A motion brought up at the 2015 National Union of Students Women’s Conference stated that gay white men to stop acting like black women. Motion 512 at the NUS Women’s Conference is entitled, “Dear White Gay Men: Stop Appropriating Black Women.” A copy of all motions and amendments for the conference are included on a document from the NUS Women’s Campaign and is available online.
The NUS Women’s Campaign’s purpose, according to the group’s literature, is “to represent and extend and defend the rights of women students.” The group says that it is “an autonomous campaign,” led and governed by women.
“Throughout the year, we work on key areas, as identified within our policy, to positively impact women students’ lives and towards the freedom from oppression and discrimination of Women.”
Motion 512 was just one of the many motions brought up at the 2015 NUS Women’s Conference, but it is getting a lot of online attention while using the hashtag #womencon15.
— Tim Stanley (@timothy_stanley) March 24, 2015
According to the NUS Women Conference document, Motion 512’s supporters believe that the “appropriation of Black women by white gay men is prevalent within the LGBT scene and community.” It states that this appropriation is found in the “emulation of the mannerisms, language (particularly AAVE- African American Vernacular English) and phrases that can be attributed to Black women.” Furthermore, the NUS Women’s Campaign motion supporters find it offensive when white gay men say they have an “inner black woman.” The motion claims that white gay men “benefit from both white privilege and male privilege.”
The NUS Women’s Conference motion quotes a piece in TIME written by Sierra Mannie entitled, “Dear white gays, stop stealing Black Female culture.”
“You are not a black woman, and you do not get to claim either blackness or womanhood. There is a clear line between appreciation and appropriation. I need some of you to cut it the h-ll out. Maybe, for some of you, it’s a presumed mutual appreciation for Beyoncé and weaves that has you thinking that I’m going to be amused by you approaching me in your best ‘Shanequa from around the way’ voice. I don’t know. What I do know is that I don’t care how well you can quote Madea, who told you that your booty was getting bigger than hers, how cute you think it is to call yourself a strong black woman, who taught you to twerk, how funny you think it is to call yourself Quita or Keisha or for which black male you’ve been bottoming — you are not a black woman, and you do not get to claim either blackness or womanhood. It is not yours. It is not for you.”
The NUS Women’s Conference’s motion would work with the NUS LGBT Campaign and the public in order to stop white gay men from appropriating activities, mannerisms, speech, and dress that is claimed by black women.
[Photo via Twitter]