Good morning, y'all. Today, I thought I'd add a bit to that previous post because I've finally finished watching The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and well...there are things to say. (Oh, did you see this? I told you pagans are getting sick of the same old "witches are evil!" bullshit.) There may be some mild spoilers. If you haven't watched it yet, just skip the next paragraph and move on to the discussion that follows.
First, it ultimately fails in its inclusive Feminism when it lets down Prudence, the African American leader of the Weird Sisters. I'd like to add that Prudence's story just fizzles out. It goes nowhere. It's not even remotely satisfying. I had hopes that it was going to go somewhere cool--an understanding between her and Sabrina. (And one of the first times ever white women and African American women are seen cooperating within a genre story.) But no. It went straight to the same old "angry black woman" vs "nice white lady" stereotypes. [sigh] (I'm glaring at you, American Horror Story.)
Y'all, I'd really like to see inclusive genre fiction showing women of all backgrounds, abilities, and orientations working together. Women need this, badly. The reason why is because individually we can't overthrow the Patriarchy. Case in point: American white women continuing to vote Republican even though this runs against their self-interests. This is no accident. This is how systemic misogyny stays in power, y'all. Divide and conquer. And as long as this happens we'll see defeat on election day. Everyone (justifiably so) keeps asking why? The problem is, they keep missing the obvious. I know I did.
I'm currently working on a Feminist SF novel that stars women of color for the most part. And in case you aren't aware, I tend to do a lot of research. One of the things I've been doing is having frank conversations with women of color. As a result, I've made some interesting discoveries when it comes to African American women's relationship to power versus American white women's relationship to power. That's a very big part of the difference between us. So, let's talk about two very important factors: culture and power.
It's been said that money is power. In America, a culture that has embraced Capitalism, this is very much the truth. Money means independence. It means mobility. So, let's have a look at each group and their historic relationship with money.
Historically in Western civilization, women--particularly upper class women--could not work, could not own property, and could not have a bank account. The only way white women of all classes were encouraged to support themselves was through marriage. Therefore, marriage to any man was of the upmost importance. If you married well, you were assured survival. If you married a less capable man--a man who was poor or wasn't healthy or didn't have a knack or luck with money--you and whatever children you had weren't going to survive. Remember there was no support system for the elderly and infirm. No programs for the poor. No healthcare, either. You. Died. Horribly. And. No. One. Cared. The only jobs for white women were Governesses and prostitution. Those were your only reliable options. So, next time you scoff at Jane Austen's obsession with marriage, think again. Marriage for a woman was a life and death issue. That stuff was brutal for a reason. Competition was fierce. And the only weapons white women could bring to bear were beauty, youth, and/or a dowery. Sadly, the mindset remains to this day. Ever wonder why white girls do the whole Queen Bee thing? Ever wonder why white women are so heavily pressured to have a man or be thought useless and unhappy? Ever wonder why white women are so damned obsessed with Romance? Ever wonder why sexist white men go on about what a woman wants most is security and stability? Why white women are so obsessed with appearance? Fashion? This is a huge fucking part of why.
The only point in time (previous to now) where white women were encouraged to work was during the Second World War. And the instant the war ended those jobs vanished. In fact, at the end of the Second World War only 10 percent of married women with children under the age of six held jobs or were seeking them. Women were legally discriminated against in the workplace until the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed. Think about that a moment. Women didn't have the right to substantive employment until 1964. That's only fifty-four years. Previous to the 1930s, even white women didn't have access to education. And education for women wasn't even encouraged until the 1950s. At which point, millions of white women found themselves educated but lacking in opportunities to do anything with that education since the biggest push was to employ all those male veterans of World War II. Part of that push was convincing educated white women that their holy purpose in life was to bear children and take care of the home. Remember all those creepy '50s ads showing white women cleaning house in a state of ecstasy? Yeah. Enter Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique.
Some would argue that being married to a wealthy, powerful white man grants power. I'd say it does but only to a limited extent. When the money isn't yours, you have to ask permission to use it. That isn't independence. Power without independence isn't power.
Now, let's examine African--American culture. Based upon what I've read, African-American women have always had power within their community. It was African-American men who didn't have access to jobs. The reason why was because black women were considered less frightening. Thus, they had regular paychecks (after the abolishment of slavery) because they worked as servants within white homes. This is why African-American women are so much more confident and independent than white women typically are. I understand they aren't as obsessed with one another's appearance as white women are, either.
These differences in women's cultures are why Wonder Woman was such a weak sauce example of Feminism compared to Black Panther--a film wherein the women of color weren't even the fucking main characters. It's why an African-American woman in the audience at Armadillocon's Black Panther panel said, "There is no Feminism in black culture. That's just Tuesday."
White women think they do not have a model for power other than white men. Therefore, they adopt the behavior of white men--including voting Republican. Article after article about why (white) women get short shrift in job interviews or any other aspect of professional life talks about how women should adopt the behaviors of white men. White men are the default for power in white world.
So, 95% of African-American women in Texas voted for Beto O'Rourke in the last election. That's because black women damned-well know where it's at. Even 66% of Latina women voted for Beto. In contrast, 59% of white women voted for Ted Cruz in Texas. It's going to remain this way until white women as a whole wake up and realize that white men do not have their best interests at heart. They need to stop trying to behave like white men. White women need to learn from their sisters, women of color.
 And, sadly, becomes more and more true every day. Some would say that Capitalism is broken. I would say that it's not. It is working exactly as it always has--depositing a vast majority of the wealth into the hands of the few who exploit the workers. We've always known it works this way. Stop acting surprised.
 Yes, yes. There were exceptions. But they weren't was was in the forefront of Western white culture. Women in those positions were erased from history. We're talking about Western white culture here.
 Mind you, I am not claiming to be an authority on Black Culture in America. This is merely a theory confirmed during a conversation with a friend who happens to be African-American.
is a Science Fiction and Fantasy author living in Texas.