For far too long, women of color have been silenced by the forces of white supremacy and patriarchy. Therefore, it’s important to recognize that women of color deserve to have their voices heard, and that those in power, such as myself, need to listen to them—so long as they don’t challenge the institutions that I am a part of and benefit from.
Some people think this is hypocritical of me, that I cannot claim to be a champion of women of color and then pick and choose which women of color I support. And to that I say, “Wow, who let the trolls out?” I may not be a woman of color myself (I’m a wad of chewed-up gum), but I’m sick of these “harassment bros” trying to tell me what I can and can’t do with my own body, if I may co-opt the language of the pro-choice movement and use it in a totally unrelated and inappropriate manner. I am a microphone for women of color. When a woman of color speaks, I amplify their voice. But sometimes, microphones cut out, especially when you say something that might damage the microphone or the vast amounts of wealth the microphone holds. That’s not hypocritical, that’s just technology being weird.
The women of color I admire are strong. They see institutions, like ICE, that abuse and degrade women of color and think, “I can run them.” They don’t wait for a man’s permission to profit off of war. They aren’t afraid to get right up in President Trump’s face and say, “Sir, I just voted for your military budget.” They don’t just take money from the NRA; they take it like a boss. I’m talking about strong women of color like Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, the Koch brothers, the Mucinex Man. Yes, the Mucinex Man is a woman of color. Green is a color, and gender is fluid. Get with the times.
Then there are women of color like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Nina Turner, and Angela Davis. I really want to like them because it’s beneficial to me to use them as props, but I just can’t get behind them once they start expressing their beliefs. On one hand, it’s like, “Yass kween, do your thang!” but on the other hand it’s like, “No kween, please do not do your thang, I am laundering money through a shell corporation registered in Delaware and it simply cannot be taxed.” Again, my problem is not with their skin tone or sex. I love that stuff about them. It’s their hearts and minds and choices and beliefs I don’t like. And isn’t that what Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Judge not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character”? I know he also talked about the dangers of the “white moderate,” but I have to assume he was talking about an entirely different white person—probably Bernie Sanders.
Now, I’m no Republican—even though I consistently vote for them and with them—but when it comes to policies like Medicare For All and a Green New Deal, I fail to see how they’d actually improve the lives of women of color. Frankly, I find it offensive at this idea that women of color somehow need a planet to live on. It’s the 21st century, honey, and we don’t have to depend on clean water or oxygen! We are out here doing it for ourselves! Again, not “we”—I am not a woman of color; I am a weird old tissue in the pocket of the hoodie you haven’t worn in months.
I am an ally to women of color, OK?! I’m constantly screaming it, so why don’t you believe me?! Don’t you for a second doubt my commitment to shut down the patriarchy and white supremacy! Eventually shut it down, long after I’m dead and gone and my children and their children are dead and gone. But then, when the earth is a smoldering, inhospitable husk, you can kiss institutional racism and sexism goodbye! And as we all take our last gasps of breath, we can thank me for being on the right side of history. And by we, I mean you—I’m just a drippy glob of earwax.
Read an interview with Matthew Brian Cohen about this piece on our Patreon page.