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The claim that "intersectionality" should be used universally to speak for everyone's experiences is simply an extension of the anti-Black violence we already experience.

Remember that 2007 movie, Freedom Writers? In the film, Hilary Swank plays well-to-do naive teacher Erin Gruwell, who goes to teach 10th graders at Woodrow Wilson High School. In a scene where she (finally) begins to get checked for her white privilege, one of her students, Eva, spills into a stunning dialogue about her own life and survival that I still find myself thinking about to this day. Eva, staring right at Gruwell, says "[W]hite people always wanting their respect like they deserve it for free... see, I hate white people [because] I know what you can do... Except for 'cuz they can. And they can. Because they're white. So I hate white people on sight." Eva's dialogue reminds me so much of the pain that BIPOC have to carry to comfort and placate white women who believe that their well-intentions can make up for complacency in a white supremacist system. And of course, a lot of this well-intentioned "feminist allyship" comes in the co-option and theft of phrases specific to the Black experience, like intersectionality. Today, you would be hard-pressed to find a website or news outlet that boasts about its awareness of the current social justice landscape who hasn't used intersectionality to showcase just how "woke" they are. But the overuse of this term has created a warping of how we see and interact with each other, both in social justice spaces and beyond. In particular, the co-option of intersectionality has amplified something that BIW+oC have already known: when it comes to our interactions with white women, the anxiety around co-option and culture-vulturing is rooted in its inevitable reality because of the power dynamics that place white women as socially dominant. The relationship between Black folks and white women has been tumultuous, at best, because for too long this inequality has been unaddressed. In short, intersectionality — much like solidarity — isn't for white women.
Related: REMEMBERING SOJOURNER TRUTH, THE MOTHER OF INTERSECTIONAL FEMINISM

We really shouldn’t be applauding men for finding their wives attractive while we regularly deride fat women who love themselves without the male gaze.

BY TIFFANIE WOODS

It only took 5 minutes for me to hate the newest viral sensation that hit the interwebs last week in the form of Robbie Tripp. If you’ve been plugged into any social media outlet, I’m sure you’ve read an article or seen a picture of Robbie and his wife Sarah, and the nauseating faux body posi Instagram post he published yesterday. In the post, Robbie goes into detail to explain why he loves his wife. That’s nice right? That’s what I thought after reading the headline of Buzzfeed’s article about the couple. But a few lines into the article had my eyes rolling in the back of my head so hard I thought they would stick. A man letting the world know how beautiful he thinks his wife is cute, except that Tripp centers his own experiences with being attracted to thick girls – he centers the bullying he faced when he was a teenager instead of highlighting Sarah’s own experiences with her body. By constantly pointing out and objectifying his wife’s body and humanizing himself, Tripp shows just how little he actually gets feminism. But hey, lets give this man a standing ovation for loving the woman he married because she has some cellulite and isn’t a size two. In theory, this could’ve been a good post. Had Robbie gone in-depth on any of the topics he mentioned; why he was teased for liking plus-size women, why it’s okay to not be a size zero, why today’s beauty standards aren’t realistic and are dangerous. It could’ve been informative to address fatphobia and educate his hundreds of thousands of followers.
Related: 5 WAYS THE BODY POSITIVE MOVEMENT IS FAILING PEOPLE WHO NEED IT MOST

It's past time that we see misogyny for what it is and begin to take it seriously.

The other day as I was riding the subway, I saw an advertisement for a new television series centering on Natalee Holloway, the 18-year-old who disappeared when she was on a high school graduation to Aruba in May 2005. The case is being revisited in a new television series on Oxygen, called "The Disappearance of Natalee Holloway", where promises of new leads give audiences a new interest in the case. American audiences are too familiar with Natalee Holloway's name, just as they are with JonBenet Ramsey and other white girls and women whose faces are helmed as the epitome of innocence. This doesn't dispute that they don't deserve any of the harm that may have befallen them – no woman does. However, the ways that white victims of misogyny and gender-based violence are treated in comparison to BIW+oC are staggering and send a clear message on whose lives matter more. Too often, the treatment of Black, Indigenous, and other women of color in the face of violence and misogyny is disregarded and pushed aside altogether. Violence against BIW+oC is not only routine and expected, but celebrated. It's clear that talking about misogyny isn't something new, but the ways in which it impacts our lives are. The danger with oppression isn't with the everyday violence which it allows; the true danger comes from the normalization of that violence. As we've seen with the news surrounding The Breakfast Club and their complacency in transphobia and transmisogyny under the guise of "humor", it is a dangerous thing when we become comfortable with the violence that surrounds us every day.
Related: WE DON’T CARE ABOUT BLACK WOMEN AND FEMMES, SO WE NEED #SAYHERNAME

Because of the stigma and myth of periods being dirty, I wanted to distance myself from imagined uncleanliness. I compromised my comfort, but it did not come without a valuable lesson.

By Rachael Edwards We all have stories that we tuck away into the crevices of our inner-most beings in hopes to have them never resurface again. One of my stories that I rarely, if ever, share with anyone is the time I fainted while trying to insert a tampon. Granted, it was my first time but there were reasons that led up to me fainting and the embarrassment that followed after. Recently, I have explored why I find this particular story so embarrassing. Growing up, I was taught to tuck pads deep into my purse so that no one else could see I had my period. It was women’s business and men could not discover what was  going on with my body. If they did, myself and other young women were teased. The language around periods remains problematic because this language is laced with associating our menstrual cycles to uncleanliness–people who menstruate have to hide what happens to their bodies because the cishet male gaze perpetuates the lie that periods are dirty and something to be ashamed of. When I was 17-years-old, I thought it would be a good idea to insert a tampon without any practice. I was told that tampons were cleaner and way cooler than pads. In high school, I was the one in the bathroom with the loud crunchy pad paper. I never had any real issue with pads until someone told me that I was late to the game and needed to start wearing tampons. I wanted to be as clean as possible-if tampons meant that, I had to catch up.
Related: #ASKCAM: HOW TO OWN YOUR SEXUALITY

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