I didn’t march in the Women’s March this past weekend. Why? While I stand in solidarity with the women’s movement and do believe women deserve equal pay and equal treatment in the workplace and beyond, can women truly be unified when so many white and Asian women remain silent when observing racist behavior?
Two times in recent fashion history, we’ve seen brands blatantly exclude or denigrate people of color. First H&M put a young black boy in a sweatshirt that says, “The Coolest Monkey in the Jungle.” Then e-commerce site Revolve neglected to include brown bloggers on their latest influencer trip.
I reached out to two women I know nominally well who attended #RevolveAroundtheWorld and asked them to participate in a talk about diversity during NYFW. You might be surprised (or maybe not) that some of your favorites didn’t deign to respond. Instead of having a constructive talk about issues of diversity, the two women I reached out to chose to remain silent. THEY SAY NOTHING. They do nothing. Why march for women’s rights with people who would not march for civil rights?
The latest infraction: street style star Miroslava Duma posted an image of flowers she received from designer Ulyana Sergeenko to her Instastory, signed with the note: “To my Niggas in Paris.” They can use whatever word they want in private. But no, Ms. Duma made it public.
Everyone knows that niggas is a derogatory term. EVERYONE KNOWS THIS. But this is a word Ulyana and Miroslava apparently regularly use amongst each other. As Sergeenko wrote in her apology via Instagram, “Kanye West is one of my favorite musicians, and NP is one of my favorite songs. And yes, we call each other the N word sometimes when we want to believe that we are just as cool as these guys who sing it. ”
The women who are complicit in our exclusion from fashion shows and exclusive events are the same women whose picture you double tap when you see them pea-cocking in the street. Miroslava Duma has great style, yes! But she also published this picture of a woman sitting on a chair fashioned after a black woman in her magazine.
If we are going to march for rights, let’s march for EVERY Woman’s rights. Asian and Caucasian women, please stand for something. Don’t just take selfies, flip your skirts, and stay mum when it comes to issues of diversity.
When you see injustice, call it out and make sure things change from the inside. Your silence means consent.
Yes, you and you and you. All of you in the picture above. Please, stand for something. Go deeper than the surface.
Love & Light,
**In the meantime, let’s support each other. As you can see, it’s hard enough out there as it is.
***Ta Nehisi-Coates breaks down below why it’s not ok for white women to use the N Word: