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@alternet: I assumed it was racism. It was patriarchy.

(Emphasis added, as always.)

It’s almost cliché to say now, but fighting patriarchy without stating that you’re fighting patriarchy—or even knowing that you are—is quite common among people who are its biggest victims.

The Vietnamese nail salon workers who fight toxic chemicals at work; the Latinas hunger striking in immigrant detention; the Native women forcing the American justice system to quit allowing non-Native men to rape them on their land; the South Asian and Arab women walking, working, and worshipping despite their Islamophobic, ignorant, White supremacist neighbors; the Black women plugging up the school-to-prison pipeline—all of these women are fighting American patriarchy without saying so.

I have seen over and over in my own life how women do this work while dodging or not recognizing their feminisms. As a Philadelphian, raised Black Nationalist, educated at a historically Black institution that was not Spelman, and defined by hypermasculine hip-hop, I was ambivalent about being categorized this way for all of the usual, pre-internet reasons—perceived isolation from other Black people and being caricatured as a disloyal shill for liberal racist White ladies.

My lips, so accustomed to spitting out “White supremacy” and “racism,” never once considered “patriarchy” as a way to explain why things were so fucked up for people who were not White, heterosexual, able-bodied, traditionally masculine, cisgender males with money. This was true even as I saw the women closest to me doing feminist work.

[…]

I should have understood that mainstream media was going to omit the founders, two Queer, one not, because the leaderless social-media-as-movement story was a lot sexier than the one about Black women doing cross-movement, uncompensated labor.

And I certainly should have predicted how the master’s evaluation tools—mainstream media coverage, large social media followings, and meetings with powerful people—actually aided patriarchy by essentially erasing the Queer and Black feminist politics at the center of Black Lives Matter.

Rest: alternet by Akiba Solomon.

I assumed it was racism. It was patriarchy. @AlterNet