The cultural divide continues to widen.
In an effort to help maintain the purity of “intersectional” feminists — read: those feminists who live out the maxim that multiple forms of discrimination are woven together and interrelated — author Lara Witt put together a list of 10 questions such feminists should ask on a first date.
You know, to make sure they aren’t getting together with non-believers.
Witt, a self-described “queer femme of color,” throws down from the very beginning in her piece for Everyday Feminism: “If you’re not going to support marginalized folks, then we can’t be friends, let alone date. The personal is political.”
Her suggested questions cover the gamut of hot-button social issues like Black Lives Matter, LGBT, Israelis v. Palestinians, Islam, illegal immigration — and even the nobility of sex work.
Should be a fun first date.
1. Do you believe that Black Lives Matter?
For Witt, three categories are “non-negotiables”: race, class, and gender. “I don’t want to have to have laborious discussions where I have to prove to someone that white privilege or non-black privilege exists,” she writes. “If they are willing to learn and listen and make the space to decenter their whiteness (if they are white), that’s a good place to start.”
2. What are your thoughts on gender and sexual orientation?
“I wouldn’t want to be with anyone who is queer-phobic,” Witt declares, adding that she “can’t imagine being with someone who is transphobic; as a feminist and woman of color, it would be a betrayal of what I stand for. Ignoring trans-misogynoir would be to deny one of the biggest, most despicable problems that we face.”
3. How do you work to dismantle sexism and misogyny in your life?
Witt asks, “Beyond Misogyny 101, does the person you are with understand rape culture, systemic sexism, and misogynoir? Are they willing to learn if they don’t? Misogyny is more than the pay gap. Walk away from anyone who believes that ‘boys will be boys’ and that women are supposed to be mothers because we’re nothing but ambulatory incubators.”
4. What are your thoughts on sex work?
The author admits that readers “may scratch your head at this one, but much like racism and misogynoir, being pro-sex worker is a necessary pillar of dismantling the patriarchy.” Witt, in fact, wants members of her tribe to “pass the mic to sex workers because they know their experiences better than anyone who hasn’t ever engaged in sex work” and “understand the labor of sex workers of color, especially trans women of color who engage in sex work.”
5. Are you a supporter of the BDS movement?
Support for the BDS movement — Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions — against Israel in relation to its conflict with Palestinians is essential to Witt.
And her perspective echoes many who side with BDS: “Being pro-Palestine is not the same thing as being anti-Semitic,” she writes. “I shouldn’t even have to express that, but being pro-Palestine and BDS is a necessary part of intersectionality.”
6. What is your understanding of settler colonialism and indigenous rights?
“Your date thinks Native Americans are tropes or relics of the past?” she poses. “NO THANKS. A key part of intersectionality is having a complete understanding of how historical and current policies endangered the lives of millions of people, simply because of white supremacy and the colonialist entitlement to finite resources and land.”
7. Do you think capitalism is exploitative?
Witt believes standing against capitalism is “imperative” and declares that even “if your date says they’re anti-fascist and part of the resistance but they’re cool with exploiting labor from communities of color and they support the school to prison pipeline, then there’s a good chance they’ll only value you for your ability to nurture them without any reciprocation.”
8. Can any human be illegal?
“It’s mind-boggling that borders are even a thing,” she writes, “so to call people ‘aliens’ or ‘illegal immigrants’ is so inhumane and despicable.”
Witt adds that “white Americans stole this land, colonized this land, created so many borders, pushed out, killed and enslaved people of color and somehow they have the audacity to claim that this land is theirs and that black and brown immigrants are stealing their jobs, land, and homes? Miss me with that bulls**t.”
9. Do you support Muslim Americans and non-Muslim people from Islamic countries?
“I can’t think of any other religion which has been vilified and lied about more than Islam in a cultural and systemic way,” she notes, adding that intersectional feminists shouldn’t waste “time and energy on dating someone who thinks that Islam is inherently violent or misogynistic.”
10. Does your allyship include disabled folks?
Witt notes that disabled people are “subject to shaming and violence because humans are awful and lack empathy.”