Over the weekend, the Senate voted to accept Kavanaugh’s nomination for Supreme Court justice. For the first time since 1928–ironically the year before the Great Depression–Republicans now have control of all three branches of government. The vote was a close call, with the final tally coming down to 50-48. One Democrat voted in favor of Kavanaugh. He has been sworn in and is expected to be on the bench for this week’s cases.
Besides this being what Trump and the conservative base wanted, beyond this being a strong middle finger to sexual assault survivors, the future of this country is in heavy question. With a right-lead government, there’s no telling what will happen to women’s reproductive rights, the economy, immigrants, and other minorities in this country.
Yet, this country prides itself in its democracy and the belief that every and all have indisputable rights. The process to confirm Kavanaugh to the bench was a fair yes-or-no vote. Of the 49 Republicans who voted yes, 6 of them were women. Those 6 women had the opportunity to vote no and to not see Kavanaugh on the bench. It could’ve been the opportunity to search for someone else, someone with a more respectable reputation. Instead, they sided with their party lines and voted yes for a man too privileged for his own good.
I’m here to write to you, and quite frankly to other white women reading this. I mean this with all offense–your white feminism is a joke.
Years ago, when the men returned from WWII and trapped you in the home, you all came out to march and protest and fight for the rights that you so rightfully deserve. You demanded equal pay; you demanded respect from your male counterparts, you demanded reproductive freedom. White women thought their feminism was for all women. In their white privilege all that mattered was securing the freedom of the women who looked like them, who lived in their neighborhood and came from their tax bracket.
The 6 of you that decided to vote yes for Kavanaugh are perfect examples of white women choosing their whiteness over their feminism. In some way, the power that comes with being with the other men, with having power by proximity, was a greater prize than voting for oneself and considering the details of Kavanaugh’s controversial nomination. This sort of pattern isn’t new for white women, and I would be lying if I said it was. Historically, white women have been an intricate part in nourishing white supremacy and the patriarchy. If it meant temporary wielding of a power that would never be theirs, even if for a moment, then white women were right on board.
I have no respect for Republicans, that’s no secret. I have even less respect for the women that voted yes for Kavanaugh. Even if there wasn’t enough evidence to support Dr. Ford’s claims, the fact that the controversy surrounding his confirmation was not enough to sway your thoughts on either not voting yes or not voting at all disgusts me. None of you suggested an investigation. None of you thought of Dr. Ford and women like her, women in general, who would see your actions. You sided with the party that does not care about your indisputable rights, because they do not believe you have those rights. The Republican party is a boys’ club, and your votes continue to keep that alive and thriving. What’s even more ironic is that the conservative base prides itself in being free of groupthink, but your votes say otherwise.
White women have constantly made the sociopolitical world about themselves. Just earlier this week Bette Midler made a horribly ignorant statement, claiming that women are the “n-word” of the world. For one, Midler, you can’t even say the n-word, showing me that this tweet isn’t doing anything substantial. If anything, it demonstrates how white women will co-opt a movement and a history of oppression that is not theirs in order to put themselves on the center stage. White women are still singing the “me, me, me” song as if we haven’t heard it on full volume for the past century. They have put on a show of being “woke” and understanding structural inequality, but I know better. I know how you have been complicit in my oppression.
Don’t misunderstand. Yes, society is against women in general. The best thing to be in this country is a white man, because they have structured society in a way that will benefit them. So no woman within said structure can have true lasting power, and that includes you, white women. All women struggle to escape the confines of patriarchy and to flourish in a place that will have it any other way. Still, you feign ignorance to the unique struggles of women of color, and you become defensive when you’re called out for your hypocrisy. That, at the end of the day, will always prove to me that your white privilege keeps you blind to the real nuances that come with your brand of feminism. You will cry “But I’m a woman!” when your whiteness is called out, and you will scream “But all women!” when the narrative doesn’t center you.
Listen to me: you can’t have your cake and eat it too.
Just remember that 53% of you voted for Trump. 53% of you sided with patriarchy for your own selfish gains, leaving the rest of us to flounder. Now you’re crying owwie when the consequences start to affect you, too. I’m not here for it.
Take those crocodile tears elsewhere and go be better.