Ever had one of those days when your ideals, your spiritual beliefs, your politics, your internal moral compass just feels broken? Well, I’ve been having those days a lot lately. Here’s to raising a white flag, and hitting rock bottom, so you can find your way back up.
If my detest for words and definitions stems from anything at all it’s the “allies” I’ve experienced in both my personal life and my work as an activist. I’ve met hundreds of “white allies,” for instance, many of who profess their “consciousness” via some digital channel (e.g. an overly serious twitter bio or utopia-inspired vision statement) or, in person, via some self-congratulatory speech masquerading as a relevant anecdote… especially when surrounded by women of color.
When I woke up to International Women’s Day celebrations today, the first thing on my mind wasn’t politics, but the personal connections I didn’t know I would forfeit the minute I stopped wearing skirts, traded in my long hair for a frohawk, and fell in love with a woman. In light of international women’s day, I can’t help but note how often my masculinity is used to exclude me from accessing the same sisterhood that nurtured my unwavery dedication to every woman’s empowerment.
I was invited by a Caribbean feminist collective to participate as a virtual guest in their Audre Lorde appreciation event this past weekend. After weeks of fighting a winter slump, I ended my Skype session feeling nourished and optimistic, which has prompted some reflecting on the power of sister circles, even when they’re only experienced virtually.
This is my last post for 2012. I’ve been back in the states for almost two weeks, struggling with what words to send you in closing of my Africans for Africa new media training project. I’ve started about a dozen posts and letters, and have scrapped them each time. But I’ve settled for this stream of consciousness, this simple offering of gratitude. Thank you, for now, will have to do.