Reply to Feminist Griote – A Rant

by Ian Jade

Original article at

I think this piece is a melodramatic overreaction to an innocuous incident, and works very hard to maintain you in the role of victim so as to elicit sympathy.

If you are constantly pointing out examples like this, it is no wonder your allies sometimes doubt whether racism impinges on your world at all. This is not racist. It is also no wonder that they do not see it as such, and I am not surprised that this makes them feel the need to constantly re-affirm their non-racist solidarity with you when you bring up subjects like this.

I have no idea what you mean by “having white women don coloured women costumes”, but the following quote is utterly disingenuous; to cite the lack of black models for decades as oppression, and then, when black models become more prevalent, to see their very presence as oppressive – this seems like a desperate attempt to cling on to victim status.

I do not believe that the photo shoot you show on the cover and talk about within the magazine is racist at all. It is an aesthetic and artistic choice designed to produce a particular effect. If the photographer had wanted to photograph a black model, or a white, or a blonde-haired, or a ginger-haired model, I am sure he would have done so. He chose those particular models, and dressed and painted BOTH their bodies to present a particular monochromatic effect. That you choose only to see the alteration to the darker figure speaks only about your preconceptions, not about the photographer’s intent.

Again, if none of your colleagues read the picture in this way, why would they jump to affirm your reading of it?

You complain that black women are seen as being always ready to curse somebody out. Perhaps this is just observation at work. You are doing a fine job of berating all of them, all of the attendees at this industry luncheon, and the entire editorial staff of a magazine here.

Rather than draw your conclusion about the reason none of your companions objected to that cover shot, I’d rather extend your own line of reasoning – if it had been homophobic, anti-immigrant, misogynistic, they would have stood up for the people representing those groups at the table. So IF it had been racist, perhaps they would have stood up for you, too. Doesn’t that make more sense? Isn’t that a little less paranoid?