Feminists. We're not all the same. We don't exist in a monolith (though many non-feminists like to think we do). In a social justice circle--as large as the one that is Feminism--we are bound to disagree. So, how do you "fight" efficiently and effectively in this movement? Here's a list of 5 things you can do:

1. Acknowledge your privileges.

This tends to be something us white feminists really fail at within the movement. We are so quick to be defensive when we're told... really, anything. So, make sure you ask yourself "Why?" you are feeling the way you're feeling. Why are you upset? (White feminists especially need to ask themselves this). Make sure you have a clear sense as to why you're upset at someone, or how you believe they have hurt/offended you. 

2. Understand that some people will just never agree with you.

The fact of the matter is not everyone will like us or agree with us. This doesn't mean we can't fight for the same things. There are plenty of people who dislike me (and I them), but as Kim Katrin Milan says: "If you don't like me, and I don't like you, that's not a problem, that's consensus. We don't all have to like each other to respect each other's right to space, community and growth." All feminists will never ALL be on the same page--maybe for some things--but not for  most things. This is life. This is individuality. 

3. Call-IN vs. Call-OUT

Something that has been happening quite a bit within our movement is this nasty call-out shit. I love this piece by Ngọc Loan Trần called, "Calling IN: A Less Disposable Way of Holding Each Other Accountable." If we exclude everyone who has ever fucked up from our community, we will have no community left. Now, it should be noted that I'm not saying we should be accepting of people who perpetrate heinous acts like rape, sexual abuse, etc. I'm talking about the people who say something problematic, but don't realize it. The people who genuinely give a shit about doing better and being better.

4. Spoons

DO NOT pressure someone to explain or educate something to you. If you fucked up, someone called you out/in, you should first and foremost apologize. Then, you can ask if the person who called you out/in is able to discuss this with you. If they say "No" or any variation of that, accept it, and move on. Google is your friend. Don't ever expect marginalized folx to educate you (especially if you're not going to pay them). That shit is work. 

5. Take it personally, but don't stew in it

One of the things I hate being told is "Don't take it personally!" If someone is upset with you for something you did, IT IS PERSONAL. But it's also bigger than that. We can acknowledge that this isn't a dichotomy. I find it best to navigate through your personal shit/feelings of the matter at hand, then expand it to include more than just yourself. We can't tell people to not take shit personally. First of all, they're in charge of their feelings. Secondly, they should take it personally to some extent. I find that the problem with taking something personally only comes if that person "sits" in that space. If you spend too much time stewing in your own shit, guess what? You're going to smell like shit. Make sure you fully understand and acknowledge that what happened is bigger than you. Some people move through this quickly, while others need a bit more time. Whatever the case, do what you need to do. 

There are no "rules" for internal fighting with the feminist movement, but hopefully, what I've listed here can help you navigate it a bit better--with a bit more compassion and understanding. 

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