When Anger Erupts: The Conundrum of Feminist Infighting

This post is cross-posted from The Canonball Blog as part of a series they have been running on Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde. Enjoy! – Katrina

“The personal is political”: we feminists love this statement, don’t we? Belief that one’s personal circumstances are what they are because of politics was the basis for a lot of consciousness raising and activism during the Second Wave, when this statement became popularized. I’ve been thinking about it the other way around though, recently. I think it is important to consider the implications here: the political is personal, too. And sometimes the people closest to the scene where the anger Audrey wrote about earlier this week gets ignited are people who, in most other situations, we would consider an ally. I’m thinking girl-on-girl and feminist-on-feminist political anger.

Of course, there is a lot of girl on girl anger out there in the world at large. There is a reason so many people have all seen the movie Mean Girls: it talks about something that is true to life and many of our school experiences. One of my best friends is writing a paper on female beefs in hip-hop culture (Lil’ Kim and Nicki Minaj, anyone?). Taylor Swift writes slut shaming lyrics. These kinds of conflicts aren’t unusual to us as female identified people, or to popular culture. So what happens when it touches down in our feminist back yard?

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