October 12, 2011
"…Most white women have no relationship with the term nigger. It is not a term used on white bodies. Speaking historically (because words change and migrate over time) the term has ever been applied to white women, except in one clear way. Anna Holmes, in her post Jezebel life, has sent me reams of info on women in the civil rights movement. One of the women she fixated on what a young white woman who was murdered for her participation. The term they applied to her was not nigger. It was nigger lover. The idea that white women would willingly associate themselves with Black people was an offense where these women could not be allowed to live. Complicating this is the relationship that white women (and white people, more broadly) have instituting the term as a mark of difference. We could start with debates about suffrage, with some white women being aghast that black men were given the right to vote before white women, or we could go back even further to how white people used the term nigger to keep black people aware of their place in society. So, already, we are speaking about very different relationships with a term… ~ Latoya Peterson, excerpt from “It’s Not Just About The Word,” in RACIALICIOUS"


October 9, 2011
"…I have struggled to accept a movement that does not acknowledge the very problematic word “slut” and how historically many women have not been able to shake the label of “slut.” I participated in the struggle – the movement as well as my own internal struggle – because I wanted to engage in, create, and sustain dialogue. Indeed, many criticize the apparent move to claim “slut” – how can you pick up something you’ve never been able to put down? Black women have been most vocal about the longer legacy of sexual violence done onto their bodies – often against the backdrop of slavery and colonialism — simply for being Black. But I continued to push into these bigger conversations and analyses. I listened and engaged when Crunk Feminist Collective challenged Slut Walks, when BlackWomen’s Blueprint issued their “Open Letter from Black Women to Slut Walk Organizers,” and when individual women of Color (and only women of Color) spoke publicly about racist actions within individual marches as well as racism within the larger movement. White women I know made private comments about different expressions of racism, but never spoke up to challenge individual actions or larger frameworks of analysis, leaving me to wonder “why?…”
~ Stephanie Gilmore, from “Am I Troy Davis? A Slut?; or, What’s Troubling Me about the Absence of Reflexivity in Movements that Proclaim Solidarity” ~"



October 8, 2011

The video is self-explanatory and unfortunately in so many venues, very relavent. It’s tragic that it it is relavent for the current state of affairs within SlutWalkS where there is a need for too many, definitely not all, to think it’s okay for a White woman to carry a “Woman is the N**** of the world" placard at a march/walk/rally that is supposed to be a safe space for ALL SURVIVORS.

Personally, I’m still waiting for a PUBLIC (not private) STATEMENT from WHITE WOMEN (not WOMEN OF COLOR) who are either organizers of SlutWalkS (in any part of North America); and/or who support the idea and/or premise of SlutWalkS (in any part of North America) to take a STAND AGAINST RACISM within the SlutWalk(S) “movements.”

If not you, then who? If not now, then when?

October 4, 2011
Woman is the “N” of the World?

By Aishah Shahidah Simmons

This short essay is also posted at Ms. Magazine

In 1969, Yoko Ono coinded the term and I quote “Woman is the N****R of the World.” Shortly thereafter, she and her husband, the late John Lennon, wrote and he recorded a song with that same title. 

According to Wikipedia (which is ALWAYS questionable), at that time (don’t know where they would stand today), Dick Gregory and Ron Dellums defended the song… 

Several Black feminists, including Pearl Cleage, challenged Yoko Ono’s racist (to Black women) statement. “If Woman is the “N” of the World, what does that make Black Women, the “N, N” of the World?”

Fast forward 42-years later from when it was originally coined, a White woman decides to create and carry a placard of the quote to SlutWalk NYC

I’ve been informed that one of the (Black) women SlutWalk NYC organizers asked the woman to take her placard down. She did. However, not before there were many photographs taken….

Now, my question is why did it take a Black woman organizer to ask her to take it down. What about ALL of the White women captured in this photograph. They didn’t find this sign offensive? Paraphrasing Sojourner Truth “Ain’t I A Woman (too!)?”


How can so many White feminists be absolutely clear about the responsibility of ALL MEN TO END heterosexual violence perpetrated against women; and yet turn a blind eye to THEIR RESPONSIBILITY TO END racism?

Is Sisterhood Global? This picture says NO! very loudly and very clearly.

The fact that this quote originates from a woman of color ~ Yoko Ono, really underscores the work that we, women of color, must do with each other to educate each other about our respective herstories. This photograph also underscores the imperative need for hardcore inter-racial dialogues amongst all of us in these complicated movements to address gender-based violence in all of our non-monolithic communities.

Co-signing with my Sister Andrea Plaid, that at the fundamental level this photograph speaks to the very sobering reality that there is a level of acceptable racism going on within (some?) SlutWalkS (not a monolith).

There is something deeply uncanny, that in 2011, this White woman would think it was OK to create and carry a sigh with the “N” word at a SlutWalk. What on earth was she thinking? Who in the United States of Ameri-KKK-a doesn’t know that the “N” word is NOT okay to use, most especially if you’re not Black.

The StruggleS continue…

POSTSCRIPT: I have supported and I *still* support the premise of SlutWalkS. In August, I participated as a speaker at SlutWalk Philly

I discuss the reasons why I, as a Black feminist lesbian incest and rape survivor, have SUPPORTED the premise of SlutWalkS, in fairly great detail in my September 30 interview with Where Is Your Line? 

At the same time, I think it’s VERY important that EVERYONE read and discuss the very important and poignant concerns raised in BlackWomen’s Blueprint's Open Letter from Black Women to the SlutWalk,” (if you’re not on Facebook, you can read the letter here); and AF3IRM RESPONDS TO SLUTWALK: THE WOMEN’S MOVEMENT IS NOT MONOCHROMATIC.

Clearly there is an urgent and non-negotiable need for dialogues to happen in the immediate future.

Here is a short list of selected essays by some Black (American) Feminists who have weighed in on the horrific impact of both the sign and the defense of the sign.

Crunk Feminist CollectiveI Saw the Sign but Did We Really Need a Sign?

Akiba Solomon’s More Thoughts on SlutWalk: No Attention is Better Than Bad Attention” – COLORLINES

LaToya Peterson’sWhich Women Are What Now? Slutwalk NYC and Failures in Solidarity” | RACIALICIOUS
Slutwalk, Slurs, and Why Feminism Still Has Race Issues” | RACIALICIOUS



On October 6, 2011, Kimberly Acevedo, one of SlutWalk NYC organizers, posted a statement in response to the sign and has announced plans to continue the dialogue:

Here’s an excerpt:

One of our march’s participants last Saturday held up and promulgated a racist, offensive sign. She was asked to take it down by one of our organizers as soon as it came to our attention. This sign symbolizes many of the critiques about SlutWalk not being a safe space for people of color, in particular Black women. We are taking it seriously and we absolutely condemn it and are horrified by it. This sign opposes the mission of SlutWalk NYC and its message is in direct conflict with the beliefs of its organizers. …

We are meeting with many of the groups which have critiqued SlutWalk NYC directly. We are meeting with Black Women’s Blueprint. We are attending an open meeting with Sister Song. We are holding a completely open meeting on October 13 at Walker Stage from 6-8 p.m. in order to discuss how to build a fighting movement. Further, we encourage everyone to take a look at the transcripts and videos of the speeches we have posted on our website and Facebook. We know we need to grow. We have been working on growth from the beginning. There were powerful, diverse and engaging speeches at the rally, many of which directly hit upon critiques of SlutWalk. THESE are the seeds of growth in our organization. We want to start a movement that passionately wants include the voices of all people, of all survivors, of all individuals who see merit in what it is that we are choosing to combat.

We hope you will join us.


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