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To compare the female experience of oppression to the black experience of oppression is to ignore that there is still a population of people who experience both simultaneously.

By Maryline Dossou In 1972, John Lennon and Yoko Ono release a song titled, “Woman is the Nigger of the World.” The tune, Lennon unapologetically explained, was inspired by Irish revolutionary James Connelly’s statement that “the female worker is the slave of the slave.” It was also meant as an apology to women, acknowledging Lennon’s past as an abuser and perpetrator of female oppression. The song, although inciting its fair share of controversy, was defended by many then and even as recently as 2016, in an op-ed for the Huffington Post by MAD Magazine senior editor Joe Raiola. Even worse was that, despite Lennon’s insistence that it was inspired by the Irish struggles, it was hard to hide that it sounded strikingly familiar to a line in Zora Neale Hurston’s “Their Eyes Were Watching God,” in which Janie’s grandmother says, “De nigger woman is de mule uh de world.” But perhaps worst of all, is how positively white feminists worldwide have received the song, even now. In 1972, the National Organization for Women awarded Ono and Lennon with the “Positive Image of Women” award for what they described as a “strong pro-feminist statement.” In 2011, a woman at the NYC SlutWalk marched with a sign held up that quoted the song’s title. And in 2017, actress Rose McGowan, hot on the heels of being lauded a feminist hero for her outspokenness regarding sexual harassment and assault in Hollywood, fired off a since-deleted tweet in response to James Corden that echoed the painfully familiar message. “THIS IS RICH FAMOUS HOLLYWOOD WHITE MALE PRIVILEGE IN ACTION,” the post read. “REPLACE THE WORD ‘WOMEN’ w/ the ‘N’ word. How does it feel?” Rose McGowan White Feminism McGowan has been one of the most vocal about the abuse in Hollywood suffered by women, most notably at the hands of disgraced Hollywood executive Harvey Weinstein. With the number of accusers against Weinstein totaling more than 40 and growing, the recent revelations have inspired the hashtag #metoo. The #metoo movement, in which women who have experienced sexual harassment and assault share their stories of harassment and abuse to illuminate the pervasiveness of the issue, was widely credited to actress Alyssa Milano, who signaled the call to women via Twitter this past Sunday. The only problem? It was uncovered soon thereafter by Ebony Magazine that the #metoo campaign was created a decade ago by African-American activist and sexual violence survivor Tarana Burke (Milano has also since acknowledged this).
Related: ALL WHITE PEOPLE ARE SOCIALIZED TO BE RACIST & TINA FEY MADE THAT CLEAR

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