Foolish Child #29: The Case of Conditional Allyship

Foolish Child is a biweekly comic series by Dickens

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I am a queer coparenting mama to Dickens Jr. Doodler by day, 911 dispatcher by night. All my favorite shows look better on Tumblr. I am two years and 450K words deep into constructing a fanfic called Ages and I'm never giving up on it. Bering & Wells.

Alana has written 123 articles for us.


  1. After reading this comic, I can see that white women feminists sound ignorant when they say “I’m colorblind” and if they do, they are obviously ignorant of the additional difficulties women of color face.
    Although radical feminist websites often feature articles on women of color all over the world suffering under patriarchy (such as being exiled to menstrual huts in Nepal, or developments in the Dominican Republic), and they often protest against FGM, they must be ignorant of the struggles of women of color. Good comic.

    • I mean it depends… who’s writing those articles? If it’s women from Nepal and the Dominican Republic, then more power to them / the media giving them a platform to raise their voice.

      But if it’s white women writing about what’s happening in a different country? Nah. That’s just furthering the narrative of “western superiority” / modern colonialism.

    • uh, why does saying “I’m colorblind” equate to writing articles about global feminism? You can definitely do one without the other.

    • hey, so it seems like maybe your hope here was that someone would go “what an excellent point– some white feminists write about women of color in other countries, proving that feminists as a general group are in fact quite educated on issues facing women of color.” please correct me if i”m off base! that’s just the impression i got from your comment.

      i’m also getting the impression that you are not a feminist yourself. again, if i’m off base, please do let me know.

      i’d venture most of the people reading or writing for this site are well aware of the fact that white feminists sometimes write about issues facing women of color in other countries. those very same white feminists are fully capable of holding racist beliefs about women of color in this country. (or anywhere.) because having information about women of color, and even sympathizing with the issues they face, does not make it impossible to also have racist views. many, many people hold unconscious racist views and feminists are not automatically immune to that, not even the ones who write about Nepalese menstrual huts.

  2. this is so true to life. it’s extremely revealing how easy it is for “allies” to lash out the moment they are called out on anything. white feminists need to be checking ourselves instead of getting defensive. if your first instinct is to explain why it’s wrong to suggest someone might have unexamined racist tendencies, you are doing nothing but help maintain the status quo. justifying why you or others could not possibly do anything racist is the least helpful thing you could do. as a white woman i’ve found it’s actually liberating to admit to my own privilege and that there are some experiences i just cannot fully understand bc of that privilege.

  3. Dickens – I am writing an eBook about white feminism and allyship in the context of real estate and privilege. It’s a lot. I would love to use this piece in the eBook with your permission. If I sell the eBook (I will offer it for $10-$20), I would absolutely give you a percentage, plus whatever up-front fee you need when selling your work.

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