A few weeks ago, my mother and I were on our way home. It was 10pm and cold outside. A white woman was running down the street, presumably for exercise. Of course, we had the ‘white people are white-people-ing’ conversation. Why in hell, are you running in the dark and cold? You’re less than a mile away from a treadmill inside a well-lit gym, Karen.
During undergrad, I remember sitting in a meeting of a certain organization listening to a white woman proclaim how much she enjoyed her period. I thought to myself, hoping it didn’t show on my face, “you’re outta your white ass mind.”
White people don’t have enough to do.
White people don’t enough problems. As a result, they tend to create dangerous situations and faux-oppression for themselves.
From climbing a mountain with no harness, to bungee jumping, surfing, hang gliding, to running outside in the dark and then crying on 20/20, white people obviously have an adrenaline deficiency they’re trying to fulfill. None of the above activities seem reasonable or fun to my Black ass. My experience is different though. I have no shortage of adrenaline. I know this whole thing could end any time if for no other reason I’m at the intersection of Black, Woman and Queer. I look at every cop with the knowledge he could kill me and get away with it. I look at every white woman wondering if she’s going to call the police on me for exhaling too loud. I have no shortage of fear and problems.
At the time I’m writing this, I’m 2 months into a Facebook hiatus (for my mental health, weight loss goals and my dislike of people). I peak at Twitter every now and again. But after these posts, I’m considering going back to being blissfully unplugged. The two people in particular facilitating my complete exit from digital civilization are Demetra Nyx and Alyssa Milano.
Let’s talk about Demetra first to get it out of the way cause I’m grossed out. An article entitled ‘Feminist Smears Menstrual Blood on Her Face to Show Periods are Beautiful and Powerful’ scurried across my timeline. Demetra is a 26-year-old Los Angeles sex coach who said, “Sharing pictures of blood on my face and body was just an impulse – I was creating a series to help women connect with their menstrual cycle, and I thought it would be fun.”
Cut the shit, Demetra. Our periods are not fun or beautiful.
As someone with a period, I’m fully ‘connected’ to this 28-ish day cycle. Physically, mentally and emotionally for nearly two decades, I know exactly when and what’s going on concerning my cycle. There is no more intense connection then cramps, bleeding, an irrational chocolate craving, acne, fatigue and a hurricane of a mood.
I deserve some type of monthly award for managing to not get pregnant every month instead of this shit.
I realize that not everybody’s period is as bad as mine but I think we do ourselves a disservice when we try to make this cycle something its not. Frankly, it sucks for a lot of women. It is not fun, it is anything but beautiful. We don’t frolic in Lilly fields wearing white pants giving thanks that we get to bleed for a week.
The second white woman we’re going to discuss is Alyssa Milano. This morning, I saw this tweet:
Oppression and identities are not a trendy T-shirt, pink hat or,
God forbid blood to put on when it’s convenient. The very fact that your brand of oppression can be taken off, proves that it is not oppression at all. We do not have the option or convenience of taking our identities off. This intersection of identities is not one that we can get on a plane, train or automobile to take a vacation from. Believe me, we would if we could.
In this social justice production, your role as a person of with a certain amount of privilege: a white person in this case is an important one. Justice does not happen without advocates. The progress we have made would not be possible without allies. There are people who will NEVER listen to someone like me. Those same people will definitely listen to the Alyssas and Demetras of the world if for no other reason for the fact that they are pretty white women. Unfortunately, more often than not, those people are the very ones with the power to change. I am not holding my breath waiting on Alyssa or Demetra to be allies or advocates though. Their actions have told me what their true goal is.
When Alyssa Milano claims identities that are not her own, when Demtra Nyx… gosh I can’t even say it… uses her menstrual blood as paint, they are doing NOTHING but centering themselves. They are not being revolutionary. They are not cultivating progressive conversations. They are not leading a movement. All they are doing is fighting battles that are only real in their mind
and frankly stressing me the fuck out.
I’m offended and baffled by fake outrage and fabricated oppression in a world where there is plenty oppression and a myraid of REAL reasons to be outraged. I’m worried that Demetra’s antics will take attention off of the student whose male-teacher won’t let her go to the bathroom when she starts bleeding, or the inmate or homeless person that has to put their health in jeopardy by using toilet paper as make-shift tampons.
And while your practicing your hush, here’s a Guide to Allyship.