Even though it was organized by the committee behind the Women’s March, there wasn’t supposed to be any actual marching at the Women’s Convention. But a few minutes before 5 p.m. on Saturday, several hundred women were stampeding from one packed meeting room in Detroit’s Cobo Center to another, hoping to snag a seat at the weekend’s most popular event: a panel called “Confronting White Womanhood.”
Surely the confrontation is not with the womanhood part, it is with the white part. Still, one wonders what the attraction is to white women to be part of this.
From the opening remarks on Friday morning, the convention’s overarching theme has been creating and fostering a wholly intersectional feminist movement. It’s felt at once like a response to the criticism the Women’s March organizers received for mobilizing a protest of white feminists and a purposeful decision to teach that mobilized audience of white feminists how to be less like White Feminists.
Naturally enough, I have issues with White Feminists, but what exactly are the issues here? What do they need to do to be less like White Feminists?
Ellman-Golan then gave a condensed history of instances where white women have been both directly and indirectly responsible for violence against black men. She spoke about Emmett Till, a 14-year-old black child who was lynched after a white women said he winked at her in public (she has since admitted this was a lie). She spoke about Dylann Roof andthat he killed nine black people in a Charleston church because “they rape white women.”
This does seem odd. A case from long ago, and a situation where the concept of white women was behind a set murders. It does not seem that modern white women really are culpable here. Surely not as a whole.
After Ellman-Golan offered up an anecdote about a time she was guilty of a racist microagression against a black man, the room of women was instructed to break out into groups of five or six to discuss their own microaggressions and to “imagine a better future.” The room of 500 or so women turned their chairs inward, and Ellman-Golan, Childs, and Scholl circulated the room to help facilitate the discussions.
In the future, we will all regularly confess our micro-aggressions. For these women, the future is now.
So check out the article. Can anybody really put their finger on what precisely was the problem that they were emoting about? If one cannot define the problem, then how can one advocate for prospective solutions.
At least in times past, Feminists could at least define what their supposed issues were.