Thursday, 22 November 2012

Your feminism will be properly attributed or it will be bullshit

Flavia Dzodan is a better writer than you are.

Flavia Dzodan is a better writer than I am. Flavia Dzodan is a better writer than your mum. Flavia Dzodan is a better writer than 99% of the people on the internet and you should read every damn thing she writes. And when you read it, and want to quote every single line of it to every person you meet, remember that quoting is what you are doing: and that, when quoting, you will have the basic fucking courtesy to acknowledge your debt to her.

"MY FEMINISM WILL BE INTERSECTIONAL OR IT WILL BE BULLSHIT" is not a catchphrase: it is the title of a seminal essay written by Flavia Dzodan which you need to read if you haven't already, which I need to read at least once a month to keep myself honest, to keep reminding myself why white-lady navel-gazing by someone merrily clutching her UK passport is not the be-all and end-all of feminism.

And when you read it - when you get that phrase tattoed across your forehead, scrawl it in permanent marker across your computer monitor and embroider it in cutesy cross-stitch on bookmarks to give to everyone you know for Christmas - don't be a dick. Don't get so carried away with the succinct perfection of the phrase that you miss the point of it.

Stealing the words of a woman of colour, plagiarising them out of context and without attribution, is pretty much the polar opposite of intersectionality. It is, as the lady says, bullshit.


Regarding the article itself - I really don't want to spend the rest of my life arguing about whether or not Caitlin Moran is Everything That Modern Feminism Will Ever Need. She didn't set herself up as such and people are only doing so to create a pointless media "debate" driven by the desperate need for pageviews.

I've already discussed my problems with How To Be A Woman here; more recent failings include the '"Nope. I literally couldn't give a shit about" racism' fuck-up. The point isn't "does Caitlin Moran's book encapsulate the experience of every woman who has ever lived", it is more that there are a whole load of other women talking about a whole load of other issues which cannot but inform their feminisms - and they don't get heard. They don't all have 327,714 Twitter followers and several columns in a national newspaper and a major book deal. The point is that we need to seek them out, we need to read their work and promote it and publish it and quote it and fucking well attribute it to them when we do.

Tl;dr: go and read everything Flavia Dzodan has ever written.

1 comment:

  1. LOVED this! I am a psychology and sexology researcher at Acadia University. I am currently working on a publication critiquing white feminism and would love to reference this article. Could we figure out a way to privately exchange names so I can properly site you?