By Guest Contributor Stephanie Gilmore
Some background on Stephanie’s post: Shit continues to hit the fan regarding the racefail not only from SlutWalk NYC and the now-notorious sign, but also from another SlutWalk–that in Philly. Several anti-racist feminists, both women of color and white (me included), called out Jake Aryeh Marcus, the main organizer/legal counsel/”intersectional partner” of SlutWalk Philly about her defending some of the marches’ racism and using common derailing tactics to do so. Her response in her final post on the thread was to tell me to “go fuck yourself.” (After the call to archive the thread, said organizer removed her comments from it. However, Sydette Harry, the thread’s moderator and author of the original post called “Open Letter to SlutWalk,” assures us she’s got screencaps of her comments.) During this–except for a very few–those white feminists who profess to be anti-racist remained publicly silent even as us women of color kept asking, “Why aren’t the white anti-racist feminists saying something publicly about all of this??”
Jake posted her thoughts about the sign and the continued racialfail at SlutWalk USA, which is not affiliated to the pages of official SlutWalks.
“Using the “N” word in this context may or may not be appropriate. There will always be things that make some people uncomfortable. Yes, SW is working on making the inclusive nature of the marches better . . . but, when thousands of people arrive it is “tough” to vet what each person is going to say in advance. “Ultimately, SW will not be something that speaks to EVERYONE. That should be OK; there is enough room for many different approaches to ending rape….Let’s stay focused on the primary goal of SW; ending rape.”
Filmmaker/activist Aishah Shahidah Simmons, who has spoken at and about SlutWalk, posted her objection to the Jake’s comment. According to people who’ve been on the page, some of the commenters made racist statements in response to Aishah. Crunk Feminist Collective made this clarion call:
“Calling all anti-racist allies: It has unfortunately come to our attention that the creator of the SlutWalk USA FB page is making racist comments in the discussion that follows its link to Aishah Shahidah Simmons Cultural Worker’s piece about the unfortunate racism at last week’s SlutWalk NYC. While we would be perfectly happy to go get #CRUNK with this clearly misguided individual, this is the time for our anti-racist allies to step up and do some of the labor of teaching this person where and how their thinking is so ridiculously, offensively, and dangerously wrong. We also hope that organizers of various SlutWalks will officially condemn this page. If you have time and energy on your Sunday, your labor of anti-racist love in this matter would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks from the CFs.”
Several white anti-racist feminists responded on SlutWalk USA’s thread. Stephanie, who took part of SlutWalk Philly, went a step further and wrote this response, not only answering the question “where are the white anti-racist feminists?” but also answering Jake, who claimed to be speaking for/with her.
The essay, after the jump–AJP