would like some suggestions on how to make this space more intersectional.  I would also like to know what you would like to see changed and how we can increase diversity to make people feel as though their experiences are accurately represented.