theft, praxis,fugivity, and time: on #metoo and black feminist worldbuilding

I’ve been meditating on #metoo, particularly what it means when once again a black woman’s work gets hijacked by a larger, white led rallying cry and what gets lost in translation when you appropriate, hijack, straight up steal from black feminism.

Bad white feminist or non-black/woke adjacent copies compromise the underlying ethics that motivate actions that are formed out a very specific praxis, a praxis that is multi-generational, that’s intentional in its form.

there is also an underlying antiblackness in obviously stealing and straight up warping what black feminists have created to be something that wasn’t initially intended. Especially since non-black people routinely assume black women, black girls, black feminists don’t know what we’re doing or we haven’t thought shit through. and only when it comes to light that we created something people actually acknowledge the original was probably better than the copy.

my own perspective on #metoo shifted when I realized it was originally meant to built community and share resources among WoC. And even though the frame departs from binarist notions of violence and harm, I think about how black LGBTQ folks create fugitivity within larger black feminist fugitive movements to address our needs. And that space is there because the intention is to share and build as opposed to what it isn’t meant to become.

without getting too deep into my own experiences, had I encountered #metoo within the context of my first two coercive and manipulative lesbian relationships as a teenager, I might have known there was a community to support me. To me, that moves and feels very different than confession for the sake of educating a larger world about the “magnitude” of violence that happens within lesbian relationships, especially among youth who are coming into themselves and lack healthy paradigms + resources.

To make a long story short: It’s wild, but not surprising, that within a conversation on violence and harassment black women, black girls, black feminists are not trusted to advance the praxis they created. That white woman, and even non-black WoC, feel compelled to do it “for us” as if they’re doing us a favor.

Except given the push back to the hijacked frame, black feminism doesn’t need favors but space to grow and evolve on its own terms, in its own time.

“Because women of color’s feminism doesn’t “force survivors to out themselves.” This is not about putting responsibility in the hands of survivors, as that tweet by a white woman you all share says. This is about the powerful tool of storytelling, of COLLECTIVE healing. Those are our weapons, what we’ve been passed down. “-Jollene Levid

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