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Screenshot 2017-01-29 14.28.33From the Los Angeles Times, a blow-by-blow account of a feminist celebrity struggle session at the Sundance film festival:

Celebration of women filmmakers triggers heated debate among Salma Hayek, Jessica Williams and Shirley MacLaine

Amy Kaufman

… Here at the home of ChefDance CEO and founder Mimi Kim, Woodard, Shirley MacLaine, Elle Fanning and Jill Soloway were just part of a formidable group gathered during the Sundance Festival for a lunch to celebrate women in film. …

Shirley MacLaine, at 82, wearing purple and pink in honor of Saturday’s Women’s Marches, chimed in, saying that Donald Trump presented a challenge to “each of our inner democracy” and urged everyone at the table to explore their “core identity.”

Then Jessica Williams, the former “Daily Show” correspondent who was at Sundance as the star of Jim Strouse’s “The Incredible Jessica James,” spoke up.

“I have a question for you,” Williams, 27, said to MacLaine. “My question is: What if you are a person of color, or a transgendered person who — just from how you look — you already are in a conflict?”

“Right, but change your point of view,” MacLaine offered. “Change your point of view of being victimized. I’m saying: Find the democracy inside.”

What does “democracy inside” mean? That you should give each of the voices in your head an equal vote? Each of your past lives gets a say?

“I’m sorry,” [Salma] Hayek said, jumping in. “Can I ask you a question?”

“Yes, ma’am,” Williams answered.

Uh-oh … Microaggression!

I realize Salma is now 50, but it’s probably not a good idea for a 27-year-old actress to call her “ma’am.” Just sayin’ …

“Who are you when you’re not black and you’re not a woman? Who are you and what have you got to give?”

Williams took a deep breath. “A lot. But some days, I’m just black, and I’m just a woman,” she said. “Like, it’s not my choice. I know who I am. I know I’m Jessica, and I’m the hottest bitch on the planet I know.”

It’s generally not advisable to say that to Salma Hayek. The question of who, exactly, is the hottest bitch on the planet has never been one that Salma can ponder, which she does every time she looks in a mirror, with wholly disinterested objectivity.

“No, no, no,” Hayek said. “Take the time to investigate. That’s the trap! …There is so much more.”

“Right,” agreed MacClaine. “The more is inside.”

On the inside, for example, Shirley MacClaine is also, via her famous past lives, an androgyne of the pre-Atlantis Lemurian era, the harem girl of a Turkish pasha, a dancing girl of Old Isfahan, and “I remembered being a Muslim gypsy girl who had migrated from Morocco and was living with the Coptic Christians in the hills of Spain.”

Top that for Intersectional Pokemon Points, Jessica Williams!

Williams, whose speech at the women’s march at Sundance was praised as one of the most powerful and effective last week, looked down and said she was struggling to articulate herself. Peirce [the butch lesbian director of Boys Don't Cry] tried to help her, saying that when she goes out in public looking masculine, she causes discomfort in a way Williams might as a black woman.

Hey, thanks!

​​But that wasn’t quite right.

There’s nothing straight black starlets like Jessica Williams appreciate more than being told that they are about as alluring as white middle-aged butch lesbians.

So a​f​ter a few moments of reflection, Williams returned to Hayek.

“I think what you’re saying is valid, but I also think that what you’re saying doesn’t apply to all women. I think that’s impossible.”

“What part of it is impossible?” Hayek responded. “You’re giving attention to how the other one feels.”

“Because I have to,” Williams said.

”If you have to do that, then do that,” Hayek said. “Then that’s your journey. But I want to inspire other people to know it’s a choice.”

This was when “Mudbound” filmmaker ​Dee Rees — who had moments earlier introduced herself as a black, queer director — jumped in. At this lunch, she said, she didn’t feel like she was posing a threat to anyone. But in line at the bank? Things were different. “I don’t see myself a victim,” she said. “[Jessica] doesn’t see herself as a victim. But it’s how you’re read.”

“I also feel like the word ‘victim’ — I feel like it has bothered me,” Williams replied. “When I talk about feminism, sometimes I feel like being a black woman is cast aside. I always feel like I’m warring with my womanhood and wanting the world to be better, and with my blackness — which is the opposite of whiteness.”

In case you were wondering.

Cora, who had been in the kitchen cooking lamb stew and halibut, wandered over to share that she grew up gay in Mississippi, where she was sexually abused from age 6.

Thanks for sharing.

No matter an individual’s experience, she said, she just wished all women would have one another’s backs.

And maybe more than just backs, but you have to start somewhere.

It was a somewhat of an abrupt turn, and “Transparent” creator [Jill] Soloway returned to Williams to ask her to continue speaking.

“With intersectional feminism, it’s our responsibility as white women to recognize that when there are people of color or people who are queer — we need to prioritize your voices and let you speak the loudest and learn from your experience, because we haven’t been listening. So please, Jessica, finish your thoughts.”

You know, Jill, maybe Jessica Williams was starting to realize that while nice, she isn’t quite in Salma Hayek’s league and would rather you change the subject to something like having Elle Fanning give her opinion on Shirley MacClaine’s most awesome past life.

Williams, visibly uncomfortable, said she also wanted to encourage all of the women in the room to pay special attention to women of color and LGBT women.

In other words, I’m definitely better looking than most LGBT women, but can we get off the subject of me vs. Salma Hayek, please?

“I think we need to not speak over black women,” she said, “not assign them labels.”

It’s nothing personal, Jessica, it’s just racial.

“What does this mean, ‘speak over?’” Hayek asked.

Oh boy, Jessica, you shouldn’t have provoked the alpha uber-female.

“To project your ideas on me,” Williams said. “I think there is a fear that if we present an idea that, ‘Hey, maybe [black women] have it a little bit harder in this country’ — because we do; black women and trans women do — if we’re having it a little bit harder, it doesn’t invalidate your experience. I really am begging you to not take it personally.” …

Lots of luck with that … The more actresses you gather together the more rapidly the chance of things being taken personally approaches infinity.

“So when you say women of color,” Hayek began. Then she noticed that Williams was not making eye contact with her. “Jessica, do you mind if I look at your eyes?”

Salma discovered at about age 13 that the only way interpersonal exchanges didn’t go in her favor is if the other person didn’t look at her. For example, it’s harder for Salma to get her way with blind people than with deaf people.

Williams barely looked up.

This is like Donald Trump meets Stuart Smalley.

Still, the back-and-forth continued, with Hayek questioning whether or not she was considered a woman of color in Williams’ estimation.

The Flight From White.

Nearly everyone in the room responded that Hayek was.

Who would dare insult Salma Hayek by saying she is white?

Granted, Salma is a Conquistador-American on her mother’s side and a Crusader-American on her father’s side. In 2017, that ancestry makes her a Woman of Color.

Next week, I’d like to see Salma Hayek, Cameron Diaz, Sofia Vergara, and Alicia Machado debate who is more Woman of Colorish.

“Wouldn’t it solve it if women just all had each other’s backs in general?” Cora [the lesbian chef] asked suddenly.

The solution, obviously, is for hot women to stop competing for the attention of the enemy, men, and have each other’s backs, like with my famously relaxing back massages. I’m an expert chef so you know, Salma and/or Jessica, I have really good hands. And if that doesn’t fully relieve the stress …

“Sure,” Peirce said. “The thing is this, yes, all women can work together, but we have to acknowledge that black women have a different experience. She’s here struggling and we keep shutting her down.”

“I don’t think anybody here shut her down,” Cora said, fighting back.

“Can I interrupt, because I feel misunderstood,” Hayek agreed.

I’m not sure I’d call that agreeing, but it’s best not to disagree with Salma if you know what’s good for you.

“It’s not shutting you up. I feel misunderstood on one point: We should be also curious about our brain.

Tell Salma you are curious about her brain.

“By being the best that you can be. That’s what I was trying to say to you. Let’s not just spend all the time in the anger, but in the investigation.”

“Baby, I’m Mexican and Arab,” she went on, addressing Williams.

After all, who has ever heard of a Mexican Arab getting ahead in this world?

“I’m from another generation, baby, when this was not even a possibility. My generation, they said, ‘Go back to Mexico. You’ll never be anything other than a maid in this country.’ By the head​s ​of studios! There was no movement. Latino women were not even anywhere near where you guys are. I was the first one. I’m 50 years old.

Parts of me are less than 50 years old, but, overall, I’m 50.

“So I understand.”

“You don’t understand,” Williams said, shaking her head quietly.

To be fair, almost everybody sounds like an incoherent idiot when reporters publish verbatim conversations. It would have to be a conversation between, say, Steven Pinker and Charles Murray to look impressive on paper when unpolished by the reporter.

For example, when I was captain of the Rice U. College Bowl quiz team, the Houston Chronicle published a front page article ostensibly on the subject of what geniuses we were. But the reporter published quotes from me verbatim, which made me sound like a dope. I was a little mad at the time, but it mostly struck me as adding an extra layer of entertainment — Quiz Kid Talks Like Bozo –to the article, and thus was funny while being fair enough: I really did say exactly what the newspaper said I said.

From Wikipedia:

Hayek was born Salma Hayek Jiménez in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, Mexico. Her younger brother, Sami (born 1972), is a furniture designer. Her mother, Diana Jiménez Medina, is an opera singer and talent scout. Her father, Sami Hayek, is an oil company executive and owner of an industrial-equipment firm, who once ran for mayor of Coatzacoalcos. Her father is of Lebanese descent, with his family being from the city Baabdat, Lebanon, a city Salma and her father visited in 2015 to promote her movie Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet. Her mother is Mexican, with her grandmother/maternal great-grandparents being from Spain. Raised in a wealthy, devout Roman Catholic family, she was sent to the Academy of the Sacred Heart in Grand Coteau, Louisiana, USA, at the age of twelve. …

On March 9, 2007, Hayek confirmed her engagement to French billionaire and Kering CEO, François-Henri Pinault, as well as her pregnancy. She gave birth to daughter, Valentina Paloma Pinault, in September 2007 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California. They were married on Valentine’s Day 2009 in Paris.

 
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From the New York Times:

Women’s March on Washington Opens Contentious Dialogues About Race
By FARAH STOCKMAN JAN. 9, 2017

Many thousands of women are expected to converge on the nation’s capital for the Women’s March on Washington the day after Donald J. Trump’s inauguration. Jennifer Willis no longer plans to be one of them.

Ms. Willis, a 50-year-old wedding minister from South Carolina, had looked forward to taking her daughters to the march. Then she read a post on the Facebook page for the march that made her feel unwelcome because she is white.

The post, written by a black activist from Brooklyn who is a march volunteer, advised “white allies” to listen more and talk less. It also chided those who, it said, were only now waking up to racism because of the election.

“You don’t just get to join because now you’re scared, too,” read the post. “I was born scared.”

Stung by the tone, Ms. Willis canceled her trip.

“This is a women’s march,” she said. “We’re supposed to be allies in equal pay, marriage, adoption. Why is it now about, ‘White women don’t understand black women’?”

If all goes as planned, the Jan. 21 march will be a momentous display of unity in protest of a president whose treatment of women came to dominate the campaign’s final weeks.

To be precise, came to dominate the losing candidate’s failed strategy.

But long before the first buses roll to Washington and sister demonstrations take place in other cities, contentious conversations about race have erupted nearly every day among marchers, exhilarating some and alienating others.

In Tennessee, emotions ran high when organizers changed the name of the local march from “Women’s March on Washington-Nashville” to “Power Together Tennessee, in solidarity with Women’s March on Washington.” While many applauded the name change, which was meant to signal the start of a new social justice movement in Nashville, some complained that the event had turned from a march for all women into a march for black women.

In Louisiana, the first state coordinator gave up her volunteer role in part because there were no minority women in leadership positions at that time.

“I got a lot of flak locally when I stepped down, from white women who said that I’m alienating a lot of white women,” said Candice Huber, a bookstore owner in New Orleans, who is white. “They said, ‘Why do you have to be so divisive?’”

In some ways, the discord is by design. Even as they are working to ensure a smooth and unified march next week, the national organizers said they made a deliberate decision to highlight the plight of minority and undocumented immigrant women and provoke uncomfortable discussions about race.

“This was an opportunity to take the conversation to the deep places,” said Linda Sarsour, a Muslim who heads the Arab American Association of New York and is one of four co-chairwomen of the national march. “Sometimes you are going to upset people.”

The post that offended Ms. Willis was part of that effort. So was the quotation posted on the march’s Facebook page from Bell Hooks, the black feminist, about forging a stronger sisterhood by “confronting the ways women — through sex, class and race — dominated and exploited other women.”

In response, a New Jersey woman wrote: “I’m starting to feel not very welcome in this endeavor.”

A debate then ensued about whether white women were just now experiencing what minority women experience daily, or were having a hard time yielding control. A young white woman from Baltimore wrote with bitterness that white women who might have been victims of rape and abuse were being “asked to check their privilege,” a catchphrase that refers to people acknowledging their advantages, but which even some liberal women find unduly confrontational.

No one involved with the march fears that the rancor will dampen turnout; even many of those who expressed dismay at the tone of the discussion said they still intended to join what is sure to be the largest demonstration yet against the Trump presidency.

“I will march,” one wrote on the march’s Facebook page, “Hoping that someday soon a sense of unity will occur before it’s too late.”

But these debates over race also reflect deeper questions about the future of progressivism in the age of Trump. Should the march highlight what divides women, or what unites them? Is there room for women who have never heard of “white privilege”?

And at a time when a presidential candidate ran against political correctness and won — with half of white female voters supporting him — is this the time to tone down talk about race or to double down?

“If your short-term goal is to get as many people as possible at the march, maybe you don’t want to alienate people,” said Anne Valk, the author of “Radical Sisters,” a book about racial and class differences in the women’s movement. “But if your longer-term goal is to use the march as a catalyst for progressive social and political change, then that has to include thinking about race and class privilege.”

The discord also reflects the variety of women’s rights and liberal causes being represented at the march, as well as a generational divide.

Many older white women spent their lives fighting for rights like workplace protections that younger women now take for granted. Many young activists have spent years protesting police tactics and criminal justice policies — issues they feel too many white liberals have ignored.

“Yes, equal pay is an issue,” Ms. Sarsour said. “But look at the ratio of what white women get paid versus black women and Latina women.”

For too long, the march organizers said, the women’s rights movement focused on issues that were important to well-off white women, such as the ability to work outside the home and attain the same high-powered positions that men do. But minority women, they said, have had different priorities. Black women who have worked their whole lives as maids might care more about the minimum wage or police brutality than about seeing a woman in the White House.

How many of those are left? Seriously, in most places I’ve lived, Hispanics had completely displaced blacks as workers inside houses or back yards.

Undocumented immigrant women might care about abortion rights, they said, but not nearly as much as they worry about being deported.

Black women, like the late Barbara Jordan, might care about blacks getting back jobs taken from them by illegal aliens, but that just doesn’t come up much.

This brand of feminism — frequently referred to as “intersectionality” — asks white women to acknowledge that they have had it easier. It speaks candidly about the history of racism, even within the feminist movement itself. The organizers of the 1913 suffrage march on Washington asked black women to march at the back of the parade. …

But the tone of the discussion, particularly online, can become so raw that some would-be marchers feel they are no longer welcome.

Ms. Willis, the South Carolina wedding minister, had been looking forward to the salve of rallying with people who share her values, a rarity in her home state, where she said she had been insulted and shouted at for marrying gay couples.

But then she read a post by ShiShi Rose, a 27-year-old blogger from Brooklyn.

“Now is the time for you to be listening more, talking less,” Ms. Rose wrote. “You should be reading our books and understanding the roots of racism and white supremacy. Listening to our speeches. You should be drowning yourselves in our poetry.”

It rubbed Ms. Willis the wrong way.

“How do you know that I’m not reading black poetry?” she asked in an interview. Ms. Willis says that she understands being born white gives her advantages, and that she is always open to learning more about the struggles of others.

But, she said, “The last thing that is going to make me endeared to you, to know you and love you more, is if you are sitting there wagging your finger at me.”

Ms. Rose said in an interview that the intention of the post was not to weed people out but rather to make them understand that they had a lot of learning to do.

“I needed them to understand that they don’t just get to join the march and not check their privilege constantly,” she said.

That phrase — check your privilege — exasperates Ms. Willis. She asked a reporter: “Can you please tell me what that means?”

 
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From The Root:

Penn Students Remove Picture of William Shakespeare, Replace it With Audre Lorde

“We invite everyone to join us in the task of critical thinking about the changing nature of authorship, the history of language, and the political life of symbols,” Jed Esty, chair of the University of Pennsylvania’s English department, wrote.

BY: MONIQUE JUDGE
Posted: December 12, 2016

The blackest thing ever happened on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania: A group of students recently removed a picture of William Shakespeare and replaced it with one of Audre Lorde.

Monique Judge is black, so she’s allowed to say things like “The blackest thing ever happened …”

Fisher-Bennett Hall is home to Penn’s English department, and the portrait of Shakespeare has resided over the main staircase in the building for years. The English department, in an effort to represent more diversity in writing, voted a few years ago to relocate the portrait and replace it.

Despite the vote, the picture was left in the entranceway of the building. The Daily Pennsylvanian reports that on Dec. 1, after an English-department town hall meeting discussing the election, a group of students removed Shakespeare’s portrait, delivered it to the office of English professor and department Chair Jed Esty, and replaced it with a photograph of black feminist writer Audre Lorde.

Esty, who declined to be interviewed, said in an email to the Daily Pennsylvanian, “Students removed the Shakespeare portrait and delivered it to my office as a way of affirming their commitment to a more inclusive mission for the English department.”

Esty added that the image of Lorde will remain until the department reaches a decision about what to do with the space.

Katherine Kvellestad, a sophomore English major at Penn, told the paper that she commended the actions of the students and said that replacing Shakespeare’s portrait with one of Lorde sends a positive message.

“You don’t necessarily need to have a portrait of Shakespeare up,” Kvellestad said. “He’s pretty iconic.”

Her comments were echoed by junior English major Mike Benz, who told the newspaper that college curricula typically focus on European and Western ideals, leaving outside texts to be ignored or set aside.

“It is a cool example of culture jamming,” Benz said.

From Wikipedia:

Audre Lorde (/ˈɔːdri lɔːrd/; born Audrey Geraldine Lorde, February 18, 1934 – November 17, 1992) was an African American writer, feminist, womanist, lesbian, and civil rights activist. As a poet, she is best known for technical mastery and emotional expression, particularly in her poems expressing anger and outrage at civil and social injustices she observed throughout her life.[1] Her poems and prose largely dealt with issues related to civil rights, feminism, and the exploration of black female identity.

In relation to non-intersectional feminism in the United States, Lorde famously said, “Those of us who stand outside the circle of this society’s definition of acceptable women; those of us who have been forged in the crucibles of difference — those of us who are poor, who are lesbians, who are Black, who are older — know that survival is not an academic skill.

“It is learning how to take our differences and make them strengths. For the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house. They may allow us temporarily to beat him at his own game, but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change. And this fact is only threatening to those women who still define the master’s house as their only source of support.”[2]

I’m not sure what precisely this means, other than that Audre Lorde scores more Intersectional Diversity Pokemon Points than Shakespeare does.

And that’s what really matters in Ivy League English Departments, not who is better at English:

 
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Steve Sailer
About Steve Sailer

Steve Sailer is a journalist, movie critic for Taki's Magazine, VDARE.com columnist, and founder of the Human Biodiversity discussion group for top scientists and public intellectuals.


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