Making the Political Personal

crunktastic asks a great question:

Can I feel safe in the softness of your touch if you don’t feel led to question a culture where other men routinely touch other women violently?

Its a great question, and one worth considering beyond gender politics as well.

ps – Note to crunktastic, throwing in a historically inaccurate cheap shot doesn’t bolster your arguments:

In addition to accompanying their men to the polls to monitor their votes, Black women banded together and encouraged each other to withhold sex from any man who voted against the community’s interests. These sisters knew how personal the political was long before white women said it.

Using sex to influence politics has been around as a tool for ages across world cultures.

UPDATE: I totally goofed the ps note due to utterly missing the historical reference!  Oops.  So please disregard the post script above.


2 Responses

  1. Thanks for reposting a portion of my blog. Nothing that I’ve said is historically inaccurate. I concede that sex has been a tool of political resistance forever. I was speaking to a very specific thread within the U.S. Women’s Liberation movement/history about the origins of the notion of the personal as political, and demonstrating the ways in which Black women’s own activism has proceeded white women’s on this point, even though it goes unacknowledged. It is customary in this field for scholars who write about Black women and feminism to offer these kinds of clarifications. A recent groundbreaking work by white feminist historian Danielle McGuire also offers similar readings about Black women’s contributions to the anti-rape movement. On the voting/suffrage point, read works by Paula Giddings, Tera Hunter, and Ann D. Gordon to verify my point. As (I presume) a white male, perhaps this historical point is not relevant to you, but that historical knowledge is hugely relevant to the people of color who read our blog. So thanks for the postscript and I hope that my attempts to verify the sources for and motivations of my argument will assuage your defensive reaction to my attempts to clarify these histories.

    Thanks again.

    • Sure thing, its a great post and I hope my rather small daily readership makes their way over to read it in its entirety.

      I should have done some research and seen that you were referencing a very well known phrase that grew out of the women’s lib movements in the 60s. Mea culpa!
      Within the larger folds of working against Kierarchy there is a definite tendency to overlook and minimize the contributions of people of color. Taking steps to correct this is relevant to everyone.

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